My Life as a (Junior) Olympian Track Mom
By TrackMom1 on August 15, 2012
Featured Member Post
While we are always seeking “balance as a family” sometimes it is just not possible because our life isn’t always balanced with travel and training to achieve what she has at such an early age. Actually it has been this way from the beginning. Lauren always wanted to win. I told her just go have fun, not believing she would, nor caring if she really did win. Well she did care and she did win. I don't think that’s either normal or average for a 5 1/2 year old while at a non-competitive summer daycare program. But it's who Lauren was from the beginnng.
One thing as parents we have done for Lauren that I think has been a secret weapon against injury and mental fatigue is allowing plenty of rest always, and never over-working her. Her workouts have been (since the beginning) only two days/week during the season. The off season she has other sports and sometimes three practice a week during post season for additional instruction on the fine tuning of her race and skill acquisition.
Of course Lauren's training schedule will change as she matures. We make every effort to give consistent and honest appraisal of her performances. She knows when we tell her she has run amazingly well that she truly has.
As mom, I take the responsibility for Lauren's fueling and hydration. She eats during the season four times per day depending on her workout schedule. I juice daily to every other day to help her (and us too) get the balance of veggies she just can’t eat (yet anyway) on a daily basis. I prepare regularly, during the season and off season, the most nutritious meals I can manage while working 30 hours per week.
During the season my schedule gets even more hectic with an additional 12 hours in drop off and pick up duty for practice. That's an added 200 miles per week, not including the other places I take Lauren for massage therapy etc.
When post season arrives it takes hours upon hours to figure out the best and cheapest ways to get her to Championship meets. The internet is a life saver for travel arrangements. Now if I could get a sports chef and a personal driver that would be great! The reason Lauren competes in two National Meets has to do in part with the fact that coach dad wants her to be exposed to single age group (AAU) and double age group (USATF) competition and to be pushed as hard as she can be when it counts most.
There is so much more to say about what life is like as a track mom but if I were to comment on what has helped Lauren most in her journey to Junior Olympic Championship success to date (20 National Championships so far) it is this: We are willing to go the extra mile for her to be successful not only in her sport of track and field but in her life and all the things she desires to do well in. We as a family and our extended family work together and enjoy the success, ups and downs together.
On July 25, 2012 Lauren turned 13 and began her 10th National Championship Meet. This was a milestone of sorts; becoming a teenager and realizing that, while she was running for Junior Olympic Gold, her Team USA Elite counterparts were running for Gold at the London Games.
Lauren ran this summer in a Team USA uniform I purchased especially for these meets and this Olympic season. Not for luck, but maybe it will give her a healthy dose of “what just may come” in a few short years with hard work, lots of practice and a dream she is hard at work crafting for herself. And of course we are supporting all the way.
My View From The Finish Line