Barrett: Whiling the hours away

Shout out, Quakes fans, shout out. I've been sitting around this afternoon trying to figure out what hilarious stories or interesting insights I could entertain you with this week, and I have to admit I've encountered some hard-core writer's block. I sat on the couch for about 20 minutes, then I moved over to the brown leather chair, then I got hit with a serious food coma and fell asleep for about 40 ... MINUTES (what? Huh? who?), and when I finally woke up and realized that I needed to get my sass in gear, an hour and a half had passed me by. I took a minute to shake the afternoon off (by drinking some Gatorade, of course, and sitting at the kitchen counter for 15 minutes or so), and HARK!, an idea emerged from the fog of my grogginess. I have often been asked, sometimes in earnest and sometimes in jest (Meredith!), just what exactly I do all day. Well, buckle your seat belts and get ready for the crazy ride that is this weeks diary: A (yawn) Day or Two in the (yawn) Life of a Pro (yawn) Athlete.

Most people have no idea what kind of schedule we keep. We get the "How many hours do you train every day?" question, and when they hear that the answer is "Usually no more than two hours", they look at us with an incredulous look that says, "Is that it?" Is that it! Soccer is, in fact, an endurance sport. Our games are 90 minutes long. Two hours on the training pitch is enough. In fact, most of our training sessions only last an hour and a half. There are two reasons (that are known worldwide) for a training to go over an hour and a half. One is if the coaches are playing and they are on the losing team. Somehow, training always seems to drag on until their team starts winning. I'm not pointing any fingers, Brian Quinn and Jorge Espinoza, I'm just stating the facts. The other reason is if the coach says, "All right boys, let's have a good one. Short and sharp, hour and a half max." Great, the kiss of death. Without exception, the training will be over two hours. Again, I'm not naming names, Jom Dinnear and Dohn Koyle, just telling it how it is.

Anyway, training usually wraps up around 12 or 12:30 p.m., and we are usually done at the locker room by around 1 or 1:30, which leaves a good portion of the day to sleep away, I mean, get things done. After a half hour for lunch at either Freshly Baked on 3rd St. or a great meal from Zanotto's (shameless, I know, but let's see how it works out), it is usually time to settle in for a crossword or a few chapters of the latest book, unless the aforementioned food coma takes hold and knocks me out for an hour or so. Mondays and Thursdays mean a quick trip to the gym - I have a membership! - but nothing gets in the way of a six-o'clock-or-so coffee at any one of the 17 Starbucks within two miles of my house. And the leasing agent thought we moved here for the vaulted ceilings. Ha! The grill usually gets fired up around seven, and a good dinner on the patio provides the fuel for the coming day. A good CD and some more book time, or shootin' the shiitake with Haley brings the day full circle. What a grind, what a grind.