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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Joy Robles!

I wanted to spotlight mothers of weightlifters. Today, is my mom. This is her Mother's Day gift. To get all the love and thanks she deserves. My mom is my hero! She sacrifices a lot. She's a very dedicated wife and mother and is so brave.

My dad was disabled from a surgery he got while in the Air Force, so my mom went to work while my dad stayed home and made sure we didn't get into too much trouble. She worked all day and my dad got us from the bus stop. My mom would take a nap and get dinner ready for us kids and made sure we did our homework and chores. She always managed to make it to all of our parent/teacher conferences and open houses.

When we moved to San Jacinto, my dad had a stroke, and then renal failure. He became aphasic (Partial or total loss of the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language, resulting from damage to the brain caused by injury or disease.) Because of this, my mom had to quit working and stay home to make sure my dad got to all of his dr. appointments, got to dialysis on time, and made sure we got to school on time. She wasn't able to come to a lot of my competitions, but when they were at home, she tried to come. After the meet or sometimes during, she would have to leave to go pick up my dad from dialysis.

She loved him and took care of him until he unfortunately passed away in 2006. She made me continue to do track and go to practice when I didn't want to and drove me to my coach's garage to train 3 nights a week. What is she doing now? She's going to college and is working on her third AA degree and tries to help promote me in our little town. She's the hardest working, most loving, woman I know. She always encouraged me to work hard and have fun. Even when things got hard, traumatic, not fun, or when I just plain didn't want to. For her, I am thankful and attribute so much of my success and both an athlete and as a person. 


Are there sacrifices you as a mother have to make to support your future Olympian?
(on the phone she said, "I sold my other three children to pay for your hotel and airfare.")

No, a mom doesn’t sacrifice anything to support  children, because there is nothing as important to her, as her children.  Sarah has always been a hard worker and has never given me any reason not to support her.  She is very dedicated  and this is an opportunity that she can not miss.  How many parents in our nation actually have the opportunity to be able to stand behind their child that may be the next Olympian?

How do you feel when you watch Sarah compete? (fear? excitement?)
(on the phone: "Scared because I'm afraid you'll hurt yourself. Excited because I know you'll win.")

Well, I am very excited when I see her lift. I have only been able to actually be there at three of her lifting meets. At one competition, the bar came down and hit her in the chest (very scary) and knocked her over backwards. When I am able to watch her on the computer, I am talking to everyone on the phone, sending out e-mails, closing my eyes, crossing my fingers, even though I know she will be victorious.  That doesn’t mean always medal, that means I know she has done her best.

What advice would you give other mothers of young athletes just starting out?
(on the phone: "Tell your kids they can sing...even if they can't")
Weightlifting has truly given Sarah the confidence she needed at a time when she really needed it.  That was the first time she really felt accepted.  She became part of a group. She was a thrower at the beginning and was dedicated. She also practiced about three hours longer than anyone else.  She was respected by her team mates and her peers, as she respected them.  So let your child find what he/she is good at and help them excel. I have never told Sarah good luck or to do her best I tell her to have fun.  When you lose the fun, you lose the drive.  Remember, never make a child feel bad when they lose, they already feel bad enough.

How do you and Sarah keep in touch with her busy schedule? (on the phone: "I text you to death.")

I text her a hundred times a day.  I’m not good at texting so she has to read between the lines or I get, "What?" a lot.

What do you like most/worst about Sarah training/competing/traveling so much?
I worry about flights. She has to let me know when she gets to the airport, when she gets on the plane, when she lands, and when she gets to her room. I really got worried when she went to Greece...that was a whole other ball of wax. That was a trip never to forget.  Her training I’m ok with. It’s a lot, but I know her coach would do nothing to harm her.  I like the way she competes, she never competes with others she only competes with herself.  She has done this from the start in her throwing days.

Could you tell us a story about the first time you noticed Sarah's athletic abilities as a child?
When she was two, she wanted to carry a twelve pack of soda into the house. She kind of was tipping in the direction of the soda, so I gave her two and it balanced her out. She took it up the driveway and up five steps.  She was quite amazing. She is still amazing.

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