This episode was recorded just days before Jasmin Paris raced the technically-challenging Glencoe Skyline race for the first time since becoming a mother, in bad weather and on weeks of interrupted sleep.
Jasmin ran up until the day her daughter was born and returned to the trails at a super easy pace a matter of weeks after giving birth, too. This is not to say all new mothers - athletes or not - should feel any pressure at all to get back at it soon after their babies are born, but Jasmin’s lifestyle seems as natural a fit for her as anything could be. It shines through that she loves being a mother more than anything, and is still as passionate about the fells and mountains. She is an inspirational example that traditional roles can be sidestepped and adventure is still possible with a baby in tow, and in our conversation she speaks openly and honesty about all of it. An approach so refreshing in a world of social norms, expectations and ‘shoulds’ for mothers.
After speaking to Jasmin, I’ve been thinking about my female circle and our identities. I’m not a mother and I can’t speak first hand experience of the challenges and changes motherhood brings but I was hugely inspired that it need not mean ditching the identities and interests that are important to us as women. We all have the right to design the family lives we truly want to be our best selves in the world, which I reckon in the long run can have a multiplier effect, inspiring others to do the same.
So a little more about Jasmin. She is a world-class mountain runner with spades of modesty and relatability, who has dominated in UK and international sky running, fell running and ultras for the past five years. Those into running will know about her record-breaking runs on the Bob Graham, Charlie Ramsay and Paddy Buckley rounds in 2016 and since then she’s placed sixth in the UTMB and won multiple races like Glencoe Skyline.
In our conversation we talk about her decision to become a mother, her pregnancy and labour, challenging convention of running as a pregnant woman and new mother and the specifics of how life has changed. This isn’t so much a conversation about Jasmin as an athlete or runner but more her approach to life and journey into motherhood. I’m grateful to Jasmin for squeezing this in to a crazy busy schedule and sharing her story, which I hope helps others think about conventions and maybe just get outdoors into the hills more.
If you’re wondering how Jasmin fared in the Glencoe Skyline this year, she finished second female just several seconds off the leader, feeling empowered and excited to be challenging at the front again.
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Show notes for Jasmin