Olympic athletes are amazing people. It takes incredible discipline and sacrifice to compete at the Olympic level. They give up a lot: eating certain foods, sleeping in, vacationing, and spending time with friends and family. That’s true not only of Olympians, but also other professional athletes.
So, if you wanted to run a mile in six minutes, it would take some serious training. If you wanted to run 13.1 miles (a half marathon) at a 6:12 mile pace, you’d have to sacrifice a lot. But if you wanted to do that while you’re pushing your ten-month-old daughter in a stroller to break the Guinness Book of World Records, then you’d have to make some significant sacrifices and do some serious training.
That’s why Julia Webb’s story is so incredible. In 2016, she broke the Guinness Book of World Records’ half marathon time with her nine-month-old daughter. Last year she gave birth to her third child, and last month she broke the world record again with her then ten-month-old daughter (who was a larger baby, and it was on a hillier course). “I have just felt called to run my whole life. This is what I was made for,” she said. And having a baby didn’t stop her.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that having a child won’t dramatically affect your life. It will. Nor am I saying that having a child won’t prevent you from accomplishing some things in life. It can and often does. That’s okay. In fact, that’s a good thing. A child is a valuable gift from God. We’re supposed to make sacrifices for them, and to do so is honorable.
But in the case of Julia Webb, having a child (three children, in fact) did not stop her from doing what she loves and competing at an elite level. She didn’t use her children as an excuse or complain they held her back.
When I read this story, it reminded me of my earlier post where I wrote about Michelle Williams, who suggested that she couldn’t have pursued and advanced her acting career without aborting her unborn child. Julia Webb is an example of someone who neither aborted her child to achieve her goals nor gave up what she loves because she had children.