One Pitch at a Time: Gold Medalist Jennie Finch’s Life as a Working MomSamantha Ettus
Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch is a former pro softball player, a Hershey’s Good Life Guru and a married mom of two sons, Ace and Diesel, with a baby girl on the way. I chatted with Jennie about her life as a working mom; marriage, travel, fitness and those sleepless nights.
When you first became a mom, you took your newborn son on an 18 day Beijing tour with you. How did it work?
JF: My husband (Former Major League Baseball player Casey Daigle) played baseball and I played softball. Baseball is more hectic so my son came with me. He had a passport and went to China and Japan. It worked out so great because he ended up getting 14 of my teammates as aunts to him. It wasn’t all easy, though. My mom, Ace and I all stayed in the same hotel room. My mom would get the bottle in middle of the night and she would either feed him or I would get up and feed him. I knew I was doing double duty but I couldn’t imagine leaving him for 18 days at that time.
How did you perform on the field after a sleepless night with your kids?
JF: You get over the mental block. You convince yourself that you can do anything. It is one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at my week and cried…but I think, one pitch at a time.
JF: You get what you put into it. The sacrifice, the discipline, the selflesslessness of being on a team. Being able to push your body beyond the boundaries of what you think you can do. My husband will say “I can’t, I am sleepless.” And I will say, “Don’t say that. Say you can do it and you will be able to.”
When you and your husband are both at home, how do you divide responsibilities?
JF: I am blessed to have a supportive husband. We pick up each other’s slack and it is a lot of teamwork. He does a lot of heating the bottles and I do a lot of the feeding. I travel a lot so when I am not there he does a lot himself and when I am there I do a lot of it. I couldn’t imagine doing it by myself.
What were your own parents like when you were a kid?
JF: They were my number one supporters. It was all about ‘If you work hard enough, you can achieve. You have to be the best that you can be. You can’t compare yourself to others.’
How do you use your time at night once your kids are asleep?
JF: I load the laundry, unload the dishwasher and catch up on things. I do emails and then after that it is relaxing together with my husband.
How do you avoid mommy guilt?
JF: If I was on the field, I knew how much I had sacrificed to be there so I gave it everything I have. When I am at home I try to give 110% to my kids.
How do you handle youth sports with your kids?
JF: It has been quite an experience. For Casey and I, we are discovering ourselves. At one game after listening to Casey yelling nonstop through flag football to, “Find the receiver,” I went over to him and said “I don’t think he (6yo son, Ace) knows what the receiver is.” We don’t want to be that overbearing parent but we sometimes find ourselves there. But if they are being active and having fun then we have all won. I could care less what happens on the field. If he comes off smiling, it is a victory for us all.
What is your post baby workout routine?
JF: With Ace I had to be back on the field six weeks after I gave birth for a tryout. With Diesel I was just retired but I had the New York City marathon three or four months after. My cardio these days is jumping on the trampoline. Anything where I can involve my kids.
What is your breakfast of Champions?
JF: To each their own. But for me it is Chobani Greek yogurt, granola and fresh berries.
You have a baby girl on the way. What advice will you give her?
JF: Do what you love. We all have a passion within us and it is a matter of finding that passion.