Before I was a mom I was a social worker and a pretty good athlete on the side. Now, I'm not sure what I am besides a grateful, loving mom to my sweet little girl. I knew pre-baby that I wanted to return to racing, but for the last 7.5 months I've gone back and forth about the athlete in me. Before becoming pregnant I had some good sponsors that I loved representing. Sadly, Avia went out of business so no more running sponsor. My bike sponsor was a company that I was loyal to for 5 years and we had a good relationship. However, while pregnant the contact person changed 2 times and it wasn't until February after many emails and phone calls that I was finally told that since I didn't have any results last year our partnership would be put on hold. Seriously, I was pregnant! Maybe I didn't devote enough time to maintaining that relationship while I took a step back from racing but I was embarking on the biggest change of my life and athletics was not my focus. It is ridiculous, but losing this relationship made me question whether I have it in me to balance all the demands of motherhood with racing at an Elite level. Is it selfish to continue to race? Afterall, we now have a college fund that needs money every month and many other expenses that come with a 2ft tall person. Or does training and racing make me a better wife, mom and person? I'm sure my husband would say yes to this one. Maybe I should just train for the sake of enjoying the outdoors and the activities I love and never toe the line again? Who am I kidding, this wouldn't make me happy! I love pushing myself and managing the physical and mental aspects of racing. I also love the community of people that I have come to know through racing.
After much deliberation I've decided that I won't retire. However, I can't resume the exact pre-baby training and racing but I can redefine my relationship with sport. I want to continue to push my body and mind, I want to show my daughter that women are strong, I want my daughter to understand the value of hard work, I want my daughter to have a love for nature. All these things are inherent in Xterra and I look forward to a year of perfecting the balance of mom-athlete. For me, sleep deprivation, short workouts, penny pinching, and crazy planning are all made more palatable by having some "me" time and continuing to incorporate being active into our family life.
A huge thank you to the sponsors that continued to support me through my step back to enter motherhood: NoTubes, Infinit and Honey Stinger. I hope to make you proud this year! I also hope that I can inspire other new moms to stay active and realize that "your" life doesn't end when you have a family, it just changes...and actually just gets more awesome! No matter what happens, at the end of the day this will always be waiting for me: