A post-partum cycling journey continued: Hear again from Juli
Many of you will remember Juli, who shared her cycling journey during pregnancy and post-partum with us over many months. Time passed by, so we checked in with Juli once more to hear how she manages to accommodate her new life with a mini human – bike rides with baby on board included.
Hi there, it’s me again, Juli. It’s been a while since my last article here on veloine.cc - so what happened? Well, life with a mini human happened. The third and fourth months with a baby are intense in many ways. Some people refer to the third month as the fourth trimester. As the mini human should have adjusted itself to being outside the womb and you should have adjusted to the new version of your life by now. It should be a turning point in the relationship of oneself with the mini human.
The only thing I realized is, that I will still need some time to achieve a symbiotic life with the mini human. Don’t get me wrong, this is not meant in a negative way. Getting to this point made me feel at ease with myself. Everything is a constant process due to constant change. Why or how should I think that there should be a point after which I will anticipate every action to come? That is unrealistic. It is far better to accept the fact that you cannot and will not foresee everything that will come up. But what you learn in these first three months is that you will be able to cope with everything that comes your way. You will do the job. Because women are insane. We are capable of things we would never have imagined. We are far more resilient than we think we are. At the end the turning point fraise fits in a different way.
Getting to this point came in quite handy when it came to the fourth month. The fourth month will turn the little human upside down. It will become a little terrorist. You will feel all the emotions from exhaustion to frustration and sadness, but also a deep feeling of love. If you read this and you are in this phase, stay strong. You will survive. You will get stronger. You will become a better version of yourself.
Now let’s talk cycling. During the third month I thought I could outsmart myself by buying a baby carrier. I thought I would be able to cycle whenever I want only with some added weight. First bummer came the moment I realized that it is far better to fix the carrier onto the cycle cross bike versus my roadbike. You will soon prefer the forest over crowded streets in an instant when pulling the mini human. So I took him onto his first bike tour. Cutting it short, we had a poo-accident. It was all over the carrier and over himself, although until that point, he sat there quietly. I am not saying he liked or enjoyed it though. The second time he started to look less skeptical and even slept a bit while the carrier gently rocked him during his sleep. I almost thought we would make it home without any incident. That thought came to soon. After some time he needed a snack. Needless to say that this smart little human used the break to get out of the carrier with no intension of returning into it. For me this meant to feed a crying baby in the middle of the forest until it fell asleep again. When he woke up during the last 10 min of the ride, he smiled. That made me smile, too, because I knew this was the association he needed to do this more often. Luckily this is exactly what happened. The next tour went down without any incident at all. Although the cycle cross is a good option to get on the bike it will never beat the feeling I get on a race bike. I like my cycle cross, but I just love my roadbike.
I have not been equally lucky with roadbike rides though. My usual ratio went down to one ride per week. At least on ride, I know. I used those rides to give it all I have. I even did a 125k ride, which was the longest since giving birth. It felt so good. I went with two friends and we kind of did the ‘tour of the longest ascends’. First, I thought they wanted to kill or break me with that, because I did not feel all too well at the beginning. But on the last long ascend my new stronger resilience took over and I got out of my saddle and overtook the boys to take the day’s QOM. It felt good to get out of my comfort zone and give it my all.
At the end I have to thank the experience of the third and fourth month with the mini human, because it made me mentally stronger than before. Even though I may only have one ride per week, I know I will still be able to put in everything and more.