Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tribute to a Jogging Stroller

This is me running before I had Jack.

Okay, in the interest of keeping the 9th commandment, the previous statement is a lie. But this really WAS me...after I had Jack:

And this:
So maybe my thighs could support a 3rd-world orphanage with sustenance in an emergency for a few days. But they can run 26.2 miles (slowly, but hey, people, let's be positive!) without too much struggle, both before and after a baby!

When I became pregnant, my first thought as far as a must-have baby item? A jogging stroller. I determined early on that I was NOT going to stop doing things I love and/or living my life because a baby was in the picture. Therefore, a jogging stroller was more sorely wanted than a good breast pump (like I ever used that milk machine, anyways!).

In addition to being a runner (pseudo, anyways), I am a cheapskate. So when my mom found a like-new running stroller at a garage sale for $50, she snatched it up for me. Bonus: it also doubles as a bike trailer. The purchase was downright thrilling for me.

And so began my relationship with this blessed piece of gadgetry.

Exactly 6 weeks to the day after Jack was born, I started running again. When Jack was 2 months old, I started taking him with me....admittedly in the snow. Don't worry, he was bundled up like crazy and loved every minute, I promise -- he fell asleep every time.

This stroller is a 2-seater. It's not the nicest brand and doesn't have all the features of more expensive strollers. Yet I fell in love with it when it helped me get my figure back....and my sanity.

On days when Jack was feeding every 20 minutes or so it seemed, I could buckle him up, hit the road and magically, he was so distracted by the Idaho tumbleweeds that he let me go a 10k without whining to be fed.

When Nick deployed when Jack was 6 months old, taking my son for a run helped me calm that crazy-missing-my-husband-will-he-ever-come-back feeling in my chest.

This stroller has been on every road in Mountain Home, ID as well as off. It's also carried other children:

It works suprisingly well in the snow:

I once calculated that Jack has spent over 1,000 hours in this chariot. It's his 2nd home.

To be fair, he's also spent a fair amount of time in Grandma Candi's jogging stroller:

But our yellow beast of burden will always hold a special place in our hears. Jack even shares it with friends:

I once managed to fit 80 pounds of child in it at once and complete a 2-mile run. Two twins and Jack. Don't ask what I was thinking.

Today, from all the use, this stroller is definitely showing some wrinkles. There's a hole in the bottom that bugs and worms have been known to crawl through mid-run, delighting Jack to no end. The snaps for the rain shield are broken. The foam on the handle is ripped and slides to the right constantly.

Yet I can't think of a baby item I love more. I will be sad when we eventually part. :-(

Stroll on, InStep jogger-biker.