Alternate title: Why I love this corner of my apartment.

As many of you might know, I’m dating this dude named Chris and have been for quite some time. However, we almost didn’t make it through one afternoon of skiing that resulted in me throwing a mitten at him and storming off (we’ll call it semi-storming since I was wearing ski boots).

Skiing was hard for me to get into, and I was really only doing it for Chris. The first year involved many diatribes along the lines of: “It’s freezing out here, I feel ridiculous in these snow pants I’ve had since I was 11, my jacket is puffy and making it hard to move my arms, my feet are killing me in these boots, and oh yeah, let’s slide down this icy cliff of near-certain death …for fun?! Why are you doing this to me?!”

As you can see, Chris had his work cut out for him. Being the smart and rather stubborn guy that he is, he decided not to let me give up and quickly realized that a few of my “skiing sucks” points were things we could easily change. Specifically, my gear.

Many dollars later, I found myself with snow pants and a jacket that allowed me to move, boots that didn’t make me want to jump off the chair lift, and my own skis, helmet, goggles, and poles. Having safe, fitted, and fresh gear allowed me to stop thinking about how I looked or what was holding me back and freed me up to focus on learning the sport. It’s always awkward to learn something new, so it’s important to do all you can to make yourself feel good! I looked good and I knew it – I mean, just look at how glam and not at all awkward I am in this pic!

First trip to Whistler! Not my first time posing for a photo, but I can see why you might think that.

This lesson stayed with me as I’ve tried other forms of fitness. I have yoga blocks and a bolster for my home yoga practice. And for last weekend’s ECSNY race, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a GPS watch and trail running shoes. Both of these items added SO much to my experience: I could finally keep track of my mileage rather than using my decidedly inaccurate sense of time and direction, and my new shoes gave me so much more support out on those rocks and gnarly roots. I didn’t even wipe out, which I consider a personal miracle. I’m pretty in love with these trail shoes, so check them out if you’re looking for a pair: New Balance 910V2. Plus they come in purple. Always key.

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My home yoga practice involves all the props. This isn’t always possible in a public class, so get your block & bolster at home when you can!

And listen, I’m not advocating for going out there and making it rain at every sporting goods store just because it’s fun; I’m just saying that if you’re like me and feel guilty about overindulging/overspending, try loosening up from time to time. Talk to your friends, try things out, and scour those epic Amazon reviews to figure out what purchases will add value to your life and help you to have the best time possible.

Ask yourself, will this cool, new item:

  • Improve my performance?
  • Keep me safe in adverse weather/conditions?
  • Boost my fitness morale? (aka make me feel super awesome?)
  • Help me to have more fun?
  • Encourage me to get out there and put it to use/show it off?

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, it sounds like a solid investment to me! Drop those bills!

Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty about a purchase that ended up being something you really love? If so, let us know in the comments below so we can be as fast/hip/stylish as you!