It was to be my first time back on my snowboard since becoming a mum. I was curious to see how I would feel. Would I still have the same passion for it? Would I be more careful now that I have a baby? And would I actually still be able to do it? I struggle to sit on a bike these days!
Off I went to the gym to get rid of some wobbly bits and the excessive amount of cake I had been eating (it was christmas). I was pretty sure the mince pies were going to snap my snowboard in half if I wasn’t careful!!
After a pretty stressful flight (this is a whole other blog post, “Flying With An Active Baby”), we arrived in Austria. The first thing that hit me was the mountain air. Wow I had missed that, instantly makes you feel fresh and healthy! It was dark when we arrived so introducing Arlo to the sight of the mountains/snow would have to wait until the morning. It was weird, I was so much more excited to see his face than I was about anything else!
Morning came and wait…..Arlo had only woken twice in the night as opposed to 6+ times???!! The mountain air must agree with him OR he must have exhausted himself and his lungs on the flight!!?? I needn’t have freaked out about his “nighttime routine” being different then. I pulled back the curtains and there they were, the mountains! Pretty green but still mountains all the same. Showing Arlo was an emotional moment, I cried (such a loser) but sure Arlo was just looking at his own reflection in the window. But we will pretend that it was an emotional moment for him too. He knew at that moment that he was going to be a snowboarder (I’m sure he did?). We took him outside and showed him the snow in the flesh. He just wanted to eat it. At that point I did explain to him that must never eat yellow snow…….
The next few days consisted of lazy mornings (ever tried to get first lifts with a baby??? We didn’t manage it), long hikes, hot chocolates, a vomiting bug (only me, and it was a blessing really as I could start a fresh with my cake eating and not feel guilty)…… and of course SNOWBOARDING!!
It was such a juggle trying to actually make it out of the apartment to go riding: us dressed and fed, baby fed, cleaned, fed again…..new outfit, what more feeding???….nap time (NOW you choose to sleep???), instructions (4 pages) left for grandparents, milk expressed, food made up, baby bag packed, activities suggested, changes of clothes co-ordinated (very important), fed again. Then FINALLY we made it out to the chair lift, kinda exhausted already!!
The fist chair lift ride back up the mountain was amazing. You end up taking it for granted when snowboard everyday, but the mountains really are beautiful and the air SOOOO fresh. Kept sniffing the air like a dog, just taking it all in. And pretty much crying on every chair lift (again, loser, obvs having a baby has made me soft), but I was just so happy to be back.
The first few runs I was terrible, so rusty! But loving it all the same. We apparently weren’t bothered about going to The Park, but after an hour, somehow we found ourselves there!!!! 50/50s and Tail Grabs all the way, but it was enough to get my fix. And sounds awful, but didn’t cross my mind to be careful, was just having way too much fun! Although I did feel that I had lost some of my balls through child birth!!!!? My biggest concern however was about my boobs…..would they explode and squirt milkshake everywhere if I landed on them!!!??!
My parents bought Arlo to the bottom of the slope so he could watch us coming down on the last run. I was trying my very hardest, even trying some little tricks as for some reason I felt like I needed to impress him (a baby!) Got down to the bottom of the run and he was fast asleep anyway, clearly ultra impressed!
On christmas day we decided to take Arlo to the top of the mountain. We considered the chair lift but I was almost certain that Arlo would try bungee to jump off. So we opted for the safe Gondola instead. I totally forgot that babies suffer with their ears going up in altitude. I wondered why he was screaming and not loving the fact he was going up the mountain. So back to the boobs again. Very hard to access them through layers of snowboard clothing and thermals BTW!! Then the little limpet would not detach himself from me. So I had to depart the Gondola with him still suckling away. This is extreme breast feeding!!!
Worked out quite well with Arlo up the mountain as I could do laps, then feed, do some more laps, feed (he feeds a lot)
Apres started kicking off in the mountain top restaurant and I almost felt young and cool again!!!! But then Arlo decided to have a poo explosion. I sorted it out but then had to battle the apres crowds to try and find a suitable bin to dispose of the deadly nappy. I had hidden it in the pocket of my hoody, but the smell was harder to disguise. I turned a few heads walking through the crowds but all for the wrong reason. I didn’t feel so cool anymore!
It was honestly such an amazing week. We only made it snowboarding 3 times but that really didn’t seem to matter. I just really appreciated it a lot more when I did get to do it. Arlo LOVED being in the mountains, I could tell! He throughly enjoyed being outside and taking in all the action. He loved the snow, and was fascinated by snowboarders and their goggles. Again, probably just because he could see his reflection in them!
It was very VERY different going snowboarding with a baby, but in a way a lot better. It was more exciting, like you’re seeing things for the first time again but through their eyes. Although I’m looking forward to him being old enough so we can all ride together……in matching outfits???!!!(can we do this Rich?).
Now we are back in the UK:( Having that little taster of snowboarding has given me the bug for it again. Cant stop thinking about it and I’ve got extremely itchy feet. Sure Arlo feels the same! So for Arlos sake (of course) we need to plan the next snowboard trip ASAP.