Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chariots on fire

Moose mountain Aug. 24, 2014
There's nothing as breath taking as the views from atop a mountain, but whats even more spectacular is watching your children's faces as they pier upon the vast rocky mountains after there first summit and thats exactly what happened earlier this week atop Moose mountain. The 5 hour excursion with around 800m elevation was done with my 8 year old Julia hiking the entire way, my 2 younger kids Sam 5 and Adele 3 walking where they could but when the climbing and descending got too hard I put them in the jogging stroller and pushed. Bloody hell that was a task and a half! I know what you are thinking, are strollers supposed to go up mountains? The answer is probably no, but hell, our Chariot has been put through the ringer the past 8 years with little to no maintenance and has held up amazingly well.

Sometime in June 2014
Julia(3), Sam(9mths)
Eight years ago when Julia was a new born we arrived at Bow cycle to take a look at a jogging stroller called a Chariot. The unit looked good and sturdy but the price wasn't as attractive. At a whopping 700 dollars Sharon had to twist, twist, and twist my arm some more to sell me on the purchase. She said that given our active lifestyles we would get our moneys worth, I shrugged and handed over my credit card. At first we used it for short runs and family bike rides but as time went by Julia became very content and happy when riding in it. The runs got longer, I started getting interested in longer running races and we used the Chariot as a way of getting Julia to nap. Julia got older and the thought of a second child became palatable. Sam was born in 2009 and we were glad we bought a double stroller in the first place. Needless to say, pushing two monkeys is considerably harder than one, my mileage was increasing and thank god Sam
Moose mountain

Hot day selfie
was just as happy in the stroller as Julia was. March of 2010 was a sad month for the Proctors. Thats when we learnt of Sam's disability. For those of you who don't know, Sam has an undiagnosed form of Ataxia, that means he struggles with balance and coordination making  all gross and fine motor skills difficult. We didn't know it at the time but with this new knowledge the Chariot would play a key roll in all of our lives. In 2011 Adele arrived and our family was now complete. With three young children and a growing passion for distance running the Chariot became an integral part of our lives. Sometimes doing two-a-days in all weather conditions the stroller got abused. As the kids got older and Sam enjoyed Adele's company the stroller got heavier and heavier I found my legs got stronger because boy, pushing 100lbs up a hill really sucks! My running was improving especially when I wasn't behind a stroller. I started finding success in ultra running in 2012 and since have won many of the ultra events I've completed. The timing maybe a coincidence but this was right around the time the weight of the Chariot became uncomfortable.
Deep in thought on Moose

Just last year Julia asked me if she could ride in the Chariot, I laughed and said no. I asked her why and she mentioned that she likes the sound. She described it as "tap, tap, tap, tap, and Breath, breath, breath, breath. This made me smile. The idea of her childhood memories being somewhat tied to the rhythm of running leaves me thinking I've done something right.

Sam (1)
The reason I'm writing this post is that up to a few days ago I was fooled. Fooled into thinking that I was getting the lion's share of the enjoyment of running with the kids. Atop Moose mountain I was exhausted. I sat down with the kids to eat our sandwiches and my kids who normally never shut up were quiet. They were looking around at the 360 views and were dumbfounded. The enjoyment and sense of accomplishment I noticed upon there faces brought tears to my eyes. That was the moment I realized my unilateral view of the benefits I receive from the stroller have been exceeded by providing my kids active experiences and the gift of giving my son legs.

Thank you Chariot for giving our family a thousand excellent memories. Heres to all of the future experiences my two legs and those three wheels have in store.










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