Alysia Montano’s journey as a running mom-to-be started well before her meet at the USATF USA Outdoor Track & Field championships. Known for her signature flower in her hair, for Alysia it was just another day on the field. For many others, it was controversial that the former 2014 Olympian and five-time USA Outdoor champion was running while 8 months pregnant. Faster than her winning sprint, it was all over social media. Montano, whose due date is August 13th, 2014, has kept an exceptionally positive outlook in spite of the negative comments throughout the duration of her pregnancy. Having always been a driven individual, Montano went into pregnancy with the same vivacity she carried throughout her career as she had as a professional athlete.
“My unstoppable drive to run while pregnant was a very natural decision. Running was not out of the ordinary; it was something my body was already used to. That wasn’t going to stop me from pursuing my life as a wife and mother. As a matter of fact, it enhanced us.”
Having a strong support system encouraged her to maintain a steady exercise routine. One of her strongest supporters is her husband of three years, Louis Montano, who was not only a sprinter himself, but is also one of Alysia’s trainers. Louis and Alysia work out almost every day, and have continued the routine during Alysia’s pregnancy, with some adjustments, of course.
” I loved to work out with my husband. We are both athletes. However, there are times when I want to just put a towel on my head and rest. Louis is a great motivator. He’s helped to modify my work-outs by incorporating interval training to balance my blossoming bump. Louis always monitored how I was feeling.”
Although Louis competed as a sprinter with impeccable stamina, Alysia was able to beat him during her 26th week while running the mile in 5:40 seconds. “I did a sneak attack, and came from behind to beat him,” she chuckles.
In 2012 The Montano’s made an official decision to conceive, after the 2013 season ended. There are no major championships in 2014 for the sport.
Both Alysia and Louis are glowing with excitement and are ecstatic for the delivery of their first child. “We are going a bit old-fashioned with the pregnancy, leaving the sex and name of the baby to surprise.” Expecting Dad, Louis even nested by decorating the nursery with all neutral colors and furniture. When asked if they plan to have more children, Alysia responded, “In dream of dreams, yes….I would like to have children close in age. We definitely want more than one child. Both Louis and I have siblings that are close in age and we want the same for our children, but plans of having more children will be put on hold as we train for 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.”
The Montano’s have opted for a natural, drug-free delivery at a hospital that promotes such deliveries. Alysia plans on getting back into training soon after giving birth, providing she has clearance from her Midwife. Understanding that things don’t always go according to plan, her main focus is a healthy baby, nutritional breast-feeding, and allowing her body its natural recourse. If all goes as hoped, the couple will be training in tow with baby stroller Britax Ironman and Revolution Pro.
Both Alysia and Louis continue to pay-it forward during her pregnancy by living a green life: eating organically, recycling, and growing their own food in their garden. “We continue to give back to the community any way we can,” Louis adds, “it brings us both joy to inspire others.”
“Remember who you are as a woman, and what you are made to do,” Alysia boasts. She reiterates that as a professional athlete, you know your body better than anyone else. You need not excuse, defend, or apologize for what comes naturally to you. Alysia Montano continues to strive to be great in whatever she does-as a future mother, wife, and athlete. She encourages other women to be themselves.
By Liza Elliott-Ramirez & Anna Bradshaw