News flash: becoming a new mother is a gamechanger.
It’s basically a superpower to balance the health and happiness of two lives instead of one. Some superheroes make it look easy, and Burton Team Rider/new mom Kimmy Fasani is one of them. As a professional athlete, Kimmy has stayed active and busy her whole adult life. She’s used to being constantly on the go, but newborns come with their own schedule. While at home acclimating to life with baby Koa, Kimmy filled us in on her growing family, sharing your passions, and the importance of being present.
Tell us a little about life with baby Koa.
Being a new mom, I have learned that taking one day at a time and being present is really important. If Koa sleeps well at night, we can have a big adventure the next day: we go hiking, walking, splitboarding, or he’ll hang out at the rock climbing crag with us. However, if he is going through a growth spurt or if we are up for multiple feedings at night, we take it easy the next day to avoid lots of stimulation. We nap, go on a walk, and have a more mellow schedule. At eight weeks old, he’s laughing and his little personality is starting to show.
Between backcountry snowboarding, hiking, climbing, and triathlons, you’re always moving – What has changed since having a baby?
Since I was able to stay active while pregnant, the biggest difference now has been giving myself time to recover from having an unexpected C-section. Letting my body heal and spending the downtime bonding with Koa has been really special.
Now that I am feeling more able to get active, Chris [Benchetler, my husband] and I are balancing our time so that we can both do what we love. And honestly, I am enjoying every second of learning to be active with Koa attached to me. We make it a priority to get outside for some kind of activity every day. We are all heading down to Southern California soon to start working out with my trainer at B Project in Carlsbad before my next triathlon. Every walk, hike, and little adventure gets us closer to being strong.
What do you see as your biggest challenge in caring for a newborn while maintaining a career as a professional athlete?
Honestly, all of my sponsors have been so supportive of us. I don’t feel pressure to do much more than adapt to our new life with a baby. Even when it’s challenging, having a newborn is just a new beautiful experience of life and I’m trying to treat it that way and remain present through it all. Since he’s still so young and I’ve been able to do so much already, I feel lucky and so appreciative of this new journey. Once I feel strong again, I will be back on my board… and we will be spending all of August down in New Zealand so that I can get back out there.
Honestly, I am enjoying every second of learning to be active with Koa attached to me. We make it a priority to get outside for some kind of activity every day.
Goals for the next month? The next year?
Our current plans are to focus on getting me back in shape and then we’re planning a surf trip to Costa Rica in June and then snowboarding in New Zealand in August.
Our long-term goals are to introduce Koa to all the places we love. We will head to Japan in January, and Chris and I will spend the next two years filming a project together. We have both done so much individually in our careers that we are looking forward to doing a film project together, while also having Koa with us for the journey.
What's the one message you'd like to share with new or prospective parents out there?
Every pregnancy and each baby is different, so there’s not one set of rules women should follow. I was able to embrace my changing body through pregnancy and adapt to activities that felt good throughout the nine months. And now having a baby, I am so appreciative of how active I was, because I notice my strength is coming back quickly. Plus, remaining active while having a newborn has kept my body feeling good and my head clear. Women’s bodies are resilient and they are designed to have babies and also be active.
I also think it’s important not to do too much comparing to our lives prior to having a baby. My love and passion for the mountains isn’t going to change, it’s just going to look different. I will get back to riding Japan, the Mammoth Lakes backcountry, and Alaska again, but it’s all in due time. I’ve had lots of independent successes and now my story is going to be about how I get to include Koa on my adventures. There’s no rush!
What values do you hope to instill in Koa and how do you plan to go about that?
We just hope that by raising Koa in the mountains, he learns to appreciate his surroundings. Our hope is for him to develop a long-lasting relationship with the outdoors.
What do you think Koa’s first word will be?
It will probably be “daddy”… he loves Chris so much already! ∆
Photos by Chris Benchetler. All photo captions by Kimmy.