Having kids for the ultra adventurous and active
My wife and I are planning and are really excited to have kids. At the same time, i love being very active and traveling. In the last year I've bike Moab, fruita, Pisgah, Oregon, hiked grand canyon, rocky mountain NP, kayaked channel islands - each was incredible! I'm sure I'll stay active but nothing even remotely close to what I've been doing which is somewhat concerning. I think I may and am hoping to have a paradigm shift where a trip to Moab doesn't seem as exciting after becoming a parent.
When you had kids, did your mindset change? How much less riding/whatever else did you do? How did you stay active especially with infants?
My wife and I's whole life revolved around surfing and rock climbing when she got unexpectedly pregnant. We said that we weren't going to let it slow us down. Baby is going to adventure too.
We were wrong. Our priorities totally changed. Our daughter became the top priority and frankly, especially during the first four months, we were totally and unendingly exhausted. I was still able to get out, but it was more a mental break from work and home than really getting out there and pushing any kind of limits. In fact, I reeled in the risk factor a lot because I didn't want to leave a fatherless kid behind. (I used to free solo a fair bit.)
By age four, we were pretty much back out in the outdoors as much as before, just with modifications to our activities to accommodate her. Now that she's nine, she's the third person on the adventure team. She loves surfing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and has made it explicitly clear that she hates rock climbing.
I jogged, biked, hiked, fished, etc. before marriage and kids. Got married, and had my first daughter. Bought a nice jogging stroller / bike trailed, and pulled it on the rail trail. Twice the workout pulling 40lbs behind you. Also jogged pushing it, and with my two dogs running alongside on leashes. The big wheeled stroller would even go down rougher trails where I used to hike my dogs back to swim in a lake. Mountainbiking is really the only activity I kinda slowed down on... until a couple years ago. Now I have a 6 and 9 year old girls who go on shorter rides with me.
Yes my mindset changed when I became a dad. You think you know, but you have no idea. Nobody can explain it for you, it's just something you have to experience yourself. Being a parent is the most challenging and rewarding thing you'll likely ever do. My kids are now 6 & 8, I'm truly enjoying teaching them and watching them develop their personalities and skill sets.
You should be prepared for them to become the center of your daily life. People who aren't willing to do that raise miserable kids who then become miserable adults. Thats my opinion not saying you are going to do that.
All that said its also very important for you and your wife to have your own time too. Grandma's love to help here Best advice I can give you is to offer to help share the load especially in the first few months. Things like let her sleep in on weekends or take watch so she can go do something of her choosing. This is something I didn't learn untill our 2nd kid. Wish someone would have told me that one.
Kids grow fast and it already seems like a life time ago that I was walking around like a zombie and wipin butts with my eyes closed. Now I'm coaching their baseball teams, going camping, riding bikes and doing many other activities with them. We take time for ourselves but we also find fun things to do as a family. These are the memories a kid will always cherish. Strive to create as many as you can.
I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!
Maybe for the first little while.
Originally Posted by bank5
But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Just give them a few years..
My actual drop in physical activity was more like a blip then a paradigm shift. For a very short while I was running with them when they were riding. Now I need my bike to keep up.
Admittedly, epic back-country camping trips etc have fallen off since we had the kids, but that has more to do with us than them... if it was up to my kids, they would probably sleep in a tent somewhere all summer.
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Good feedback and responses. I do plan to buy jogging strollers, bike strollers and a hiking child carrying backpack. Let me know if you have any recommendations. I know those can get pretty pricey, so I suppose I should wait to buy any new bike gear.
I'm currently somewhat addicted to biking and once I have kids my mountain biking will probably peak in terms of fitness, skill, confidence, feel, etc. That will probably seem very small in comparison though.
My wife went to mom-to-mom sales was able to pick up a few different kid carriers/backpacks and a bike trailer for less than just one of those things would be band new. The parents buy them, use them once and find out its not their thing and just sell them for a steal. My daughter is just over a year now and she is just big enough to ride in the bike trailer. Its certainly different than riding on the trails but I can't say I miss the trails when I get to spend time with her.
Having two kids did curb down all activities quite a bit. Yesterday, little one turned 4, and it is getting back to the point when we can have some fun together - and let me have some time out. But I was taking him out for bike rides since he was 11 month, same with my older daughter. iBert seat is quite nice for that - now Weehoo trailer.
Yes, kids will slow you down a little. But the time goes quickly and soon enough you can do lots of cool activities with them. If you think you get joy from your own rides, wait until that light sparks in your kids’ when s/he’s out on an adventure with you. Priceless.
Check out some of the nice videos in this forum of kids tearing it up on the trails and you’ll see it won’t be that long before you’re back in the saddle. I still get my own rides in, of course, and I’m a runner, too, which is a bit more flexible as I can do it at night after the kids are in bed and my parental duties are done. But I’m actually in better shape today with two kids than when I didn’t have any. In between, there were definitely some lulls and some doughy buildup, but that’s how it goes.
My daughter (6) is very active and getting more and more interested in biking. Haven’t taken her on the trails yet, but we use bikes as transportation all over the hood. My son (12) is more into biking and just started with his school’s road biking program. He’s not the most coordinated kid on the block and he’s unlikely to win any competitions, but if he’s enjoying it and its something he can continue to do as he gets older to stay in shape and be sane, I’m super happy for him. And its something we can do together! (he also has a mtn bike)
We’ve taken our kids camping since they were a few months old. This summer went to Belize and went hiking, snorkeling, canoeing, tubing, etc. It was great for everyone. So, adventure sports are no problem for kids if you are smart about it.
Parenting is a portal. Once you walk through, you can’t go back again. My wife often asks me “remember back before we had kids?” and I always say “no, not really…” Yes, your whole life will change. But somehow, you will still be the same. Its complicated, but once you get to the other side, it will all make sense. We’ll see you there…
You are going to have to set helping your wife as the number one priority. If momma aint happy, aint nobady happy! You will have plenty of time to do the other stuff as well, even if you do that. It'll all fall into place. With three young kids, one summer I got in 81 days of white water kayaking. My youngest son is now 21 and I've spent a huge amount of time doing these things with my kids. Be patient with them and they'll still play with you into your old age. I'm 60, now. I'd write more, but my 21 year old (home from college) is waiting for me to go on a mountain bike ride....see ya!
local bike dr.
So true, becoming a parent is a life-changing event. Single greatest moment of my entire life when my first son was born!
I never did the bike carrier bit, so mountain biking ended for me, but we loaded up the stroller, went for walks at about 6 months old. Around 9mo-1year they moved up to wagon rides. Started taking them to the beaches of lake michigan once they were 3 years old. At around 5 years old we started hiking at the dunes, going on camping trips. Age 6 or 7 they can cast well enough to out-fish grandpa, lol.... As they get older, there are more and more activities you can include them in, and each is another opportunity to share and bond with them.
My youngest is now 12, has transitioned from bmx to his first mountain bike, and is loving being able to shift gears, he's learning more about shifting weight in turns and bumps. I'm excited about teaching him trail riding this fall. My oldest was never as into biking as his little brother. Although he may yet get into trail riding once he hears how much fun it is from the younger brother. There's always been a "me too" factor... like when one boy asks for a snack, starts eating, then his brother walks in, sees his sibling eating, then asks "oooooh! can I have one, too?"
Having kids is a learning experience, itself. Each child has different natural abilities, learns in different way. And even when you think you know everything about what they will do or can do, they find a way to surprise you.
How did you stay active especially with infants?
Infants are easy, you can take them any where. It' the couple of years after that it gets harder.
Yes, infants are easy. Load them up and go.
Originally Posted by ser jameson
As children get older, it doesn't really have to get harder. At the toddler stage, kids want to do what their parents do, most of the time. I know mine do. As soon as I promised my kids (3 yr. old girl and 5 yr. old boy) new bikes for their birthdays, they couldn't wait to come riding with me. It wasn't even a factor of the new bikes, it was more that daddy was going to be taking them with him on rides.
Until your baby is big enough for something like the Weehoo, you're going to be doing quite a bit of hiking. I packed my daughter in a Deuter backpack carrier (Kid Comfort II) from 18 months until 3 years old when I discovered the Weehoo.
Spend good money on the stuff you are going to use with your kids. I've watched other parents melt down and give up on being active with their kids because they cheaped out on gear. I don't make a ton of money but the sacrifices I've made to buy quality gear to connect me to my kid have been worth every single penny.
Trips with your kids are exponentially better than any trip you've ever taken alone or as a couple. Your life will change and you'll struggle to adapt in the first year, but it flies by and your life will forever be better after kids.