A new mom found herself on a hiking trail. And now, she's made a promise to do this 50 times over—all before her son's first birthday.
Alivea Binder set a goal for herself shortly after she welcomed her child: She vowed to hike 50 waterfalls by the time her son's first birthday rolled around—and with just a few weeks left until her son hits this milestone, Binder is about to complete what she set out to do.
This is more than just a goal for the new mom, who found herself in a dark place during those early days of motherhood.
“When [my son] Rowdy was about three months old, his dad and I separated. It was just really hard on me, it was unexpected, and obviously no mom ever wants to be a single mom or is really prepared to be a single mom. I was just really, really, really depressed," Binder told Fit Pregnancy. She admitted that she felt consumed by negative feelings, and while counseling helped, it didn't quite give her what she needed.
So Binder decided to go after the thing that would bring her back to herself: She decided to start talking Rowdy on regular walks, and during one, she found herself near a waterfall. Both she and Rowdy loved the experience, so she looked up nearby attractions and decided to set her goal to visit 50 different waterfalls. You might be wondering how a mom manages to hike with a baby in tow, but Binder told us Rowdy took naturally to the experience.
He actually does really, really well," Binder said. "You can tell that when he’s out on the trail, he is totally in his element. There are times when he’s had a blowout on a hike, which is not fun at all, but I make do.”
The mom, who had little hiking experience before she gave birth, has completed 49 waterfalls since she made the pact with herself. She hopes to "go out with a bang" right before her son's birthday, which is coming up on July 28. She's also considered pushing herself to hike 100 waterfalls, but she likely won't set a timeline to achieve this goal.
"I found myself again. I found this happiness. Every time we’re out hiking, I’m not focusing on what’s going on in my life. I’m just out in the trail with my head clear," she said. “It’s hard being a mom. It’s life-changing—you’re no longer you, you're a mom. Your needs are put on the back burner and you need to take care of this little person 24/7 and it’s exhausting."
Binder's advice for fellow new moms who are struggling to connect with themselves?
“Find something that you love and put your heart into it," she said. "Find something that makes you feel like you again. Just because you’re a mom and a new parent, doesn’t mean that you can’t do something that makes you happy. If you can include your kid in it, that’s a bonus.”