I have always struggled with my weight. I am not as active as I should be, but even as a competitive swimmer, I was obese. This made me very hesitant to join Hike It Baby and get out. As the only child of a single mother, I grew up being told that I was stupid and a failure. Then I married an alcoholic and believed the lies that he told me, despite giving birth to two beautiful girls that mean the world to me. When my husband struck me in the head, we left him for a new life and in the process of starting over, we found a great man, Bob, and added him and eventually Anabella to our lives.
As I was learning to babywear Bella, Hike It Baby Anchorage was discussed in a post in our local babywearing group. The motto of “No Mama Left Behind!” really resonated with me. It took about a month of seeing the awesome hikes posted before I joined a hike – Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood. I am sure that it was an epic failure, as every few minutes my girls wanted to stop for a snack. They had never really been hiking, and it had been about 15 years since I had been on one, but it really wasn’t a deal breaker for HIB or for me.
Hike It Baby has given me a way to get out and about when I can fit it into our busy schedule. My husband Bob has a bad back from his time in the military so walking is hard for him, but the rest of us now get out when we can. We are always welcomed when we join a hike. Currently I have finished Week 3 of the Couch to 5K program, the longest I have ever stuck with any kind of exercise program since high school, and know that it is the Hike It Baby Anchorage families that keep me going in my workouts.
I absolutely plan to finish this program but even if I don’t get any faster, I know that we won’t be discouraged from joining any events. We have been slowly becoming more active, and have started leading some toddler walks with playground time. My girls now ask if we are going on a hike almost every time we get in the van. That girl who was always told she was a failure completed a 5 mile walk this summer with my 15 month old in the Tula on my back. It took us about 2 ½ hours, but we finished; which I definitely doubted might happen at the starting line. I am always proud to tell others about Hike It Baby as it has added so much to our lives.
What obstacles have you overcome either to hike or by hiking? Share in the comments below or via this form.
Kimberly Santagata is a 35 year old mother of three girls, Emily 10 ½, Maddison 8 ½, and Anabella 17 months, and wife to Bob. She was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and is currently a student at UAA studying Early Childhood Education.