Mami is an Atlanta-based triathlete who balances a busy career in the art world with training and three young children.
How did you get into Triathlon?
I got into triathlon after having my 3rd and last child. I was sooooooo done being pregnant and needing to get my body back. I saw friends training for a sprint tri and thought this would be a good challenge for me. The training helped me carve out "me" time. It was hard at first because I felt guilty for leaving my husband with 3 little ones, but I realized how important it is for all to have some alone time!!
How do you balance triathlon and family?
It's definitely hard balancing family life, working full-time, training, and racing. It definitely gets crazy with everyone's activities during the week and weekend, but we somehow make it work. I couldn't do it without my husband being supportive. He knows how important this is to me as well. He also says I am less cranky this way :-). It also works out that he has his soccer, so we really juggle 5 individual schedules!! Many times, I do have to close down the gym at 11pm. It becomes the only time that's left in the day. We really live day by day, week by week!
How does triathlon training help you be a better mom?
I know that having the "active" side of me makes me more efficient. I always have to plan ahead of time to figure out when I can get my training in the midst of the kids' schedules. We are always on the go, but we are better able to figure out what is important to us and what we can physically do. We manage our time more efficiently. Over the years, I have learned to "cut off" work because I need to be there for my family and do the other things I love to do!!
How do you handle the dreaded 'mom guilt'?
I definitely feel more of the mom guilt when I am training for longer distances. My husband and I have to agree (literally shake hands) that I will be gone a lot when I have a big one on the calendar. He then says he has a right to complain during my training. He has to reel me back in. I do make it a point to be present at our kid's events even if it's not every event. Sometimes training takes a detour, and I have learned to be ok with it. My mentor always reminds me "family first"!!!
How has your involvement with the sport impacted your kids?
My kids have grown up knowing this is our lifestyle, and I train to race. They are always asking how my races go and what friends I was with. Of course, they always want to know if I took first, haha. They do love to come to the races... maybe to get all the freebies, drinks and food though. They love to cheer and see this side of my life. My kids are very active and encourage them to be well rounded not just in sports though. They are a part of Kilometer Kids events with Atlanta Track Club and run many races. One of my kids is interested in doing a tri... we will see!!!