You’ll remember a few months ago, I posted some giddy excitement about winning a Chariot Carrier from one of my favorite blogs, Another Mother Runner. I got said Chariot a couple of months later and have been waiting and waiting to post about it because I wanted to a) really express my gratitude and b) show pics of me running with the stroller and my kids! Well that darn tendonitis hasn’t let me really rock and roll with the running attachment yet but we have been using it on the bike (we bought the bike attachment, the prize included the strolling kit and jogging kit). Rather than wait until my kids are too big to fit in it, I thought I would instead post an email of thanks that I wrote to Sarah and Dimity from Another Mother Runner just over a month ago expressing how important and amazing this Chariot really is to my family. I think I might have scared them a bit…but luckily, you guys are used to me by now and won’t be phased by my bad grammar or my long-windedness. They’ve possibly taken out a restraining order…
Hi Sarah and Dimity,
I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that my Cougar2 Chariot has arrived safe and sound. Words cannot express the excitement and joy my kids and I felt when that magical box made its way up our front drive last week. Me for the stroller, my kids for the box it arrived in (boys will be boys).
For me (and so many Mother Runner’s out there), running is so much more than merely placing one foot in front of the other and running the occasional race. It very literally saved my life and my sanity.
Three and a half years ago, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first baby. My sister-in-law was due one day after me with her first. Joy quickly turned to shock and sorrow when, at only 28 weeks, my nephew was born weighing less than 3 pounds and fighting hard for every breath. 39 days later, he passed away peacefully in the arms of his father after contracting an infection that his poor little body couldn’t fight off. The grief was overwhelming and time stood still for the remaining weeks until my baby boy finally emerged, 7 weeks after we laid my nephew to rest. Between the grief, the guilt and having a colicky newborn it seemed inevitable that I would walk the dark and lonely path of Postpartum Depression. I was completely consumed by the fog that surrounded me and so filled with anxiety that every day, I fought the urge to get in my car and drive as far away from my family as I could. Clearly, God had made a mistake taking my nephew and leaving my poor little boy with such an unfit mother. I was slowly dying on the inside while trying to appear that I had it all together on the outside.
Recognizing that I needed help and having a midwife who kept a close eye on me, I started treatment. The talking helped and I remember very clearly thinking at one point: “I should try running again. I used to enjoy it.” I happened upon a single jogger at a garage sale and slowly but surely, I started running again. First on my own and when my son was big enough (starting his earthly journey at nearly 10lbs, he had a good head start), I would bring him with me. Gradually, the fog started to clear and running became a huge part of my recovery. It was my time to be alone with my thoughts, pray or simply rock out to Lady Gaga. I was able to let all my anxieties, my frustrations, my guilt bleed into the pavement beneath me feet and feel my burdens lifted off my shoulders, even if just for a short period of time. I found so much joy, running with my son and relished the sound of “wheeeeeee, faster Mama” coming from the seat in front.
When my second son was born last year, the hunt was on for a double jogger that I could use to bring both my boys on runs and introduce Baby O. to my love of running. Unfortunately, an extra mouth to feed, one less income and a budget tighter than a latex unitard made it heartbreakingly obvious that such a purchase was not in our future. So I ran solo when I could, on the treadmill in our stuffy dungeon-like basement when I couldn’t. I always had my oldest beside me on his “treadmill” (a yoga mat) but longed to be able to take him out with me, along with his younger brother. I think I can vouch that my husband was also longing for me to be able to take the boys with me. That was the impression I got by the deer-in-headlights look he gave me whenever my Saturday morning long run would roll around and he was left with two crying children saying “Mama don’t gooooooooo!!” (mother runner guilt anyone?).
Now, after 18 long months of waiting and hoping, I will finally be able to venture out with my boys (along with about 10lbs in bribery snacks) in tow. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for this wonderful gift. It truly is an answer to prayer. Running is the best drug I could have ever been prescribed and having the privilege of incorporating my passion for running with my passion for being a mother as well as an advocate for postpartum depression is such a blessing. So from the bottom of my heart I can only offer these two words: Thank You.
(as an aside, 11 months after losing their son, my brother and his wife welcomed a happy, healthy little boy and have since had a baby girl as well. Life is good!)
And thank YOU to Chariot Carriers, for making such an amazing product that is so versatile that I can use it in so many different ways, even if I have to wait a while longer before I can give the running attachment a good test drive.