When our first baby, Alek, was born, we received a kick-ass hand-me-down: An old-school, first-generation red jogging stroller. The kind with big, bicycle-y wheels, a sling seat and zero bells and whistles, except for the leash you could velcro to your wrist so the thing didn’t roll away from you on a hill.
Lord, the miles we put on that stroller. I pushed it up and down our street, took it to wait for passing trains. I dragged it to every playground, kicked it around outdoor concerts, humped it over rocks and logs on local trails. The fading red seat absorbed wet diapers and sweaty naps from sticky toddlers, the mesh pouch bulged with binkies and water bottles and extra hats and tiny, elastic-band sunglasses.
It moved with us to our new house, faded a little more in the sun, got a new set of tires and kept on. When our second, Kieran, was born, he rode in it until he was nearly four, then co-opted it for his own hellish purposes, namely taking turns with his brother pushing each other down our hilly driveway and howling with pleasure when it crashed.
That unstoppable red stroller was one of the most loved and useful gifts I’ve had as a mother, and it came from runners/skiers/rowers/uber athletes Shawn and Stephanie Scholl, two of the fastest people in the state. It embodied their no-B.S. modus operandi in parenting, and in life: take what you’ve got. Get out there. Make it work. And have fun.
On hot days when I’d be huffing up a (paved) hill, I’d think of Stephanie beating a track through the open stretches of land around their Kremmling-area ranch, pushing the red stroller through the sage and dirt—no big deal, no extra credit, just bringing the kids along for the ride and getting it done.
The stroller itself has since been passed on to another friend, and its legacy lives on. Its original occupant, the Scholls’ daughter, Tabor, is now on a running scholarship at the University of Colorado. Their son, Tyler, is finishing high school with championships in his sights.
We share their family’s story in this issue not only because it’s a such a Colorado story—one that’s woven with the threads of our landscape and a passion for the outdoors—but also because it’s such a refreshing antidote to the parenting culture we find ourselves in now. NoCo parenting for many comes with a lot of baggage and must-dos. Our kids are enriched and schooled and scheduled and, if we’re honest, pushed. But without cell phones or the internet, without fancy schools and private coaches and methodical training programs, the Scholls have raised resourceful, scrappy, funny and intensely self-motivated kids who are absolutely killing it. And beyond their measurable successes is the greatest one of all: they run for the sheer joy of it.
We hope you enjoy knowing them as much as we have.