Chemmy Alcott: Mountain Mummy
2 weeks after giving birth I charged down a steep in the Dolomites and felt my right leg tracking away. Bracing my non existent core muscles I knew I was lucky to pull it back. So many people told me I was mad to be working so soon after labour, let alone trying to ski.
Panicking about having a baby brain, no sleep and bursting boobs, I stood at the top of that Italian mountain, sandwiched between Ski Sunday’s Ed Leigh and Graham Bell hoping that I wouldn’t fluff my lines. I managed it in one take – amazing what you can do when you know you have to!!
And so in the blink of the eye the winter passed and as I sit here next to my snoring baby we celebrate the madness of what we have both achieved in the last 3 months…
His passport photo is horrendous and I know that in a few years I will be doing a lot of apologising! Just 3 days old with jaundice, we managed to take a really bad photo of our rather cute baby that he is going to use almost every week for 5 years!
But we didn’t have a choice. Locki, by 7 weeks old, had travelled to 9 countries.
The first time we tried to travel by plane I booked with EasyJet. Arguing with the staff that even though he was one day younger than two weeks old, today was actually his 14th day alive just so we could get to Cortina to interview Lindsey Vonn was definitely a low point. Thankfully BA take babies at 48 hours so the drama was sorted quickly.
Travelling with a new born to Italy is something I highly recommend – strangers flocked to see this gorgeous ‘piccolo bambino’ – at service station the pizza guys even pulled themselves away from the hot ash clay ovens to give him cuddles!!
The flights are something everyone new parents dreads. I think they are a dream. You feed on the way up and down to help clear their ears – they spend the rest of the time sleeping. They get presents (the best was Swiss air! – a toy and a branded dribble scarf) and you get so much extra luggage for the buggy and the car seat (which sneakily can be loaded up with ski boots!).
The first item we bought him in Europe to protect his wide, investigating, blue eyes were some cute baby sunglasses. Which he hates!
He also hasn’t loved the cold. That is slightly alarming bearing in mind what mummy and daddy do for a living but I am grasping onto this being just a phase. Also a phase (here is to hoping) is his obvious dislike of wind in his face. We have had amazing support all winter from various friends and family taking care of Locki whilst he sleeps all morning (midnight to midday – what a lad!). Upon returning to Italy for the racing, we found the race finished up the mountain. Understandably my athlete mummy babysitter wanted to watch their child race.
With no one to watch over him, strapping Locki to me for a short period of slow skiing and race inspection before the lifts were even open to tourists didn’t seem risky to me. He loved the movement of the chair – having spent a lot of his in tummy growing time whilst mummy coached on the mountain in NZ last summer this was something he was used to. Skiing down in the beautiful sunshine (very slowly may I add) to the start of the race however was less great! Oh well – we will persevere!
Having posted a photo of me skiing (just pushing on a flat – don’t panic) and skating behind my aptly named Mountain Buggy, I was then contacted to ask if I wanted some skis for said buggy! Thinking this was gimmicky for just me I laughed but no, apparently there is a demand and they do actually make skis for the wheels so that you can run on snow and even cross country ski behind the buggy – who knew??!
In many ways this winter has been a huge eye opener for us as a new family. We are proud of what we managed to achieve both personally and professionally. But next time we decide to have a baby we will again try to make sure he or she arrives in a warmer month!!!!