Joy's Journal Week 3

Professional soccer player and mom Joy Fawcett of the San Diego Spirit wants to inspire other women to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle! Each week, Joy will reveal her personal challenges and triumphs related to her comeback, as well as offer tips women can use to reach their active goals.
Joy Fawcett

Last week, while driving to the Spirit's practice, I started thinking back to when I decided to start my family. I thought the time off, from the sport that I loved, would affect my lifestyle as a professional athlete. I now know that I couldn't have made a better decision. All the joy my family has brought me proves to me that I did the right thing. In fact, I think that my break from soccer helped me maintain my love for the sport and motivated me to get back and compete at the same level I did when I left.

When you've been out of the office, or off the field such as myself, it can be difficult to jump back into the swing of things. As many mothers can attest, it's difficult to say good-bye each morning as you head off to work. I've been fortunate to have a wonderful family to help out. In addition to my supportive family, having a great nanny, such as Nikki, to help out on road trips and practices makes my schedule easier. But, going back to work does not mean you stop being a mom, I never lose my motherly instincts and roles.

Finding help isn't always easy. If you choose to make a comeback and rejoin your work team, make sure you find a trustworthy person to help watch the kids. It's pretty simple, my kids are my number one responsibility and I will only continue to pursue my soccer career if they are well taken care of.

Another difficult obstacle in my comeback has been adjusting to new players, new team roles and new exercises or drills. It's like going back the office and getting readjusted to the environment. If you're anything like me, you like to start and finish projects in one big sweep. I like to head into a game and know my role on the field. Looking back, I think my time off during my pregnancy allowed me to take a look at what I was doing and reevaluate myself. Was I making the right moves? Did I deliver under pressure? What skills did I need to improve to keep up with the competition?

Smoothing the transition
Asking yourself little questions like this can help smooth your transition back to work. If you know what you need to work on, then you can offer your strengths and in turn listen and learn from other people. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, we are always learning new things, especially in the workplace.

Ultimately, my transition back to the team was easier because of my involvement during my maternity leave. Through coaching at UCLA and playing on the National team, I've built many different relationships with my teammates. Now, as a new woman on the Spirit squad, I'm developing my relationships and understanding my new role with the girls.

While I was pregnant, I would keep in touch with my teammates by going to practice, encouraging them and participating in any way I could. Maintaining an open communication channel has facilitated my changing role with the team. I wasn't the new kid, like I thought they would view me. In fact, my team treated me with the utmost respect because I made the time for my family and never let my goal of returning to work slip away.

You can find my workout regimen on the following page. Please remember to check with your physician before starting any exercises and bear in mind that we all have different body types so do what's best for

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