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Welcome to the HQ of exercise, by a survivor of hotel quarantine

No tennis court? No gym? No problem. Drop down and give me 50 … as your nose grazes the mini-bar. I’ve recently survived 14 days in hotel quarantine with my two young children, so here’s the drill:

  1. Take two toddlers, preferably aged two and three, and perch one on each hip. Dance to You’re Welcome from Moana on high volume. Repeat every morning to rouse the body and the spirits – and the security personnel outside your door.
    Trapped in quarantine? Don't get mad, get active.

    Trapped in quarantine? Don’t get mad, get active. Credit:Brook Mitchell

  2. Hire treadmill (hotel quarantine packages are big business). Use treadmill. Discover The West Wing 20 years late and realise this moment, on this treadmill, in this inner-Sydney hotel, is the reason you did not come by its stinging banter and political nous earlier. It is the perfect companion to daily runs while the children watch ABC Kids out of earshot and eyesight. Note that Aaron Sorkin’s drama and real news from the actual White House will blur after a while.


  3. Jetlag will keep you awake all night. No, really, absolutely all night. Without the calibrating humdrum of real life to merge into, you will lie awake and debate the merits of Phenergen while your children watch Peppa Pig and time slowly slides by in your surreal bubble. On the upside, CBD sunrises are mellow and soothing and, as the children finally drift off, become the perfect time to practise yoga.
  4. Pace. Do as my sister, who has endured hotel quarantine in both Brisbane and Sydney, did: walk your socks off – and a hole in the carpet – while under lock and key. Like her, you might average about 12 kilometres a day and one day hit 14 kilometres. Not bad on a four-metre-long track in a hotel room which is too small for exercise equipment (and has windows that don’t open, meaning no fresh air for a full two weeks).
    Peppa Pig and Mr Skinny Legs ... those legs could be yours.

    Peppa Pig and Mr Skinny Legs … those legs could be yours.Credit:YouTube

  5. Chase mercilessly, then tickle. This one requires at the very least a partner, though for optimum results, children are recommended. Clear away lamps, coffee table and mugs. Take your marks next to a wall and, on the count of three, give chase. The route always includes the bathroom, circumnavigates the table and chairs, takes in the closet and ends on the bed, where feverish tickling ensues. Repeat until there are tears.
  6. You will have the pleasure of changing your hotel bed sheets on day seven of your enforced stay. Some see this as pure hygienic necessity – and they they’re missing a golden PE opportunity. You will pull and push and fold and tuck and fluff as if the mattress and pillows were your shouty personal trainer and your linen was a medicine ball.
  7. Decompress post workout (having secured used sheets in a hazmat bag and deposited it outside your front door) by lying on freshly made bed and taking in episode 54 of The West Wing. Until, that is, you yield to toddler demands for yet more Peppa.

Daisy Dumas is a freelance journalist.

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