It arrived yesterday and I had a chance to put it on and size it up quickly. So far my daughter and I are very happy with it.
So, here's our story. My wife died last July. A freak case of terminal cancer that took her about a month away from her 30th birthday. It was the sort of thing that was undeniably an act of fate. Anyway, we have a little girl. She turned 3 exactly two months after her mom died. As hard as its been, trying to figure out how I'm going to make it all work all by myself is one of the hardest parts.
We knew my wife was dying for a year. Taking care of her and our daughter and everything else was an incredible strain. I was never very healthy to begin with, and the stress only intensified mt self-destructive behaviors. Exactly one year ago, I weighed over 300lbs, smoked a pack a day, and drank more than I should have. I knew my wife was dying, and I knew soon I would be all our daughter had. I flushed the smokes, quit the drinking, and started working out. By the time my wife died five months later, I had lost 80 lbs, ran over a dozen races including a half marathon, finished a 66 mile bike tour, began adventure racing, and you get the idea. It became an important part of my life as the only constructive way I had to manage stress. Doing all this was easier before my wife passed. There was no shortage of help while she was sick. After she passed.... Well, people needed to return to their own lives, and a few weeks later it was more or less just me and the girl.
This put me in a bit of a spot. Finding a sitter for race day was one thing, but trying to figure out how to stay active in between was a challenge. Besides, my daughter wants to be with me, and I can't just leave her all the time. I also looked at this summer, and knew I'd be doing some charity walks, hikes and things that I would want to take her to, but where a stroller would be impractical or impossible. I can use the jogger for a short 5k, but that won't cut it about anywhere else. I can tow her in the trailer when we bike, but what do we do when we get to our destination? Heck, as a full time single dad, goes ANYWHERE is a challenge, since I need to carry her, her stuff, and anything else I need all on my own. My arms are constantly full. The piggyback rider is perfect, because while I wouldn't use it for running or biking, I can easily throw it on the trailer or jogger, and we have something we can use once we get there, or for a little close-up exploring the world.
My daughter is 3.25 years old, weighs about 30 lbs. Just about too big for a pack, and I'm not dropping over $100 on something she'll outgrow before the end of the summer anyway. I tried hiking with her a few times before it got too cold, carrying her the whole time. It worked, but was less than ideal. She got tired and became dead weight, which made things even harder. Plus my arms got pretty tired after four or five hours. I knew I needed some kind of device to help carry her. Then I found the piggyback rider reviewed on Outside magazine's website. My daughter is currently in a "hanging phase" right now, where she constantly wants to hang off me, the furniture, or anything else she can get to. So this seemed perfect, and she loved it as much as I hoped she would.
One thing she loves to do is drink from a hydration bladder just like daddy. That's great because she stays hydrated, but she also cuts into my water supply, and I drink quite a bit myself. Having her own little pack with her own tube - she just flipped over it.
Well, I'm glad I found this, and that such a product even exists. This isn't just a convenience device for us. This will allow me to share my newfound love for life with her, and allow her to accompany me on my outings until she is big enough to keep up on her own. She is really looking forward to the spring. She's told me she's going to learn to ride her bike, and when I told her about a charity walk I signed us up for in June, and that she was going to get to use the piggyback rider for it, she jumped up and down and shouted, "It will be MUCH FUN!!" It'll be a lot more fun than it would be without this product, I'm sure of that.
(Chad is a Piggyback Rider standing child carrier customer who sent us this story last week. He agreed to sharing his story on this blog.)
The image is not Chad.