FINLEY

Patrick Finley: Finch can still bring it

Big Apple no match for former UA pitcher, now supermom of 3
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z 2013-08-23T02:02:43Z Patrick Finley: Finch can still bring itPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Got a busy day planned? Consider Jennie Finch's schedule this past Sunday.

The former Arizona Wildcats softball legend - the face of the sport worldwide, and it's not even close - woke up at 3 a.m. to do the New York City Triathlon, a guest of its title sponsor, Aquaphor.

She left her hotel at 4 a.m. to set up her transition areas, putting her bike and helmet in place for the second stage, and running shoes for the third.

By 6:20 a.m., she was in the Hudson River, starting a 1,500-meter swim.

"Luckily," she said of the almost-mile-long route, "the current was with me."

Twenty minutes later, she was out of the drink and onto a bike near the West Side Highway, starting a 40-kilometer ride.

"Rode some gnarly hills," she said. "My equipment is a ball and a glove, not a bike."

When the 32-year-old jumped off her bike 90 minutes later, she began a 10K that took her across 72nd Street and into a 5-mile loop in Central Park.

"You're stoked that you're almost there," she said, "but you're doing it with exhausted legs."

Finch finished the triathlon in 2:51.14, limbo-ing under her goal time of three hours despite training for only three months.

(Did I mention she had her third child, Paisley, six months ago?)

Were it you or I - or even some of the world's elite athletes - we'd linger, have a light beer, cover ourselves in a sandbar's worth of Gold Bond and fall asleep in our hotel room before the Broadway marquees lit up.

Finch? She spent the night on national TV.

She drove to Citi Field to play in the MLB Legends and Celebrity Softball Game at 5 p.m.

She had about an hour to get ready. She tried to wash the grease numbers off her arms, but they weren't going anywhere.

She checked for bags under her eyes that her goggles typically leave, only to realize she swam so fast they weren't there this time.

She did her own hair and makeup, put on a smile and pitched for the National League's squad. (The game was taped and aired Monday on ESPN.)

When she got former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams to pop up to end the game, Finch thought her day was over.

But her son, Ace, wanted to go back to FAO Schwarz to fix the propeller of a helicopter they bought.

Finch obliged, but the store was closed. They settled for a Times Square Toys "R" Us.

When they returned to the hotel at 10 p.m., Finch realized no one could find her 2-year-old son Diesel's blankie.

She ran downstairs, thinking she might have left it in a cab, but the taxi was long gone. (Finch's dad would find it the next day.)

"I think I was missing the blanket more than he was," she said.

That's why, when Finch's head finally hit her pillow, a horrible thing happened.

She couldn't fall asleep.

"It was to the point of being so exhausted," she said.

That's one day - albeit during the busiest week of her year - for a mother raising three kids under 7 in Louisiana with her husband, Casey Daigle, a former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

I asked if years spent as an elite athlete prepared her for the rigors of motherhood.

She laughed.

"This is way harder," she said. "Oh, my gosh. By far.

"I think that prepared me. Your heart is so torn between training, doing your job and trying to provide."

Finch is the first to say she's fortunate to not have to work 9 to 5. But still, she's everywhere.

In Los Angeles on Wednesday - with a three-week-old pedicure and no manicure, she jokingly bragged - she went to the ESPYs to present the Capital One Cup, given to the best men's and women's NCAA athletic departments.

Friday, she went to Wal-Mart headquarters with Chobani, the yogurt she endorses.

This week, it's her softball camp in Georgia.

"I'm looking forward to some downtime," she said.

"At some point."

On StarNet: Find a gallery of photos of Jennie Finch through her years as a Wildcat and beyond azstarnet.com/gallery

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4658. On Twitter @PatrickFinley

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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