15 WEEKS PREGNANT // Can'tpus

 The can'tpus elf hanging from the start holds  //  photo by  Claire Clifton Coles

The can'tpus elf hanging from the start holds  //  photo by Claire Clifton Coles

I've always been proud of my strict pull-up count (particularly because the number has always managed to stay at least one higher than my husband's count). My upper body is strong, I flew up the campus board on my first try and four years of flying trapeze lessons says I'm probably quite proficient at swinging around. I assumed I'd do well at B.I.F.F (Beastmasker International Footless Festival).

The very first problem delivered a giant sandbag – I couldn't do a single move! I'd like to offer the reason that I was being protective of my unborn child but I really did try and go for it. Supportive coaching from Leah Crane just embarrassed me further, I just couldn't campus.

The event was meant for festive fun – amongst reindeers, santas and presents, I was dressed up as a Christmas elf (which made the experience all the more humiliating and ridiculous) – but I found myself escaping to wipe away frustrated tears. Why couldn't I do it?! I wasn't that much bigger, I still felt strong, maybe I was a little tired from growing a mini person but I didn't think it should make that much difference.

Luckily, my climbing crew came to the rescue. Those just finding out I was pregnant came over to offer congratulations and to tell me how impressed they were I was continuing to climb. I had no time to scoff that in fact I was no longer able to climb because I was terrible, they were too busy saying how proud of me they were.

A valuable lesson – keep good people around you at all times. My climbing friends are the best!

Jen Slater