I have spent the last few years of my life idolizing women who I see balancing the role of Mom and Athlete. Moms with young kiddos who train for Ironman. Moms who are holding their kids while accepting an award at the podium. Moms who I see out crushing a run while their little one rides their bike just ahead of them on the trail. These women have been my heroes. I’ve observed them with admiration, respect and awe. I’ve dreamt of being just like them, of being able to return to being the athlete that I was while also being a mom. A good mom.

As the weather turns nicer now and I’ve started taking my workouts outside, it’s been so strange to see myself tiptoeing into the role of Momthlete. I’ve daydreamed about it for so many years that i find it so strange to be standing squarely in it. At times, I feel like I’m an actor auditioning for the role of Momthlete. There’s a part of it that just seems so foreign to me. I remember what I felt like as an athlete, before becoming pregnant. During these winter and spring months, since Koa was born I’ve grown into my role as Mom. But, as the racing season starts, I’m just learning what these two positions feel like together….and I have loved it.  I love everything about being a Momthlete.

I love the juxtaposition of the roles, the hard and the soft. I love the aggression of pushing through the pain of the last few miles of a half marathon, feeling my muscles strain and the pounding of my breathing in my chest and then getting to the finish line and immediately thinking of my girl and feeling gentle again. I love dropping into aero and hammering a stretch of road, feeling strong, and then coming home to her and spending the afternoon holding her, nursing and watching her breath as she naps. Mostly, though, i just love coming home to her. I love feeling good about a workout, muscles burning, and then walking in the door to my daughter.  I have experienced nothing in my life more fulfilling.

She has made me a better person already. Because of the softness that she’s created in me, I feel more balanced than I ever used to feel. I can be aggressive when I need to be aggressive and then come home to her, bury my face in her soft, little neck, breathe her in and feel centered and calm again.

Remind me of this all, please, when she learns to say the word, “No”.

Enjoying a post-long ride nap with my sidekick.

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