If returning to work after giving birth itself is very challenging for a woman, imagine what it takes to prepare for the Olympics after you’ve given birth to your child. Like every time, this Olympics set to happen in Tokyo in a few days boasts of athletes who are not only gunning for the gold, but also re-establishing what mothers can do.
And superseding challenges, both professionally and personally, by displaying an indomitable spirit and dedication, these exceptional mothers are giving the Next Gen a run for their money. Whether it was Sania Mirza, Mary Kom, Allyson Felix, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce or Alex Morgan, mum athletes are defying all odds and exhibiting great grit in getting going.
The challenge of training
Anju Bobby, who made history in Indian athletics by winning a first medal (bronze) at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris, asserts that it is extremely challenging for a woman to train after becoming a mother.
Adding that a mother has to take care of kids on one side while managing work on the other side, she states, “After my first baby, I tried participating in the Olympics, but I just couldn’t make it because it was so physically taxing. Moreover, I was injured so there was too much happening them.”
Anju also points to the fact that after a woman’s delivery, the body doesn’t respond the way it did earlier. “What if there is an injury in the middle? Sometimes as you age it is difficult and takes more time to recover. Meanwhile, kids demand time and it is very difficult to maintain focus. Before marriage, the sole focus would be on training and schedule, but after becoming a mother, the attention needs to be equally divided on kids,” she elaborates.