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.

Nine Hundred Square Feet: The First Few Weeks of Motherhood

The Adventures in Parenthood Project is all about the transition of outdoor adventurers to parenthood. But I’d be remiss not to take some time to explore what this transition also means for me as an entrepreneurial and rather independent woman. In my last post I explained my choice of self-employment and how having a child has entered me into a life-long contract. In just a single day – Maya’s birthday – I went from being a hardworking and self-directed writer and editor to full-time mother; from a mat-toting yogi to receiving blanket junkie; from inspired foodie to ready-made soupie…

The Amautik and the Mother-Baby Bond

Wanting to take home a little reminder of our trip to the Arctic, I chose a small print of an Inuit woman and her baby looking at each other within the hood of her amautik. The amautik, a parka with a built-in baby pouch in the hood, is a clever garment, developed out of necessity to keep the baby safe from the elements. It also creates a beautiful picture of mother and child sharing one vessel as they go about their daily activities. I could never have known when I purchased the print how relevant that image would be to me just two years later.

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Wikipedia tells me that our feet and ankle structure contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. Each of these tiny parts bears not only my weight but often the pack on my back, and they are called to manouevre over uneven, often accident-prone terrain. Yet, all things considered, very little has happened to them and they continue to take me faithfully wherever I’d like to go.