A Teaspoon of Suga with Mama, Entrepreneur, and The Fastest Woman in the World:
When Sugaberry reached out to me to write for the site I immediately knew I wanted to highlight amazing mothers around the world. After gathering myself, I wanted to explore the sweetness of motherhood, address the importance of balance, and encourage open conversations within our community.
Meet Mama, Olympian, Entrepreneur, and the fastest woman in the world, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is an absolute powerhouse. The Jamaican-born track and field star has been dominating the world of athletics for over 10 years and now holds the title of the fastest woman alive. Shelly-Ann has won more global titles in the 100-meter race than any other female sprinter in history. She currently has several World Championship and Olympic gold medal wins under her belt, she owns a bevy of successful businesses, including a non-profit organization she launched to help student athletes from low-income homes get an education while they train. But with all she’s accomplished, I think it would be safe to say that one of her biggest wins to date, has been the birth of her son, Zyon.
When Shelly-Ann got pregnant, like most expectant mothers, she had a plan. The sprinter said she was “eager” to give birth so she could return to running, which she described as a form of therapy. Her meticulously crafted birth plan would allow her to bear her child, then get back to business. However, little Zyon had his own plan, and his arrival rearranged his mama’s priorities.
Shelly-Ann went into labor two months early and after hours of waiting, she was informed that she needed to undergo an emergency C-section. Needless to say, that was less than ideal as healing from the trauma of her C-section would now have to take precedence over training for her next round of races. Still, she remained focused on her goal of returning to the track while being the best mother she could be, a feat that Shelly-Ann said required finding the perfect balance.
I asked Shelly-Ann about this balance and about her Mommy Mantra, which is firmly-planted in her faith, and about self-care and everything in between.
SB: Let’s kick things off with some suga, what’s been the sweetest part about motherhood for you?
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: The sweetest part about motherhood is coming home from training and even when I am tired, it’s so refreshing to see my son’s face when I am home and his smiles. I instantly forget about how hard everything was at practice or my day because I am loved.
SB: That’s adorable! How about the most unexpected part of being a new mother?
SFP: To be frank, track was always a priority so I was eager to have my baby and get back to work. Track is like therapy for me but since having him my priorities changed. I wanted to be the world’s best mom for my son and everything else would have to work around that. My son is awesome though so everything worked well.
SB: Can you share with us a specific moment/thing he has done that left you completely amazed by the little human you created?
SFP: So, I was at training camp in Italy with Zyon. He was 10 months and he stood up a couple times but nothing. I was like “Ok.” So, we got to the track and while at the start of the 100-m, my physiotherapist held him up and he just started walking. I was in the middle of filming but screamed! Naturally he fell, [laughs], but he got up and I was so super excited to witness his first steps.
SB: What’s your ultimate dream for Zyon?
SFP: My ultimate dream for Zyon is that he leads in every area of his life. To lead with love, honor, and respect. But most importantly to serve, because if he serves he will lead.
SB: Oh! I love that. You’ve definitely been setting a great example of that. The world has seen that iconic photo of you and Zyon during The World Athletics Championships (formerly IAAF) after you dominated your race, in 10 years, what do you hope he’ll think/see/feel when looking back at that photo? SFP: When my son looks back at that moment I want him to feel proud and fearless. Knowing that nothing should limit his dreams even if it takes time. I want him to understand the power of women and place value on all women he may interact with because his mother was strong
SB: Your schedule for track and field was physically demanding and we know mommyhood is exhausting as well, how did you figure out the balance there?
SFP: I’m extremely competitive and as an athlete with a strong work ethic it was never an option to allow one to undermine the other. However, I had to become intentional about my time plus striking that balance comes with maturity that I take tremendous pride in. I also must give a shout out to my husband Jason. He continues to partner with me in making things a lot easier for me.
SB: Talk to us about your self-care routines? After you’ve shown up for everyone and everything, how do you take care of Shelly-Ann?
SFP: Wow, now this is hard. [laughs]
– I workout twice a day except Sundays.
– I pray every morning whether in my car or before I get to practice.
– Stay hydrated.
– I actually have a journal, so I write all my thoughts down. Dreams etc.
– I read a chapter of my current book before bed.
– I love music. So I listen to music.
– I get a facial done every month because working out in the sun and dust gives me breakouts.
SB: What would you consider your Mommy Mantra? You know, those empowering words you whisper to yourself when motherhood gets a little hard or you just need a reminder of your greatness…
SFP: “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear. “
SB: What’s something you learned from your own mother that made you a better mom?
SFP: My mother is very enterprising. Whatever her hands found to do she did with everything she had. She sacrificed so much to make sure we had food and that’s where I believe my entrepreneurial spirit came from. Whatever her hands could find for work. She did.
SB: Clearly, that has inspired your own entrepreneurial drive. You’ve branched out into so many flourishing businesses, including The Pocket Rocket Foundation, Lady Shelly Beauty, Chic Hair Ja, and Shelly’s Cafe, what’s your advice for balancing business and the mommy business?
SFP: Give each entity your fullest attention in the moment. When you’re at work, be there fully. When you’re with your child, the same applies. Multi-tasking can create stress at times, but try your best to avoid it where possible.
SB: In that same lane, what would you tell people who want kids but are also super driven career-wise?
SFP: If you’re driven like me then time will never be right. So you can imagine Zyon was my best surprise. Sometimes you will have to take that leap of faith and be willing to go the distance, if starting a family is what you desire. But whatever decision you make, make sure you are happy with it.
SB: And finally, what’s something you’ve purchased that has absolutely made mommy/family life a little easier?
SFP: We do a lot of traveling both locally and overseas so a digital device with educational activities for him to watch has served us well, especially for long hauls.