In the Last Pitch section of the new Climbing Zine, there’s a great, sentimental piece, written by Mallory Logan. Titled “The Mom Crux” Logan waxes philosophically about the parallels between climbing and motherhood.
She writes, “Wide-eyed and confident you step into the unknown to find your own way. Whether on lead or cradling a precious babe in your arms, balancing your life as a loving mama who still craves the send will always require a new approach.”
Yes, the crew who creates The Climbing Zine is entering our thirties and more and more friends are having kids. That does not mean we’re not still crushing though. Here’s some insight into the mind of Lindsey Schauer, who just gave birth to her first child. Schauer is one of the Black Canyon’s most prolific female climbers of all time, and she kindly answered five questions from us, while taking a break from breast feeding and crushing.
CZ: How long did you climb up until giving birth to your daughter, Persie?
LS: I climbed quite a bit while I was pregnant. I got pregnant during the peak of Black Canyon season when I was feeling my strongest. I thought I’d just make it through the fall desert season and then call it quits for a bit. Then when fall turned to winter I remembered how much I love ice climbing and had to get through that season too! (I did my birthday challenge and won an ice comp to boot!) So then I thought I’d just take a break during the spring. Well, still feeling good I just continued right on into spring rock season. I toned it back quite a bit by then but still managed to make it all the way to five days before labor. I advise to let the mother to be to make the choice, not to listen to what you ‘should do.’ Intuition is heightened during pregnancy and I always knew when it was too much. When you are doing an activity that is part of your everyday life, you shouldn’t avoid it out of fear. I was lucky to have had good health throughout my pregnancy so there was no reasons or signs to stop doing what I love.
CZ:How did your climbing change once you were pregnant? At what point did you start using the full body harness?
LS: The first change I noticed was in my head. I think realizing this was real took up most of my brain. When I started noticing physical changes; my sports bras didn’t fit, my harness was a little snug and I was peeing all the time, everything started to get real and I decided whippers were probably irresponsible. Then I switched into mellow leads and top-roping. At about 5 months I was feeling a little crowded in my harness and didn’t want to squish the baby so I wore a full body harness. Game changer! I kept it to 90% toproping but once in a while I’d get the bug to plug so I’d lead a pitch. Full body harness saved my sanity during my pregnancy.
CZ: What has it been like getting back to climbing (after giving birth)?
LS: Getting back into it has been a challenge. Balancing this precious time with my new baby girl and keeping a little piece of me is a task. I manage to get out a bit, very short spurts of time but any little bit feels fantastic. The long birth kind of depleted me, so getting my strength back has taken some time. It’s only been 5 weeks though so I am still in recovery mode and taking it pretty easy. I know it will only get easier as my body remembers what it all feels like. I really appreciate my personal time now and there’s only room for positivity in my climbing. Life is too short to take seriously so you may as well enjoy it all.
CZ: Can you tell us about your perspective on climbing now?
LS: I don’t want to take one pitch for granted because the precious moments while my little girl is asleep and someone is available to keep an eye on her while I squeak in a pitch, are few these days.
CZ: Anything else?
LS: I totally look forward to the day when I can share the joy I have for climbing with Persie. Hopefully she’ll be my rope gun someday (no pressure though 🙂 )
About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.