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NEW LIFE

18 Months of Parenthood

 

3.0 minute read

 

 

Caroline Ciavaldini and her husband, James Pearsons, introduce us to their journey through the first 18-months of parenthood, as they aim to balance their careers as professional climbers with their newly found responsibilities as parents.

 

 

The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.

 

 

The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.

 

 

The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.

 

 

Written by Caroline Ciavaldini e James Pearson

Photo by DarkSkyMedia 

 

The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.

 

 

The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.

 

 

Baby Arthur is now 1 and-a-half years old, and I just finished my summer project: “Une jolie fleur dans une peau de vache”  in Verdon. James just sent his second and third 9a sport routes. I also climbed my very first 8A Boulder last winter, whilst James did his first 8B+. On paper, at least, parenting seems to have made us better climbers.

 

1 year and 3 months ago, we were both drowning. Almost literally drowning under a lack of sleep, dirty nappies, and our exhausted, crying infant. At the time, we would have bet our lives on the idea that simply becoming pro-climbers again would be a stretch too far. If a little fairy could have assured me there and then of the place we would be right now...it would have helped so much.

 

The few words “300m multi-pitch with 8b max” are very far from summarising our summer. Of course, I had the satisfaction of “ticking” this route, but the reality is that our tiny baby and all his belly aches, teething, and tantrums taught us something that we had never managed to learn by ourselves up until now: the importance of living in the moment, to enjoy every blade of grass, every bite, and then every hold and every second, high up above the Verdon. It didn’t come easily. I definitely had the temptation to allow myself to “disappear” behind my new role as a Mother. I focused primarily on the baby, and James - who was initially forced to become a hands-on Dad by my feminist side - soon became a “papa poule” as we say in French, a super involved dad. We learned to make our climbing sessions more efficient, Arthur learned to be an outdoorsy baby, and we soon found ourselves loving our time at the crag.

In rediscovering our world, through a child’s marveling eyes – climbing suddenly has this new silver lining.

 

We really hope you enjoy following our journey in this film, the full version will be released in December but we want to share this introduction with you as we are excited to share our story with all of the climbers, families, and especially female climbers out there. We really put our hearts into it this and into becoming a climbing family as the two of us become three.

 

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The route is a 7-pitch (8b), and 6-months after having a baby, the idea of achieving this was going to be my “I am back” diploma. When I chose it, I knew I was on my way back to fitness, and I had just figured out a rhythm where baby let me train and sleep a bit. Fitness isn’t everything, though I also needed focus, dedication, and the will to finish such a route. What I experienced as a young mum was a total shift of focus in my life. Every second of the day, part of my mind was on my little one – Does he need anything? Is he in danger? When baby Arthur was 6-months old, I couldn’t write a full text, read a book, or focus. I willingly disappeared behind “the veil of mum.” But I was hoping I would find my fully functional brain again, on top of my late abdominals.