ESPN anchor Nicole Briscoe opens up about pregnancy loss, infertility

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe has been speaking openly in recent months about pregnancy loss, infertility and the challenges she faced becoming a mother.

Briscoe, who people in the Rockford area may remember as Nicole Manske, a 1998 Hononegah High School graduate and television news reporter with 13 WREX, will share those stories and more Tuesday when she delivers her keynote speech “Having it all, What it means to have your all” at the Influential Women in Business Luncheon in Beloit.

Briscoe spoke about her journey with In-vitro fertilization and her challenging path to motherhood in a People Magazine feature in April for National Infertility Awareness Week.

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The Wausau, Wisconsin-native, who married Australian racecar driver Ryan Briscoe in 2009, said she plans to talk at the luncheon about what it means to dream big and how dreams change with life events.

“I do not believe that you can have ‘it’ all,” she said. “There’s a reason why I put an emphasis on ‘it.’ I think you can have it all at various points in your life, but I think if you focus on the ‘it’ and having it all, that’s where you’re making the mistake.”

Briscoe went on to say how one’s life goals and dreams depend on where they are in life. People shouldn’t stay focused on one list, but be adaptable because wants and desires change.

“I’m a firm believer in dreaming big,” she said. “I’m a firm believer of surrounding yourself with people who help you achieve those goals and those dreams. I’m a firm believer that you can achieve your goals and your dreams, but I’m also a believer in the fact that the goals that you set for yourself, at the age of, say, 20, or 23, those goals will drastically change. There are so many life events that change your priorities. ”

For example, Briscoe said, growing up she always dreamed she’d one day be a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football. But as her career blossomed and opportunities were presented over the years, her aspirations changed.

Having your all

Briscoe started her TV career as a general assignment reporter at WREX, the NBC affiliate in Rockford. She went on to work at television stations in Indiana and the Speed Channel before landing a job at ESPN. She worked various roles for ESPN from 2008-2014 before joining the SportsCenter anchor desk in 2015.

“If I went around defining my career and defining the success in my career by sort of like the checklist I created when I was 11 or 20, I would be a failure, and that is insane, to live by that,” she said. “Life can take you down all these unique paths, these twists and turns.

“I have my all … At the end of the day, you sit down and you sort of prioritize your life. If your priorities are in line and you have your all, then you have what you really need, what really matters, and then you get happiness.”

Nicole Briscoe, husband Ryan Briscoe and two daughters, Finley and Blake. PHOTO PROVIDED BY NICOLE BRISCOE

Briscoe is a mother of two girls, Blake James, 5 and seven-year-old Finley Evers.

Briscoe said she wanted to use part of her speech on Tuesday to encourage women battling infertility. After years of silence, she said she’s only recently been ready to speak publicly about the difficulties she faced becoming a mom.

“We live in this social media world where everyone puts out the pretty picture,” she said. “It’s easy to look at somebody else’s life and think, ‘Oh man, they got a great job. They live in a nice house’ and you see sort of the image that they put out there.

“What you don’t see is the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes and that’s what I’m going to get into a little bit on Tuesday, some of my challenges in the last decade.”

The luncheon, hosted by Edward Jones, the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce and Stateline Chamber of Commerce, supports local women and helps fund scholarships.

Briscoe said she’s “thrilled” to be a part of something that supports the community and younger generation.

The ticketed event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Eclipse Center.

Andrea V. Watson: awatson@rrstar.com; @andreavwatson12

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