The white sand and turquoise waters at The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort look picture-perfect, which may be why Parents used the breathtaking property as the backdrop for its January 2020 issue, which features Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion Sydney LeRoux, Orlando Pride forward and mother of two. The snaps were taken (by husband-and-wife team Ari Michelson and Louise Kahn, no less) while LeRoux and her husband, fellow soccer star Dom Dwyer, were taking a vacation on Florida's Emerald Coast and marks her newborn's cover debut, making for a slew of milestones for the famous family.
With more than 6,000 feet of powdery white sand on the Gulf of Mexico, the Henderson's stretch of beach was the perfect place for a photoshoot and a family getaway. Adjacent to Henderson Beach State Park, visitors like LeRoux and Dwyer can take in swimming, sunbathing, and family activities such as craft classes on the weekends and equipment rentals for bike rides, boogie boarding, and kid-sized kayaking. In her interview, LeRoux explained that the challenge of motherhood and returning to the sport that she loves motivated her to get back on the pitch as soon as possible — she did it 93 days after giving birth to her second child, Roux. It made national and international headlines.
"I made a promise to myself that I had to keep," she said. "It was such a beautiful moment. It was special to be back on the field with the people who went through everything with me, including my husband and kids."
She wants her story to inspire, she insists. She gets asked all the time, from teammates, from the press, and from fans, how she manages to balance life as a mom and as an elite athlete. She says that she doesn't even think about it. It comes naturally to her, since she's so passionate about both being a mom and a difference-maker on her team, whether it's her club team in Orlando or the United States national women's soccer team, where she's made 77 appearances and scored 35 goals since her debut back in 2011.
"'How do you do it?' is the question I get all the time. You just do," LeRoux said. "There are days when I'm like, 'I don't know how much longer I can do this.' And then, I think, 'This is absolutely what I was meant to do. I was meant for soccer and motherhood, and I can do both.'"
Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion @SydneyLeroux is our January 2020 cover mom! Sydney is the only mom on her pro soccer team, @ORLPride, and returned to play after not just one birth, but two—son Cassius, 3, and now baby Roux (pictured here), born in June 2019. "'How do you do it?’ is the question I get all the time. You just do,” Sydney says. "There are days when I’m like, 'I don’t know how much longer I can do this.' And then I think, 'This is absolutely what I was meant to do. I was meant for soccer and motherhood, and I can do both.'" ⚽️🙌 Tap the link in bio to read her full cover story and find out how she and her fellow pro soccer player husband, @DDwyer14, balance work and parenthood. This cover was shot during the family's beach vacay in @EmeraldCoastFLA at @TheHendersonFL. 🏖 📸: @we.are.arilou