Jamie Greubel Poser and Christian Poser celebrate in the athletes' village after Jamie won the bronze medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Jamie Greubel Poser is a U.S. bobsled pilot who won bronze at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, as well as more than a dozen world cup medals, including six in the first seven races this season. Following the Games, she married German bobsledder Christian Poser. Greubel Poser is takingTeam USA fans behind the scenes into the life of an elite bobsledder during the 2015-16 season.
It has been five months since I have been to my apartment. Five months since I have slept in my own bed and had access to my things that I haven’t carried with me in my suitcase. Oh yeah, it has also been five months since I have been alone with my husband! Totally normal, right? Well, for us, it actually is.
I wish I could tell you it is all romance traveling the world with my international beau, but it is mostly business as we travel from competition to competition. Technically we are always in the same city each week of the world cup tour, but we stay with our own teams (and roommates) at different hotels and have very different schedules. Hence, not being alone for five months. We do get some time to see each other, but in general, training, meetings, race preparation and sleep take precedence. While most couples share meals and catch up after a long day, I am lucky to get a quick kiss and hello before I start my warm-up at the bobsled track, and a “good night” on FaceTime.
As for Valentine's Day coming up, hah. Most newlyweds spend the evening together doing something special... And so will we, but instead of dinner and roses we'll probably be sanding runners or packing sled boxes after world championships this weekend. How romantic! #BobsledLife
My husband, Christian Poser, is a German bobsledder, and we met at the end of the season at a world cup race in Whistler, British Columbia in 2012. When he went back home to Germany, we spent the next few months using Google Translate and Skype to get to know each other, before we started dating. Christian had learned some English in school growing up, but never really used it, and I knew about five words in German, so using a translator was really the only way we could communicate.
Although I am very for Google Translate, some of our conversations were very awkward because of the translations. One highlight was a very nice message Christian sent me saying how much he liked me. Google Translate said he loved me, so I responded that I was totally in love with him too. Christian tends to be pretty blunt, so he quickly responded that, no, that was not the correct translation. Totally horrified and embarrassed, I could not even talk to him for the next few days. After that I decided that it would be a good idea to start learning German.
|Jamie Greubel Poser and Christian Poser celebrate after the Lake Placid world cup at which Jamie placed first and Christian placed second in the two-man race.|
Four years later, after using Rosetta Stone, taking a German class and having a lot of conversations with his patient family and friends in broken German, I am actually proficient in the language. He also brushed up on his English and now speaks very well. The learning process, however, has provided lots of humor in our relationship, especially when the other person says something or spells something slightly wrong and it changes the whole meaning of what they are saying, which can be hilarious. There are so many similar words with slightly different spellings!
Spending significant time apart has always been a part of our long distance relationship, but it does not mean it’s easy. The day after we got married in the U.S., we spent the next four months apart, as we were both preparing for the world cup season with our teams. Definitely not the honeymoon most people dream of, but we are both doing what we love and chasing the same dreams together. In the summer we are able to spend a few months together, 24 hours a day. According to him, it balances out to the amount of time other couples spend together spread evenly throughout the year.
Every time someone hears about my marriage and the fact that we spend about half the year apart, they always say, “That sounds like the best marriage ever! You guys will be together forever” or “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I always respond with a chuckle.
The important thing, and the reason our relationship is successful, is that we have each other’s support. It can be hard to understand some of the sacrifices we make in our personal lives, like not being able to spend the holidays together in order to be successful in our sport. We just have an understanding that makes it work.
|Jamie Greubel Poser and Christian Poser pose in the hospital after Jamie's crash in Konigssee, Germany.|
I will say that technology has definitely made the distance a little easier to manage. With programs like Skype and FaceTime, it makes the other person feel not as far away. This has also been great for staying in touch with family and friends as we travel. To to make a phone call and be able to see the other person’s face while you are having a conversation is such a comforting thing.
Despite the distance and time apart, the moments we do share are pretty amazing. Christian has been there for some of the toughest and most joyful moments of my bobsled career. We both competed in the Sochi Olympics, and sharing that accomplishment is a very special part of our relationship. He was in the stands with my family when I won my Olympic bronze medal. After I crashed in a world cup race last season, he rushed to the hospital to be with me. He makes me stronger and believes in me even more than I believe in myself sometimes.
Everything about being an elite athlete is a balance. Balancing training and recovery, time management, preparation, stress, diet, team dynamics, health, fun, and the list keeps on going. I find the same thing goes with relationships. My relationship is a little intense, but then again so are the other parts of my life. Luckily, I have found someone who can put up with that. At least for half of the year! ;)