Today’s Modern-Day Woman Is Also An Athlete

Women have been known to exercise and play for decades, maybe even centuries. Probably the biggest change is the degree to which we see them compete on almost every level. Women are becoming known as fierce competitors, from the Olympics to the rise of the WNBA to a fairly recent US Soccer Championship, from Rhonda Rousey in MMA to Danica Patrick racing with the boys. These women also maintain roles as mom, sister, daughter, businesswoman, and business owner.

One such example is Whitney Diamond of Utah.

Tell us about your full life.

A full life is full! I am a wife, mother, multi-business owner, and competitor. My day starts at 7am to get two children, ages 9 & 13, to school. We have 16 horses here, so I ensure the animals are fed and looked after. I then clean the house and sit at my desk for business and school. Some days, I have a class to attend, clients to work with, or training 2-4 horses. To rodeo, you must be on the road traveling to events, which takes planning and effort when you have a full house at home. We typically spend nights together as a family, or I may be traveling or at events.

What makes you an athlete, and what’s the sport you compete in?

I compete as a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Barrel Racer. You and your horse complete a clover leaf pattern for the fastest time. The athleticism of equine athletes and riders combine to win or lose thousands of dollars by hundreds of seconds. This sport has some serious risks of injury or even death. The women competing must have mental fortitude and strength, especially when each performance averages 17 seconds. To some degree, I think we all must turn on that competitive beast mode.

Have you always been athletic, or did it come later in life?

I have always been athletic in competitive ways, from cross country in my school ages, pageantry, bodybuilding as a new mother, and competitive racing as a professional barrel racer. I’m the only girl in my family with 3 brothers. I was even more competitive than they were. My first horse show was when I was 3. My mother was always there, guiding me as a single mom. She gave me a direction, but it was always on me.

With such a full life, how and why do you make room for athletic competition?

Making time for an athletic, competitive outlet in my life allows me to step into a role about directing my alpha and drive in ways I don’t always get to access. In my mind, it allows me to fully express my personality. Being able to step into that version of you and then back into your other roles is empowering and encouraging. That exchange most definitely ebbs and flows as different parts of life require more or less attention and time. With my family’s full support, we try to sit down together and look at what different events and travel we all have coming up so we can all feel seen and heard with everyone’s schedules being different.

Women aren’t known for being competitors like men are. Do you consider yourself competitive?

I have always had more of a masculine mindset as a competitive female. I don’t know if that comes from growing up in a family of all boys, and surviving youth was necessary because the boys were so wild. Or if it came from a personality that was always in me and was cultivated. Ultimately, as a woman, I run more in an alpha or masculine state, so being competitive is a perfect complement to my personality. I’ve never been afraid to just try something that I am interested in, even if I haven’t done it before, and that typically has been in some form of competitive outlet.

How has your athletic life helped other roles you play?

It’s taught me the balance of win and lose application and results and applying energy in a directed way when you choose. So many life lessons can be learned from directing yourself to something and adding the sweet spice of competition. It’s been amazing having my kids watch and be a part of the process as they grow, and we can talk about so many different, important life lessons through my being a competitor. It teaches you resiliance, work ethic and following through on clearly defined goals.

How has your athletic life put stress on the other roles you play?

Like all things, there is a give and take. Learning where to place your time and level of competitive drive at different times and not letting competition negatively affect your life and responsibilities while not letting responsibilities diminish your flame is a delicate balancing act that requires introspection and emotional intelligence.

Given my competitive personality, it would be easy for me to overwhelm our life with my schedule, and it’s taken a lot of learning how to give the roles that mean the most the time they require. As well as being intentional about where and how we want our lives to go. With so many options nowadays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and add stress that doesn’t need to be there.

Do you think having an athletic life, given women’s area priorities, is important for most, or is it something meant for only a few? 

Because of the qualities I have developed and lessons I’ve learned about myself from being competitive, I’d like to say it should be for everyone. But, as dynamic as women are, I know many who haven’t needed the same experiences to learn the same lessons, and they are not competitive at all. As all things go, I have had times when I have really needed to look at how I approach situations and learn how to approach them differently without the lens of that driven competitive mindset.

Can you provide a specific story of competing that you treasure and wouldn’t change for the world?

Something in the process, the winning or evening the losing. A specific story is when I first thought I would take racing from a hobby to earning my professional card. I could win an amateur rodeo one night and get freight trained at a pro rodeo the next night. It was when I knew it wouldn’t come without sacrifice and commitment to compete at the level of professional women. It put my thinking cap on and expanded my abilities in the arena and my personal life. How could I leave without mom guilt? What did time away look like for my family? How could I find the bravery to be gone and compete? Would I still like it? Women wear so many hats; learning where to invest time and emotion and when to save that for my more traditional roles took time and grace.

For more about Whitney Diamond, go to and follow her at

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