My path of becoming a Daring Female was laid through sports. When I discovered that women were not allowed to bobsled in the Olympics because it was considered far too dangerous and strenuous a sport, I lobbied to try out for a woman's team. In 1994 I was given that very chance. Ten months later, I made the U.S. Women's first official bobsled team, winning the nationals and being named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. I was four months pregnant at the time.
A few years later, Sports Illustrated asked that I try out for and play as a professional female football player for a season and write about it. I did, falling in love with the sport and my fellow daredevil teammates. I played with the Austin Rage and wrote about our experience in the book, Atta Girl! (Wish Publishing, 2002). Becoming a published author has been one of my long-held life dreams, but I had no idea that I would achieve it by first becoming an athlete. I believe that am living my dream because I was willing to try new things, even those completely outside of my scope of skill and knowledge.
While my adventures began through sport, this experience changed me in all aspects of life. You can take the female out of daredevil sports but you can't take the daredevil out of the female once she gets going. In the recent months I have been fighting to improve air quality in my town.
I live in a small town where big industry has been allowed to reduce air quality control. Our town holds the largest hazardous waste burning permit in the United States and we have higher instances of babies born with other birth defects and people developing cancer and breathing difficulties. As I began to do more and more research, several things were clear. We have a big problem and NO ONE wanted to talk about it. Those who did were fast to inform me, "You'll never get anywhere with this."
Using a personal contact, I FedExed information to Erin Brokovich and began a heavy campaign to bring her to my small town. My fight has just begun, but as Erin told me one day during a phone call: "Once you know you have a problem, you have an obligation to fix it." And so goes the creed of the Daring Female.
To learn more about Alexandra, visit www.alexandrapoweallred.com!