My Doctor said I can’t ski…I said yeah right!

Don’t you just love it when people tell you what you can and cannot do?  Argh!  It’s completely infuriating and it’s been happening nonstop to me for the last several months.  See, I’m pregnant with baby #3 (a boy due in May) and EVERYONE seems to know what’s best for me.  
Even people who I barely know…

Like on my first Doctors appointment in the fall when I was talking with my doctor.  She’d just given me the run down on pregnancy (since after having 2 other kids, I must be totally clueless) and then as I was walking out, she said “oh and of course, no skiing or snowboarding”.  

I had to sit back down in my chair because I knew this would be a while “well that’s really not going to happen”  I told her.  She went on to explain the risks to me,  which basically where that if I were to fall, I could injure the baby.  I then went on to tell her that I’m a very competent skier and I would either be skiing black runs (where the likelyhood of someone else crashing into me is minimal) or I would be skiing beginner runs with few crowds with my kids.  Basically, we had to agree to disagree because neither one of us was really willing to budge.

This experience has made me think a lot about knowing my own limits.  I feel like I’m well aware of what I am capable of and also what I cannot do.  I know where my skills and abilities lie and also when I’ve reached the point that I need to stop pushing myself so hard.  

It is utterly frustrating when I see set rules that only take into account one aspect of a person’s life.  Seriously, pregnancy is a big one of these.  No skiing, no rides at the amusement park, no waterslides…the list could go on FOR…EV…ER.  The part that’s even more frustrating is that many of these activities set no limits on if I were to take an infant on them.

The same is true on the other side of the spectrum.  Just because someone says that you are allowed to do something, doesn’t mean that you should.  If you are a beginning skier, jumping off a cliff is not a smart move.  Sure, no one said that you can’t do it, but based on your abilities and skills, I’d argue that it might be a tad outside of your limits.

Risk and ability assessment are vital to adventure.  Life is full of risks.  Each of us have the right and responsibility to determine what risks are appropriate for us.  In my case, being aware of my skills and also being cautious of dangerous situations that may harm the baby are incredibly important.  However, that does not make me doomed to walk around the block as my only means of physical activity for the next 4 months.

This is equally important as we take our kids on adventures.  Knowing, what we can and cannot do within our own limits, is essential.  Pushing our limits too far, can easily create a disaster with our children being put at risk.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand perfectly why there are ‘rules’ about who can and cannot do something.  I’m just saying that along with there are some things that are “more like guidelines”, or exceptions to the rules based on ability, skill, and experience.  

I know my limits, so please, let me decide what I want to do.


  • braveskimom says:

    Well said! I especially like that you told her you’d be skiing black runs! Have fun!

  • shawna says:

    nice to hear you’re not giving it up! Nobody knows your boundaries better than you. And nobody has that motherly instinct of knowing what is or isn’t okay for that little shredder hitching a ride. Nice write up!

  • Kim C. says:

    That’s right!… A while ago I ran across climber Carrie Cooper’s blog. She climbed through her entire last pregnancy and had a few interviews about it. One of the things I liked that she said was that climbing is all about shifting weight, and because she was climbing before she was pregnant and throughout the beginning of her pregnancy she was about to focus on that and have more control. I liked this image more than the awkward pregnant lady image that is often portrayed. (Although, many things can get pretty awkward near the end with a big bump in front!) I think this could be applied to many other physical activities… Also, I think in many instances, doctors just have to cover their bases so they don’t have potential law suits. In most cases, a mother’s instinct is the best guideline to follow :)

    Congrats on having a little BOY on it’s way!!

  • Tanya Koob says:

    I had to have one of my hips replaced a couple years ago and was given a long list of things I was to never do again. Skiing of course was on the list. XC skiing, strangely enough, was ok. Obviously they don’t know the kind of XC skiing I do. I was also told I couldn’t do any modern dance, twisting, sudden direction changes, or jumping. I now do Zumba 3x/week which incorporates all of those things – pain free!! I’ve worked very hard to strengthen the muscles around my hip to ensure it’s not going to pop out or something. And I’m certainly not stupid enough to try raising my leg over my head in my yoga classes (something else I’m not supposed to be doing). As you said, we are each responsible for our own risk assessments and there are a lot of things I’m just not willing to give up in life in order to play it “safe!”

  • I had a similar experience! With my first baby, my own doctor knew we were avid skiers and said, “well have fun, just don’t impale yourself on a ski pole…” I liked his attitude about it, knowing the risks were minimal and I wasn’t going to do something crazy. The next visit I had a different doc who said, “It isn’t like you are going to do something stupid like ski, right?” I just smiled and nodded. I found it was better to beg forgiveness then ask permission.

    On a different note. I was at out climbing gym yesterday and saw a mom 8 months pregnant with a full body harness on still climbing. Rock on woman!

  • Emily says:

    I gave up biking during my first pregnancy, I only walked. My second pregnancy I wondered when I would ever bike again. My 3rd pregnancy I tossed it out the window – why would I just sit around in the hot weather or actually pile the kids into the car to drive 2 minutes to the waterpark? Why not just bike them over in the bike trailer? I realized that if I lowered the bike seat, at the slow pace I was going, there was no way I was going to fall off without being able to just put my feet down first! I got some funny looks being 7 months pregnant pulling a bike trailer with 2 kids in it…

  • Erin says:

    Oddly enough, my midwives had no problem with the idea of a month-long wilderness backpacking expedition while 5-6 months pregnant. I always thought that was probably because I live in Alaska. Outdoor adventure is just more normal here.

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