Climbing While Pregnant | A Personal Journey
When I discovered I was pregnant, I immediately started searching the internet for resources on how to continue rock climbing safely during pregnancy. Except for a couple of fantastic blogs about climbing during pregnancy (authored by Aimee Roseborrough, Erica Lineberry, and recently Beth Rodden), and a few random threads and articles, there really isn’t a wealth of information out there. However, after talking with friends who climbed during pregnancy and reading about other peoples’ experiences, I realize that it is a very unique and personal journey. This is my attempt at sharing mine.
When I started climbing 14 years ago, I struggled with my ego.
Being a competitive athlete all my life, it was difficult for me to climb without comparing myself to others or putting a lot of pressure on myself. As I got older, my outlook on climbing matured and became healthier. I began practicing yoga, which encouraged me to let go of my ego. I was able to support and celebrate my friends’ accomplishments in climbing and I was a little gentler on myself. I believe that without this mindset, climbing during pregnancy would not be possible for me. Currently, I am 35 weeks pregnant and I am climbing once a week at the gym, and one or two days at Red Rock Canyon on the weekends. Even though I have had to gradually step it down in terms of difficulty, I cherish every day on the rock. This experience has enabled me to truly find the joy in climbing itself, regardless of the grade.
I cherish every day on the rock
Another topic I have had to address regarding climbing during pregnancy is risk. Many people, particularly non-climbers, wonder why I take the risk. After all, pregnancy is only 9 months out of your life, right? My answer is that as experienced climbers, my husband and I are comfortable assessing the risks and making decisions accordingly. I have been taking all of the safety precautions (toproping, full body harness, etc.), and most importantly, I have been listening to my body. I am definitely not out to prove something or be a badass. I climb because I love it. Climbing is such a huge part of my life and the culture in which I live. As long as it feels good and my baby is thriving, I see no reason to give it up…and the extra training weight doesn’t hurt!
and most importantly, I have been listening to my body
I hope to continue to climb up until the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. But, if it starts getting too uncomfortable, then I will call it quits until afterward. And that is totally fine with me – I’ve had a great ride! Thanks for reading and thanks to McKenzi for the opportunity to share my story.