Written on May 11, 2012 at 11:12 am , by Samantha Shelton
Although softball was dropped from the participating sports in this year’s summer Olympics, Jessica Mendoza knows her way around the Olympic podium. The 31-year-old softball pro is a four-time First Team All-American and two-time Olympic medalist: capturing the gold and silver in Athens and Beijing, respectively.
Despite her many accomplishments on the field, her proudest moment has nothing to do with being an outfield pro, and everything to do with being a mom. Mother to Caleb, 2, Mendoza shared her secrets for balancing hectic schedules and how it feels to look in the stands and see her family cheering.
Between your athletic career, working for ESPN as an analyst and participating in multiple charities, you are one busy woman! What’s it like to juggle so many things with being a full-time mom?
It is crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s about giving your all to the moment you are in and not worrying about what you’re missing or how much time you have until the next thing you have to do. Being present is a very important skill to have.
How do you fit it all in and still keep your sanity?
Honestly, most days you don’t fit it all in, and I have to be okay with that. This week I am in Rwanda with The Girl Effect, trying to make a difference in girls’ lives, but I am missing my family and training. When I get home, I’ll be with my family but away from my ESPN career for a bit. It’s more about giving everything you have for the time you are doing it. I know that every day I wake up is a chance to do something special, whether that be with my family, career or the world.
What do you think your status as an athlete and your experience as an Olympian means to your son?
I think he is learning more about it all the time. I love that he will grow up respecting how strong and amazing women are, and what his mom does. My favorite moments as an athlete now are looking over at him in the stands with his two-year-old Mendoza jersey on his back, smiling up at me.