Rachel Briggs on Navigating Climbing as a Mother
Date: October 23rd, 2019
About Rachel Briggs
Rachel Briggs is a British climber who has two children and runs a business called Rock Tots, where she teaches children to climb. I wanted to talk to Rachel because there are a lot of women climbers out there who are moms themselves, and they’re wondering how to continue to climb successfully after having kids. There are also those women who are going to be mothers some day and they’re wondering how pregnancy, birth, and childcare will affect their climbing. Rachel has done public speaking on these topics, and she’s been really successful with her own climbing, having sent harder climbs after her pregnancies than she ever did before having children. She’s currently projecting a V11 / 8a boulder!
We go into some nitty gritty details about how pregnancy changed her body (temporarily and permanently), how she managed her time and health so that she could climb starting 5 weeks after her births, and how she’s integrated climbing into the fabric of her family’s life together.
We also talk about some super creative ways to keep children happy at climbing areas, how to make climbing fun for them so it’s something they want to do with you, and why bouldering is so much easier for her family than rope climbing.
Rachel has over 20 years’ climbing and bouldering experience and holds both climbing instructor and coaching qualifications in the UK, and she used to be a teacher. When she had her children, she chose to stop teaching and open Rock Tots so she could have more time with her kids and teach other children the joys of climbing. This story is not only about how Rachel has continued to climb after having children, but also about building a successful business from a desire to have more freedom and flexibility.
Please share this interview with any mothers or mothers-to-be that might benefit from this! Fathers are of course invited to listen to this – I’m just emphasizing mothers here because we talk about the physical aspects of parenting that only mothers experience.
Rachel Briggs Interview Details
- How her body changed after her pregnancies
- How long it took her to heal from her births
- How to be careful with ab muscles after birth
- When she started climbing again after pregnancy
- How she got her body working “normally” again
- How sleeping less affected her physically and mentally
- How she and her husband prioritize child-free climbing sessions
- Her positive attitude about the permanent changes to her body
- How long into her pregnancies she climbed
- Why she quit her job as a teacher and started a climbing company
- How she gets her kids excited about going climbing
- How she keeps her kids busy and happy at climbing areas
- How to feel less lonely as a new mom or pregnant mom
Rachel Briggs Links
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Photo by Iain Brown @iainclimbs of Rachel on her V11 / 8a project, Back Street Mime Artist.