Bryan Clay celebrates his Olympic gold medal with his newlyborn (Getty Images) © Copyright

A lucky family man

Olympic Decathlon champion Bryan Clay is finalizing his upcoming competition schedule as well as enjoying family time as much as possible…

“Training has been going really, really well and so my manager Paul Doyle and I have been talking a lot about doing a few upcoming competitions. We just don’t know exactly which ones.

“We are still working it out.  A lot has to do with how quickly I am getting into shape.  I know the Mt SAC Relays meet is coming up and though I won’t do the whole decathlon I was planning on doing a few events. I don’t know if I will be able to do it. I may have to travel. I’d like to. We are just taking it light right now but training hard.

“I have picked up right where I left off last year. In the pole vault I have been jumping over 5m in practice. I have been throwing the shot well and I had an excellent day in the discus the other day with a lot of throws out in the 52m-53m range which is really good for the field where we throw. Javelin practice has been going well. My running, of course, has been going well. We are looking to be in a pretty good position this year. It is just a matter of being smart about which meets we decide to run and which we don't.

“It’s been pretty busy off the track too and sometimes it’s difficult to manage. Luckily I have a good fitness base from last year so I am able to pick up where I left off. That makes things a lot easier.  But there’s no way around spending five, six or seven hours out at the track every day. You have got to do it no matter what.

“Any time I am travelling  I am trying to get some workouts in. I usually have someone travelling with me who can help me out when I am working out. That is not any different from normal when I travel it’s just that I am doing more travelling than usual. I think a lot of athletes spend time on the road and still get their training in. It’s a matter of making it a priority

“Mostly I am doing speaking engagements when I am not training. I have got a bunch of travel coming up. I just got back from Chicago. I was working with the 2016 Chicago Olympic bid committee. There was a meeting with the IOC Evaluation Committee and I was involved in some presentations. I was at a big dinner that Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's Senior Advisor attended. Guy Drut, the 1976 Olympic hurdles champion was there as a member of the evaluation committee. Oprah Winfrey was there and I got to sit with them. That was fun. The trip was about four days.

“In the next couple of months I am going to be doing a lot of commercial things for sponsors and then there’s a lot of potential speaking engagements - a little bit of everything

“I usually try to take my kids with me as much as I can. If it gets to be too much my wife will let me know and stay back with them. My in-laws have also been great. They will sometimes come in to the house and look after the kids and watch the house. They allowed me to take my wife to Chicago with me so we had a little ‘husband and wife time.’ We got to go out together for dinner - just the two of us.

“I am lucky that I have got a wife who makes it a priority to be involved in what I do just as much as I try to make my family a priority. Both of us are trying to involve the family as much as we can. If I get stressed out and start to lose sight of my priorities she is right there to remind me.

“We go out a lot as a family. We were just talking last night about doing more things as a family. My son is getting a little older and we are talking about going on some hikes as a family. I can take my daughter on my back and go hiking. And, my wife and I go on runs together. It’s tough but at the same time it’s doable. It’s not stressful, we both enjoy it. And I come back refreshed to hit the track hard on Monday.

“The kids are growing up and they know I am an athlete. Every time they go to the store they end up having to buy a Wheaties box with my picture on it. So we have been eating Wheaties a lot!

“That’s all for now. Until next time Aloha!”