Shock horror! I want to maintain as much of my pre-pregnancy life as possible! Or you’d think it was shocking judging by some of the reactions I’ve received so far.
I have climbed since around 2008. I have done trad, sport, bouldered, led indoors, trained indoors at a climbing gym, mountaineered, ice climbed etc… it also forms part of my social life, I enjoy it (mostly) and it’s a great form of exercise. I also met my husband climbing, it something we enjoy doing together. I’m no Lynn Hill. I like VDiff’s on multi-pitches and I like bouldering up to 6a so I’ll never break any world records, but it is something that forms a fundamental part of my personality and so is something I am determined to carry on with for as long as it’s safe.
So when I got pregnant the first thing (along with googling running) was to find out if I could keep climbing. To be honest, I already knew the answer, but I wanted to see what other women had been doing. There was (yet again) little information out there, but there was some and it was really encouraging to see Beth Rodden’s experiences in her blog. That gave me the encouragement to carry on/that I wasn’t the only lady in the world doing this.
As I am on the world of the internet, I must stress that this is not a guide. I’m not suggesting that every pregnant women should climb or take climbing up as soon as they get pregnant, but I am going to climb. I mentioned this to a friend over lunch after telling him about the pregnancy and he was genuinely shocked and told me I shouldn’t be climbing. His implication was that I’d was silly and putting myself and the baby at risk. I appreciate that his view of climbing has been shaped by the media and not by taking part (as far as I know he’s never set foot above another with the intent of getting to the top of anything) so I didn’t bother to correct him and just moved the conversation on. However, it was also interesting to note that one of my longest standing friends was apparently working on the assumption that I would genuinely act out of ignorance and/or intentionally put my baby and myself in harms way. I knew that from then on I’d have to deal with a lot of opinions about me climbing while pregnant. What I didn’t expect was my husband stating I shouldn’t be bouldering. However, after chatting it through it transpired he was under the assumption that I wanted to boulder at height and, once I assured him that was in no way my intention, he was happy and supported my decision.
So guess what. I’m going to blog about it. Along with running and yoga, I’ll be talking about my climbing journey. I hope that other pregnant climbers will find this helpful (although I must stress again it’s not an instructional guide).
Sources for further reading: