The world has being going through some tough times recently, but with many people beginning to take those first tentative steps back to normality, we'll be catching up with some of our World Series cliff divers during these weeks to find out how life has been for them.
This week we're chatting to the Czech Republic's Michal Navratil, who has been harnessing the powers of positive thinking during the last few months to help him through some especially tough times. Read on for the full interview.
Is there anything you have learned about yourself during the lockdown months? Any life lessons, emotions or experiences that you can take away from this period?
I learned to enjoy the present moment. Everything was so weird, it felt unreal. It showed how the world is connected, for good and for not that good. One good thing I can take is to see how the whole world can fight together against a common enemy, and how the effort of every single person matters.
Is there anything you took for granted before that you now truly appreciate?
Freedom to travel wherever I want, and do whatever I want.
You were apart from your wife and son for over three months during lockdown. Can you tell us what happened?
In March I was planning to fix my body after a month's training in the Canary Islands, and my wife planned to go with our baby to her hometown in Barcelona for 10 days. They left on 9th of March, a time when they were thinking to close borders, but nobody expected that they will close it in 5 days. They should have returned on 18th of March, but on the 16th Spain went into complete quarantine, and it was starting to be one horror movie.
I was basically counting the days, using the time to recover my body and focus on the new season, which was supposed to start in May. But in April the epidemic grew and I have to say, it was not a pleasant moment. I tried to stay at home and keep myself busy. Cleaning the house, watching Netflix and reading books about how to be a great father :-)
Early on Elena was completely locked down at the house, without being able to walk outside. Later in May, they could go for an hour outside. I felt bad, because I couldn't visit them, but we kept in touch via video call and I received a lot of videos of how my son developed during that time.
On 15th of June they announced the borders are opening in Europe, especially Czech with Germany. My wife bought a ticket to Munich and I went there to pick them up. I don't need to describe how happy I was and I am still that I could be part of my wife and my son.
What was the first thing you did once restrictions loosened up in your country?
I went running outside to breathe fresh air, and to just be free.
What did you miss doing the most, and have you had the chance to do that again yet?
Just the free feeling to be able to move and do stuff without any restrictions. Luckily my country was not heavily affected, and I was able to move and be out sooner than in other places.
How did the restrictions affect your training? Are you finding it easier to do now?
All sports areas were closed completely and that limited some specific training which I planned before this upcoming season. Now I will leave it for the next year.
What are you missing most about the World Series this summer?
I am missing visiting new locations. This is always exciting from the World Series. Location, location, location.
Are you keeping in touch with any of the other cliff divers?
Not touch touch, but I could see them in the social networks from time to time. There will be time, that we will see each other again, and we will fully enjoy it.
If you could name 3 things that helped you through the last few months the most, what would they be?
Positive thinking, exercise outside in nature, visualisation.