Alexandra Allred made sports history when she won the first women’s bobsled U.S. Nationals in September 1994 and was named to the first U.S. women’s bobsled team. When the United States Olympic Committee made her Athlete of the Year, it began a lucrative sports career as a bobsledder, martial artist and professional football player.
When Alexandra became pregnant with her second child, she took part in a study with Dr. James Clapp, III, an expert on prenatal fitness who was interested in how extreme exercise affects the placenta. At that point, very little data had been collected on the effects of sports training, plyometrics and heavy weight lifting, and Dr. Clapp was particularly interested in Alexandra. At the fifth month of her pregnancy, she was squatting 375 lbs. and was clocked running at 20mph! To this day, both the U.S. and International Olympic Committees use Alexandra’s training data as a safety guide for pregnant athletes. She also serves as a fitness/nutrition expert at Pregnancy.org.
No stranger to the media, she has appeared in national publications, news programs and syndicated radio; in 2002, PBS produced a documentary about her. She wrote two women’s sports books – Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone (Wish Publishing) — and became an adventure writer for top magazines in the field like Sports Illustrated and Muscle & Fitness. She even played professional women’s football!
Today, she is now the author of over 20 books, a freelance writer and does public speaking on sports, nutrition, air quality and the world of writing and publishing. She lives in Texas with her family and a wide array of animals.
When she speaks to writers, she opens with this joke: “If you want to get published, first you have to become a pregnant bobsledder.” But she does explain, “I know I was extremely fortunate in that I had NO competition in that area. Trust me. There were no pregnant athletes out there squatting over 300 pounds. While I won’t lie about the physical work I had to put in to make the team, I know I eased into the publishing world. I even got to write a Dummies book because of my sports background. But when I wanted to try my hand at fiction, despite all my contacts, I couldn’t get the big publishing houses to even give me a look!”
As Alexandra began to look at ebooks, she saw the potential. “You know, as a writer, you are two things: an artist and a business person,” she says. “If you are willing to do the PR, the leg work, make the phone calls, send out letters seeking reviews, you can create a new audience.”
She self-published her first novel, Damaged Goods, and she ended up traveling to New York City to receive an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) for it. While there, she was thrilled to get to meet the publishers who discovered and published E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
Today, Alexandra has new books under contract with The Writer’s Coffee Shop, but she also still self-publishes and plans on launching a children’s series this spring with CreateSpace on Amazon.com.
Article by Eldon Sarte
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