Uphill Battle

With the recent balmy temperatures in Portland, we were finally able to break the doublewide jogging stroller out of hibernation.

This was great, until I hit the first uphill climb of our maiden jog of the spring. Heading counter clockwise around Back Cove, we got about halfway up the hill to Tukey’s Bridge and I realized that my children have gained approximately 240 lbs. combined since the fall.

By the time we reached the summit, my quads felt as though they were being pounded into schnitzel and my huffing and puffing was scaring passersby. On the descent, I was finally able to catch my breath, but my legs felt gelatinous, so we slowed to a walk at the bottom.

“Dada, why you walking?” my three-year old inquired.

“Cuz I’m too tired to run any farther,” I said.

“Maybe you need a ride?”

“I would love a ride, but for now we’re just going to walk.”

As we plodded on, I considered the young man’s question. Obviously, a ride wouldn’t be feasible. I only really needed some help on the hill. The flat parts were fine. How could this problem be solved?

Back Cove sherpas that will push your stroller and children up the hill for a few bucks? No, too limited. What if we want to jog somewhere else?

Bring my wife along and have her push the stroller up the hills? Possibly. She’s big into the high-intensity interval training, so she’d probably love it, but that’s not going to help us during weekdays when she’s at work.

Then it hit me. Why hasn’t this been invented yet? A self-propelled jogging stroller. It’s technology that’s in almost every lawnmower you see at Home Depot. How hard would it be to apply it to a stroller? Just a squeeze bar or button to give you a little help when you need it.

You probably don’t want your kids sucking in gas fumes, so battery-powered is the way to go. I mean, they already make strollers that have headlights and a power fold-up mechanism. Self-propulsion isn’t more practical than these features?

So if there are any budding inventors/entrepreneurs out there I’m willing to test and review prototypes.

In the meantime, we’ll be sticking with flat terrain, except on the weekends.