She’s an extremely active person, open in many fronts and with enough energy to carry out her daily activities. She still has a lot of projects to complete (like her thesis), activities to carry out with her children and husband, and to top it all of she never stops practicing sports. If she didn’t set aside a part of her day to practice sports, something in her would slowly turn off and she just wouldn’t be the same person.
In highly developed countries, the ratio of woman that practice sports and the amount of time they spend practicing sports, is much lower than that of men. This is largely due to the fact, amongst others, that woman suffer al kinds of obstacles when it comes to accessing an kind of sporting activity, regardless of its characteristics or intensity level. This attitude normally derives from a common misconception regarding physiological and psychological differences between men and women. Thus, practicing sports is seen as a masculinizing activity that eliminates feminine traits of woman, and is detrimental to menstruation, fertility or child birth.
The fact that only females can give birth is associated with a body of opinions (only woman can educate them correctly, she has to stay at home and take care of the kinds, men must go work..) which reinforce stereotypes that maintain male superiority, and the privilege of having free time that may, or may not, be used to practice sports. In concescuence, woman can only aspire to enjoy free time that is developed inside their normal family activities in so far as they force men to share household and child care.
Clearly, social acceptance of female athletes has changed depending on the era and culture in which it was carried out. Back in the Victorian era, the image that society had of women, a fragile, delicate muscle-less being contested with reality since many woman had to work it factories or in farms and, even though pregnant, they would carry out a very tough domestic and working life.
Being in shape isn’t easy. A pregnancy, giving birth and brest feeding almost puts female body in post war period. Fortunately, in less than a year, the female body can almost be fully physically recovered, but mentally it isn’t the same. Something changes inside of her, feelings that she didn´t have before are now aroused: A little person appears and with it new responsibilities. It’s not abstract or transient; it’s alive and is here for the rest of your life! Female athletes take their roll as mothers with different importance than that of the father, because, what would happen if she injures herself? And if she gets ill? Who’s going to breast feed it? Who will sooth the baby? A father can do all these things, and with a bottle everything is solved, but it’s not the natural way to go. Therefore we become more cautious and think things twice before we do anything.
Now Emma doesn’t go downhill on her bike, or skiing or skating as fast as she used to. In races she has shifted one speed down. Every risky situation is analyzed twice and she thinks more of the consequences. The image of her children appears every moment and the feeling of responsibility and that they depend on her and David is overwhelming.
But on the other hand, it strengthens her; she has new motivations to reach further, motivations that she didn’t have before. Now every result she achieves has a new meaning that wasn’t there before, it is more valuable because your body has fought to get back into top physical condition, the family made sacrifices so that she could be able to carry out that activity. You become more demanding with your results; you have less time for everything, so you look for quality.
Being a mother has given her a strength that she didn’t have before, a new motivation, but at the same time, new suffering.