Breastfeeding and Bicycling: An unlikely pair

I think it can takes months or even years to become something.  The only titles that I felt I really earned in a moment’s time were that of Wife and Mother.  All the rest of the things I think I am have taken years of careful consideration and work to earn.

I am a BreastFeeding Advocate, a Lactivist, if you will.  I learned everything I could about breastfeeding when Emily was little.  I nursed in public.  I helped my girlfriends find resources they needed to succeed in their own nursing relationships.  I spoke honestly about my own nursing relationship in order to bring the mysteries of a nursing dyad in to the light.  I did all of these things for years before I really thought I was any kind of Breastfeeding Advocate.  And if I am honest I am still not sure I have earned my stripes as a “Lactivist” in spite of the fact that I don’t  know anyone in real life that hasn’t seen me nursing one of my kids over the last seven years.

I am an Athlete.  It has taken me some time to define myself this way.  I go to the gym six days a week.  I work hard.  I’m not that girl that is sitting pretty at the smoothie bar.  I have fallen prey to the matchy-matchy gym gear because it makes me feel good but it doesn’t keep me from busting ass.  In the last few months I have found my sport.  A gym rat goes to the gym to stay fit, to see and be seen.  But an Athlete, an athlete goes to the gym to get stronger, faster, harder so that they can kick more ass at their sport.

Not everyone gets to combine their passions.  But I have hit the jackpot.

Best for Babes.  Their mission is a simple one: “to change the cultural perception of breastfeeding and beat the breastfeeding booby traps – the cultural, institutional and legal barriers that prevent parents form making informed decisions and that prevent moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals (whether that’s 2 days, 2 months or 2 years) without judgement, pressure or guilt.”

Isn’t that what we deserve?  As a woman, as an advocate for breastfeeding, as an advocate for children it really is that simple.  Informed decisions and the freedom and resources to achieve our goals…. that is exactly what I have wanted all these years.  And the magic of the Internet (and a little extra magic from Amy West) delivered Best for Babes to my digital door.  I found my cause years ago when Em was small but in Best for Babes I have found an organization that is so in line with my ideals that I couldn’t not get involved. 

Lactivist.  Athlete. What does this have to do with being an Athlete?  You’re looking at Best for Babes new Team BfB Team Coordinator.  (Well, actually you are looking at her boob while she changes her big kid’s bicycle tire and nurses her little kid.)

Team BfB is the fitness arm  of Best for Babes.  Run, swim, cycle, tri, pogo-stick – do what you do and raise awareness of and help beat the breastfeeding booby traps.  And what will I be coordinating?  I am not entirely sure yet.  But I know I am PSYCHED.

So, why race for Team Best for babes?  Why not fight cancer with Team in Training or Livestrong? I could stumble around to find the words but my words won’t be as powerful as BfB’s co-founder Danielle Rigg’s.  Her blog post – My Breast Cancer: Why I won’t Race for the Cure gave me the language I had been searching for.  “But in an era when premenopausal breast cancer, including pregnancy onset breast cancer, as well as many other serious diseases, are on the rise, it is simply unacceptable to me to push the “the cure”  without at least an equal emphasis on PREVENTION.”

She’s right.  In a perfect world I want prevention, not a cure.  I don’t want more women to fight cancer, I want more women to not have it all.  Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in mothers and in their breastfed daughters.  Danielle’s story is a moving one.  Her diagnosis with bilateral breast cancer after nursing two kids for a combined 44 months certainly provides evidence that breastfeeding alone is no sure way to beat the cancer odds. But it’s a start.

So.  Kelly.  Wife.  Mother.  Breastfeeding Advocate.  Athlete.  Team BfB Team Coordinator.  I added a new title this week.  I’m keeping busy.  I am starting to see a path for the next few years. I like it.

And you?  How do you play in to this?  This is when I hit you up for support.  You knew it was coming.  Click through to my team page to see my sweaty face and support my triathlon endeavors in August.  I can’t be the Team Captain and not raise a single dime.  Please?

20130515-140234.jpgIt’s not easy to learn the ropes of a new sport and still get my mom on.  But multi-tasking is where I really excel.  It’s no shock that I am digging on the multi-sports.

Emily’s relentless love of skidding out on her bike finally blew out her tire.  I knew it was just a matter of time before I’d have to learn how to change a tire. And I am not sure what sounds more troublesome – change a tire on my bike during a ride with friends on the side of the road somewhere or change Emily’s tire on my front porch while my boobie monster of a “baby” demands my attention.  Changing that tire on the side of the road is looking a lot easier.

Thanks in advance for your support during this new endeavor.  I’m excited.  You should be, too. Boobs!  Athleticism! Girl Power!  You must be in to at least one of them if you keep hanging around here.

10 responses to “Breastfeeding and Bicycling: An unlikely pair

  1. Yay boobies!! And yay for finding a path!! I swear you get more awesome by the day.

  2. Kelly you should become a lactation specialists. You would be fantastic. And it pays good money too.

  3. Love the Girl Power for sure!!!! Love that you can change a friggin tire!! ha…AND FEED A BABY AT THE SAME TIME. TAKE THAT WORLD.

  4. You rock. So excited for you.

  5. Donated! I feel very passionate about both of these issues as well. I’d run/bike/swim/whatever with you if I could. Go Kelly’s team! :)

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