When Allyson Felix won gold at the IAAF World Championships in September, the world took notice. It was her 12th world championship gold, which made her the winningest athlete in championship history, a title she'd previously held with legendary sprinter Usain Bolt. But most incredible of all, Allyson took the record just 10 months after giving birth, via emergency C-section, to her daughter Camryn.
It was a major moment for Allyson and, quite frankly, for women and mothers as a whole, and this powerful spoken word poem by poet Harold Green shows you why. "Triumph is more than just broken records — it's broken silence; for Camryn to realize that Mommy's not just a runner but a fighter," Harold says in the poem, alluding to Allyson's contract battle with Nike. The company, once her sponsor, wouldn't contractually agree not to punish her for less successful performances after pregnancy.
But being a mother, says the poem, has made Allyson an even stronger competitor. Her daughter is her greatest motivation. "The joy of knowing who you're running for is now running you," Harold says. Of all her accolades — athlete, champion, Olympian — "mother is the most honorable title you know."
Allyson responded to the poem on Twitter, saying, "This is incredible. I felt all of this . . . Thank you for expressing this so beautifully." When you watch "Allyson's Marathon" below, listen closely for the race cues sprinkled throughout: from "On your mark," to "Set," and ending with "Go." Allyson's career, already so impressive, is a race that's just getting started.