Life of a YOG Olympian
Innate talents of children are usually discovered at a young age and parents are always on the look out for special skills that their chilren may possess when they are growing. With the recent YOG that ended, perhaps some parents are already starting to look out for signs if their children are future YOG stars. While YOG Olmpians are undoubtedly elite sportsmen, their lives are probably not so well understood by many.
A typical professional athlete has everything planned out for him/her. Everything is normally put in place which includes diet, training schedules, lodging and even the amount of sleeping and leisure time the athletes have. Here is an excerpt of what a day is like for Olympic Silver Medalist Ericka Lorenz , who is part of the American Women's Water Polo Team.
6:25 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze.
6:30 Alarm goes off again. I count my resting heart rate; it usually hovers around 53. If it's really high, it means I'm fatigued. I get out of bed, grab some clothes off the floor and put them on--no use putting on clean ones if I'm just going to get sweaty. I shove a towel and suit into a bag, brush my teeth and make a cup of Irish breakfast tea.
7:30 Time for weights; we lift four days a week, two for upper body and two for lower.
9:00 After weights, a strength circuit; we use stability balls, medicine balls, a slide board, a Spinning bike and wooden boxes to jump on and off of. It's usually about seven exercises, and it's never the same thing twice: My coach is really creative and will try anything to get us an advantage. By the end of this session, I'm already tired--and we haven't even gotten in the pool yet.
9:25 In the pool for a freestyle workout. Through a mix of sprints and longer-distance swims, we cover between 3,000 and 4,000 meters.
10:30 We bust out the stretch cords and medicine ball to do a leg circuit in the water. Final drill: Drag a teammate, who is dead weight, across the pool.
10:50 Done with first workout. Grab a Fuji apple to sustain me until I get home.
11:30 Lunch, which begins with something like tuna with cottage cheese on tortillas, or turkey chili. I'm constantly grazing the whole time I'm home. With our workouts, putting on weight isn't an issue; I'm more worried about losing it. I usually don't nap, because it's hard enough for me to get out of bed once a day--twice would be torture.
1:00 Brew a pot of coffee.
1:30 Out the door for second practice.
2:00 Warm up: Do some laps, throw the ball a bit.
2:30 Technique-oriented practice, which sounds easy, but it isn't. If we're working on counter-attacking skills, we'll be swimming back and forth for 90 minutes straight.
5:00 Done for the day. I may or may not shower; after being in the water for more than three hours. I'm sick of being wet.
7:00 Dinner. I'm in a cooking rotation with my roommates and two other teammates, so I only have to cook every sixth night (and every night is a big party). Afterward, we watch television. Our favorite shows include Survivor, American Idol, CSI and The Bachelorette (not so much The Bachelor--can't stand the female contestants' catfighting).
10:00 Check e-mail, get ready for bed. I'm not sure what I do at night, but I always find something to keep me up. Sometimes I read, but usually my eyes are so worked from the chlorine--we don't wear goggles when we play--I just want to close them.
11:30 Lights out.
Being a professional athlete entails countless of sacrifices. If your kid aspires to be a YOG participant and eventually a full-fledged Olympian, would you encourage him/her? Do you think it will impinge on his/her childhood?