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I have never admitted to training for anything. I would swim, ride my bike and run - but wasn't "training" for a triathlon. If I said the word, there was immediate pressure and increased competitiveness. Nonetheless, I am standing up and admitting that I am powerless over this little word and am indeed "training". I think it is the only way I could finish a half marathon. So, I am trying to train, but it is hard to coordinate my schedule with that of my two personal trainers (aka, kiddo one and kiddo two).
My training runs are hopefully me pushing the kids in the double stroller, but often end up with me holding the hand of one and chasing after the other. Or, me holding three dog leashes in one hand while trying to maneuver the stroller around tree roots and rocks. It is good training in patience as well.
An amazing new gadget makes these seemingly insane feat possible - the Easy Stroll. This clever invention hooks onto your stroller bar (does not work with umbrella strollers, but who would run with one of those?) allowing you to guide your stroller with one hand. Rather than pushing the stroller in the indented direction with your arm, you use your body weight and direction of travel. The mechanics are similar to steering a trailer from your car.
From the manufacturer - Easy stroll is an ergonomic stroller handle that promotes proper posture. Baby Strollers without Easy Stroll require two hands for operation... single handed operation, Easy Stroll straightens your back and allows for "normal" posture when pushing the stroller. There is no arm or back strain. The most common mistake made when using Easy Stroll™ is trying to control it with your arm. Steer with your feet, not your arms.
I was really skeptical of this device at first. While it looks like a bionic arm or traction cast, it is light and I don't even notice it when running. You grip a handle and put pressure on your forearm with ample padding for comfort. I love that I can run one handed and easily steer my fixed wheel stroller. I can't imagine how easy it would steer a rotating front wheel stroller! It also gives me a few extra inches so I can run without hitting my toes on the stroller (I am just shy of six foot).
I tried to install it without reading the instructions but was stymied. It only took a quick glance and a screwdriver to attach it in minutes. I would love it if it had a quick release attachment so I could switch it between my strollers easier. A screw clamps two pieces together that squish around your handle. No harm comes to your stroller other than the handle padding gets a bit deformed in the small clamped areas. As you won't want to take it off again, this doesn't matter!
(I also have been thinking about how to attach this to a shopping cart. It would be amazing to be able to hold a kiddo in an arm and steer through the aisles without ramming into people.)
I have been running and walking with this for about month and tried my other stroller sans-Easy Stroll. I was impressed with the difference. Any kind of turning took two hands, my toes kicked the stroller and my shoulders felt used. My arms swing more naturally and I can focus on my Chi running posture easier when using the Easy Stroll. I can easily switch between arms without missing a step so each arm gets to pump a bit!
I tend to return to the two handed grip when going up hills. It is hard to for me to really "push" with one arm and my personal trainers say "Mush Mama Mush" if I loose much speed. When near curbs or passing people (only really slow walkers), I hold with both hands for fine steering maneuvers.
My father has also tried this "strange looking thing". He liked the extra space it provided between him and stroller. He also liked being able to easily maneuver the stroller with one hand. I watched him on the walk. He kept switching between the Easy Stroll and normal hold during the walk and eventually settled on the "strange looking thing"!
Overall, this gadget rocks and rolls. The $29.95 Easy Stroll gets my Alaskan Mom Approval. I can run in a more ergonomic position, have a hand free for a leash or child and keep from tripping due too being tall. Buy one for yourself or as a baby shower gift for the running mama.
If you want to try mine out, just let me know and you can swipe it on my cross training day!