Friday, March 8, 2013

A Week in the Life of Rob

We're in the homestretch of our look into the typical daily/weekly/monthly life of Team Evotri. So far, we've had SarahSaraMichelleJPCharlieChrisSimply StuTracy, and Matt. Rob closes the series for Team Evotri. 

A week in my life four years ago was vastly different than the one described below. As several of my teammates can attest to, having kids will do that to you. Add a couple of side gigs for fun, and that changes the ballgame even more.

In the "real world," I work as a traffic engineer. (No, I cannot fix that one traffic signal that won't turn green for you.) What I do is figure out what the needs of facilities are for the future. I test various alternatives in computer programs that simulate traffic conditions of the future. It's not at the level of Grand Theft Auto, but it's one of the more flashier products produced by engineers.

With my current "real world" work, I'm committed to travel from Madison to Milwaukee three days a week. So this Monday starts out on the road, up by 6 and out the door before anyone wakes up by 7 AM. A good travel day gets me to the remote office by 8:30. A bad day will add an extra half hour. Today was a bad day. And, given this winter, I've seen more bad than I'd like to. Several meetings and a full workday later, I'm back in traffic on the way home, hopefully before 7 PM. (I make it.) I grabbed what's left for dinner and hung with the kids. After the kids went down around 8:30, I settled in and compiled the schedule of races I will announce this summer. Race announcing is one of the side gigs I've gotten into. (This year, it starts on St. Patrick's Day and continues nearly weekly until the end of July. Then it's every other week through September.) I send the list off and head to bed around 11 PM.

Tuesday starts at 5 AM. I'm out the door 15 minutes later to the pool for an hour of masters swimming. We're out of the water around 6:30 AM and I'm back on the road to downtown Milwaukee by 7 AM and in the office by 8:30. (It was a good day.) More meetings, traffic, reports, yadda, yadda, yadda, then back on the road by 5:30 PM. Same routine with dinner and kids' bedtimes, but this time we fit in a bath. After that, I address some issues and answer questions regarding this year's WIBA, add some Facebook info and answer more emails about other stuff.

Wednesday I typically spend in my Madison office, so it's a much shorter commute. (Sometimes in the warmer months I can even bike.) However, due to the fact that I'm home, I can help get everyone up and started with their day. No one but me in the house is a morning person. What happens is that I tend to get into the Madison office later than I do when traveling to Milwaukee.

This specific Wednesday, I'm up at 6 AM to get a treadmill run in. Then rustle the kids, change a diaper, make oatmeal, pour chocolate milk, toast a waffle, shovel a bowl of cereal down my throat, put outfits on, load/unload the dishwasher, pack my lunch and only then can I leave for the office. Today, that puts me in my chair at 8:45, and yadda, yadda, yadda, I'm on my way home by 6 PM. This winter, Wednesdays are swimming lesson days. Since today was the last class of the session, we celebrate the daughter's with birthday cake frozen yogurt covered in sour gummy worms. I elect for the peanut butter/white chocolate combo covered with crumbled Heath bar. Delicious. After the bedtime routine, it's once again following up on emails related to WIBA, changes in the announcing schedule, and some Rev3 Wisconsin Dells issues. As the local race coordinator, I work with the local officials on the planning, permitting and local staff to make sure the race is successful. I'm in bed by midnight.

Thursday is like Tuesday; up at 5, out the door at 5:15 to swim and on the road to Milwaukee by 7 AM. After a full day of work, I turn around and make my way home, this time on the phone following up on Rev3 emails sent out the night before. After dinner and the bedtime routine, I actually get to spend time with my wife to watch two more excellent episodes of House of Cards. Reluctantly, we leave the final two episodes un-watched and get to bed at a more reasonable 11 PM.

Friday is back in Madison, I fit in another 6 AM run, enjoy breakfast with the family and head to work to catch up on the week and get things planned for the next week's meetings. I answer some more questions about race announcing and confirm that I can add two more races to the schedule. (Woot!) That night, we get some pizza from the local place, amuse ourselves playing Go Fish! with the kids and finish out the final shows of House of Cards.

Saturday morning always starts too early. For some reason, I can keep myself afloat during the week on minimal sleep. But with the release of the week's stress gone, my body says, "nuh-uh" and I can never get enough rest. Today, my sweet, wonderful wife lets me sneak an extra half-hour of snoozing and gets the day started with the kids. After breakfast, my wife takes the youngest with her to a mommy/infant yoga class and the toddler and I head out to the hardware store. Then it's off to the pool for open swim. She gets comfortable with her goggles and discovers a whole new world below the surface. We're then back home and I finally set up the Quintana Roo CD0.1 in the basement to get riding. Unfortunately, those hills in Chattanooga are going to get any less steep the more I don't ride. My pedaling is entertained by early episodes of Breaking Bad while the rest of the family naps. Then, it's dinner, bedtime, and more emails before turning in relatively early at 10 PM.

Same kind of thing happens on Sunday. I sneak a little sleeping in, but usually get busted by the three year-old. Somehow today I got suckered into staying home with the kids while the wife was out and about shopping. Good thing she started ribs in the slow cooker. Me and the kids lounged for most of the day, playing around the house. When the wife came back in the afternoon, the sun was out and it was in the 30s. We all got outside and I ran while they enjoyed a walk. My route overlapped with theirs several times, the best of which was spent jumping in puddles with the three-year old. By the time we got home, the ribs were done and very tasty. (Nothing like Chubby's BBQ, though.) After dinner, it's more bedtime routine, followed by pulling out the work computer to preview the next week holds.

Lather, rinse, repeat. It's a busy life for me and will only get busier once summer comes. Weekends will be filled with an event either Saturday or Sunday, sometimes both. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Because after those long days of yadda, yadda, yadda, when that door opens as you pull into the garage and your three year old is screaming, "Daddy!" jumping and hopping around while she just can't wait to show and tell you all that she did during the day is just about the best thing ever. Cliche, yes, but mostly awesome.
At the Rev3 Wisconsin Dells finish line with my daughter.