Lashinda Demus: “I Want To Empower Other Women”

American hurdler Lashinda Demus has launched her new website
Demus wants it to be a place where she can share the lessons she has learned as an athlete, a daughter, a wife, a mother and a fellow woman on the journey through life. The mother to 6-year-old twin boys has a lot to be proud of. She won gold at the World Championships in 2011 and followed it up with a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Celebrity Baby Scoop recently caught up with Demus to find out more about – and how she juggles raising her children in L.A. while training for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

CBS: What made you decide to start

LD: The concept came along about 1-2 years ago. I felt there was a voice missing in social media and on the web that represent women like myself.  I had more to talk about outside of my athletic accomplishments and I think a lot of people have a perception of how female athletes and/or working women/mothers are. I think everyone wants to be heard and this was my way to shout to the world I’m here and I’m here with twins boys!

CBS: What kind of content can we expect to see on the site?

LD: You can expect to see me talk about the issues I’ve experienced as a working woman and working mom. While my experience may seem unique as a woman who is a professional athlete, I think there are many parallels and similarities to all women who are balancing a lot and pursuing their dreams. I want to be open and transparent, and hopefully other women can relate to me and not feel like they are alone in what they are going through. I want to empower other women to face their challenges and to pick themselves up after making mistakes or falling on bad luck.

CBS: What advice can you give to moms who want to get back into the work force?

LD: The desire in you to come back was not put in you for no action to take place! Where there is a will, there’s a way. Pursue, pursue, pursue! You know you’re headed in the right direction when you face road blocks. No road worth traveling rides easy. Kids’ perception of women is established through their mother. If you are weak and timid, they will think women are. But if you are strong, intelligent and ambitious, they will think that. As women we often feel guilty for working and not being with our kids more, but look at the example we are setting for them! Working hard for our kids is a great example and a great display of our love for them.

CBS: Is there a certain demographic of women you want to reach with your website?

LD: While certainly my intent is not to exclude anyone, I think the kind of woman that will find my website most enlightening is the woman who has goals and dreams she wants to pursue but sometimes runs into barriers and who sometimes feels overwhelmed with everything on her plate. She is a confident woman who also has some insecurities! She may seem happy and put together but deals with stress and even depression too! I want to be a realistic example for those women so they don’t feel alone or discouraged.

CBS: What challenges have you faced combining motherhood and a successful athletic career?

LD: It has always been challenging for me to balance the two.  I struggle with this presently.  I always question if I’m giving enough time, am I loving enough, or just am a good mom?  I think this can affect your career in many ways because you always feel like you are neglecting one for the other.  I’ve learned to be at peace with knowing for sure I’m completely doing my best.  That’s a truth I can hold on to.

CBS: What does empowerment mean to you?  How do you achieve it?

LD: Empowerment, like love, is an action in changing peoples lives; it’s only empowering if this occurs.  I’m a truth-seeker, so naturally I’m drawn to people that speak truth or are trying to find the truth, whether it’s the truth about themselves, life, space, law, etc.  Their willingness to find answers shows their desire for answers that turn into solutions.  This empowers me.

CBS: You now live in Los Angeles – what is a “typical” day like for you?

LD: I wake up at 6:45am to get the boys ready for school (it takes me 10 minutes just to get them out the bed). They brush their teeth and eat breakfast while I iron their clothes and prepare their lunch.  We leave the house around 7:45 to get them to school by 8:00am.  I then rush home to prepare to go to practice by 9am.  Practice could take up to 2-5 hours depending on if I have weight room or other training pertaining to my sport.  The boys are picked up by an after school program which gives me time to finish all my appointments, run errands and prepare dinner.  I pick the boys up and we go over homework and eat dinner together and prepare for bed to do it all over again the next morning.

CBS: Tell us about your 6-year-old boys Dontay and Duaine. What are their interests? Do they like sports?

LD: Even though they are twins, they are totally different.  Duaine is older by a minute and he takes being the older brother very seriously. He’s into sports but doesn’t really enjoy practicing, this is something I will continue to work on with him.  He likes basketball, swimming, soccer, and hockey. Dontay on the other hand has hard work engraved in him already, and he wants to be the best. It’s scary to see this in a child so young because I was exactly the same way, and it can be stressful! I try to encourage him not to take losing so seriously and to keep it light, especially at his age. He loves football and track!

CBS: What’s it like to raise twin boys?  If we asked them what kind of mom you are, what would they tell us?

LD: Many people ask me this.  This is the norm for me because they’re my first I’m raising, so I have no prior comparisons – it’s all I know! I would say that it’s a lot of fun.  It’s cool to see them interact and for people to be intrigued by them.  I honestly don’t know what they would say about me being their mom, LOL!  I think I’m just mom to them, somebody that loves them.

CBS: Obviously you’re a healthy eater – do you let yourself and the boys indulge in junk food a little once in awhile?

LD: I’m guilty in letting them indulge on junk food, but what balances that out are my healthy eating habits that they’ve picked up on as well.  I don’t have to force them to eat vegetables, they naturally think they’re good!  When they were in preschool their teacher told me that they were the only kids that asked for seconds with the veggies.  Just the other day we were all vegging out (eating vegetables) with Persian cucumbers and Oikos garlic hummus, and they were totally content.

CBS: Having a busy schedule – do you have time to cook dinner and do the school runs?

LD: I love to cook so I try to cook as much as my body allows me too.  I use to stress over not having a home cooked meal for them everyday, but I would just be so tired sometimes that I would cheat.  I think it comes from me competing.  I try to be perfect at everything and that’s hard work, so I try to remember to let myself off the hook from time to time because it can become overwhelming.

CBS: You plan to compete in the Rio Olympics in 2016. Will it be the last time you compete?

LD: It will definitely be my last Olympics, but I can’t say that for competing.  It depends on how my body is doing and other factors that tie into training. But it will be my last Olympics, so every day when I’m training, Rio is on my mind.

CBS: What are your goals for 2014?

LD: Definitely my goals for 2014 are to make Go Woman Go a massive movement  that impacts the lives of many women. I truly feel that my ultimate purpose in this life is to influence and empower others. This was a big step for me to take and now I can’t wait to keep running with it!  I also want to regain my number-one world ranking and compete in a series called the Diamond League (a major track and field competition series in the summer) and become the 2014 Diamond League champion in the 400m hurdles.  I want to create a new “normal” for female athletes – I’m tired of us being kept in a box! I truly believe I’m meant to be extraordinary and do extraordinary things. I mean I’ve already carried two babies that weighed 6.8 pounds and 5.8 pounds – the skies are the limit!

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