The Post-Baby Body: Reimagining Myself as an Athlete

Once I was through the first week of bliss with my daughter, the realities of my new body sunk in. I had spent a number of days in bed recovering from the birth, and otherwise didn’t venture out of the house until about Day 6. On that day, I walked about a block before pain turned me back. Though I was able to walk farther and faster as each day passed, I was discouraged by my reflection in the mirror and my inability to really move. My daughter brought me so much joy, but I felt that my body had betrayed me. I longed to run, to feel my heart pumping, to feel sweat on my back, and my feet hitting the pavement. I longed to feel lightness again. Instead I felt heavy, swollen and slow.

My discouragement went on for the first month until, funny as it sounds, I remembered I had just had a baby.

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Learning to Just ‘Be’ with Pregnancy

When I embarked on The Adventures in Parenthood Project, I had a lot of questions. A few of them had to do with wondering what I would be able to do in the outdoors and for exercise while I was pregnant. To begin finding some answers, I included a section in the survey I conducted, wherein I asked women questions about resources they were able to find on what they could do while they were pregnant, which activities they enjoyed, how supported they felt, and more. I won’t divulge into those statistics today (though I bet you’re wondering what I came up with!). But what I will get into briefly are my own thoughts on the topic now having the perspective of being pregnant myself.

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Finding Familiarity on Skis

This past weekend was beautiful, and my husband suggested we go for a ski. I was definitely game. All we own is alpine touring gear and because I’m not brave like Caroline George, skiing some considerable vertical the day she gave birth, we needed to find suitable terrain that wasn’t going to be too steep for this first ski of the season. We ended up heading down to the Cascade Fire Road and Lake Minnewanka Loop, just a quick drive from Banff.

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Facing the Giant at Healy Pass

Now here I stood, facing the giant of Mt. Assiniboine en route to Healy Pass. A range of emotions washed over me as I came to terms with everything that mountain represented for me. Just two years ago, I was climbing hard, out every weekend and tackling the largest peaks in The Rockies. Now, here I stood, struggling to catch a breath as I meandered my way up a trail on a day hike.

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