Isolation Diaries: With Indian shooting ace Anjum Moudgil

The Indian shooter is keen to make the most of the time at home and is busy learning new things that she usually doesn’t get time to try her hand at.

By Naveen Peter ·

Often busy competing in competitions across the globe, Indian shooter Anjum Moudgil barely finds any time to spend with her family.

If it’s not competitions, then it’s her training that keeps her away from her home in Chandigarh. But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the sporting world into an unexpected break, Anjum Moudgil is making up for all the lost quality time back home.

The ace shooter, who booked an Olympic quota in the 10m Air Rifle with a silver medal at the 2019 World Shooting Championships, returned home just days before a nation-wide lockdown was announced in India.

Olympic Channel caught up with 26-year-old to figure out what the champion shooter has been up to over the past weeks.

When was the last time you were indoors for this long?

I don’t think I have been home for this long ever since I started competing at the international stage. Thankfully I got home just before the lockdown was announced. I was planning to take an off from shooting, but then the lockdown was announced, and the vacation has just extended.

It’s been really positive for me. It’s been a good recovery period for me. And then I am home, so that’s the best part.

How have you been spending the past couple of weeks?

I have been spending a lot of time painting. That’s something that I love and something that I usually don’t get time for when the season is on. The workouts are going on as well. I am keeping myself fit as well. It’s been a perfect time for me. It’s allowing me to do everything that I really wanted to. I am enjoying it.

One new skill you learnt/tried out...

Well, there are a few exercises that I always wanted to try. But then we had to be very careful that we didn’t injure ourselves during the season. So we never tried those. But now I have enough time and the season is also suspended, so I am trying those out. 

Then there’s dancing that I am trying my hand at. It’s another thing that I always wanted to do, but I have been very shy. But now I am home, and I’ve got my sister who can teach me a few steps, so it doesn’t matter (laughs).

So, basically, everything that I wanted to do but either I didn’t find the time or I was shy, be it painting, cooking, new training methods, dancing or even juggling for that matter. I have been having a great time.

Your preferred way to workout at home...

Since I am home, I have a lot of time to train. I do a lot of dry training too. I have set up a makeshift target where I can start shooting as well. I also attended a psychology session that the GoSports team (one of her sponsors) had arranged for us.

There are different aspects that I am touching upon since I am home and now that I have time. I am trying the visualisation technique too. I think I am doing everything except for shooting at the range.

I think that’s the benefit with a sport like shooting, just the 10m though, that we can train inside our houses. Build that muscle memory and prepare well before we hit the range.

A TV show or book that you have enjoyed...

Money Heist!! I loved that series. So, Apurvi (Chandela) and I started watching it together when we were in Rio (for the ISSF World Cup) last year. It’s been one thing that we discuss and talk about a lot.

I have also been learning about the muscle in our body. I hope this helps me when I visit the doctor the next time. I can at least point them to the exact area that hurts and not leave it to their imagination (laughs).

A person you have video-called with the most...

Largely the other members of the team. We have not been talking about shooting. It’s more to do with discussing our lives outside shooting. And now you also have guys challenging one another on the various social media trends. It’s been fun.

It’s good that no one is getting too bogged down with the postponement and no shooting. We have had guys teach us some new experiences. The other day I told Apurvi that I baked a cake and she wanted to do it too. So, we shared the recipe and it was nice to see the cake come out good.

And then there was a javelin athlete who wanted to learn how to stitch a few videos together because he wanted to make a sequence for his social media account. Like, what I use and how do I do it? That’s something that I shared with him the other day.

What would you like to tell the younger generation in such uncertain times?

I think it’s important that you live in the moment and enjoy every bit of it. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no point sitting and cribbing about the situation. That’s not changing anything. You can’t be negative. Like, take this as a ‘once in a life-time’ opportunity to be home, be with your family and enjoy it.

It’s a great time to learn new stuff. That’s what I am doing. I don’t want to regret later that I wasted this time and didn’t learn enough.