Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where's the line?

In the world of Olympic sports the difference between winning a medal and not winning a medal can often be measured in hundredths. There is a very fine line between the top level athletes and what's considered the lower tier of athletes. It is hard to decide what sacrifices are worth it and what is too much to sacrifice. This is something I constantly struggle with. For me to be the best in my sport I have to make tough choices that often leave me missing bridal showers, weddings, graduation, and sometimes even Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do understand that it is important to have a balanced life to be successful in other aspects of life, but for now I have to miss time with family and friends so that I can train at the top level daily. I recently heard a commercial referring to Olympic athletes having part time employers and friends that are willing to be part time friends. In many cases this is very true. We have to put our bodies needs ahead of spending time with friends and family. I am very lucky that for the most part my friends understand that sometimes I may just be a part time friend.

This past weekend my sisters and I cashed in on our Christmas present from our parents which was a sister vacation. We chose to go to the Sonoma\Napa area. None of us have really experienced wine tasting and thought this was good opportunity with our baby sister, Geneva, recently turning 21. It is often hard to fully enjoy myself on trips like this as I am now in the thick of my off season training. I am usually caught in the middle of trying to relax and obsessing about what I am doing an how it will affect my next training session. For the most part when I am with my family they are very supportive and understanding of my selfish ways when it comes to training. I am thankful for that but wonder if these days in Napa will affect my training further down the road or if I need to learn to let go? I have yet to learn where the line is. I want to enjoy my life, my family and friends, but I also want to be the best in my sport. I am constantly trying to figure out how to have both. For now, I am going to enjoy the time with my sisters and hope that a little relaxation time will help me with my goals.

My sisters and I wine tasting in Sonoma, California

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It is good to be old...

The past six years of my life I have spent training over thirty hours per week.  The first few months of off season training are the worst because this is when I do high volume and conditioning.  It is important to do this phase of training because this is the conditioning base that will help me maintain my physical condition throughout the season.  As I have gotten older it isn’t as important to do as much volume training instead, it is essential to train less, but maintain a high level of intensity. 

Recovery becomes imperative as I get older.  This includes spending time in the hot tub, cold tub, sauna and receiving deep tissue massages weekly.  It sounds like an easy life, but believe it or not these treatments are necessary for an older athlete, like me to be able to train at the top level daily.   It is defiantly a perk to not have to put in as many hours of training as I use to, but with age comes a lot more aches and pains.  I have forced my body frame to maintain about twenty pounds of extra weight throughout the past six years.  This weight along with the intense weight training has caused my joints to ache.  So, with age comes increased joint pain, but also less volume of training and more massages!  I guess you can not have it all.