Heptathlons are infamous for having the most grueling track and field events. The seven events include 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw and 800-meter run.
As Lindsay Flach made her way towards her third U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Orgena, she knew it was different from her previous experiences. This time the 31-year-old heptathlete is 18 weeks pregnant and revealed the good news previously on Instagram. "3rd Olympic Trials This one looks a little different 😉," wrote the athlete who participated in the heptathlon in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic trials. "Every story has an end but in life every end is a new beginning."
Sharing a string of pictures of herself at the trials and one of her bare baby bump, she continued, "The secret 🤫 is no secret anymore." Speaking to TODAY Parents, Flach said, "To be honest, I was going to the tryouts and I was trying to keep it on the down-low because I just wanted to finish my career on my terms." That being said, her baby bump was a little hard to conceal on the track field.
This year marks the end of Flach's career and the beginning of her motherhood journey. Despite her pregnancy, she wanted to compete one more time before saying goodbye. "There are so many stories about running while pregnant and working out while pregnant, so I'm glad I could be a piece of proving a woman can do it," said the mother-to-be.
The Heptathlon is infamous for having the most grueling track and field events. The seven events include 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw, and 800-meter run. On the day of trials, temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees as Flach participated in all seven heptathlon events. However, she took a step back after running 100 meters of the 800-meter run to keep herself and her child safe. According to HuffPost, Flach was placed 15th among 18 competitors.
During an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Flach recalled asking her doctor's permission to continue her training when she first found out about her pregnancy. "My big concern was making sure that I was healthy and the baby was healthy," she shared. After a "very rough" start to her pregnancy, the heptathlete did not lose hope and continued training to the best of her ability through heartburn, nausea, and headaches.
"I had about 12 weeks of bad vomiting, which affected my training," she shared. "If the Olympic Trials were three weeks ago, I don't know that I would have been there, but I started to feel better and I was able to get some really good practices in." For Flach, it was all about the spirit of participation and it surely touched many. While there lots of people who showed their support for her decision, the athlete said that some criticized her about the safety of her baby as she competed while being pregnant.
"Woman and moms are so strong — their body is very capable," she explained responding to the disparaging comments. She also noted that every necessary precaution was taken before and during the events. "But at the same time I knew I was going to be very cautious and I knew I wasn't going to take a chance of harming myself or the baby," she explained. "You are the only one who knows your body," she added. While she admitted that the whole process was "hard mentally" as she could not compete at her highest level, Flach said she "just wanted to prove what women are capable of." She added, "Even these 18 weeks I have learned mamas need way more praise than they receive. And are capable of way more than people allow or give them credit for."
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Cliff Hawkins