Insight from a loving wife…

By: Sharon Blackgrove – Heathy’s better half

I shall smile and nod…

Recently I was at a function. I was introduced as “This is Heaths wife, he is away cycle racing for a few weeks.” I smiled, said “Hi” and scanned the room for familiar faces.

I sat down on the sofa near another lady who turned and looked over to me. Hearing that my husband was a cyclist, she gave me a friendly smile. She began a bit of small talk, “oh your husband does that thing that Lance Armstrong does”. I take a deep breath “yeah he does, I guess…just not the TDF”. I think to myself, shit, Heath’s away and I still have to talk about cycling. Can she not just ask me what I like to do…?

Being aware that I had not had much sleep, as I was up during the night feeding Sofia (our 3 month old at the time), hormones still a little crazy I couldn’t even remember if I had brushed my teeth… gross…. oh well

The conversation continues, “You are so lucky that your husband does not work a 9-5 job, it must be great when he is home from racing and is able to spend lots of time with you and your daughter”. Again, thinking in my head, is this lady kidding me? Do I even begin to explain the reality and say well actually, my husband’s job never has a start and finish time, he pretty much works around the clock. It is our entire life. He is very serious about his work.

Our average day looks a bit like this:
I get up at 5am and feed Sofia.
Once I have finished it’s my chance to get a workout in. I go to the garage and do weights or cardio while everyone else is still sleeping. Heath has pushed his ride out by half an hour so that I get more time.
He’s out the door between 7 and 8am before it gets too hot in the Austin Heat. Depending on whether he is doing a double session or not he is usually home around 1.30 – 3pm.
If I am home I will have lunch ready for him, (I just discovered the ‘Find my iPhone’ app, it’s awesome, I am able to see how far from home he is and so can have his lunch ready).
Heath gets home looking like a fried shrimp on the barbi.
He eats, showers and then goes up to do some stretching, and normally some core and stability exercises.
Dinner, emails, cycling related work and some team stuff.
I get Sofia ready and into bed between 7-8pm, occasionally this is the time I can give Heath a recovery massage or deep tissues. (My lucky husband is married to a massage therapist).
Then bed and do it all over again.
My husband does not get weekends off, he’s training and racing. It’s not often he gets two days off in a row, I honestly can’t tell you when, in the last 8 years we have had a vacation without the bike.

But I smiled and replied “yes I am very lucky”.

Don’t get me wrong a lot of people work a lot, I just find it funny what some people do think.

But all of his dedication and hard work pays off.
The years we’ve been together I’ve watched his cycling career go from a team rider to a team leader. For me, it’s been very exciting to see the progress Elbowz Racing has made. As leader of the team I’ve been very proud of Heath, the team and what they have all achieved together. They have had an amazing first two seasons that I’ve loved being a part of and hopefully there will be many more to come…before we go back to a ‘normal’ 9-5 job!!!