I grew up getting up at 5:30 AM and training by 10:00 AM, six days a week. Not a bad job! My family drives me to the rink at 6:30 AM, which means we are fighting traffic or biking in the cold in order to catch the train to work in the sweltering sun at 7:30 AM, 5 minutes earlier than I usually get there. We drive our family dog, Marlena, 30 minutes from home at 8:30 AM, and she prefers taking a deep breath of fresh air over me. We walk to the ice just to do half-time weights and this is when I get stopped by my manager and my father, trying to convince me to have a bowl of egg white oatmeal for breakfast.
I’m the weakest member of my family, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The lower my body gets during the week, the bigger a profile I create on the weekend. This may seem as if I am saving the most important stuff for tomorrow, but what really happens on the weekends is that I run to my closest closest friends to talk about the major decisions the week had given me, and how I can conquer them, so that the tough things don’t overwhelm me. I’ve found that the power of conversation and group support are extremely powerful, and if I have made an important decision and am angry, you have helped me make it through the weekend.
Whenever possible, on Saturdays, I like to go into the house to read the weekend edition of the newspaper or print out the weather forecast for Sunday. I work all day Saturday and I’m always perfectly chipper and so much more intelligent than I am on a normal Monday when I finally make it home at 10:00 PM. When I am reading the paper or looking at the weather, I suddenly realize I have not listened to my kids because they always want to talk about soccer practice at 6 AM on the weekend, where they will get a late start. This allows me to reflect on things and think about making a plan for the week ahead. If the weather forecast is sunny with a 65 degree temperature that day, I usually plan to use up the energy from playing with my children in a way that is more productive than watching cartoons on my lap and catching up on emails. This tactic has made a huge difference in allowing me to spend more time with my family.
On Sundays, my father and I walk with a friend’s dog in all of the parks in the San Diego area. While the dogs are completely appreciative, I am annoyed, frustrated and about to fight my parents for an invitation to pet the dog. It’s like taking a trip to a pet store! However, I need the energy to run the half-time weights and keep myself focused on making decisions, because the Poughkeepsie marathon isn’t until Sunday evening.