Makenna Myler is gearing up for the Olympic trials after qualifying earlier in June at the Portland Track Festival.
This is a feat that any runner would be celebrating, and Myler was not celebrating alone. Her husband and baby daughter were at the track to celebrate with her, an adorable and inspiring scene.
Myler competed in the 10-kilometer and surpassed the required time of 32:25, finishing in just 32:03. The achievement was captured on video by her enthusiastic husband, Mike Myler, who was holding the couple’s seven-month-old baby daughter, Kenny Lou.
Myler’s husband posted footage of the inspiring race on TikTok. He started the video with a clip of Myler running a mile at nine months pregnant. Just seven months ago, days before giving birth, Myler accepted a challenge to run a mile in under eight minutes.
Unbelievably, the first-time mom managed to run a mile on the track in just five minutes and 25 seconds. That accomplishment went viral.
The most recent video shows Myler running at nine months pregnant and then includes several clips from her qualifying race with her husband cheering her on. After Myler’s finish, her family rushed over to give her a hug, and Myler’s husband proudly tells their baby daughter, “You have no idea what your mom can do.” A beaming Myler asks, “We’re going?” asking if she really qualified for the Olympic trials.
The scene of the family celebrating an amazing feat has been viewed millions of times on TikTok. Commenters noted what an example Myler will be to her daughter, and more than a few viewers noted how moved they were watching the video.
Remarkably, Myler was not the only mother to cross the finish line with a qualifying time. Another mother, whose baby is 10 months old, also qualified, and the two moms can be seen congratulating each other while holding their babies.
Myler shared on Instagram that competing while her daughter is a baby has challenged her to grow and she credits her success to her daughter. Last month, she wrote, “Having a baby less than six months ago has pushed me to ask for help so I can reach goals and show my little girl that I will never stop becoming, I will never stop trying in one way or another.”
Noting the many other mothers who pursue their dreams while having children, she added, “I will keep surrounding myself with those greater than me and I will always come off better for it. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last mama to keep at it.”
Discrimination against mothers in professional sports has come to light in recent years. Texas Right to Life previously reported on the pressure student and professional athletes face when experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Carrying a baby and giving birth is wrongly viewed as career-ending, and many mothers feel they have no choice but abortion if they want to reach their dreams.
Alysia Montaño and Tina Muir are professional runners and moms who have used their publicity to highlight how discrimination affects mothers. The women, who were given a high-profile sponsorship with Altra Running, have used the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of women runners—on and off the track.
Montaño previously called attention to the way in which female athletes are dropped from sponsorships when they become pregnant, despite the fact that athletes are given time to heal from injuries and other life events that temporarily affect their performance.
Many mothers, like Myler, show that having a baby does not mean the end of a career. In fact, for some mothers, having a baby is the most powerful motivator to show their own sons and daughters what is possible.