26 October 2016Snow(wo)man to SnowMUM
Some changes in life are inevitable - we grow older and wiser. We start using expressions such as ‘back in my day’. We notice physical changes - our bodies ache, we lose our hair.
Personally most of my changes and deviations from my life plan have been unexpected and uncontrollable. Being a ski racer who hurtled herself down mountains at 92mph I always knew crashes and injuries were inevitable when I was pushing myself to my limits. But still in those fractions of a second preceding the impact of a fall, when everything slows and you have a serene quietness in focus to think ‘how can i protect myself as much as possible’, you have to fight the shock of this not being the plan.
My biggest life change to date was my seemingly healthy and vivacious mum passing away when I was 23. A similar but far more longer lasting shock than that of a huge crash. Mentally people ask me how i came back again and again from injury but for me mentally this was never a challenge because of how strong I found myself becoming after my mother dying.
Sometimes I think it is better to not know when your life is going to change. You live and enjoy the present so much more when you don’t know what is going to happen in your future.
In 70 days my life is going to change beyond my wildest dreams.
For 23 years I was Chemmy the Ski Racer.
For 2 years I have been Chemmy the Coach, business woman, motivational speaker and BBC Ski Sunday Presenter.
And in around 10 weeks I will be Chemmy the mother.
Physically, obviously, with my large rounded belly, this change has been building for some time. For around 8 months give or take, you are acutely aware that your life is about to change for ever. How do you as a first time mother and father prepare for this?
I may sound selfish - but I don’t want to lose my identity - I want to build on the person I was and the person I am now. I want to give all my heart to our baby knowing that I am the mother but also maintaining who I am too.
Sometimes in the last few months - as I set courses high up the mountain in NZ for the athletes I coach and spend hours on the hill giving radio feedback and comments, it comes as a shock to look down at the end of the day to see this incredible feat of nature developing inside me. I feel amazed at all the things I can still do whilst growing another little human.
I know I have been lucky during this pregnancy. Many friends of mine didn’t have to rely on the ever developing visual roundness of their tummy to remind them of their impending motherhood. They knew from the hours spent staring uncomfortably down the barrel of a toilet whilst their nausea took over.
I find myself stroking my tummy all the time - as I type away in the office every day it is hard to ignore now as it almost hangs over the space bar on my laptop! Others tell me the baby is already going to be a vivacious soul as it rests peacefully all day but keeps me awake dancing all night. (But being a first time mum I am actually quite joyful when I feel all the midnightly movements reminding me that our baby is healthy and active)
I have no clue how we will sustain our lives. Already so busy with rarely a time for us as a couple (any of you who run a business with your other half know what i mean) I wonder regularly how we will cope with a baby. But cope and excel we will, if with far more wrinkles and bags under our tired eyes!!!
I have always loved a challenge. And I know deep down that nothing I have ever faced will prepare me for being a mother. This time, however, the unknown excites and thrills me and I can’t wait to meet our mini us - Chougie!
I leave you with how I started - as Dougie and I prepare to join a world unknown to us, I feel this quote is rather apt:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. Donald Rumsfeld