Rosey Edeh is racing through the airport, late for her flight to Calgary to interview Olympic athletes for Global TV’s ET Canada. As she runs to catch her plane she’s attempting to answer my questions via cell phone on how to balance parenthood and career. The irony of the situation isn’t lost on us.
Rosey Edeh is an overachiever. Its common knowledge the stunning television correspondent competed and placed in the ‘88, ’92 and 96 Olympics in 400 meter hurdles. But what most don’t know is she had a baby girl and became a single mom smack in the middle of her Olympic career.
With fifteen months to recuperate from childbirth, lose her baby weight and retrain her body into a finely tuned hurdling machine, everyone assumed Rosey’s Olympic hopes were dashed. Everyone except Rosey. “I knew even when I was pregnant I would be in the Olympics. The power of that thought never left me” she says. “When I heard it would be darn near impossible, I knew I had to do it.”
With the help of her mother who cared for baby Micha, Rosey was back at the track a week after delivery. Her goal – make it around the track for a mile. Nice and easy. Since she was breastfeeding she remembers double wrapping her “milk makers.”
She took it slow, adding a mile when ready. For a strong foundation, she weight trained. As the Olympics loomed closer, her training intensified to that of a world class athlete. Long story short, not only did Rosey make the team, she placed 6th and set a new Canadian record that still stands. Her proudest moment was on the podium with her baby girl in her arms. I get tired just thinking about it.
I’ve met Rosey’s now fifteen year old daughter on several occasions, and she is as elegant and sophisticated as her statuesque mom. How did Rosie do it, I wonder? How does a single mom with an incredibly demanding career raise such a great kid?
She shares with me how close mother and daughter are. “We finish each other’s sentences. I have a deeper understanding of who she is because I don’t have to share her with anyone. That’s one of the few benefits of being a single parent.”
Rosie admits her biggest parenting mistake is common amongst modern moms and dads. “It’s buying kids too much stuff especially when you feel guilty for going away or not spending enough time with them. They really only want your time. The smile on their face from a new iPod or cell phone is temporary.
According to Rosey, dealing with a teenager is all about, “open communication and no judgment. If you judge or punish a kid when they come to you with the truth then they’ll learn to lie to you!”
I couldn’t let Rosey get onto the plane without some fitness tips for time crunched moms – since her upcoming book The Diva and the Jock is about that very topic: “You can get a good workout in 30 minutes” claims Rosey. “Circuit training’s a great way to work your whole body. Use push ups, running and squats. Variety makes for effective training and keeps things interesting.”
The plane’s ready to take off so Rosey signs off. And so ends another conversation between two multi-tasking mummies who cram too much into their days.