I’m about to share a little-known secret about my initial thoughts for this product, which counters the very thing I love the most about where it is today: my initial idea wasn’t hands-free at all.

It was to have levers attached to the stroller that would swing with your movement, but still enable you to push the stroller forwards.  The underlying idea has always been to find a way to run more naturally with a stroller. What we ended up with evolved out of that first idea where the runner would still hold something.  Later, while doing some research on possible competition, I would discover that this idea was not born from my own mind but that someone else had invented a stroller that had the handles, levers really, I had initially envisioned. 

Side note: I HATE, HATE HATE HATE HATE HAAATTTEEE having anything in my hands when I run.  I can’t stand the feeling of anything touching my hands other than the wind.  I want them free to open and slice through the air. 

It’s so wild to me that my first idea for running more naturally with a stroller incorporated HOLDING something!  

As I dove into explaining my idea to Scott, I could see the wheels turning already, and to a point where he needed to get his thoughts out of his head and onto paper.  As he thought through the mechanical side of how to make this work, and work with the motions of a runner’s body, he began to draw.  I still have the papers from our first meeting tucked away – his drawings, my to-do list, research to be done.

KISS

Scott’s mantra is KISS – keep it simple, stupid.  His approach to prototyping is to use materials that already exist, modify as needed, before going down the path of creating entirely new pieces or products.  It’s also the inexpensive way to prototype. 

Based on his initial sketches, we could piece together the first prototype from some purchased items and a couple aluminum tubes he had in the shop we could cut to size.  Also we were looking to accomplish at this stage was to prove my concept while seeing, feeling and testing the idea in a tangible form.  

First Purchase and Assembly

I purchased a kidney belt from Fox, whose intended use is to protect a motocross dirt bike rider’s mid section in the event of a fall or crash.  This would serve as our base to build from.  It had a large section meant to be on a rider’s back that we would turn around to be on my abdomen.  It also had a simple velcro enclosure, so we could get it on and off easily and also make it as tight or loose as we wanted while testing. 

Next, we somehow melted rubber around the two aluminum tubes Scott had cut to secure them to the belt on either side of my belly button. 

Honestly, this part is a bit fuzzy to me as I recall only standing in his shop, wearing a t-shirt I “didn’t mind ruining”, underneath which was a sheet of parchment paper to somehow protect me from the melting rubber and heat of the tool he was using. 

Plus, there is the fact that I don’t pretend to fully comprehend the how vs. why of this phase of creation.  It’s not that I don’t want to understand how these steps are done, it’s that I don’t have the 30+ years of experience in automotive that Scott does.  I can see it coming together, but not in a million would I have known or thought to do it the way he does.  I’d probably duct tape the whole dang thing.