My husband and I are both active people. He loves to ride his bike, and I love to run. Consequently we are frequently juggling our schedules so we can both do what we enjoy. I get first dibs on a workout on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, and he gets first dibs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (though we usually can both get a long workout in on Saturday since he doesn't have to work). If I want to run on Tuesday or Thursday, as soon as I send my oldest off to preschool, I load my youngest into the jogging stroller and get a move on.
Today, I pushed that jogger for eight miles. As you can see, the red head isn't exactly a fatso. However, at two years old he's not a lightweight anymore either. (Although he isn't wearing a suit when I run, he often has the stuffed dog. Just to add extra weight.)
As I was pushing that jogger today I got to thinking about the handcart pioneer companies. They had to load what little they could into a handcart and push it 1,500 miles across a country.
All I did was push a nice, light stroller for less than an hour and a half over a paved trail, knowing that my home was my final destination.
They pushed for about 8 months, over mountain ranges, streams and rocky passages. All they had were wooden handcarts. They had to sleep in tents each night, if they had the energy to put them up. And they didn't have a warm shower at the end of their journey.
I live at the top of a hill. At the end of every run, it's a struggle for my tired self to push that jogger up the hill. If I'm riding my bike with both kids in the trailer, I have to put my bike in the lowest gear and get out of the saddle to make it up. While it's hardly even noticeable when you're in a car, it's much more difficult on foot. I can't even imagine having to pull a handcart over a mountain range.
I am in awe at the strength and courage it took those pioneers to get to Salt Lake. I am grateful that I have that kind of example to look to. I hope that I am able to tackle the challenges in my life with that kind of faith.
Amy Nelson is a running mom with a cycling husband and two boys.
*Top picture from flickr.com. Second picture from my personal pictures,