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  • Samantha Lissington


...Well, we didn’t see that one coming (at least I didn’t anyway!)

And so, the best-laid plans are amuck, but we are happy, healthy and very grateful to be heading into warmer weather on this side of the hemisphere!

Covid-19 came on with such speed and intensity, 10 days of a vast array of emotions that can only be described as an “internal war”. For our team that limbo period was a challenging adjustment, particularly in the leadup to the Olympic postponement announcement. We were exceptionally grateful for the transparency of the Team NZ communications, even amongst such external turmoil.

I have only experienced sudden change (on this level) once before – when I broke my pelvis back in 2013. Funnily enough I have caught myself using the same coping mechanisms as I did back then;

1. Acceptance 2. Planning 3. And making the most of the silver linings!

Acceptance of the sad reality of no Badminton or Olympic leadup (or indeed any Spring season at all) was actually a pretty easy one when put in perspective of the horror this virus is causing all over the world. Fittingly, prior to Covid-19 we decided on a team motto which now sits above our tack room door.

“We’re the lucky ones”

We are reminded of it every day! We are also in the fortunate position to have a younger team of horses, and for our four musketeers, the forced slow-down is a positive for them to continue to acclimatise after their massive year in 2019.

My plans have been re-made about 20 times, but this is the nature of the beast. While we are still in a bit of limbo, we know for certain that we will have good communication to get us up to speed for whatever those plans look like in getting us back on track for Tokyo next year.

The silver linings have been great!

1. As riders we are used to working hard, something we find really difficult is switching off and enjoying some down time – and not feeling guilty about it! In this instance we have a free pass to enjoy a beer in the evenings, spend excessive time staying up late watching Netflix, hell I might even play some Candy Crush!

2. Actually, I have been keeping relatively busy - I naively signed up to study an online Certificate in Sports Psychology for High Performance which runs over four months. As Ginny says “how would you have fitted that around the season you weird child?” I don’t know Ginny, buy hey, who is laughing now!

I was due to start the first paper on the 10th of March with 4 assignments and a test due by the 10th of April.

2nd April - Cue typical Sam-University-pressure-strategy – “oh dear I really should get on to this”. As at 8th April currently I’ve submitted 3 assignments and I am procrastinating from finishing the last one by writing this blog. But overall I am really enjoying being a student again.

3. The barn looks AWESOME! All that extra time available and Q2 work (see previous post if you missed it) has really paid off and we are really happy with the results (great job Georgie, Siobhan and handy-man Brayden!)

4. Speaking of which, Brayden is working from home and I'm loving it! We’re saving money on trains, probably spending it all on flowers (my new hobby - but don’t those hanging baskets look so cool!)

We might run out of things to do soon, but really that is not the end of the world, it’s a chance to take a look at life and appreciate the little things. Maybe I’ll get onto my study earlier this month, maybe I won’t. At least with the rest of the world in the same boat none of us can complain about FOMO (fear of missing out).




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