ASJ publisher and mother of three shares her challenges of  juggling it all while staying active and getting fit

By Cathy Claesson

Cathy and her three kids on a hike last summer.

Cathy and her three kids on a hike last summer.

Outdoor sports and a healthy lifestyle are at the core of Adventure Sports Journal, and as the co-founder and publisher of this publication it is a part of my daily routine to participate in such activities … or at least that is what you might think.

The truth is morning paddles, long hikes, afternoon rides and Sierra climbs seem like a lifetime ago. Strong legs, sun kissed skin, buff shoulders, and tight abs — well those no longer exist … at least not on me.

My husband Matt and I came up with the idea for ASJ after a long, arduous and spiritually fulfilling climbing trip in the Sierra. I was a second grade teacher and Matt a self-employed arborist. We were newlyweds with the time to milk the most out of every weekend. We were young and everything seemed possible.

We published our first issue of Adventure Sports Journal in March of 2001. I was still teaching and five months pregnant with our first child at the time. We were starting a family and a business at the same time and we were fired up! Sure we didn’t have any money, and did we know anything about publishing a magazine? … Nah, but how hard could it be? Right?

Well fifteen years, three kids and 85 issues of Adventure Sports Journal later I can say it has been F#$%king HARD!

Like a lot of women, I packed on the pounds with my first pregnancy. Seventy-two to be exact.

And also like a lot of women and mothers out there, I put myself last. My kids and the business have come to be the focal point of most everything I do.

The result? A middle-aged busy mother of three active kids who has packed on the pounds over the years.

The awkward thing? I’m also the publisher of a magazine that represents an active lifestyle.

The struggle? Feeling embarrassed about the way I look and the way I might be perceived in an industry that is full of tight beautiful bodies.

The consequence? Hiding behind my email signature and phone line, and not making time for myself to be out there doing the things that brought us to create this rich and inspiring magazine.

The challenge? To get out of this crazy cycle and get out there and do the things I love on a regular basis. I am also challenging myself to go to industry events feeling proud of my accomplishments no matter my size. Perhaps the most important thing of all is I am committing to being a positive and healthy role model for my children.

I will be sharing my experience over the next few months. Feel free to chime in with any feedback, words of encouragement and tips along the way.



Typcal family photo with me hiding my body behind my children.

Typcal family photo with me hiding my body behind my children.