An Irish mum's incredible story: 'It wasn't an easy transition but they were patient with me'
As part of our Mums Who Inspire series, we sat down with Lindsay Peat to learn about her inspirational story of family and sport. If you have a story that you would like to be featured, email email@example.com.
A sports fanatic since she was a young teen growing up in Artane, Co. Dublin, mum-of-one Lindsay Peat has far outdone herself in all aspects of life.
Mum to Barra and wife to Claire, she has played sports her entire life, and now, in her late thirties, Lindsay is gearing up to represent Ireland in the Rugby World Cup.
However, things have not been easy for the mum-of-one; Barra was born three months premature and was diagnosed with viral meningitis within the first year of life, Lindsay tells MagicMum.
But that hasn't stopped Lindsay from doing what she loves: playing sports. And playing them well.
And while she may be gearing up for the World Cup, rugby wasn't always Lindsay's number one sport.
The sporting star's journey actually began on the basketball court when she was just 13-years-old.
Here she fell in love with the game, and literally gave it her all.
Playing basketball on an International level from 2006 to 2010, (not to mention playing on the underage International soccer scene), she had to end her first love when funding was pulled.
However, not one to sit around and mope, she quickly turned her attention to her other love: GAA.
— lindsay peat (@lilypeat11) April 29, 2017
Being drafted into the Dublin Ladies Football panel from her club Parnells, she captured an All-Ireland title in 2010; this was followed by heartbreak in 2014, when the team narrowly lost out to Cork at the final hurdle.
With the devastation that followed, Lindsay made a decision about her future in sport; she left her much-loved football team behind.
"It just came to a point where I was the last of the older crew, there was a fresh team coming through," she told MagicMum.
"I felt I had reached my limit and had to move on. I was devastated with our loss, I felt we could have won. I needed to find the want and desire again."
Re-evaluating to concentrate on finishing her third level degree, Lindsay made the leap from Dublin's Northside to the Southside, with her wife Claire.
Once she arrived in 2015, she got stuck in with a new sports team, one which had always peaked her interest: rugby.
"I needed a new challenge, I needed to ignite that passion again. I love learning, I was so committed to basketball and GAA that I hadn't got the chance to try rugby," she explained
"I watched the girls that I play with now take part in the last World Cup and I thought they were amazing, I wanted to try it out, so I joined Railway Union expecting to be on their second team as I was entering at a basic level.
"It wasn't an easy transition, but they were patient with me. I just stayed honest to myself and kept plugging away."
Nonetheless, fast-forward two years and the mum is lining out with the Ireland squad for their World Cup endeavours, in what has been a whirlwind adventure for Lindsay.
In her very first game, the sporting supermum remembers: "It was beyond belief, when you walked out onto the pitch, everything else goes to the side. You just want to play well for your family. I never thought it was possible after basketball and Dublin."
During that time, Lindsay didn't just rise as a prominent figure in rugby circles, she also became a mum to her son, Barra.
Balancing family life with her busy sporting schedule and holding down a job isn't seamless either, with Lindsay crediting her family for the amazing role they play in her life.
— lindsay peat (@lilypeat11) July 2, 2017
"Every week myself and Claire go through our schedule; if something overlaps, we figure it out. Our families are amazing, my parents, Claire's parents… they're fantastic.
"I have to give huge credit to Claire, she is amazing. She does her own thing too, but if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be able to give my best to sport."
But at times the couple can end up stuck for a childminder.
And Lindsay, on occasion, will bring her two-year-old along with her to the rugby pitch, but these are times that can harbour great memories.
— Ailis Egan (@AilisEgan) July 6, 2017
"My team mates are amazing; they are an amazing support system too. But we're all there for each other. That's what brings us closer as a team."
And the inspiring mum believes that even though Barra is her number one priority, mums need to stay true to themselves:
"You still have to be you. You need that happy place, it will help you be a better parent. The margins will change, but you still need to stay true to you."
"Do something, it doesn't have to be sport, it can be rollerblading in Marlay Park, just as long as you can switch off. Parenting is tough but you need to make time for yourself, and for your mental health."
"It's important to have your thing."
We wish Lindsay and her team all the best with their World Cup adventure which kicks off on August 9th – what an inspirational MagicMum.