So let me tell you what I was doing in the first year after having a baby. Trying to sneak naps whenever I could, getting really excited if both the baby and myself were wearing clean-ish clothes, and just generally aiming to hold it together. I can tell you what I wasn't doing: breaking any world records. Of course, I'm not Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, and this apparently makes all the difference in the world. Because Allyson Felix broke a world record less than a year after giving birth, and it's seriously impressive.
Felix is an Olympic track and field sprinter from Los Angeles, California. In 2004, she won her first silver Olympic medal in the 200 meter at the age of 18, and went on to win a total of six Olympic gold medals over the next 15 years, according to her USA Track & Field bio.
While her record is obviously impressive enough as it stands, Felix has gone on to do something even more amazing at the World Championships for track and field recently. She won her 12th gold medal on the mixed-gender 4x400 relay team on Sunday, which means she now holds the record for most World Championships, according to CNN. That's more records than the famously fast Usain Bolt, even.
And here's the absolute best part, guys. Felix won her 12th gold medal at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, according to the BBC, just 10 months after giving birth. Beat that Usain Bolt.
Felix gave birth to her daughter Camryn in November 2018 via emergency C-section, according to The Independent. Little Camryn was born at 32 weeks gestation due to medical complications, which meant her early days were spent in the neonatal intensive care unit. At the time, Felix opened up about how motherhood changed her perspective about her track and field career in an essay for ESPN, writing that she wasn't even certain she would return.
"If I come back and I'm just not the same, if I can't make a fifth Olympic team, I'm gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn't end up the way I imagined in my head, it'll be OK. I just have to go for it, because that's just simply who we are now," she wrote for ESPN in December.
Felix is also busy changing the world off the track as well for female athletes. In May, she wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times claiming that Nike wanted to pay her 70 percent less as a new mom, prompting her to end her contract with the lucrative company. In August, Nike announced that it had changed its policies, expanding protections for pregnant athletes. Felix is now partnered with Athleta.
Felix has spent the past 10 months coming to terms with all of her new roles and making them work in a way that makes sense for her. Clearly, this most recent historic win for the proud mom is helping her find a little clarity. As she explained in a recent Instagram post, "Life looks different. Cammy is 10 months old today. Figuring out this mom life. I’ve had to fight a lot this year — for my health, for my daughter, for women & mothers, for what I deserve and for my fitness."
Now Felix isn't simply the most decorated female track and field athlete in the history of the Olympics and the winner of more World Championships than any other runner. She is a proud mom setting an example for her little girl. As she told NBC News after her 12th win, "So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me. It’s been a crazy year for me."
Being a mother really does shape everything, doesn't it?