Moms of Athletic Brewing: Kaylin Richardson
Here at Athletic Brewing, we are always amazed at what moms are capable of doing, and we just want to say to all the moms out there: You are all Super Moms.
More and more women are making the choice to be both mothers and athletes, and for good reason. Exercise is good for both mom and baby, and is great for mental and physical health. Moms shouldn’t feel like they have to make a choice between participating in their favorite sports and being a mom. They should be able to continue doing what they love, cultivate that passion, and use it to set an example for their children.
We got the chance to catch up with one of our Athletic Brewing athletes, Kaylin Richardson, about what it’s like to be a mom as well as an elite athlete. Kaylin has an impressive resume - two-time Olympian in alpine racing, four time national champion, and professional big mountain skier. She’s made nine appearances in Warren Miller ski movies over the years, and just last summer Kaylin became a mother.
She never even considered letting go of the part of her identity as an extreme skier. Kaylin explains that while her daughter always comes first, skiing does not come last. “It’s not that my priorities changed,” she says, “I’ve just added more priorities, is the best way to explain it, because I still am very invested and I have goals that I want to achieve as a skier.”
One example of this is how Kaylin can rarely accept her friends' invitations to ski powder days when they call the night before at 10pm. Those kinds of spur-of-the-moment outings are few and far between for now. “It doesn't even bum me out,” she says. “I wake up on those powder days and I play with my daughter in the snow and I get to see her marvel in it. I don’t have that moment of regret or fear of missing out. I’m psyched for my friends who are out there, but seeing her discover the snow is just as, if not more, exciting to me as an epic powder day.”
One of the reasons Kaylin can be completely present with her daughter in these scenarios is because she allows herself the space and time to do the activity she loves. “It's not like I gave up one for the other. I'm just not willing to give up these fleeting moments [with my daughter] because I can already tell how she will grow up so fast, but I will continue to cultivate myself and my profession and my passions.”
Kaylin’s story isn’t uncommon. More female athletes are choosing to continue their athletic career as well as choosing motherhood, like professional volleyball player, Falyn Fonoimoana, and tennis superstar Serena Williams.
When asked if she was nervous about how being a mom would affect her athletic career, Kaylin described that she did feel a little trepidation. “I was very cognizant of having a plan before I even broached the subject with my sponsors and with the people in my life. There's been a huge movement for women in sports and that's amazing and so necessary and needed and overdue.”
Throughout the history of women’s sports many ladies would either put off having kids in order to accomplish their athletic goals, try to hide their pregnancies for as long as possible and return to their sport immediately, or they would just retire. In the world of elite running, there are well-documented cases of women having their contracts terminated or paused without pay while they were unable to compete because they were pregnant or recovering from childbirth. Since those stories have been shared, that dialogue has changed drastically and female athletes are starting to be being given more grace and benefits in their decisions to become mothers.
Many women are also often concerned about their ability to return to sport, or to return and still be competitive. Athleticism and strength can be used before, during and after pregnancy, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does recommend exercise for pregnant women.
Kaylin believes that her fitness prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy aided tremendously in her ability to jump back into skiing. “I was even still jogging a bit well into my third trimester… I mean, I wasn't sprinting, I was still kind of waddling, but I stayed really active. I still would lift weights. I knew that if I kept a certain amount of strength it was better for the actual delivery, and also postnatal. Recovery [from childbirth] is intense and I knew I would recover faster if I stayed in shape.”
Getting back to her sport meant taking things slowly, and learning how to balance the responsibilities of motherhood and her sport. Kalin gave birth last June, but didn’t start training hard again until the fall. “I started back in the weight room more seriously in September,” she says. “Athletic Brewing was very helpful with that, being a mom and nursing and also training. The thing about being a parent is that your time becomes such a precious commodity. I don't go out and drink because I have to be up early no matter what. But now I have this amazing beverage that tastes so good that doesn't have any of the negative effects of a regular beer, and it has been such a gift. I can sit out on my deck in the sun and have one or two Upside Dawns and not have to be worried about getting a headache later or nursing.”
The biggest takeaway from Kaylin’s story that she wants moms and prospective moms to know is that it’s worth it; the juggling, the schedules, the time with your kids as well as the time spent doing your sport. “You're the mom, you call the shots. You call the shots and you can create the life you want,” she says. “It takes some planning and takes some thought and some work, but it's totally doable and it's so rewarding. There will be sacrifices on both sides and that's okay. That's life. And that's what makes it so magical and real and worth it.”
The continuation of pursuing your passions and dreams sets an example for your kids. “I still have to live my life, and I definitely want to set an example. I’m a strong woman who continues to pursue my passions, but I also want to see my daughter become a woman who pursues her passions,” says Kaylin.
Kids learn more from your actions than what you say, and the higher you raise yourself, the higher your kids will be able to raise themselves.