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Mum and Me – by Blacks Ambassadors

This Mother's Day we say bin the breakfast in bed, ditch the chocolates (well, ok, maybe chocolates are permissable) and take your mum TO the flowers rather than bringing them to her.

To back up our point, we asked some of our ambassadors to share memories of their time spent with their mum or as a mum in the outdoors. Clearly mums have a lot to answer for in the creation of adventurers.

~Sarah Roberts Polaroid

Mum was never the most outdoorsy character when I was younger; I think she created me by accident. She’s couldn’t really swim but she made sure I could before I could walk. She didn’t really like insects, but she let me collect worms, ladybirds and the odd slug. I never ever saw her go running, yet she had me run, swim and shoot competitively in triathlons for years. She would always get horrendously sea sick, still, we had a boat growing up. She was suffered with a bit of claustrophobia and hated deep water, however she enrolled me in scuba diving courses from the age of 12. And she’s terrified of sharks, yet she ended up with an animal behaviourist (with a shark bite scar) as a daughter.

 

One of the earliest memories of my Mum in the outdoors is at a place called Pordenack Point, near Lands End in Cornwall. It’s a high cliff that looks out over the awesome crashing waves. I remember my dad excitedly taking me and my brother right to the edge to look down. I must have been about four years old at the time. That was the first time I realised that my mum DID NOT like heights. Unfortunately, it was also the same time I decided that I quite enjoyed pushing both her and my own boundaries. Sorry Mum!

 

We lost Dad shortly after I graduated from University. After years of pushing me outside her limits, this amazing woman decided it was finally time to push herself. I’ve since watched in awe as my mum solo travelled to Australia and New Zealand, explored the US, Canada and Niagara Falls. Currently she's planning her next trip to the Grand Canyon. I’ve always been attracted to the things that scare me, but I’ve never realised until now, that it's all my mum’s fault! Thank you mum for showing me that comfort limits are made to be broken and inspiring me throughout my life (even though you probably didn’t realise what you we’re doing it at the time!). Mums really are the best!

Sarah Roberts and Mum

 

~Ellie Lacey Polaroid

Ellie Lacey and baby

This Mother's Day will be my very first one as a mum! And so it is extra special to get to share one of our brand new memories with you - when I introduced baby Otto to a big, active part of his mummy’s life.

From very early on I’ve packed Otto, now three months, into his sling and headed out for walks in the countryside. We’ve already had snow, hail, incredibly strong wind (both the weather and in the nappy) and so when that freak sunshine hit last month, we wanted to make the most of it...so we went big!

BB (before baby), I ran a lot and adored fell racing. I thought it would be fun to show Otto a little slice of it. Sling-bound we walked the seven-mile route of one of my favourite local fell races, with views reaching across Cardiff all the way to the sea. I loved seeing him peep over the top of the sling, I wondered what he must think of that huge expanse of sky and all that green grass.

I was expecting to feel a touch demoralised struggling to walk the hills I’d raced up less than a year ago, my competitive streak on fire but, with Otto gurgling away and happily dribbling on me, I felt nothing but joy. It’s exciting to embark on a new way of being active with this little guy in tow. The pace is slower, but I see and take in so much more, plus there’s a gorgeous warm bundle, right next to my heart.

~Esmee Gummer Polaroid

I always love getting outdoors with my Mum because it reminds me of the good old days. Every morning, without fail, before I went to school and my Mum went to work, we would meet in the kitchen and go out for a 5K run alongside the canal near our house. The scenery was amazing and it felt so refreshing to start the day, especially with my Mum by my side. That was probably the start of everything i've done since.

 

Mum was an adventurer in her own right. My love of fitness, the outdoors and my resilience all come from her. Plus, there's no counting the amount of times I have gone home and ended up borrowing all of her walking clothes, boots, hats, gloves. I suppose that’s the beauty of being the same size in everything!

 

We still go down that same canal now for a walk; which usually ends very differently to how our runs did. By that, I mean we stop at the local pub by the sea front to enjoy a drink rather than getting out of breath. Regardless of what we do though, getting outdoors had always been one of my favourite ways to spend time with my mum.

Esmee and her Mum

From our ambassadors, and from all of us here at Blacks, we say a hearty THANKS MUM!

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Neil used to be a bookworm, an "indoor" type if ever there was one. After finishing a PhD he writes short stories about spooky places and odd people. Living in Switzerland, the Canadian Rockies and the north east region of the USA convinced him that there was something to be said for this whole outdoor thing. Now he runs everywhere he can, competing in races most weekends and endlessly planning the next great adventure to some far flung part of the world. Recent trips include Costa Rica, where he tried and failed to surf; Vietnam, where he almost got stuck in an underground tunnel; and back to Canada, where he came face-to-face with a bear. Watch this space for further updates on Neil's global bumblings and the occasional athletic success.

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