2016 is officially here, which means the Rio Games are only a few months away! I think Olympic years bring back emotional memories for any Olympian. Personally, it takes me back to what I was doing in 2004 prior to qualifying for the games. Around this time I was definitely going into full-on preparation mode. I was recovering from elbow surgery and was just starting to get back into full routines again.
I was preparing for my first big competition back, the very historic and prestigious American Cup in Madison Square Garden. This was an exciting time because I was so ready to get back out on the competition floor after my surgery and prove everyone that I deserved a spot on the Olympic team. I ended up winning the American Cup, which was the PERFECT start to the year. That win gave me a huge boost of confidence going into the rest of my competitions.
A few months later my dream came true, I made the Olympic team and we were headed the Greece! Not only was representing Team USA a dream come true, but ultimately winning the Individual All-Around Gold Medal in Athens was a moment I will remember the rest of my life.
A lot has happened since winning gold in 2004 with one of the biggest moments being the days I found Jasper and Beauxgart, my two fur babies (well, one with fur and one without haha)! My husband and I always ask ourselves how we did life before them because they’re such an important part of our family. Each one brings so much joy into our everyday life with their unique personalities. Beauxgart always wants to play, even with Jasper, which you can imagine is fun to watch! When she isn’t being teased to come for a swim in the pool by Beauxgart, Jasper can be found cuddling up next to the big fur ball!
Through raising Jasper and Beauxgart, I have realized how our pets are athletes just like me, even if Jasper does spend most of her time watching Beauxgart be the athlete. While I was competing I understood how everything I did outside of the gym was vital to my everyday performance in the gym, including nutrition and recovery. Our pets need that same nutrition to keep up with their daily activities, which is why we are all healthier together!
This year, Jasper and Beauxgart have their own Pet Resolutions! There are so many trails near our home in Dallas that we are going to spend at least 2 hours outside on the weekend hiking or running. Beauxgart will also get his daily swim in the backyard pool! Jasper is going to be staying active with her new toys, making sure I have one play session with her each day.
2016 is going to be an incredible year! I’m really looking forward to being in Rio cheering on all of our U.S. athletes! Olympic years are also very busy being on the road, meaning missing Jasper and Beauxgart! I wish I could bring them with me on my trips. I will be bugging my husband to send pictures of them when I’m gone and thank goodness for FaceTime! And like every pet parent knows so well, I can’t wait to get home and be greeted by Beauxgart jumping on me giving me a million kisses!
Happy New Year! ????????
Carly Patterson Caldwell