10 Quarantine Questions with Kara Saunders

August 13, 2021 by
Photo courtesy of Kara Saunders.
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Like several other Aussie CrossFit Games athletes, Kara Saunders is currently under a mandatory two-week quarantine at a hotel in Australia. Citizens are required to stay in a hotel for a full two weeks upon re-entry, one of the contributing factors to why it cost some Aussie athletes up to $20,000 to compete at the CrossFit Games.

We caught up with Kara Saunders while she’s quarantined to ask a few questions.

MCU: How long have you been quarantined so far? And when are you able to return home?

KS: 9 Full days and on the 10th day now. I can go home on Wednesday the 18th of August from 4am

MCU: Describe the experience overall?

KS: There are many stages of the experience. I’m just starting to get a little irritable and frustrated now. The process feels overdone and could be done a lot better and if I let myself think about that too much I get pretty frustrated by it all. The hardest part has been being away from my daughter for so long. Prior to this I had never even had one night away from her and I’ve jumped straight into 5 weeks away. I’ve been much more positive than I thought and have tried to keep busy but also appreciate the down time.

Pretty much we are locked in a hotel for 14 days and cannot go outside or even in the hallway. Someone knocks at the door and drops off 3 meals per day that are average at best (The dinner is ok), and the rest of the day you just try to pass. We are tested before we fly home, on days 3,7,10 and 12, and then again 2 days after we leave…..negative tests do not permit you to leave.

MCU: What does a typical day look like?

KS: I am trying to not multitask for once and just do one thing at a time to make the day go faster. I have tried to keep a routine and do the same thing at the same time to some degree so the day flows. I do some work, random house and life logistics stuff, watch movies, snack too much, exercise, ROMWOD, Facetime my family and that’s about it.

MCU: What non-physical activities have you been up to?

KS: I read, research for my house renovations, talk to the team at ACTIV, budget, set goals etc, tidy all of my emails and photos on my phone, and just anything I can think of to keep relatively busy. Sometimes I’m just flat and lethargic so I’ll just watch a movie or a TV show to switch off a little. My goal is to get a bunch of tasks and work done so that when I get home to my family I can actually spend time with them and be present.

MCU: What is one thing you don’t have with you right now that you wish you did?

KS: I didn’t bring any kind of coffee and it takes so long to arrive so I ended up ordering some nice instant type coffee online. A little coffee set up would be amazing though. Also a roller. I have some good mobility gear like the hypervolt, normatec boots, a gemini trigger point thing, but a basic old roller would be amazing because my body is getting so tight just sitting around all the time.

MCU: Are you able to leave your room at all and hang with other athletes as you choose?

KS: Nope. Can’t even go out the door. When they knock at the door to drop food you have to wait 30 seconds and then open the door with a mask on to get your food and go right back inside. It’s terrible. I would give anything to just go for a little walk outside.

MCU: What was the most recent movie you watched?

KS: Bad neighbours

MCU: What kind of food have you been able to eat?

KS: I realised pretty early on that the food was not amazing and nowhere near enough protein, so I did a supermarket order and got some fresh fruit and stuff to my room. I also had to get a bunch of protein supplements in to fill the void of the meals. I’ve eaten well here but definitely snack more than usual when I’m bored. I didn’t order any more popcorn haha.

MCU: What workouts have you been doing?

KS: I did a few of the Mayhem equipment free workouts at the start and then I made one random one up for my half way mark. It was 7 rounds of 40 drag rope DU’s, 7 double push up wall walks, and 14 chair OHS. The theme was 7 for being 7 days into 14.

MCU: What’s one unexpected positive outcome from being stuck in a hotel for the last several days?

KS: A lot of reflection about anything and everything. I haven’t had or made a lot of time to really spend alone and reconnect with myself since I had my daughter. I’m always just hustling ‘doing things’ and don’t just ‘be’ very much. I’ve been able to really think and find ways to live even better days when I’m out. I’m also more grateful for my life and family than I have ever been.

MCU: Who’s the first person you plan to see when you go home?

KS: I fly into Brisbane and Matty (husband) and Scotti (daughter) will drive about an hour and a half to come and get me because I couldn’t fly into my home right now. I’ll literally just spend as much time as possible with the two of them and then slowly catch up with everyone. Even though I’ve been doing nothing I feel quite exhausted by this whole process and everything I’ve endured since I left so I get a bit overwhelmed by too many people too soon. I’m not ready to answer a million questions about it all yet so I’ll lay low with my family.


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