Nearing the end, on three wheels

My jogging stroller: One of the favorite accessories in my running collection. The Christmas I received it changed my running life for the better (and my kids’ lives for that matter!)

The stroller has logged many training miles, raced at events from Green Bay to Milwaukee, and all points in between. The stroller has been rained on, had food crushed into it, liquids spilled on it, and a potty accident or two leaked onto it. The stroller also has been a comfy place for a napping child when a training run tired him out. I feel you kids…I wish I could have napped during a training run or two as well!

My two beautiful boys have explored their worlds with me through many miles, through many years, during many beautiful spring, summer and autumn days (it’s too bad the winters around here park the stroller in the garage for a few months). I was excited when my older son was old enough to ride, and then heartbroken when he outgrew it. A few years later, I was excited again when his little brother was big enough to ride comfortably.

My boys have cheered me on during races when my legs were tired, my lungs were burning, the sweat was pouring down my face, and my hands were sore from gripping the stroller’s handle. On those days, they were just the inspiration I needed to cross the finish line. There is nothing more motivating than a little voice yelling “Go mom!”
My jogging stroller has been a crucial part in building some beautiful memories with my kids. One of my most favorite, and stressful, was a fall 2013 race in which I did not secure the front wheel properly, and realized this before I finished the first mile. Needless to say, there is a race photo out there somewhere of me pushing my younger son, wheelie style. I could have stopped mid-race, but we pulled together a Plan B (and still finished that 5K well under 30 minutes despite my user error).

Why all the reflections on my stroller? This very well may be the last year I run pushing one. Once my younger son outgrows it, the stroller era of my running days is over, and I’m sad even thinking about it. After six years, the running memories I have built with each of my kids are precious, all because of a stroller. I recently pushed my younger son for the first time this year during a training run for the Cellcom Green Bay Relay Marathon, and it was wonderful (even if he fell asleep). I look forward to many more training runs with him this year, cherishing each moment as he grows before my eyes, while reflecting on how fast his older brother has grown up.

See you on the course!
Amy Behrendt

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