Mothers are all-around inspiring between all of the feats that they complete on a daily basis just to make the world go ‘round for their families and children. While all mothers deserve praise and recognition, and also realizing that countless moms do athletic feats everyday – perhaps you are one of them – we just wanted to highlight a few moms as athletic inspiration.
American alpine skier and a Paralympian, Danelle is the mother of one son, Brocton. Due to her retinitis pigmentosa and early-onset macular degeneration, she has no central vision and is losing her peripheral vision, as well. She has also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Danelle has competed in the 2010 Winter Paralympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics with her husband, Rob, as her sighted guide. Brocton, a 5 ½ year old who loves being a part of the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team with his mom, views all of “their” teammates as his best friends and is growing up with the acceptance of all disabilities.
Wife of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Schwendenman, ran the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, which involved a 5K the first day, 10K the second and a half marathon on the last day, to raise money for a charity that provides support to families with an autistic child. She was also running in honor of her son, whom she adopted from Korea and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.
She and her daughter, Arianna, make up the adventurous mother/daughter duo endurance racing team: Team Ari. Kelli is a 50-year-old proud mother of three and Arianna is her youngest daughter, who at 13 years of age is making great strides in the disabled athletic running community with her “Yes I can do anything” attitude. Ari has cerebral palsy and visual impairment but that doesn’t stop her from pounding the pavement with her mom.
It all began when upon entering middle school, Ari asked to run with her mother, just as her older brother and sister had for several years. Ari was bit by the “running bug” and eager to participate in more races at longer distances. Soon after, Kelli contacted Team Hoyt in Boston and accessed adaptive running equipment through the MyTeam Triumph organization to push Ari in half & full marathons to raise awareness for all disabled athletes to compete in road races.
Professional soccer player, Kristine Lilly has always been up for a challenge. In 1995, she was the only woman in an all-male professional indoor soccer league. In 2001, she was a founding member of the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association. She has won four NCAA championships, one FIFA Women’s World Cup, and two Olympic gold medals.
Lilly could have had a third Olympic gold medal but skipped the 2008 Games for a very good reason. She gave birth to daughter Sidney Marie Heavey on July 22, 2008, less than one month before the U.S. won another gold medal. She returned to the Boston Breakers and played with the U.S. Women’s team after the birth of her daughter and is now retired from her professional career of the sport after 24 years.
Mother of 21-year-old and World Number 18 ranked tennis player, Sloane Stephens. Sloane made a big splash when, at age 19, she reached the semifinals of the Australian Open by shocking the mighty Serena Williams.
The idea of making the impossible possible was something Stephens learned at home. Her mother, Sybil Smith, swam in college at Boston University and became the first African-American Division I swimmer to be named All-America. At the 1988 NCAA championships, Smith finished in sixth place in the 100-meter backstroke.
*Please be aware that this article is not a diagnosis, prescription or recommendation for any individual. The recipes are only ideas and not meal plans claiming any statements. Before you start a new exercise or food program, you should always talk it over with your doctor. He or she may have specific recommendations — or warnings — depending on your health and the other medicines you take.