I’m 41 years old, a retired professional cyclist, and six months into one of the hardest and most rewarding adventures I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve become a mom to a wonderfully outgoing, energetic, time consuming, attention getting baby boy named Emmett. I heard it almost every day of my pregnancy, “Being a parent is the toughest job you’ll ever do; get a lot of sleep now because you won’t get any once he is born; having a child is the most rewarding thing in the world, etc. etc.” I hate to say it but everyone was right.
I’ve done a lot in the past 41 years. I grew up in Aurora, CO, went to Smoky Hill High School, graduated valedictorian and went on to get a biology degree at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. It was there I got into cycling. Since then I have spent the last 22 years riding and racing all kinds of bikes all over the world. I got to make a living doing something I loved. Up until six months ago I thought there couldn’t possibly be anything harder than racing in the Olympics, or spending hours and hours training alone, or fighting back from a life threatening injury. Of course that all changed on Oct 23rd, 2010. That’s when I went into labor. I’ll tell you now that I have a new found respect for every mom out there that has gone through labor and delivery. After 46 hours of mind-numbing contractions I gave birth to a healthy 8lb baby boy. That experience now wins the prize of being the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced both physically and emotionally. But the end result is that I’m madly in love with this gorgeous little baby and it’s true, my life will never be the same.
Now my days are totally consumed with changing diapers, breast feeding, cleaning baby bottles, doing laundry, picking out the cutest outfit possible for Emmett, and drinking lots of coffee. I am also running a full-time coaching business from home and three mountain bike skills camps in Moab, UT this spring and fall. And of course I am totally addicted to endorphins, which means that if I don’t exercise I get really grumpy.
So how does one fit it all in??? Life has become one big balancing act to say the least. One thing that hasn’t changed is I still love to ride my bike. No matter how busy or stressed out I get, I always make time to ride. I’ve accepted that it doesn’t happen every day. And I’ve also accepted that there are other really fun things to do for exercise. But I love my bike. And I am so looking forward to the day when I can take Emmett in my new Chariot bike carrier for his first ride on the bike path. Riding my bike has a way of making the chaos of life disappear. It is something I will do for the rest of my life. And it is something I hope Emmett will want to do for the rest of his life as well.
Happy trails and happy motherhood!