I’ve been there. I’ve been there five times actually. I’ve been there- drowning in diapers, burp cloths, sleepless nights, and sore nipples, just praying I’ll have the strength to get through the day.
I’ve been there. I’ve flipped through magazines and social media posts, jealous of the twentysomethings camped alone in the middle of the desert, the surfer girls paddling to the lineup in a tropical paradise, and the rad climber chicks on steep rock walls reaching for the next handhold.
I’ve been there. Full of fear that if I stop hovering, my kids might not turn out “right”. Full of idealism that there’s one perfect way to raise kids. Scared that if I blink and ask myself what I want out of life, my kids would miss out on the one key opportunity that might secure their future forever.
I’ve been there. I’ve spent endless weekends on the sideline of a soccer field, hoping that my kid scores the winning goal and gets enough playing time. I’ve spent hours at gymnastics meets listening to the same compulsory music a hundred times, wondering if the judges will be kind and not deduct for the minuscule bend in the knees while my daughter does a back handspring on a beam four inches wide, three feet off the ground.
I’ve been there. Following the rules of parenthood. Reading books that say they have the answers to this unknown journey all moms are on. Sifting through the theories. Questioning the norms. Wondering why conventionalism just didn’t feel right.
I’ve been there. On hard runs, during hot yoga classes, in quiet moments sitting on the beach. Alone with my thoughts, I’ve wondered…what if?
What if I picked up a surfboard at 35 years old and learned to surf? What if I bought this Groupon and tried rock climbing? What if I talked my husband into buy an RV so we could go on road trips? What if we sold everything and spent our days climbing, hiking, and surfing?
So I jumped.
Not for publicity or awards. Not because it was trendy. Not to prove anything to anyone.
It just felt right.
I didn’t want to wonder anymore. I needed to experience adventure. I craved the physical challenge. I had to see new waves, new trails, new mountains. I wanted an ever-changing front door and a daily physical exertion that would allow me to go to bed each night with a personal sense of fulfillment.
And I wanted to spend every minute doing it with my kids.
Today, you will find me in Spain hiking to the top of the Pyrenees. Yesterday, I was surfing off the coast of France. Tomorrow, I’ll be climbing with my kids in the Spanish countryside. No two days are ever alike for us.
Adventure isn’t for just the single twentysomethings and it’s not something you have to give up just because you have kids.
Now I know firsthand what it’s like camping in the middle of nowhere, with just my family and a million stars. I know the fear of paddling into a new lineup of all men and taking the set wave to prove that my daughter and I deserve to be there too. I know the training and dedication it takes to be on the rock wall searching for the next handhold and being willing to take the fall. Adventure runs fiercely through my veins.
But so does love, compassion and patience, because that is what it takes to be a badass adventure mama.
Badass mamas have the burning desire within to face fear, doubt, and others’ expectations in order to chase their passions and not just be identified as someone’s mom. At the same time, badass mamas want to have the same connection with their kids that they feel on a trail, sending a route, or paddling into new oceans.
We want to be really awesome moms too. From strapping babies on our backs and heading off on a hike to backpacking with our teenagers in the middle of Patagonia– the journey of an adventure mama is one of adaptability, persistence, and resiliency because those are the qualities we know will carry our kids far in life, because it’s the same ones that have allowed us to be badass mamas.
I encourage you to discover your own badassery. Go stand on peaks. Climb harder routes. Take falls. Train harder. Brave new seas. Embrace the challenge so you too can stand proud and say “I’ve been there”.
Because when you are confident, bold, empowered, intelligent, brave and kind, your girls are going to look up to you and emulate you. They too will want to know, to experience, to feel, to breathe, to see, to touch, to leap into adventure and then together you’ll say “We’ve been there”.