Prokit Moms in Sport
Moms inspire us. They dust us off and lift us up. They kick us into gear when we need it. They see our potential when we can’t. They play – and work – hard. They get bruised. They crash. They find the fastest line. And they work. For every inch of it. Showing us through their effort, through the grind, that things are worth reaching for.
It’s by putting one step in front of another to keep moving, and through the communities they build and rely on, that all the ripping moms out there lift us up everyday. In our first Moms in Sport, let’s give it back to all the moms, the moms who came before us, and the moms-to-be. You’re everywhere, and here are a few who offered to share some of what they’ve learned along the way. Some are world champions and record setters, others are professors and entrepreneurs chasing big goals. All are moms.
Lizzie Deignan: Mum, wife, UCI World Tour Pro Cyclist, former World Champion
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? I don’t think I have changed dramatically, but I certainly don’t fret over a bad result or performance like I used to. Life moves on very quickly with a growing little one.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? I make core stability a fun playtime with Orla. I don’t get the session done as quickly, but it means I can always get it done. Often, she increases the effectiveness of the exercise by climbing on top of me and adding weight.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? My husband is a stay-at-home father and I would be lost with out him. We are truly a team, not only when it comes to parenting, but also my career. We live abroad away from our wider family, so (when not in lockdown) we also use our Italian babysitter, Luana. She is very warm and kind, and she is a part of our team.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I hope Orla grows up with the knowledge that if she wants it, she can have it all.
Follow Lizzie Deignan @lizziedeignan
Kikkan Randall: Olympic & World XC Skiing Champion, cancer fighter, leader of Fast and Female USA
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Motherhood has definitely made me more focused on my time management. I’m better at structuring my day and getting things done in smaller windows of time. I also don’t sweat bad workouts as much anymore. Anytime I get to be out exercising is a privilege, and as long as I give my best, my son is happy to see me!
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? I try to fit physical activity into as many parts of my day as possible, like literally “running” (or biking) errands instead of driving. Breck thinks it’s fun when I lift him up and down, but it also gives me a great workout. I’ve been getting up early every morning to get in a workout before the family wakes up. This was not my normal routine before, but now it’s so great to get my workout done, feel good about it for the rest of the day, and not have my need to get a workout in distract from my family’s routine.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? I am so fortunate to have an amazing support system and community. My husband, Jeff, committed to staying home when Breck was a baby so I could get out and train. We traveled on the World Cup as a family for Breck’s first two years. Now that I’m done competing, Jeff continues to help manage the household when I’m out traveling for appearances and speaking engagements. Both my parents and Jeff’s parents have helped us a ton to manage a very busy travel schedule.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I hope most that Breck develops a love of being outside, staying active, and taking on challenges. The lifestyle I get to live as an athlete is pretty awesome. We’re always taking family adventures and getting lots of movement in our day, and I hope that’s what Breck’s normal will be since he is growing up in this environment.
Follow Kikkan Randall @kikkanimal
Deena Kastor: Olympic medalist & Marathon American record holder
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals?Motherhood has changed my approach to running and racing because it is no longer a 24/7 job. I train and then come home to many other hats…now including home-school teacher.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? Make a to-do list everyday with the top few prioritized. Anything that gets done beyond the priorities is a bonus. I’m also learning not to overbook my schedule.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? I rely on family, friends and teammates for support. I rely on the entire world for inspiration.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I hope that my 9-year-old daughter, Piper, learns that there is joy in working hard toward what you want to accomplish, in sport and in life.
Beth McKenzie: Pro triathlete, co-founder WYN Republic & MALO Republic (both named after daughters)
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Motherhood has made me really question my “why” for every race I enter. As a mom, I know that getting to a start line will require commitment and compromise from my whole team, and I don’t take that lightly. I used to be that athlete that would always be doing something “extra,” regardless if it was necessary. Now, I really look closely at what is essential and forego the fluff.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? In our family, we have a set “cutoff” time for training and work – 5pm. After 5 o’clock, the focus is always, solely, on family time. Holding sacred family time each weeknight (and all day Sunday) lets us all maximize our personal goals and productivity for the rest of the day without sacrificing time for each other.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? In 2016, we made a huge decision to move our home base from California to Noosa, Australia, to be closer to Luke’s family. Luke’s parents are retired and really wanted to be actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives. For us, having the opportunity to have family help out so we could get our training done, or go on short race trips, has been invaluable. W e definitely couldn’t have lived our past few years the way we did without them!
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I hope that my girls learn that they can be independent women with big goals, and that they deserve that as much as any man out there. I want my girls to see that I never gave up on my sporting goals or travel dreams, but was still able to start a family and have a successful career. Basically, I want them to see and believe that they really can have it all. When my own daughters have kids, I hope that I’m the grandma who babysits so they can continue reach their own goals.
Larissa Connors: Math teacher, professional mountain biker, former Leadville 100 MTB Champion
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? I used to be very driven to be the most extreme ultra endurance athlete, to do the longest rides with the most elevation, to race more 100 milers than any other woman in one summer. Since the baby was born, my priorities are CRAZY different. I don’t feel like I need to log 300 miles a week to impress my Strava followers. Being home and being a halfway decent mom feels so much more important. I still LOVE big rides, but I don’t seek approval from outside like I did before. I knew in the past that my mindset wasn’t really super healthy, but that drive helped me train like a banshee and win some big races. It felt ok to use the extrinsic motivation to drive my training. With a baby at home, I think a lot more about the role model I will be. Things like fueling my body/eating enough and working out for my own personal happiness feel more important than impressing others.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? Bike commuting has always been part of my daily routine, but now it’s even more important with a baby at home. If my commute is also my workout, I don’t waste time driving, and I ensure I get that workout in! Making my bedtime the same as the baby’s is key for getting the right amount of sleep. I never know if she will wake up at 4am or 6am, but if I’m hitting the pillow at 8:30-9pm, I’m guaranteed to get a good chunk of sleep.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? My husband, Brendan, has always been the best supporter a girl could ask for. He designed the bike I won Leadville on and let me run off all summer to race. Now he is extending that support to tirelessly watching the baby so I can train and work (he works from home). He has already brought the baby to me in our van to feed mid-ride, and he plans to have her in the feed zone at the races I do this year in case a quick breastfeed is necessary.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I want Adelina to see through my efforts that doing hard things is worth it. Sports has taught me discipline, patience, and that sometimes you just need to work hard day after day, month after month, with no recognition because the payoff could be a year/years away. I really hope my daughter sees that example and strives to work hard, to never give up no matter how many times she tries and fails. I hope she finds a passion that brings her joy like cycling brings me. Professional cycling has also taught me to deal with a good amount of disappointment and grief, and although I don’t wish these things on my kid, I do feel incredibly grateful for these experiences. I hope Addy at least knows that despite all that pain, disappointment, and frustration, sticking it out paid off. What can feel earth shattering today will make you stronger and could be necessary for the most rewarding achievements.
Follow Larissa Connors @larissa-connors
Meredith Kessler: Pro triathlete, Ironman Champion with 69 Ironman finish lines
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals?Motherhood has made me very adept at taking the curve balls that life throws at me and modifying my game plan on the fly. There are no ‘ordinary days’ with a two-year-old, so adjusting on the fly is a trait that needs to be developed. I equate it to triathlon racing, where you can prepare for months and years for an event, and it never goes according to what you envisioned. You need to be confident in your preparation to be able to change on the fly to avoid catastrophe.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? Do the small things to make the big things happen. Organization is critical, down to the tiniest detail. This could be as simple as setting out your bike shoes and nutrition for your trainer workout the next day or setting out your kid’s outfits for the week to get the most bang for your buck the next day!
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? I rely on my childhood friends and the besties I made 20 years ago post-college when we all entered the working world. We communicate every day (hooray for the Marco Polo App!), and it’s a cathartic way to vent and share in each other’s successes and life trials and tribulations. Life would be a lot more difficult without their unconditional support because life is never easy for anyone.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience?Mak, my son, will develop his personality based on his natural development. As his parents, we are here to nourish his growth and encourage whatever direction he chooses with discipline and sound advice. I hope he learns from me how to treat people, to be a good friend, and to know when to cut the cord with individuals when the relationship becomes one-sided. We all need to make time for people who make time for us. Lift people up and enrich their lives! The rest always shimmies into place.
Follow Meredith Kessler @meredithkessler
Rose Grant: Pro Mountain Biker and 5x Marathon MTB National Champ
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Being an elite athlete means protecting your time and being self focused, but being a mother means there are someone else’s needs to consider before your own. Being a mom athlete means finding a balance between your child’s and partner’s needs and your own. It means meeting the needs of your family, so that when it’s time to train, there can be full focus on that task, knowing that your family is loved and cared for, without letting the guilt creep in. Motherhood has also allowed me to see the great depth of life that reaches so far beyond racing and results, and has helped ground my identity beyond any accomplishment on a bicycle. Being a mother means that your life does not look like the life of many of your competitors. It means that you could be playing with your kids on your recovery days and your energy is spread a little more thinly. But the richness and joy that it brings is worth it, and more often that not it is an advantage for full mental and emotional health. Plus, moms are still kick-butt athletes!
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? At home, there are many distractions pulling me in different directions. I can struggle with being efficient and staying on task. Writing and prioritizing a list of daily tasks really helps me feel a sense of accomplishment. Let’s face it…as moms, a lot of where our time is spent can not be seen or measured. At the end of the day, I often question what I actually accomplished, especially now that I am back to homeschooling in the mornings. I am careful with how I plan my time outside of my daily three (Homeschool, Train, Make Dinner). My daily list often included items such as cook dinner, bake cookies, housework, training, pay bills, etc. When I have a recovery day, Layla and I ride together which is amazing, or we have a family day doing a different activity.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? Support is crucial in being able to successfully be a mother and athlete, especially when your babies are little. Over the years, my husband and I have juggled parenthood while both maintaining busy schedules. In addition, my mom has been very involved when I am out-of-town racing. I really don’t think I could have done what I have without her help. For training days, I line up a sitter ahead of time when needed.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? Working hard gives a sense of fulfillment and builds confidence. When you like to win, like Layla and I both do, working hard is part of that process. In the end, I hope she learns that winning isn’t that important as long as she is having fun and trying her hardest. I hope she knows her value isn’t based on winning, and that she’s enjoying the journey.
Follow Rose Grant @rosegrant1201
Sarah Max: Mother of 17-year-old twins, financial journalist and gravel cyclist
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Probably the biggest thing is perspective. Sport became more about the process and the privilege of training and racing, rather than results. As my daughters, Izzy and Fiona, have gotten older, parenting is more about playing armchair psychologist than changing diapers. The lessons I’ve learned as an athlete have been a great tool for finding common ground or talking them through challenges they have, both in and outside of sport.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? The last 17 years of my life have been all about efficiency. I’ve competed in different endurance events over the years, and the shortcuts are all different. Recently I’ve been more focused on cycling, and my biggest time saver is doing my intensity workouts on a Peloton. I’ve opted for that setup over a trainer because my whole family, including my 73-year-old mom, can use it. I save my outside rides for longer efforts and adventures.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? I would not have been able to do the things I did without a supportive husband and mother who enthusiastically took over when I wanted to train or travel for races. The girls have their own traditions with them, like watching old James Bond movies with my husband and eating donuts with my mom. Knowing my girls were in good hands and having a good time was key. It’s impossible to focus on something hard if you have doubts about why you’re doing it and if you should be doing it. Now that Izzy and Fiona are accomplished athletes (national cross-country champions and running for Princeton University this fall), the tables have turned. They routinely give me pep talks and advice on, well, everything.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I like to think they’ve learned the importance of setting big goals and working hard to achieve them, but also keeping everything in perspective. It’s important to be dedicated to something, but not at the expense of your relationships or your sanity.
Follow Sarah Max @sarahmax
Sonya Looney: Pro mountain biker, former 24h World Champ, entrepreneur & new mom
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? In general, my goal-setting has become even more focused. I don’t say yes to almost every opportunity like I would have before I had a baby. My racing, training, and all of my business projects are important to me and I love them. However, if I say yes to everything, that will take time away from my family, and it will burn me out. In the years leading up to having a baby, I spent extra time traveling and building foundations for my racing and business. I also have been focused on building systems and learning to delegate tasks. I hired a part-time assistant to help me with my podcast, and my lifestyle brand, Moxy & Grit. Having a baby has also helped me prioritize what parts of my business and what types of races I’m most passionate about. I have diversified interests, and in the past, I’ve had trouble figuring out where I wanted to apply the majority of my focus. It’s becoming more clear and that’s exciting to me.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? I often don’t have time to sit down at my computer, so being able to use my phone more for work has been really great. Specifically, using dictation on my phone has been really helpful. Another thing I do, if I have a five or ten-minute window open, is get my bike ready for the next ride. I’m often rushed and have a tight timeline for my rides, so if my bike and hydration pack are ready to go, I can maximize my ride time.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? With the COVID stuff going on, I’m relying heavily on my husband. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to train or record podcasts. Post COVID, we will rely a little on my mother-in-law who lives in town, and we’re planning to have a part-time nanny. Our plans of having family around to help in the early stages shifted dramatically with COVID. I rely on my husband, my mom, and a small group of friends for emotional support.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I want my child to learn the value of hard work and to do his best, and not let others tell him what he can or cannot achieve. I want him to know that being outside and connecting with nature is important, as is a healthy body and growth mindset, and the power of empathy and vulnerability in relationships.
Follow Sonya Looney @sonyalooney
Magdalena Boulet: Olympian Marathoner, Leadville 100 and Western States 100 Champion, Head of R&D at GU Energy Labs
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? The biggest thing that changed for me when I first became a mother was to be more flexible with my training and with my time. I didn’t beat myself up if I had a bad workout, and was more forgiving of and to myself when training didn’t go well. I was just so happy to be running and feel like myself again. As my son has gotten older, it’s become more important to me to have him see me strive towards goals I set for myself. It’s also important for him to see all the work I do, and to know that as long as you stay committed and work hard, you can accomplish your goals. Good things don’t usually come easily.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? One thing I’ve been doing to maximize time in my day is run commute to and from work. Not only does it keep me out of my car and it is good for the planet, but it helps clear my brain both before and after a long day at work. There are only so many hours in the day, and usually that means I get up early to pack everything in that I need and want to do. Getting my training in the first thing in the morning sets a tone for the rest of my day.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? I’m pretty lucky to have an amazing support structure right where I live and work. GU Energy Lab where I work is full of purpose driven people and is a place of inspiration for me. My local running friends like the That’s Fine Track Club provides a place of belonging for me and a place where I invest into building strong relationships. And my family of course has been right along-side me every step of the way. They fire up and hike with me after my long runs, wait to eat dinner when I am done with all of my responsibilities and provide stability in often crazy busy days in my life.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I hope that my son Owen learns from me that passionate work is what makes success happens. I also want him to learn to aim high, and assume that anything is possible if you work hard enough to achieve it.
Hillary Biscay: Former pro triathlete, Smashfest Queen, mom of four under four-years-old
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals?I’d been retired from professional racing for two years before we adopted our first child, so training and racing for me had already become significantly less serious and “just for fun.” However, my idea of fun was still going out on a Saturday and riding for 6 hours, that kind of thing. Now I’m just not willing to take that kind of time away from my kids. I mostly run because it’s the most bang for my buck, time-wise, and I simply love running!
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day?My day has to start by 5:30am at the absolute latest. If I don’t carve out “me time” for a run or workout before the household has woken up, the day will get away from me. It’s unlikely that I will ever have all four kids asleep or occupied at any point in the day, and if they are, I’ve got to be on my computer, hammering on work. The early morning hours are my time to get my endorphins and to get my mind ready to take on the day.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on?Gal pals with similar priorities who are willing to meet up at 5AM for a smashfest keep me going, for sure. Until the final weeks of my pregnancy with Ellie (my 2-month old), my dear friend, Katya, and I met each week for Thursday mornings 5am Orangetheory+hour-run combo. Similarly, I would meet up with another group of gal pals for a weekly Tuesday 5:30AM track session–right up until the morning I went in to be induced with Ellie. We celebrated with a mile for time that morning!
What do you hope your children learn from your experience?Of course, I hope that my kids find joy in sports because I think it can be a great source of both confidence and health. My athletic pursuits now are not to set an example in an overt way, instead they are to give me energy for the kids and for my athletes. The rest of my day is all about them, and I’m so much better at serving them after some morning time in the pain cave.
Jackie Hering: Pro Triathlete, mom of 2, and Ironman & 5x 70.3 champ
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals?Becoming a mom has completely changed (for the better!) my approach to sport and racing at a professional level. I am now very deliberate with my training and appreciate how precious alone time is. When I line up on a start line, I feel like I have an edge as a mom, knowing the sacrifices I have made to get myself there, fit and healthy. I am now truly racing for the love of it and to see what I can get out of my body with no external pressures.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day?Since becoming a mom, I’m working on being ready to go at a moments notice. Life just isn’t as predictable as it once was! This means taking the time to have all of my gear clean, organized, and charged so when the exercise window opens, I can very quickly change and roll out the door.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on?My husband is crucial to my success as an athlete. Not only does he keep me grounded in what matters in life outside of racing, he gives me space to pursue my personal goals and supports my desires as an athlete and person. I do most of my training alone these days, but do rely on support of friends and apps like Strava and Instagram to share training ups and downs.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience?My little ones are two and four years old. It’s so awesome to see their love of the outdoors and see them start to understand and talk about ‘mom going to race.’ I hope I can show them that it’s good to have goals and work hard for what you want. More generally, I hope they see the joy and value of daily physical exercise.
Follow Jackie Hering @jackiehering
Shelley Doucet: Trail and road runner, nurse, professor and mother of two
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? I began running about seven years ago after having both of my children, so running has always been a part of my life as a mother. As my children get older, I have needed to shift my goals. When my kids were younger, it was easier to plan months in advance for goal races that involved travel (e.g. World Mountain Racing Championships in Italy, Francophone Games in Africa, Boston Marathon, etc.). Now that my kids are more involved in their own activities, I have to plan around their sporting events, which only get scheduled about a month out. Lately, I have been doing more local races or planning my races during a family vacation when we know we will be out of town. Our favorite vacation spot is New Hampshire, where I have participated in the Mount Washington Road Race and Loon Mountain Race the past several years.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? Each morning I wake up between 3:30am and 5:00am. In the warmer months, I get out for my run before my kids (Ava 7, Myles 10) wake up. During the winter, I get a head start on work in the morning so that I can run during the day when it is warmer and the roads are plowed. I’m a Professor in Nursing, and much of my work can be done at any hour, from anywhere. I find I can get more work done in the four hours between 3:30am and 7:30am than I can in an 8-hour work day, as there are no interruptions. During the day, I also try to fit in strength training or yoga during conference calls, even when I’m working at my university office. I use a headset to allow more freedom of moving around. If it is my “off day” from training, I rarely sit at my desk. I use time on calls to clean the house, prepare meals, or drive to get my kids. There is very little idle time during the day, which is how I prefer to live. My run is when I clear my head or listen to a good podcast or audiobook. Most days run smoothly, however, there is so little room for error, and some days do not go as planned. I have to be flexible in adapting to different routines, especially now with the pandemic and adding homeschooling to my responsibilities.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? My mother lives with us in our basement apartment. My husband, Evan, and I are fortunate as this allows us to run together while everyone in the house is sleeping.My work team is also very supportive and is good with taking calls from me while I’m running. I also have great support from my extended family who look after our third child, our dog, when we travel to races. Even though I’m 36, my parents still come to all my races and always figure out a way to find me deep in the woods during a trail race. They bring our kids out for the adventure, and even come to the not-so-local races. My sister came to Italy and hiked to the top of a mountain to cheer me on in the final stages of the World Long Distance Mountain Racing Championships. I also have the most supportive coach on the planet, David Roche, who provides me with unconditional support and has also expanded my support network to include SWAP athletes all over the world.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I hope my children learn that putting in hard work and following dreams can lead to new relationships and amazing experiences along the way, even if you never achieve your lofty goal. And if you do achieve your big goal, to keep dreaming. My goal was to run a marathon in under 2 hours and 40 minutes, which I did at the Chicago Marathon in 2018. I have since shifted my focus to other goals in the mountains and trails. I want my children to know that it is okay to not stay singularly focused on one thing, and there is nothing wrong with shifting your focus to new adventures over time. Finally, I want them to learn the importance of living an active lifestyle daily at any age.
Follow Shelley Doucet @sdoucet
Selene Yeager: Writer, trainer, USA Cycling coach, bike racer and explorer of epic adventures
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Motherhood has given me tremendous perspective. Endurance sport is about the long game, and so is parenting. You problem solve. You have ups and downs. Any given difficult spell doesn’t last. Things don’t always go as planned and it’s not the end of the world. I don’t compartmentalize my life much. I just flow through all the facets of it with the same philosophies.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? I block out my time. From 6:30am to 8 a.m, I take care of certain tasks, and then from 8am to noon, I take care of other things, etc. This helps me focus on the job at hand without being distracted or scattered.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? My mother has made everything possible. Without her as my bedrock, nothing would have been possible.
What do you hope your child learns from your experience? I want her to know that the glorious moments of success that you see – someone standing on a podium, for example – are built on hours, days, and months of hard work that isn’t always sexy or glamorous. What matters most is showing up and putting yourself out there and learning and growing. That’s something you can do for the rest of your life.
Follow Selene Yeager @selene-yeager
Laura King, Gravel cycling ripper, event promoter, former elite triathlete, and new mom
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? Motherhood has very much shown me that I’m capable of more than I ever knew possible. Not only can my body sustain another life and still allow me to push myself through challenging endurance feats, it’s also capable of more love than I ever knew possible. I feel less rushed and impatient. When I’m with my daughter, I want to give her my focus and my attention. Other distractions can wait. I love that my life feels more full with her in it.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? Since I’m breastfeeding my daughter at two months old, I have a handy portable pump (an Elvie) that fits in my cycling jersey pocket and has allowed me to head out on long rides. That has been a huge efficiency in returning to fitness postpartum.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? A supportive partner is everything. My husband goes above and beyond to help carry the load. We share in the household tasks. He’s an excellent chef and baker, and most of all, he makes sure that I have time to pursue my ambitions and goals. Just recently, he drove support on my all-day ride so that I could tackle a 140 mile ride and breastfeed my daughter along the way. I also have an amazing community of female cyclist friends who are so encouraging and seek to lift others up.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I hope my daughter is empowered to know that she can do whatever she puts her mind to and that confidence, drive and mental ambition play an impactful role in achieving any goal. I hope that when someone questions her ability to do anything, she pushes back and asks, “Why not?”
Follow Laura King @laura
Jonnah Perkins: Ultra-distance trail runner, farmer, activist and coach
How has motherhood changed your approach to your sport, performance and goals? For me motherhood has been a great asset to my approach to competitive running. If I didn’t have kids, results would devour me and take over as the most important measure of myself. Having children puts things into perspective. On the other hand, I feel a responsibility to follow through on goals because I know that my kids are paying attention to how I challenge myself. When you’ve got kids waiting at the finish line ready to run through the finishing chute, that’s pretty big motivation.
Shortcuts to maximize time in your day? I don’t get too committed to running at a specific time of day. Being able to ebb and flow with my own energy level, the demands of our farm, and kids activities has been super important. Running in the morning, afternoon, evening, after meals, or even when dropped off on the side of road on the way home from a social activity, keeps my body agile and challenged which has really paid off in a race setting. If you have a lot of variables to juggle each day, getting locked into a routine will only add to stress load.
Community + Support: Who do you rely on? My husband and parents are super instrumental in my running life. When you have little kids in the picture, there needs to be an adult involved in every single race and training mile, so this is truly a team effort. It has also been really empowering to be part of the LaSportiva Mountain Running team, and I feel the support of the team and the brand in everything I do. A piece of advice to new parents is that if you want to run with a friend or a group, coordinate times that work for you. You’ve got enough to juggle.
What do you hope your children learn from your experience? I want my kids to see that sports don’t end with adulthood or parenthood. We write our own destinies. I hope to empower my kids to stay consistent and push through adversity. I especially want to show my daughter that she can do whatever she puts her mind to and she doesn’t need to choose between motherhood and athleticism.
Follow Jonnah Perkins @jonnah
For more inspiration from these women and others on Prokit, check out our 2019 Women in Sport.
Or head to these Prokit Original Features:
- MTB world champ Kate Courtney;
- Pro ultrarunner YiOu Wang;
- Gravel cyclist and Dirty Kanza champ Alison Tetrick;
- 2x Olympian triathlete Sarah True;
- Ultrarunner and coach Dr. Megan Roche;
- Runner and sports medicine guru Dr. Emily Kraus;
- Sports nutritionist Anne Guzman
Many of these moms are also part of our Prokit Community Club on Strava. Join to cheer them on!