Beginning this month we are featuring your stories! Members are sharing their Hike it Baby stories and how being a part of Hike it Baby has encouraged them to get outside. Please send your stories for consideration to: editor@hikeitbaby.com.

Member: Alison Frazzetta
Branch: Hike it Baby Augusta (Georgia)

20140819_115316I am a 44-year-old stay-at-home-mom to (almost) three-year-old Gwendolyn.

I first found Hike it Baby when I lived in Massachusetts. I wasn’t very active with the group as they typically met farther from me than I wanted to travel in Boston area traffic. A group was started in North Dartmouth (easier to get to), but it had not been active while I was there.

When my husband and I decided to move to Georgia, one of the first things I did was look for a babywearing group and Hike it Baby.

We arrived here in mid-July, the beginning of hottest part of the year and the group wasn’t very active at that point. We were still living in a hotel suite waiting for the closing on our house when I joined HiB Augusta on their September [HiB30] Challenge Kick-Off hike on September 1st and I made some instant friends! Because we lived in a condo and had no outdoor space that was our own, getting out and playing with Hike it Baby meant I knew we had someplace to go. Not knowing the area, I was pretty resistant to going out alone with a baby. With HiB, I was able to get outside and find trails/places to play with others. It just felt safer. Now that I am more familiar with the area, I’ve submitted and hosted my first hike.

I have never been athletic. With my older children (now 25 and 22), we lived in a rural area and they just played outside! Before this baby, I’d get out and walk occasionally, but not near as much as I should. Now I am more comfortable getting out hiking.  Since I don’t like to go out alone, I find once I know a trail and know it looks safe, I am more apt to go out with just the toddler. My husband does join us when he’s available, but HiB gets us out during the week when I am solo.

We’ve gone on trails I never would have known about without this group. And again, having people to explore new areas with is important since I would not go out alone with my child and just try something without that support.

Getting outside shows my daughter that we can try new things and that I want to be active with her. I want her to want to get outside and take me with her!

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Another part that’s been important for me with Hike it Baby is making new friends. I find this a little bit scary! I had an amazing mama tribe before I moved. We were part of a local breastfeeding support group and had children about the same age. Going there the first time was frightening, but we went every week and I have lifelong friends from that. After moving, though we still breastfeed, there wasn’t a group I fit into here since most are geared towards new moms and not extended nursers, and the idea of going into another mom’s club was terrifying. Meeting friends through HiB is easier because you are not sitting face to face with people you don’t know. You chat as you walk and find common ground. I guess, like with the breastfeeding group, there is a more narrow purpose that brings us together to build upon and not just a group of women with children.

We hiked several times during the September Challenge, but haven’t done much until this January Challenge. Besides wanting to get my daughter outside more, she needs the social interaction (I’m not sending her to preschool) and I need the exercise. Living in the South means that the winter is much easier to get out in!

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Recently I decided to host a few hikes because I like the trail and it is close to home for me. Also, if I host it, I HAVE to show up!

Editors note: Thank you, Alison, for sharing your story. One of the things that is so important to our organization is creating a safe space through our website login so members know that when they join a hike, the host is part of the community. Hike it Baby is an all-inclusive group that gets all families on trails and out in nature. Working parents, SAHM&D, caregivers, grandparents and nannies. We hope to see you out soon! If you want to share your story please send to editor@hikeitbaby.com with photos.  

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