SBD/September 14, 2012/People and Pop Culture

What's Up For The Weekend With Cubs' Exec VP Wally Hayward

Hayward keeps early mornings, waking his daughters for swim practice and meets
Cubs Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer WALLY HAYWARD’s weekends often play out as a “Where in Chicago is Wally” game, with the exec striving for that elusive work/life balance. This weekend, Hayward will put that balance to the test as he juggles his daughters' swim meets with the beginning of a 10-game homestand, all while still finding the time to paddleboard and cheer on his alma mater Northwestern. And to cap it off? Throwing a pizza on the grill.

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM: Life as a swim parent -- I have two high school varsity girl swimmers, one’s a freshman and one’s a senior -- our mornings start during the week really early. I wake up at 5:10, 5:15 and they get up at 5:20. I get them a light breakfast and then I drop them off at the pool about 5:40. I come into work from there. It’s great for me to get up with them because of our busy schedule, especially with baseball and 81 home games. This is the best time in the morning for me at work because really no one is in the office yet, it’s quiet. I can do my best thinking.

RUSH HOUR: After the game ends, I rush out because my daughter will be in a swim meet up in the suburbs of Lincolnshire. So I will rush out to try and make a 5:30 swim meet. Only my freshman HOPE is swimming because my oldest daughter is on a recruiting trip, an official visit to a college. Now at the swim meets, I do have a lot of superstitions. I have to wear Johnny O shirts, and I either have to wear a green one or a blue one, because those are the colors of our team. For home meets, I have a specific bench and seat that I sit in on the last row on the aisle. And even for away meets, I need to be on the aisle. I don’t like being stuck in the middle of sections.

HERE’S A COFFEE, JUST FOR YOU: Saturday I will get up, sneak out of the house and try to get a run in. Then I go to Starbucks and pick up three drinks for my girls. I do not drink coffee, I have never had coffee, but everyone at Starbucks knows who I am by name. They know what drinks I want, but they know none of them are for me and I’m just picking them up for the girls. So then I come back, I wake them up and their drinks are waiting for them. We’ll grab them a light breakfast, I’ll drop ‘em at the pool and then head back down to the ballpark first thing in the morning because Saturday we have a 12:05 start.

SCHOOL TIES: People know that I am totally connected to my iPhone. So if you ever need to get a hold of me, never send me an email because on game day I’m running all over the ballpark. People send me texts or give me updates. I will also check in with my daughters and my wife. … I will also be checking the Northwestern-Boston College score. I try to follow them on my iPhone when we are here at the game. Once the game is over, I will try on my way home to go through Evanston and if the Cats are still playing, I will pop in and hopefully see the fourth quarter and a Cat victory.

LAKESHORE DRIVE: If the weather is nice, one thing we like to try and do on a Saturday is take paddleboards down to the beach. Hopefully the weather is nice and it might be our last weekend to do it. … My girls bought me a paddleboard probably five years ago for Father’s Day. We got hooked down in the Florida Keys, which is where we go on vacation. It’s just a great thing to be able to go out on the lake, especially after a game and all the craziness that we have going on. To be out on the lake, it’s peaceful. Just you, the board, the water and it makes it a lot of fun and you get a good workout when you do it.

PLANES & AUTOMOBILES: Sunday we don’t have swimming, but I have to pick my oldest daughter up early at the airport. So I will again try and get up and get a run in, go pick her up at the airport, debrief with her and then go home and we will all go out to breakfast as a family, which we try to do on Sunday morning at Fuel in Wilmette. It's a quick breakfast because I will then go directly from there to the ballpark for a 1:20pm game.

GRILL & CHILL: Sunday night is grill and chill in our house. It’s kind of a family ritual. Basically it’s our one night to chill out as a family. The girls don’t go out with friends. They hopefully have all their homework done. We’ll watch a show: either one of their favorite TV shows or a sporting event. I will grill out -- whether it is grilled pizza or chicken or whatever -- we’ll do it on the grill. My signature dish is grilled pizza. It’s the best. Now that we’ve had grilled pizza, it’s tough for them to actually have pizza that comes out of ovens now.
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