Move Over Rock, Here I Come: an Interview with Bobbi Bensman
Ride 100-mile mountain bike races, win a World Cup, & have two babies: It’s all in a day’s work for athlete Bobbi Bensman
Meet one of Stonewear Designs’ first ever catalog models, former competitive rock climber, long-distance mountain bike racer, and mother Bobbi Bensman. Bobbi has been setting standards for women in climbing since the 1980s (see the Climbing magazine cover shot in the gallery below). She still trains hard, but says that nowadays her two kids—Addison and Morgan—come first. We sat down with Bobbi recently to discuss her athletic endeavors (see the video), and in honor of Mother’s Day, we asked her a few questions about her relationship with her mother and daughters (Q&A below).
Stonewear Designs: You had a close relationship with your mother, who died in 2005 after battling breast and lung cancer. Can you tell us a bit about the impact that had on you.
Bobbi Bensman: She was in her early 60s. I feel really, really robbed because she was so young. Morgan was only 4 months old and Addi was just a little kid. I miss her desperately, especially because I’m raising two kids. Addison is 10 and a half now, and I just have so many questions for my mom, and I can’t ask her. You need to value your mother. Put her on a pedestal.
SD: How did your life change after you had children?
BB: Once you have kids everything completely changes. It’s a 150% lifestyle change that you have to be ready for and really willing to do. I’m not the kind of mother who says to other women, “You’ve got to have kids.” It’s not for everybody on a lot of different levels.
SD: As a hardcore athlete, how do you balance motherhood and your athletic endeavors?
BB: The kids come first. So whatever activity they have going on or wherever they need to be, that has to be taken care of first. Then I can do my stuff after that. I often train really late when they’re sleeping, or I get up really early in the morning when it’s dark. I’ll get up at 4a.m. and go climbing or get on my mountain bike. Or, in the wintertime, I’ll go to the climbing gym from 9-11p.m. after the kids go to sleep. I’m really motivated.
SD: In what ways do you integrate your children into your athletic and/or other endeavors?
BB: They go all over the place with me. They’ll go to the TEVA games when I compete or any of the local Spot (Gym) climbing competitions. They are definitely into being outside. They are both into climbing, and they like nature. Plus, my husband and I have the science of tag teaming really dialed in. I get a lot of support from him.
SD: You were involved with the HERA Foundation for a few years (an organization that raises funds and awareness for ovarian cancer). Your daughter raised funds for one of the Climb4Life events. Can you tell us about that?
BB: I had been involved in the HERA Climb4Life, and the first year we had it in Boulder I was the volunteer coordinator. It was the last year I was really involved in HERA and Sean Patrick was still alive and with us. HERA had a competition for who could collect the most funds, and my daughter Addison won (she raised $1,500). She got called up to the podium, and she won a bunch of things. They made a big deal out of. It was so awesome. It was wild to watch that, and I was so proud of her. She was just 6 or 7.
Bobbi currently reps for various companies, including Evolv Sports, Mammut Sports Group, Darn Tough Vermont, Inov-8 Footwear, and Hippy Tree.
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