This is probably the second most asked question (behind, "Do you know Michael Phelps?"). It is funny, some people assume that we are rich and famous. Though I wish we were more of both, we are far from either. Others think that we are just livin' off love and ramen noodles. Nope, this isn't the case either. Though our personal finances are a bit on the, well, personal side, Mark said, "yep, tell them anything they want to know about it," last night. So, over the next few weeks I will spill it... all (assuming this is of interest). If it is not interesting, please, stop me now.
At the end of the day, Mark is a professional swimmer. There are other professional swimmers out there as well as other professional athletes in sports other than football, basketball and baseball who lead "normal" lives, support their families and get paid based on their performance. We, the Gangloffs, think it is important for others outside of the world of professional athletics to understand that our lives are maybe a bit unique, sometimes glamorous, other times the farthest thing from glamorous, and usually interesting, but that just like everyone else Mark has a job and works hard to support himself and his family. Unlike most other people, however, a good portion of Mark's annual income is determined in less than one minute once a year. Can you now understand why I bite my nails?
This is how most conversations unwind shortly after I meet someone new.
"So, what does your husband do?"
"He is a professional athlete."
"Wow, professional athlete. What does he play?"
"He doesn't play... he swims."
"Huh? He just, uh, swims?"
No. He doesn't just swim. Mark works extremely hard both in and out of the water. His work includes training, racing, traveling, speaking, coaching, hosting clinics and other "odd" swimming jobs around the country. I will touch on each of these jobs throughout this blog.
First and foremost it is important to understand that you do not have to be of amateur status to compete in the Olympic games. Remember the Dream Team? Not a single one of these players were of amateur status. The Olympics has changed and many Olympic competitors are professionals. What does professional mean? To be professional means that you can and have accepted money from such deals as sponsorship and endorsement. So, yes, Mark is a professional swimmer.
With each new blog post I will discuss each of Mark's jobs (swimming, racing, coaching, speaking, clinics), what they entail and how the heck Mark gets paid. Honestly, I am a little nervous (big shocker) to share such information, but like Mark said, not many people understand this crazy life of ours and, now that I have committed to this blog, I feel as though it is my duty to share all of its ins and outs. Again, if this is not interesting... PLEASE, stop me now. If this is interesting and worth my time and writing efforts, I wouldn't mind a little bit of encouragement. Hint, hint... tell me that this is interesting.