This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the sweet and talented Quiana Fluellen. Quiana and I were connected through a fellow NFL wife who encouraged me to interview this amazing young mama. We discussed how her and her husband Andre met at FSU, her role as a "weekend wife", her career as a physical therapist and more below!
NFL WAG Stats
Name: Quiana Fluellen
Husband: Andre Fluellen
Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Going into 8th season (Drafted to Detroit Lions in 2008, Dolphins, Bills)
Children: Daughter Lyric Malia (Born May 29th)
NFLWAG: 8 years
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: I’ve always been a working wife or a “weekend wife” which means I've always traveled back and forth to whatever city my husband is playing in. I love my career and patients so I’m always back and forth.
Off Season Home: Atlanta (John’s Creek)
Favorite Food: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Music on your iTunes: I LOVE 90's R&B music. I'm busy with the baby so I'm not up to date on many songs; I also LOVE Chris Brown
Hobbies: I like to do a lot of arts and crafts; my baby’s entire nursery is DIY and my wedding was DIY; I do acupuncture and practice on friends and my husband
Interesting Facts: I have a doctorate in Physical Therapy; I rehab my husband after games (in between games or off season)
I have to hold my family together. My husband wants to hold his daughter." - Quiana Fluellen, NFL wife
LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
QF: I’m from Gainesville, Florida originally. I went to Florida State and ran track, and my husband played football there so that’s how we met. I was so anti-athlete because I was an athlete. I said I would never date an FSU football player because of their rep. It’s a long story but we ended up dating. Andre went off to Detroit when he was drafted and I went to Tampa for my doctoral program. We married in July of 2013. He’s from Cartersville, Georgia so we decided to buy a house in Atlanta as our home base. I moved up here [Atlanta] after school and I travel back and forth.
LM: Very cool that you ran track in college. What did you run?
QF: I ran the 400m hurdles. I still run recreationally but I don’t do it competitively. I’m still active. I worked out my whole pregnancy and I still work out my patients so I’m always in the gym.
LM: You recently had a baby! Congrats! How has motherhood changed you? In what ways has it had an impact on your relationship with your husband?
QF: Motherhood has given me so much patience with my husband and other people! I have a better perspective about life and I don’t sweat the small things. My husband and I are closer because of Lyric. He never left my side during my 30-hour labor! I had a doula and we did different stretching and coping exercises. Andre did more research than I did during that time so I really saw that he was interested in my well-being. It was sad when he had to go to Training Camp because she was only 9 or 10 weeks old. This is our first daughter so he’s missed some milestones. I have a job here in Atlanta so I travel back and forth so she can see daddy and vice versa. We make it work. One adjustment of motherhood is having to be at the airport two hours earlier than I used to because I have my daughter!
LM: What’s a typical day look like for you?
QF: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I wake up at 5:45 a.m. and take Lyric to school, go to work and see patients, pick her up, wait for my husband to get off work to Skype, squeeze in some dinner, pump [breastfeeding], and go to bed. If Andre has a home game, we shoot up to NY on a Friday to see him, and fly back before I am scheduled to see patients on Tuesday. Currently, my days are scheduled around my daughter and building our business with the physiatrist I work with. We are looking to start a Sports Performance business here in Atlanta. I was in a position to put my career on hold and be a stay at home mom, but we prayed on it and decided to take the opportunity. This is my dream, our dream, to have a gym and train athletes. I know I put a ton of pressure on myself but this is what will better our family’s future since the NFL is so uncertain. It’s tough and I’m sleep-deprived but it’s worth it.
LM: What advice would you give to an NFL wife who wants to be a doctor or any other profession with a demanding schedule?
QF: If you truly truly want to do it, go for it! The opportunity may never happen again. I know a lot of people who regret not going to school or whatever they wanted to do. First of all, pray before you do anything! Of course, you should talk to your spouse. If you really want to do it, God will direct you in the way you should go. My husband respects me because of my work. Every household and person is different. I don’t judge any stay at home mom, working mom, or people without kids. We all have struggles. It’s tough to date or be married to a pro athlete.
LM: What are those advantages and disadvantages of being married to a pro athlete?
QF: As far as the pros, I’ve met so many awesome women in Detroit! Meeting the other NFL wives is my favorite. I’m still friends with some of the Lions ladies even though we’re on different teams now. We stay in contact. Last year, my job was more flexible so I was able to go to Detroit and do some of the charity events and Bible studies with Andre. People don’t see the behind-the-scenes. These guys [NFL players] do some amazing things. Having the opportunity to impact the community is very rewarding. The biggest con is the 53-man cut! Training camp…your husband stressed out…not knowing. I call it D-day, Doom’s day! Am I gonna get a phone call from my husband saying, “I’m coming home to get back to training and we’ll wait for somebody to give me a call”? That’s been my husband’s story the past few years. It can truly hurt a guy’s self-esteem. You get cut so many times and it can break you down. Thank God he’s a Christian man because that lifestyle tears some people apart.
LM: Very true! What is your love advice to women?
QF: I know social media can tear a lot of relationships apart. Don’t compare yourselves to other people and other wives. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Try to let all of that external stuff go. That’s the main thing I’ve seen with wives. I try not to compare and that’s how my husband and I remain close to each other. LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse?
QF: We love the outdoors. We kayak. We fish. I’m a country girl. My husband likes that I’m not afraid to get sweaty or dirty. We love to travel. We did a babymoon in Hawaii. We’re going to Greece or Brazil for my 30th. I like to work out with him. He doesn’t like to run as much because he’s a big guy. We’ll also go to theme parks.
LM: What do you think are the common misconceptions about NFL WAGS?
QF: There are A LOT OF misconceptions. The biggest ones are: “Yall got it made. You have nothing to worry about. You don’t have to worry about bills. What are you doing working? You don’t need to work.” Sometimes I tell my patients my husband is an entrepreneur because there’s a lot of judgment if I say he plays football. Individuals assume you don’t have any issues because you have “money”. I have a life. I have a baby. I have a job. A lot of people judge because of where you live and what you drive. TV gives us a bad rep. I don’t have a nanny! I have a bonnet on my head right now [LOL]! We’re normal women. We’re blessed. I’m not going to let anyone make me feel bad about my husband, our careers, or my life.
LM: I’m familiar. I understand what you’re saying completely.
QF: Your everyday isn’t like my everyday. I am very blessed to be in my position, but I'm not with my husband everyday. I have to hold my family together. My husband wants to hold his daughter.
LM: Amen! Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.
QF: To me, the NFL is life. It’s pretty much what we’ve been going through since I’ve been with Andre. Every season and off season our life revolves around the NFL. On a positive note, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the NFL (from insurance to traveling). It’s still been a blessing regardless of the cuts and trades. We’ve been able to sustain our lifestyle. The NFL has a program called the NFL happy babies. They assign you to a nurse case manager who calls and follows your entire pregnancy. She checks on you with each milestone. First, you call the hotline (your husband should have number) and they set you up with a nurse and help you find a nutritionist. At 28 weeks they get you an electric breast pump. They give you $600 after the baby is born which pretty much helps with copays. You can call the hotline any time you have questions about your pregnancy. If you don’t have a healthy and smooth pregnancy they have other resources. I had a healthy pregnancy so I didn’t utilize those resources. I did appreciate that program. It made my pregnancy easier.
LM: What would you like people to know about you?
QF: I love my husband. I really look up to him. He brought me closer to Christ. We’ve grown completely from college to now. We joined a church here and had a family. We are trying as a family to put God first. Whatever we were doing before Christ wasn’t working so something had to change. Also, I want people to know that I make it work for my family!