Spring Cleaning (for your workout gear) & What to Do with Old Workout Gear

April 17, 2017

I’m sure I’m not the only one tempted to upgrade some of my workout pieces, but first I’ve got to clear out the old workout gear. Read on to figure out which pieces to toss and what do with them.

old workout gear

Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to give your closet that ole’ spring cleaning. It feels funny to call out Spring when I live in San Francisco, where more or less, all seasons kind of feel the same. But even so, I’m using the season “change” to encourage some apartment clean up.

My task isn’t too daunting. My closet underwent a serious detox when we prepared to move across the country. But just nine months later, I feel like my closet is once again more full than it needs to be. Really, I haven’t shopped much at all since the move, but I know there are many things taking up unnecessary space–mostly workout gear.

While I did a good job donating and selling clothes prior to our move, I brought WAY too much workout clothes. In New York we didn’t have laundry in our building and I did a wash about once a month. Meaning I needed about 30-40 of each piece of workout clothes (30+ pairs of leggings, sports bras, tops, etc). I accumulated quite a collection over the years and while it was annoying by the end of the month having to wear workout clothes I didn’t even like, it was worth it to avoid laundry day.

But now in SF, we’ve got a washer and dryer in our unit (life-changer!) and typically I only wear my top 10-20 favorite workout items on repeat. All those items at the bottom of the pile? Sorry, you gotta go.

To help in my workout gear spring cleaning, I read Well+Good’s The 5 Activewear Pieces You Need to Get Rid of ASAP. The summary is: old items that are stretched out, stained items, sneakers after 300-400 miles. Knowing these rules, man I have a lot of stuff to get rid of.

The one rule I disagree with is the suggestion to ditch sports bras after one year. Sports bras are expensive and I can’t imagine throwing them out after only a year. Also, when you’re shuffling through 40 sports bras at a time, one likely won’t wear out after a year. If you’re wearing it multiple times a week, maybe.

With that being said, these are the rules I live by with my workout gear.

 

Three Items To Say Goodbye To

Items that you don’t feel good in

It’s time to Marie Kondo your workout gear. Try on a tank top and if it doesn’t bring you joy and you don’t feel like your best self, consider getting rid of it. Feeling good while you workout is key, and if your gear is making you feel like a schlub, move on. All those items at the bottom of my workout gear pile? They fall into this category.

See Through Pants

I mean, obviously. But do you actually know which leggings are giving everyone a peek at your undies? I speak from (embarrassing) experience. Some of your favorite leggings that you thought had you covered, might not be as opaque as you once thought. Leggings that are too tight, are cheaply made, or have been worn so much they’ve lost their elasticity, may be see through. Before you make your way to yoga, bend over in front of the mirror and make sure you’re good to go. Iffy or see through? Toss ’em.

Broken in Sneakers

If you’re an avid runner, remember to get a new pair about every 6 months. Keep an eye on when your favorite shoes are on sale, it doesn’t hurt to buy a new pair early and have them ready to go when your current pair gives out. Don’t ignore the 6 month or 300-400 mile rule, you can really hurt your feet and legs if you keep going in worn out shoes.

And a bonus rule: One in, One Out

If you’re addicted to buying new workout clothes, control your closet by setting the rule: one in, one out. Whenever you want to invest in a new pair of tights, think about which pair you’re willing to get rid of in order to make space. Can’t think of a pair to donate? Then you probably don’t need that new pair after all (sorry!). If a long list of leggings you don’t like anymore comes to mind, start that clean up!

Now that you’ve accumulated your pile of gear to get rid of, where’s it all going to go?

 

Three Things to Do with Old Workout Gear

Pass It On

Maybe you’re tired of that Lorna Jane crop top, but your bestie might love it. We’ve all bought new gear to only wear once and later realize we don’t love it or it doesn’t fit right. The money has already been spent; someone might as well enjoy it, pass the goodies on to your friends.

Sell

If you spent a pretty penny on a Lululemon gear, it can be painful to realize you’re over something and it’s time to go. To ease the pain, sell it on ThredUp and maybe get a few bucks back. Whatever they don’t sell, they’ll donate. I’ve sold a ton of clothing on ThredUp and while you don’t get much money per piece, sell enough and it adds up. It’s super easy to sell which is why I like it, but if you want to put in more time and effort and likely get more money out of it, sell on eBay or Poshmark.

Donate

What about those beat up sneakers? Donate them to Soles4Souls, a non-profit that distributes shoes and clothing around the world, find out how to contribute here. There’s also Goodwill, or donate old shoes to Nike and they’ll recycle sneakers into sport courts and other products, read more about that program at NikeGrind.com.

Happy Spring Cleaning Everyone!

Life Update & My New Routine

April 12, 2017

It’s taken me a while to find a routine in SF and with a life update or two to share, you’ll see where the journey has taken me so far.

life update

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know, but I’ve got some life updates for you! When MM and I moved to SF last summer, it was the perfect time to give teaching fitness full-time a try. It had always been an alternate path I’d considered in the back of mind. Very quickly, I realized it was not for me. I have an entire post devoted to why, and I’ll be sharing that next week, but for now let’s just say I was not super happy with my routine, salary and overall quality of life.

There were definitely some positives to the routine though. Mainly it was perfect for getting settled in a new city, meeting a lot of people very quickly, and the flexibility was helpful while planning a wedding across the country. With all my trips back east and a honeymoon, it made sense to have a fairly flexible schedule until things calmed down. Also, not working a 9-5 gave me tons of time to hang out with my dog, but unfortunately cuddling with Ollie does not pay the bills. If only…

Life Update: Work

But trust me, it was not just about the money. There were a lot of things that led me to want to find a full-time job in SF. I started my job hunt casually towards the end of 2016 and then got more focused in the new year. Holiday timing is probably the worst time to look for a job, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Emotionally, there were a lot of ups and downs as I looked for a job. Moments of excitement when I came across a role that looked promising, and moments of despair when nothing looked appealing.

But I kept at it and reminded myself that everything happens for a reason.  My big goal was to find a marketing job in the health/wellness/fitness world, but I was open to exploring anything and everything, casting a wide net. In my search, I came across things I thought I was qualified for but wasn’t particularly passionate about. I also came across things that I felt super passionate and excited about but wasn’t actually qualified for. But then, I found a role that almost seemed too perfect to be true. A marketing job at a company focused on wellness, hallelujah!

I’m in week three of working on brand partnerships at Fitbit and while I have a ton to learn (going from publishing to tech is no joke), I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity and to be working for a company that I truly believe in–I’ve been wearing a Fitbit for years!

Life Update: Teaching

And thanks to my new work hours, I had to make huge edits to my teaching schedule. When I was in NYC I taught 2 classes a week before work. I loved the balance, teaching a little bit to compliment my 9-5. My weekly class schedule in SF before my new job was 12+ classes a week, and I was ready to drop that down.

First up I quit Orangetheory. As much as I love the actual workout and think that it can truly change your body, I did not like teaching it. Also, Orangetheory expects their teachers to devote a lot of time to the studio and it’s not possible if you also have a traditional office job (like OTF meetings in the middle of the day). Quickly and easily I dropped OTF from my schedule.

Next, I tried to hang onto one of my three classes at Core40, but unfortunately, that only lasted a couple of weeks. I quickly realized that I was overdoing it and for my mental and physical health, I had to cut this one too. I love the laid back and friendly vibe of this studio so I was sad to drop the class, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

And that leaves me with Equinox. Full disclosure, Equinox is my fave. I’ve been with the company for 9 years and it’s a well-run business, respects its instructors, encourages growth and understands my scheduling as many instructors also work full-time jobs. Also, do you know how much money I’ve saved not paying for an Equinox membership for 9 years? A lot.

So my beloved Equinox is the only place I’m teaching now. For my SF readers, my schedule is below. If you’re interested in checking out a class, shoot me and message and I’d love to have you as my guest.

Equinox Class Schedule

  • Mondays 6:30 am Cycling @ Pine St.
  • Mondays 6:15 pm Precision Running @ Pine St.
  • Mondays 7:05 pm Bootcamp @ Pine St.
  • Wednesdays 6:45 pm The Pursuit Cycling @ Pine St.
  • Thursdays 6:30 pm STACKED! @ EQ Sports Club Market Street

Compared to my two classes in NYC, this schedule of 5 seems a bit overwhelming, however, I think I’ve got it. I’m giving myself time to try it out and see how it goes, and if it does become too much, I’ll be easy on myself if I have to drop something. On Mondays, I teach three classes (1 before work, 2 after), which is pretty exhausting, but it gets most of my classes out of the way and then the rest of the week seems like a breeze!

Life Update: Seeking Balance

Getting back to the working world and seeking balance between an office job and some side hustles has re-inspired me in this space. I’m excited to share my experiences of constantly searching for that ever elusive balance.

So if you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to SF, there’s a quick glimpse at what life’s been like lately. While I won’t talk much about my job in this space (though I’ll probably be coming atchu with my favorite Fitbit products in a post soon), I wanted to give you that little status update.

Next week I’ll be back with more of an inside scoop at what it was like teaching fitness full-time. Chat with ya then, friends!

My Triathlon Plans: To Tri or Not to Tri

April 10, 2017

To race or not to race, a question that has come up for my future triathlon plans. Read on to hear why I may skip out on my next scheduled race.

triathlon plans

Triathlons are near and dear to my heart. I love the race and how it never gets boring; just as you’re tired of swimming it’s time to bike, just as you’re ready to hop off the bike, it’s time to run. This week I wrote a story for DCRefined.com, 7 reasons to Try a Tri and if you’re considering adding this race to your summer plans, I encourage you to take the plunge.

So if I love triathlons so much, why am I considering backing out of the one I’m supposed to do in a month? Currently, I’ve got a spot in the Santa Rosa Half Ironman in wine country, but every day I think about whether I’m actually going to do it. I’m no stranger to signing up for a race and failing to follow a training plan, but I still tend to do the race, just not quite as prepared as I hoped to be. But a half ironman sounds a little intense to be unprepared for, which is why I’m still on the fence.

I’ve been working out a lot (per usual) but not tri training so to speak. I’ve been swimming a handful of times and have gone on some short runs, but oh yea, I still don’t have my bike out here. Whoops, that would be a key piece of getting through this race.

I hate to be a flake and back down from things I said I was going to do, but sometimes it’s best to take a step back and ask why. If I do the race, is it just because I said I would, but in reality, I don’t want to? Or is there a greater reason why I should do it?

When I take a step back from this particular race, most signs point to backing out. I’m not prepared and I don’t (yet) have all the necessary equipment. Oh also there was a different tri in Napa this past week and 30 participants got hypothermia because the water temps were 37 degrees, yikes! But then I look at the Ironman website and read about the race and it looks so pretty and I question my decision. The good news is, I don’t have to decide right now. I’m already signed up, and my race registration fee was waived so I’m not losing money (you better believe if I paid for the race, I’d do it no questions asked) and I can take all the time I want to decide (ya know, up to race day in 6 weeks).

The other good news is that there’s always another race around the corner to train for, and I have my eye on a few.

And while I may back out, I also want to say one more time, that I really do love triathlons! I did a ton while living in NYC and it was so fun to train and race with friends. Out here, I had thought about joining a training group or team, but never pulled the trigger. Training alone just isn’t as fun and inspiring. I’m bummed that I might not do the race because I know how fun and exciting race day can be.

The point of this post is to let you all know where I’m at, since I told you about training for this race months ago. The other point is to let you know that sometimes it’s okay to change your mind. I’m not saying flake out on commitments, but remember it’s okay for your feelings about things and events to evolve and change, and as long as you aren’t breaking a commitment that involves someone else, it’s okay to have a change of heart.

I’ll keep you posted on what I ultimately decide to do, but I think we can see where this one is headed.

Slope Style with Obermeyer

April 2, 2017

Giving my ski style an upgrade thanks to Obermeyer!

obermeyer

What’s one of the best parts of a ski day? The apres ski activities, of course! Usually after a day of skiing I look like a disheveled mess, sporting my warmest spandex and an embarrassingly frizzy french braid. But what if you could wear a cute ski outfit that perfectly transitioned to post-slopes drinks? Fixing my hair…that’s a bigger issue that we’ll tackle another day.

MM and I sported these super comfy Obermeyer sweaters in Tahoe last weekend. Made with merino wool, these tops are incredibly warm, in fact, thanks to a 60 degree ski day, they were too warm! I’m not one to complain though, I’m always freezing on the slopes (that warm day is probably the only exception).

These sweaters are good for the slopes and apres activities, and also were my top choice to drive around and check out the most scenic spots in Tahoe on our last day, no jacket required. I’m wearing the Cable Knit Pullover and MM is in the Bryce 1/4 Zip Sweater.

I have one complaint about ski gear. And that’s that I feel guilty when I buy it. Since I only ski a couple of times each year and for the most part ski gear sits in my closet, there isn’t really a need to spend money on new stuff each year, even though I love a good gear upgrade. The good thing about ski layers, like these sweaters, I don’t have to feel guilty since I can wear them beyond the slopes.

Obermeyer

 

obermeyer

obermeyer

obermeyer

And speaking of those slopes, I know it’s officially spring, but here’s hoping we can get to the mountain just one more time this year!

Lululemon X LoveYourBrain: How we Can Protect Our Brains

March 27, 2017

What’s more important that protecting and loving your brain? Read on about the nonprofit LoveYourBrain and their powerful message to help us all love our brains.

LoveYourBrain

A couple of weeks ago I attended a truly amazing, inspiring and educational event hosted by my friends at lululemon. The lulu crew has partnered with LoveYourBrain, a yoga practice for people that have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI). LoveYourBrain was founded by Kevin Pearce, a lululemon elite ambassador and his brother Adam. Kevin was a pro-snowboarder training with hopes of making it to the 2010 Olympics, but during a training session, sustained a TBI that ended his career. It was so traumatic that Kevin had to re-learn to walk and talk. You may know Kevin from the HBO Documentary Crash Reel.

From this experience, Kevin and Adam launched LoveYourBrain, a non-profit that works to improve the quality of life for people affected by TBI. The program builds community and helps people heal through the power of yoga. In addition, LoveYourBrain works to educate people on TBI and how to take care of your brain.

LoveYourBrain and lululemon have partnered on a #MindFullMarch tour, educating audiences on what LoveYourBrain has to offer and how we can help. I was lucky to attend the SF event and hear from Kevin and Adam and view their short film (which you can also watch HERE).

In one year, 2.5 million people will sustain a TBI in the United States. That is a staggering and scary statistic. I’m very happy to see that wearing helmets for many sports has become more mainstream. We’ve all (I hope) been wearing helmets while biking since we were kids, but it wasn’t until a few years back that it became the norm to wear a helmet skiing and snowboarding. When you head to the mountain now, it’s more uncommon to see someone not wearing a helmet. If you haven’t picked up on the trend of wearing a helmet, make that change today.

When we were skiing in Tahoe a couple of weeks back we saw a few people without helmets and I’m sure people have their excuses. Some I’ve heard: I don’t feel like buying one and I’m only going on the greens, not doing dangerous tricks, so it’s not necessary. Fortunately, helmets aren’t very expensive, or you can rent one for about $10 a day. And for those of you who think you aren’t going fast enough or on steep enough slopes to warrant a helmet, remember that your safety goes beyond you. If you’re totally in control but someone else on the slopes is out of control, it’s out of your hands and they might crash into you. Live on the safe side and please wear a helmet!

Now, back to LoveYourBrain. At the event, Kevin and his brother spoke about their non-profit and their experiences with TBI. Their goal is to raise $100,000 and then lululemon’s social impact program Here To Be will match total donations up to $125,000.

Click HERE to Donate Today to LoveYourBrain

So what will all that money go towards? LoveYourBrain hopes to expand their flagship yoga program to reach more members of the TBI community. With your donation, they will be able to bring the TBI community together and provide healing and connecting yoga practices to more people.

Any amount will make a difference. Donate just $21 and you’ll support one person with TBI to participate in a LoveYourBrain yoga class. Learn more about what donation amounts will provide via this link (scroll down).

Thank you for reading and remember to take care of and love your brain!

All photos via LoveYourBrain.com

Travel Guide: Weekend at Northstar California in Tahoe

March 23, 2017

Recapping our incredible visit to Northstar in Tahoe and sharing tips to make your next ski vacay one for the books.

Northstar

Even before we officially moved to SF, MM and I discussed how once we were west coasters we’d take frequent trips to Tahoe. Ya know, skiing every weekend in the winter, hanging lakeside in the summer. Yet, somehow we’ve been here nine months and just took our first trip to Tahoe. Criminal, I know. And now that we’ve experienced how incredible it is, I’m trying to get us back for another weekend as soon as possible.

After researching a couple of the mountains, we decided on Northstar California, which I learned was moderate terrain (good for all levels) and is one of the more luxurious mountains, sign me up! We planned our trip with two other couples and rented a super cute Airbnb 20 minutes from the mountain.

Prior to our trip I chatted with the lovely PR people at Northstar to get the lowdown on the mountain and the can’t-miss special activities. After a long weekend at Northstar, I can confidently recommend this mountain for a first class experience.

I’d been snowboarding for the last 15 years and decided that it was maybe time to switch back to skiing. I took this weekend at Northstar to give it a try. This mountain was the perfect place; by the second day I could take on some of the black diamonds but for my more advanced skier friends, there were extra challenging slopes as well.

We skied on Friday, which is awesome if you can get away from the office. Prior to the weekend, you’re likely to avoid long lines, but it was a pleasant surprise that even on Saturday, we didn’t come across any crazy lift lines. Also, the views of Lake Tahoe from parts of the mountain were incredible, probably the prettiest ski mountain views I’ve ever seen. The staff was incredibly friendly and everyone in our group had a great time.

Oh, and let’s take a moment to talk about the weather and ski conditions. As a former east coast snowboarder, I’ve come to expect icy trails and sub-zero temperatures. Imagine my delight as I skied through soft snow and 55 degree sunshine. Amazing! Tahoe has had a ton of snow this year (literally never in my life have I seen such high snowbanks along the road) and even though it didn’t snow the week prior to our visit, the conditions were still excellent. Spring skiing with minimal layers needed is my jam. West Coast skiing really kicks the East Coast’s butt.

If you’re planning a trip to Northstar, here’s some insider info to plan the best trip.

Ski Rentals: If you don’t have your own skis, you can rent at the village at the base of the mountain via RentSkis.com. I highly recommend upgrading to demo skis. It’s slightly more expensive than the performance or sport skis and the quality is worth it. Even more important, the line for demos was super quick whereas the line for the other skis took much longer. Reserve your skis online ahead of time and on the day you pick up, get there early to avoid the long lines.

Download Epic Mix App: When you buy your lift ticket it will be connected to an Epic Pass. Download the Epic Mix app prior to the start of your ski day and you’ll get wait time estimates for each lift, your stats, a mountain guide and photos. Be on the lookout for Epic photographers throughout the mountain. They’ll take your picture, scan your lift ticket and the photos will be uploaded to the app within a couple of hours. I highly recommend stopping for those photos opps, they turn out great! Don’t ya think?

Northstar

Mountain Top Champagne Tost: This was a first! Northstar offers a free champagne toast for skiers at 2pm every day. The “tost” takes place at this cute little mountaintop set up complete with fire pits, bean bag chairs and a bar. Throughout the day you can purchase champagne if you don’t feel like waiting in line. If you want to partake in the free champs (which you totally should), arrive by 1:45pm and line up, they can only dole out a limited amount of champagne each day and you don’t want to miss out. Read more about this experience HERE.

Upgrade to the Platinum Tost: Celebrating a special occasion on the mountain? Then upgrade to the Platinum Tost, an unforgettable experience. For $85 a person, you’ll get VIP seating with a private fire pit, a bottle of Veuve, an enormous and delicious charcuterie platter and a personal s’mores kit. Deeeeelish! Seriously, if you want to feel like a baller on the mountain, check out this VIP opp. A huge thank you to Northstar for this treat! Those mid-day s’mores really hit the spot 😉

Northstar

 

S’mores: Need a sweet treat at the end of an intense day of skiing? Gather around the skating rink at 3:45pm each afternoon for complimentary s’mores.

Apres Ski Relaxation: Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, skiing takes its toll on your body. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up the day or the weekend than with a massage. Fortunately, Northstar has a little spa right in the village–The Tahoe Spa and Wellness Center. My friend and I opted for hot stone massages after our first day of skiing and it breathed new life into our legs before returning to the mountain in the morning. Another way to get that body feeling flexed and ready? Post-ski yoga, also located in the village. I had hoped to fit in a class but couldn’t get my act together this time. Next time I’m going to check it out.

Village Dining: Whether you’re stopping by for apres or having dinner, the village at the bottom of the mountain has some great options. We went for sushi at Mikuni and on our last night dined at Tavern 6330′. For sushi lovers, Mikuni has a ton of inventive rolls that are enormous, so if you like going off the beaten path with your sushi, this is the place to do it. At Tavern I highly recommend the kale caesar (pictured below), the filet mignon and a delish glass of pinot noir. The service and the food get an A+ at both spots.

Northstar Village Restaurants

Take the Scenic Route: Tahoe is gorgeous, so don’t rush out of there on your way home. I know, avoid the traffic and get an early start, but don’t skimp on the scenic drive. On our way home we drove through Truckee which is a super cute ski town. We grabbed beers at Mellow Fellow then drove around Donner Lake which was a can’t-miss. The views were incredible.

Donner Pass

Even though winter is officially over, there’s still skiing to be done! There’s plenty of time to get to the mountain and enjoy warm spring skiing. Northstar is slated to be open through mid-April. And if you can’t get there before April, we can start chatting about Spring and Summer activities in Tahoe next!

Or maybe you’re already thinking about next winter? There’s a crazy good deal currently offered for the Epic Season Pass. It’s only $859 and gets you access to Northstar, Whistler, Vail, Heavenly, Park City, just to name a few (there are 14 US mountains and 30 European mountains included). Considering a day pass to any mountain is over $100, if you’re going to ski a bunch next year it’s worth it. I’m toying with the idea but not ready to pull the trigger.

Have you been to Tahoe? Any favorite spots I missed out on? Share below please so I can prep for my next visit!

Northstar

A big thank you to Northstar for showing me and my friends an amazing time!

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