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New West Virginia parents leading by fitness example

December 24, 2018
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Wendy Scott, of Fayetteville, is committed to leading an active and healthy lifestyle and brings her month-old son Wilder Scott with her hiking. She is pictured here at a New River Gorge overlook near Fayetteville, W.V., on Nov. 21, 2018. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald via AP)

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — On Oct. 27, Fayetteville residents Wendy and Brad Scott took to the waters of the Tennessee River to compete in the Chattajack 31, a paddling event that features 500 to 600 competitors annually.

It was the Scotts’ second go at the competition — they competed individually on stand-up paddleboards in 2017 — but it was the first time they competed as a team, as they paddled a tandem canoe across the finish line.

The competition, Wendy Scott says, was marked on their 2018 calendar as soon as they completed the 2017 event.

“This race has a special prize for people who complete it five years consecutively,” she explains. ” . . . we wanted to keep going.”

Although the race was inked on their calendar a year ago, Scott had no idea what would come on Oct. 14.

So it was 13 days after their first child, Wilder Waine, was born through C-section, that the Scotts paddled 31 miles in 6 hours and 51 minutes, faster than either of their previous times.

And even though Scott says the timing of the race and Wilder’s birth threw things up in the air a little, she says she always planned to compete as long as she was physically able.

Staying active is important to both her and her husband, as she was either on the water or hiking somewhere almost every day up until Wilder’s birth.

She says they are trying to lead by example in hopes Wilder will choose a healthful lifestyle for himself.

Scott, 39, a retail pharmacy manager, says she and Brad, who works in the outdoor industry, weren’t always sure they wanted to have children.

“We’ve been married for eight years now and about two years ago we started talking about it,” Scott says.

“We didn’t think we wanted to, but we re-evaluated and at the end of October (2017) we started trying.”

It didn’t take long, however, as they learned they were expecting in February.

In fact, Scott says the news scared her at first as she looked back at how hard she had been working out, not realizing she was pregnant.

“I started (paddle) racing in 2017 and intended to keep racing and getting better,” she says. “So I was paddling and hiking and doing workouts at home with weights and doing a lot of plank exercises with family and friends throughout the winter. I was trying to get ready for the racing season and when I found out I was pregnant, I thought, ‘What have I done?’”

But Scott had done no harm to her baby boy, and her doctor even encouraged her to stay active.

“My doctor is very active herself and has three children,” she says. “She advised me to do what I had been doing, but no hard falls. So no more mountain bike.”

Scott says she believes her active lifestyle helped her in several ways throughout her pregnancy, particularly with how easily she became pregnant.

“I was 38 at the time so we were surprised and lucky it happened so quickly,” she says. “I think that (healthy lifestyle) had a lot to do with it.”

She says her active lifestyle — paddling nearby waters or hiking up and down the 821 steps of the popular Kaymoor Miners Trail — also helped keep her morning sickness at bay.

“I had a little bit of nausea in the beginning,” she says. “In the days I chose not to go out and hike or paddle I actually made myself feel worse and that’s what I discovered throughout my pregnancy was that if I stopped or gave in to the nausea or lack of energy it was worse, but if I pushed through it was better.”

And, as the doctor recommended, she did continue on with her plans to race throughout the year, competing in several triathlons and other events, even as recently as September.

“When I found out that I was pregnant, I created goals for during my pregnancy,” she says. “I am motivated to work out more if I register for races.”

The Chattajack 31 — which provided the couple their first “mommy and daddy date” — was the last of those goals for 2018, but, in the weeks since, Scott and Wilder can be found walking around their neighborhood, walking the trail loop at the Fayetteville Town Park, or enjoying nature elsewhere as a family.

Scott says Chattajack was the “best she’s felt” since giving birth, but admits staying active with a child is not always as easy as she’d hoped.

“It’s much easier to stay inside and tell yourself to just be patient and recover,” she says, adding her doctor told her she was cleared for activity when she felt ready. ”(But) Getting outside and moving has proved to be better for my mental and physical recovery.”

And she says she and Brad are committed to staying active, so that Wilder will acclimate to the same healthful lifestyle at an early age. She and Brad were gifted special strollers, outdoor clothing and other items that will help them in their efforts to involve Wilder in their adventures.

“I really want to start leading by example for my child,” she says. “We hope to have an athletic and adventurous child and we want to be examples for him as parents and to stay active and as healthy as possible.”

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Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com

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