She’s Not Just an Olympian. She’s a Mom

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Editor's note: This is the portion of a bid highlighting the 2021 Olympic Games with a circumstantial accent connected wellness and wellness.

July 23, 2021 -- While thousands of athletes are present competing successful the COVID-19-challenged Tokyo Olympics, astir a twelve representing Team USA person different distinction: They’re moms.

From U.S. shot prima Alex Morgan to Skylar Diggins-Smith, the U.S. hoops player, these women person reached the pinnacle of their careers by qualifying for this eventual diversion event.

One of the biggest stars successful the dozen, Foluke Gunderson, a subordinate of the women’s volleyball squad and ma to Olukayode Ayodele, calved successful 2019, chatted with america conscionable days earlier heading to Tokyo for her stint astatine the Games.

While this is the 3rd clip she’s participated successful the Olympics, this is her archetypal arsenic a mom. Read connected arsenic Gunderson shares a behind-the-scenes look astatine her grooming schedule, much connected the “mom juggle,” and her dream that the squad volition triumph its first-ever golden medal.

How are you feeling close present with the Games close astir the corner?

“I’m precise excited for what’s to come. Our squad has enactment successful a batch of enactment some connected the tribunal and disconnected the court. We utilized COVID-19 arsenic an accidental to go person arsenic a squad with our Zoom calls and our monthly meetings. At the time, it didn’t consciousness similar overmuch was being done, but everything came unneurotic this summertime -- america getting to cognize each other, being connected the aforesaid mission, and past yet selflessness, changed the civilization of our team.”

These Games indispensable consciousness antithetic present that you’re a mom. What bash you emotion doing astir with your son?

“He loves going to the park, and his emotion connection is speechmaking books, truthful helium loves communicative time. In May, I near for a 5-week tournament. When I got back, his connection had grown truthful much. He was waving and saying, ‘Hi, Momma.’ I deliberation it’s important to stock that it’s casual to specify yourself by what happens connected the tribunal when, successful reality, we’re truthful overmuch much than volleyball players. I emotion coming location and letting spell and pouring my emotion into him. I’ll beryllium doing tons of FaceTimes from Tokyo!”

What’s it similar to bid for the Olympics?

“I’ll usage contiguous arsenic an example. We started astatine 8:30 a.m., we lifted for an hr and a half, and past practiced for astir 3 hours. Then we had meetings afterwards. We typically assistance 3 times a week. Yesterday, we started the time astatine 7 a.m., truthful the docket varies from time to day, but it’s ever intense.”

What’s 1 happening you ever bash to instrumentality attraction of yourself?

“One happening I ever bash is that I hydrate. Also, I request quiescent clip to myself. Even if it’s 10 to 15 minutes, that benignant of self-care and taking a small clip to myself lets maine beryllium bully for everyone else. When I don’t get that downtime, I consciousness overwhelmed.”

Being an elite jock is hard enough. Being a ma makes it a existent juggle. How bash you marque it work?

“I deliberation there’s nary mode to bash what we bash arsenic moms and athletes without a enactment system. My hubby is my rock. There is nary mode I could bash this without him. When I’m connected the road, astatine practice, helium is taking attraction of our lad (and getting his MBA, too). For this to work, you person to person a people down you.”

You’ve had an unthinkable career. What's 1 spot of proposal you person for anyone who wants to prosecute their dreams?

“I ever suggest mounting tiny goals. It’s hard to look astatine thing truthful acold successful the region oregon the large task astatine hand. Instead, I similar to interruption down a extremity into the step-by-step things I request to bash to execute that goal. Ultimately, it’s that content and the thought that if you acceptable your caput to something, you can’t fto thing get successful the way. Dreams instrumentality sacrifice, hard work, and a content successful yourself.”

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