A Day In The Life (1/9/13)

 
 That's me when I wake up!
 
 Meryl and me training on ice
 
Meryl and me working out at Dynamic Athlete Performance
 
Skyping with our Classroom Champions class (Ms. Andrea Wiggins’s
class in Sherman, Texas)
 
 My dog DJ in the snow

First I’d like to give a shout-out to @zizionice on Twitter for coming up with the topic for this blog entry: What my daily schedule is like, along with details that will hopefully make it sound interesting.  I may have added the last bit myself, but I cannot stress enough that the daily grind of a competitive athlete may not be as interesting as one might think.  However, Meryl and I do get a lot of opportunities to break up our training with some pretty cool stuff, so I’ll try to include more of that in an effort to hold your interest.

The start to my day is based around what time our training begins. Usually we start on the ice at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., which means I have to wake up around 5:30 or 6:30.  After a quick shower, some Frosted Mini-Wheats and a banana, it’s off to work.  At the rink, we have about 30 minutes to warm-up before we start on the ice.  This warm-up time helps prevent injury, but just as importantly it gives a chance to shake ourselves awake.  Most days we start with a lesson with our main coach, Marina Zoueva, for an hour or two.  What we set out to accomplish depends entirely on what part of the season it is.  If it’s the beginning of the season we’ll be focused on choreography, whereas now we’re either refining what we already have, or training it until it hurts.

Meryl and I are usually on the ice between four and five hours, making sure we leave nothing to chance.  We’ll often have an hour or two of breaks, during which we eat and hang out in the locker room with the other skaters.  We’re lucky to have a group of skaters that gets along well and supports each other on and off the ice.  It helps to have talented teams on the ice with you that work hard; Meryl and I have always found it inspirational.

Three days a week after our training on the ice we have a workout session that usually lasts around an hour-and-a-half.  We’re lucky to have a workout facility attached to our rink that caters to high-level athletes of all different kinds called Dynamic Athlete Performance.  They’re able to give us personalized workouts based around our competition schedule.  Other days we have a ballet class, which is as necessary as anything else we do.  The end of our work day is usually around 3 p.m.

After everything is said and done at the rink for the day, we usually have a lot of options for how we want to take on the rest of the day.  Some days we have to go to class at the University of Michigan, others we go straight home for a nap.  We’re fortunate to have a great university so close to where we train; getting to walk around the campus is a great way to spend any down time we have between classes.  In fact, Ann Arbor is just a great place to live, with lots of cool things to do and a bunch of great restaurants for when we eat out. 

Occasionally we’ll stay at the rink together to brainstorm ideas on what we want to talk about in our Classroom Champions videos.  Every month we have a different topic to focus on, and we’ve found it a lot of fun trying to figure out the best way to get our message across to kids.  We’ve found that putting into words what we find important, and what it takes to succeed, is not just helpful for the students we talk to, but for us as well.  It really helps remind us of what we need to focus on day in and day out.

Once I get back home, I’m greeted by my adorable dog DJ.  I try to take her for a long walk outside this time of year because she particularly loves running around in the snow. After that, I generally procrastinate and ignore any important paperwork I need to fill out, or bills I have to pay by getting lost on the internet.  I’ll usually watch some shows on Comedy Central or goon reddit to have a few laughs, because I’ve found that’s the best way for me to unwind from the day and recover for the next.  And at least I can now watch hockey!  As many of you know, I am a huge Detroit Red Wings fan and couldn’t be more excited that the NHL lockout is over. We’ll see how my Wings do this season.  At the very end of the day, I try to have an early dinner and get to bed early.  I’ve found that sleep is the most important thing I need to feel good, so it’s one of the things that I really try to stay on top of.  Every day of the week becomes such a routine that when we get to the weekend I sometimes don’t know what to do with myself!