Spilling some beans on a workout secret here—and hoping I’m not alone. Near the end of a sweat session, when I’m really not interested in running 1 more mile or pedaling for 20 more minutes, I’ll turn on the Justin Roberts Pandora station.
In case you’re not on top of all the best singers ever, Justin Roberts sings songs for kids. The under-six set, mostly, but they’re also appealing to this almost-42-year-old. With titles like Meltdown! and lyrics that involve juice boxes, they’re witty and peppy, and they’re usually short; getting through just.one.more.song means about two minutes, not a Stairway to Heaven seven-minute-riff.
Most of all, I love the Roberts station because the songs on it remind me of my kiddos when they only came up to my knees. I remember running around the kitchen island, chasing Ben as I sang, Laurie Berkner’s I’m Gonna Catch You. I tried to postpone Amelia’s transformation to tween music by buying her They Might Be Giants This is Science CD. I still pop that CD in sometimes when we have a long drive and we have a big, off-tune sing along. Even The Wiggles, in very, very small doses, can make me smile.
I got to run with a local group of Fit4Moms on Saturday morning around Sloan's Lake. The mostly newer moms discussed, as they did run/walk intervals pushing their kiddos, sleep habits and fruit pouches, terrible twos and when to have a second kid. I kept thinking to myself, “I know I was in this position just a few years ago, but wow, I feel like a grandmother right now.”
I ran next to a stroller for a bit. While the passenger was asleep, just being there brought me back to the days when I would push Ben, almost 8, in our Thule Chariot Carrier. Ben has been a chatter since Day 1, and when we took to the gravel path by the river in downtown Colorado Springs, his mouth spun as fast as the Chariot’s wheels did. He counted (“1, 4, 2”) birds, and then named them. He sang the ABC’s—or his version of them. He told me to go, “Faster, faster!” and I’d try to put a clip in my clomp.
I didn’t run with him much—early morning has always been my preferred running hour, and Lord knows, I wasn’t waking up sleeping babes just to have co-pilots—but the times I did push him, I spent almost the whole run looking down at his dinner-roll feet, rubber-band wrists, and fingers so chubby, they almost hid his knuckles. How I loved that chub.
Running always piques my appreciation for and love of my family—and minimizes the frustrations and hassle. As I huffed and puffed and gazed at my entertaining narrator, the depth of my adoration often made me feel like I could knock out a half-marathon right then.
The Thule Chariot Cougar certainly helped the cause. The stroller, which you can use for a walk, a run, a bike, or a cross-country ski with a variety of conversion kits, rolls like a dream. There's plenty of space for cargo (diaper bags, hydration and snacks for you and the babe, toys) and plenty of passenger space, which comes in handy when you have (ahem) bigger that average kiddos. The sweet suspension system smooths the ride for the passenger, while an adjustable handlebar fits parents of all heights. And a rainshield and windows that vent mean your passenger is comfy, no matter what the weather.
Although it’s hard to realize it when you’re in the thick of diapers and sleep training, time rolls at a brisk clip. On Saturday morning, as I watched one mother runner load up her double stroller and infant while she soothed her overtired, crying toddler, I knew for certain that I don’t want to physically go back to those days. But mentally? I’m there a couple times a week, singing along with my pal Justin.
We’ve got two Thule Chariot Cougar 2 and 2 jogging conversion kits to give away (each worth nearly $850!). One will go to a mother runner who attended a party in Carlsbad, Orlando, Memphis, Charleston, Charlotte, or Raleigh and signed up to win.
The other Cougar 2 will go to a reader who answers this question below in the comments: What kid song holds a special place in your heart?
[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States and Canada. It begins on 4/10/14 and ends on 4//16/14; the winner will be announced on 4/19/14. One entry per person. The value of each prize is roughly $850. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.