USA Bobsled and Skeleton

The “Job” of an Olympic Mom

BY Noelle Pikus-Pace

Wanna hear what happens in a typical day of an Olympic Mom? (Mom definitely deserves a capital M…)

Let’s see…wake up, eat breakfast, workout by running short sprints up my neighborhood streets (typically stopping a couple times to say hello to a neighbor) then lifting some heavy weights in my basement while the kids walk around in their pajamas with a box of Corn Pops and sit on me while I try and do sit ups or some other drill, change a diaper and get the kids dressed, make breakfast for them and clean up,  shower and get ready, clean up Play Doh or something sticky, run to the store for groceries (stop by the bakery for a free cookie to bribe my kids to stay in the cart while I sprint down the aisles since they are preoccupied for a few minutes), come home and make lunch,  change a diaper, clean up the dishes and another mess somewhere in the house, read them a story and sing some songs before “nap time” for my 2 year old, pull weeds/pick vegetables from our garden or mow the grass and start making dinner, do some laundry while dinner is cooking, reply to 30 emails, change a diaper, kiss my hubby when he gets home, eat dinner as a family , clean up dinner and a mess somewhere in the house, go to a church meeting (I help out with 12-18 year old girls in my community), change a diaper and get the kids ready for bed, family prayer, read a story to the kids for bedtime, sit down for a few minutes with my hubby and talk about our days, reply to more emails or social media, read in a book for a few minutes and finally go to bed…       

Yup. That’s my day!

People always ask me if I have a job and I have to hold back a laugh. Being an Olympian IS a full time job. Although we are on the stage of the world for a few weeks…or a day…or 52 seconds… the time, effort, sacrifice, commitment, dedication, will-power, and drive that an Olympian is required to put into being their absolute best EVERY SINGLE DAY is a full time job. It is not only very physically trying but the mental aspect can wear on us just as frequently and at times, with more intensity, than the physical exertion.  

Being a mom IS a full time job. It is selfless. It is constant. Being a mom requires all of your energy, love, support, patience, care, knowledge and creativity. Although most people never see what a mom does in a day or what she gives up for her family or has to do (something as simple as eating the burnt piece of toast so her kids can have the good ones), it is never ending. Moms don’t have to be their best every four years. They don’t have to be ready for one given day… they have to be ready for anything at any given minute of every day. A mom has to be ready to fix a bike when it breaks, cook a meal she has never made before, be a teacher, change a messy diaper, clean up a spilled bowl of spaghetti, put a band aid on a scrape, plan a birthday party, and comfort a crying child in the middle of night because of a hurt tummy or a nightmare. A mom must be ready at any time to be everything and anything to her children.

My day is definitely full…and although I am not on a payroll, I work full-time at the very least.

There are many times where I feel that I fall short in both areas because I am compensating to one end or the other. Thomas Monson stated, “Our task is to become our best selves.” That is all that will ever be asked of each of us. We do the best we can. I have to trust that although my workouts are oftentimes interrupted, as long as I give 100%, it will be enough. I have to trust that although I take three hours out of my day to workout and my kids are running around in their PJ’s wondering why mom hasn’t played with them yet, that I am doing the absolute best that I can and I love them more than anything in this world. I hope that in seeing my dedication, they might learn, even if it’s just a glimpse, that they can have an incredible dream-and reach it. I love my life. I couldn’t be what I am without my incredible husband, family, friends and fans. As crazy and busy as life is, I feel extremely blessed to have the best of both worlds and am excited to wake up tomorrow and see what “my job” brings.

Noelle Pikus-Pace's strength and speed has led her to become one of the best skeleton sliders in the world since beginning the sport in 2001.  Pikus-Pace suffered a compound fracture of her lower right leg as a result of a freak accident when she was struck by a bobsled, causing her to miss the first half of the 2005-2006 season.  Pikus-Pace recovered to claim the 2007 World Championship title in St. Moritz and finished second overall in World Cup standings.  Pikus-Pace took a break from the sport during the 2007-2008 season to have her first child, Lacee Lynne, but returned to the sport in top form again.  She raced to fourth place at the 2010 Vancouver Games and announced her retirement after the final run.  Just a year after having her son, Traycen, Pikus-Pace and her husband, Janson, decided she'd make a comeback and aim for a medal at the 2014 Sochi Games.  Pikus-Pace swept the national team selection races series to earn her position back on the team.  Follow this dynamic athlete and mom on Facebook and Twitter.