Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Day In The Life

A day in the life of a bobsledder. Sounds pretty glamorous, well it is............for the most part.

What most people fail to understand is that even though I'm living my childhood dream of going sledding everyday, I still wake up and go to work. Yes, it IS work, I'll show you why. Here's a typical day in the life of bobsledder competing in the name of the United States.

6:00: Wake up
6:30: Breakfast
6:45: Drivers leave to inspect the track before training.
7:00: Brakemen Load the sleds in the trucks and leave for the track.
9:00 - 12:00: Official Training at the bobsled track.
1:00: Lunch
2:00 - 5:00: Weight Room/Sprints
6:00: Dinner
7:00 - Bedtime: Equipment Maintenance/Video Analysis

So, as you can see, its a full day.

Here are some notes on the times that I have up there. I know you're asking, "What do you do for two hours before training starts and you leave your hotel?" Well, I'll tell you in more detail right now.

Our day starts early, and I'm not a morning person. Don't get me wrong, I actually LOVE being awake in the mornings. (Mom, Dad....its true. I love being awake that early!) I just hate waking up. In fact, I think I'm allergic to waking up early. Anyway, our days start early. We head to breakfast usually completely dressed and ready to leave for the track. There is rarely enough time to eat and go back to your room to change. Yeah, yeah, I know, wake up earlier and we won't run in to this problem right? Well smarty-pants breakfast usually doesn't start early enough for us to do that. In fact, we usually have to beg the hotels to feed us this early.

Drivers typically leave earlier than the brakemen because it takes a long time to walk a mile of really slippery ice, while inspecting every inch, all going uphill. The brakemen leave that early because there are 40 sleds that need to go to the start and only the official track trucks are allowed to go up there, it takes a long time. Plus, you need to be there early enough to get a good warm up in. Don't believe me? Wake up at 6am and go push your car as fast as you can down your street. Actually don't! I don't want to be responsible for you hurting yourself. If you can sue McDonald's because the coffee you spilled on your lap was too hot then you can probably sue me for making you push your car at an ungodly hour of the morning.

Anyway, where were we? Oh that's right, lunch. We left for the track at 6:45am its now noon, and we've done 2 whole minutes of training. Crazy, huh?? Once we get back from the track we're pretty hungry and are usually very punctual to a 1 o'clock lunch. We sit, eat, leave. Very easy. Plus, usually its good to get some digestion going before you workout which starts pretty soon after.

The afternoon workout lasts for a couple of hours. It all depends on the day, but its usually a few hours long. Not much you can do about that.

Once we get back there's usually some time to shower and few minutes to bring yourself down from the day. Its that intense.

On to dinner, its great because you can finally start to relax. But not completely. When dinner is over its time to make sure the sleds, runners, and other equipment is ready to go for tomorrow. Sounds easy, but we don't pay our mechanic as much as we do for for nothing. (and we still have to work on the sleds.) The mechanic takes care of the BIG stuff, the major issues. Us athletes do the dirty work of sanding runners, maintaining the body of the sled, keeping the little stuff in working order. Once all of the sled/equipment work is finished, we head inside to review video of our training that day. The drivers sit in front of a TV for about 90 minutes a day analyzing each sled that comes down the track trying to find .01 seconds.

After that is all taken care of its time for bed which is usually around 10. FINALLY! Fortunately, yet unfortunately, we get to wake up tomorrow and do it all again.

As I start to close this out, I'll answer one of my most despised questions. Aren't you glad you don't have to work? Yes, I am very fortunate to not have to go through some of the crap that people do on a day to day basis. But don't think for a second that I don't work.Not only do I work more, but a lot harder than most people.

THAT is a day in the life of a bobsledder.

1 comment:

treesa said...

A real bobsledder in the flesh? Amazing! I didn't think of the windchill at -25 when you're going 130kmph ... I guess even the most windproof suits would still be a tad chilly? They're not exactly padded with down or microfill, right? My friend's boyfriend does skeleton racing, I should ask him how that is in -25...stellar, I'm sure!
Cheers, cool runnings, good luck!

What results should our funding be based on?

Who is the US Bobsled Team?

During the season Bobsledders and Skeleton-ers are paid for the races that take place each weekend. Skeleton athletes get paid $1000 for their 1 race. Since bobsledders race twice in a weekend should they be paid twice?

How much equipment should be given to the #1 team