I love the Olympic Games, but I love my sleep more. Unfortunately, the number of hours I was able to fall asleep into a blissful slumber dwindled significantly. It’s an occupational hazard. I work at a local TV news station, one that’s NBC owned. I also happen to be a special projects producer, and the Olympic Games fall under special projects. So, during the 17 days of Olympic glory my alarm clock went of at 2 a.m. Yes, 2 a.m. Have I mentioned yet that I’m not a morning person? I guess 2 a.m. isn’t technically morning. It’s the dead of night. The middle of the night. It is downright painful to get up at that hour. I don’t even hit the snooze alarm for fear of falling back asleep.
Once I’m up however, I’m up, and I’m raring to get right into Olympic mode. That’s where my love of the Olympic Games kicked in making me love my job, even with the crazy early hours. Thanks to the bevy of athletic talent in the Bay Area, I got the chance to profile amazing athletes who are among the best in the world in their chosen sport. Then I got to see them compete. Many times they ended up on the podium with a medal hanging from their neck. Other times they missed the mark. They were as gracious in defeat as they were in victory. I’m not surprised. Without exception, all the athletes I interviewed were down to earth and gracious. Sure they were confident. They have to be when they’re elite athletes, but they were also incredibly humble and very patient to answer every question I asked.
Since I was on the early morning shift, I very rarely got to see NBC’s Olympic coverage. Thanks to my twitter feed, (and my husband) I never went to sleep (at the ungodly early hour of 8 pm) not knowing who had won and who had lost. It’s the good and bad of tape delay. At least that meant I had a pretty good idea of the Olympic content I’d be producing for our morning shows.
There’s also a good and bad working these hours when you have three kids. The good includes coming home in the early afternoon with time to hang out with the girls. We headed to the California Academy of Sciences one day and the beach another day. Yep, of the 12 early morning weekdays I worked, I only managed to take them to a real outing two times. I don’t count trips to the grocery store and Old Navy as real outings. I had grand plans to do fun things, but truth be told, I was dog tired and more than a little bit cranky. I also went to bed well before they did, leaving the lion share of bedtime and breakfast duties to the husband. He also made sure the tooth fairy remembered to leave something for two kids who lost a tooth each during the Olympic Games.
So I’ve got mixed reactions to the end of the Olympic Games. Like the millions of other people who watched the Olympics, I’ll remember the great stories of London 2012. Who can forget Oscar Pistorius or Usain Bolt on the track? Or Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin in the pool?x Or the Fierce Five showing their gymnastic moves in the gymnasium? Or the women’s water polo or soccer teams winning gold? I know I won’t.
I also am looking forward to returning to my regular schedule. It means I not only get to silence the 2 a.m. alarm clock, I also get more time with my kids, which will give me plenty of other great stories to tell.