Wish for Warm Weather … & Pick Up the Pace.

There’s something I’ve been noticing a lot around campus – kicks. Maybe I need to divert more of my attention from ground level, but lately when I hit the gym or even walk to class I notice one trend that’s picking up the pace: bright, fun and flirty kicks.

We’re all still crossing our fingers for 80-degree weather in Athens, but don’t hold your breath. Despite the lack of layouts, the weather is definitely warm enough to run outside (or at least walk rather than drive to Ping) !

Shape magazine reviewed exercise shoes this week in their 2012 Shoe Awards, and the magazine gave out medals for best shoe per physical activity. Topping the ranks and the trails were two of my favorites:  Brooks and Asics.

I run in Asics, which won best support and best performance in high impact cardio (think aerobic classes at Ping and plyometrics).  But Brooks also keeps catching my eye. They win the hotness award for being super lightweight.

The multitasking newbie, however, which switched from elliptical to bootcamp like a pro was the Ryka Transpire. New technology hidden in the shoe keeps tootsies cool whether you’re cardio dancing or hitting the track. I haven’t heard much about Ryka, but their shoes look structured and come in a variety of colors. No boys allowed though; Ryka Sport Company boasts that their shoes are for women only!

Fans of Carrie Bradshaw know that a fabulous shoe creates the outfit. So drop the Sketchers and buy a real running shoe! Even if the main reason you purchase a particular pair is because its neon laces highlight your tan, doing a little  research helps your joints stay joyful and keeps the aches away.

Here’s a tip: if your sneakers bend and wring like a towel then they are not offering enough support. Your knees, ankles and every joint in between take a beating  with each footstep hitting the pavement. Replace running shoes every three to six months – sooner if you run more than five miles a treck and later if you primarily exercise indoors.


Why Fit Fashion?

If fashion is fun and fitness is a necessary evil, then combining fashion and fitness must equal a fun, necessary evil. (Think indulging in an extra-moist red velvet cupcake or drunk texting your ex-boyfriend.)

Multiple times a week I go from class to the gym and back to class, so fit fashion often turns into another equation in my life. Working out creates a long list of questions toppling over in my brain …

Can I make it from Ping to Ellis for class in five minutes? Am I wearing the right running shoes? Are they cute? Too pink? What should I eat after I workout? Should I eat? Is this t-shirt too sweaty? What about those weird freaky shirts that keep you cool by eating up sweat? I wonder if that girl works out? What about yoga? Should I do yoga? The shorter my Soffes the faster I’ll run? Pantsless?

Keeping in stride is not about amping up the speed on your treadmill –  to make sure it’s faster than the girl next to you, of course – but it’s also about what keeps you motivated. My motives are to stay in shape and look damn good while doing it. That way when I crank out ten cheater pushups while on my knees during bootcamp, the other workout divas will at least leave saying that my bright yellow Under Armour tank is cute.

Hiding fashion in the closet until the weekends would be so boring.

Now for the dirty details. This is how my fitness fashion took off like a rocket: I have big boobs. Naturally, I am a curvy girl, and I am okay with that (after years of burning Victoria’s Secret swimsuit editions) as long as I stay strong and take care of my body by hitting the gym. All busty girls know this means one thing – finding the perfect sports bra!  I purchased a few, but one  particular Adidas “comfort bra” hugged the girls snug as two bugs in a powder blue-and-white rug. It even had a back clip and I never had to wrestle it over my head while getting my arms stuck up in the air. It was the perfect holster whether I was running or bouncing around in a cardio dance class.

I thought it was cool.

But, as I flung it over my closet door after drenching it one sweaty afternoon, my roommates got curious. They could not figure out why I was wearing a nursing bra. EW. Shocked and a little embarrassed, I grasped the thing with clenched hands, rubbing my fingers over the fabric indentations of contrasting colors. What did look like nipple flaps were only extra padding to keep the girls perky until at least through my twenties. But it was still gross.

That is the moment I first realized some aspect beyond comfort has to exist while working out, especially if you are not a young mother.

Each morning I open my eyes, scan my email and read at least 200 (okay, not even really 50, but a good many) fascinating web articles pumped out by outlets such as Shape, Fitness, Cosmopolitan and Pinterest. I look for pictures, words and links that catch my eye about the latest fitness tips, diet trends, cute kittens and gear.

Even if I never have a perfect body or model for a Victoria’s Secret ad, I can still work toward having the perfect body for me. It’s a journey.

And that is what fitness fashion means to me in 500 words or more, teacher. Let’s explore and learn together while looking flirty, fashionable and fit.