Here I sit again! I am on my laptop in a Chula Vista hotel just waiting to head to the Olympic Training center for practice. For some reason, this scenario is all too familiar. It seems that I have done this before. But, there is one significant difference. This time, I miss my little boy back home.
The National Team is together for the first time in 2011 and we have kicked off the New Year with new goals. It is wonderful to see the faces of each teammate. They all come from different backgrounds and are currently living life outside the National Team under very diverse circumstances. But, for these particular weeks, we all have the same goals, breath the same air, and conquer the same daily obstacles. It is refreshing to have people to share the experience with and encounter the physical pain together. There is just one main difference.
When the sunsets and the day comes to a close, I am walking through a different reality outside the pitch. I rush out of the training center, not to complete my college homework or call my best friend to see how last night’s social activities ended. Rather, I depart quickly so that I can call my husband and catch my 1 year-old son, Xavi, before he goes to bed.
The balancing act of being a wife, mother, and teammate is something that is still very novel to me. I have days were it seems impossible to do all three and other days that all the pieces fit together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. But, no matter what type of day I am experiencing, one thing in very clear; I am a lucky woman! Not many people get to play the sport they love, with a group of amazing teammates, and then come off the field greeted by a supporting husband and adorable son. With the right amount of support and the right attitude, it is possible!
Until next time….
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.