Holiday shopping guide for athletes

The trinity of the shopping holiday is now past — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — but if you’re like me there are still plenty of gift giving items left to purchase and my creative capacity needs to swing into high gear. There are plenty of great lists out there to help with specific ideas for the athlete in your life. In fact, has a great list broken down by sport on their website. General ideas for your athlete include gifts such as race registration (this, frankly, is totally cool because even local 5Ks can be expensive), heart rate monitors, GPS-enabled devices, shoes, wicking clothing and displays for to hang your marathon medals.

My personal favorite stocking stuffers are those little items are helpful but add up when it comes to training and racing — Body Glide, Clif Shot Blocks, Honey Stinger Waffles, hair ties. In my travels around the Internet and social media, I found some amazing people doing amazing work. Check these out for some unique gift ideas:

Believe I Am: A great company started by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettingan. Their guiding principal: Pursuing excellence in anything is really about perfecting the art of BELIEF. The apparel on their website is really cute, but of most interest to me was the Training Journal ($19.95). It’s more than just a way to record your workouts, it’s inspirational as well. I’ve ordered one for myself and will be giving a review soon, but in the meantime, check it out.

Hit The Deck: Watch next week for my official review of these workout cards which right now are fun and kinda kicking my butt. Hit The Deck ($19.99) created by Jenny Evans, the workout involves no equipment. A timer is included in the box and the cards consist of four categories: Warmup/Cool Down, No Sweat, I’m Glistening and Sweating Buckets. The exercises are done based on time and you can mix and match for your own workout or use her plan that’s included. Perfect for travel or to get you motivated to start your workout on those dark winter days when the TV is calling.

A great celebration created by Gracie & Me Design

Gracie & Me Design: Fantastic hand-stamped pendants and charms to celebrate and congratulate the athlete in your life. I ordered a pendant after completing my Iron Distance in Montreal and absolutely love it. The pendants are customizable and Barbara, the designer and owner of the small shop on Etsy, is great to deal with. Running, race and triathlon designs range from $10-$58.

Workshops, classes and clubs: Take a minute to look around your city, town or village and there are probably wellness and fitness classes in the area. There are groups which go hiking or clubs which focus on running, triathlon, cycling and friendship. Consider buying someone a membership in one of those organizations. Or, look for wellness and fitness classes at local gyms. If you’re in Western New York, consider my workshop Lessons from My Inner Athlete, at the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora ($20). In the 90-minute session on Jan. 14 we’ll talk about the mind-body connection, finding your epic win and setting yourself up for success in 2012.

And a word about athletes giving to non-athletes: Once you find the joy in exercising, eating health and/or racing, you may want to share this love with others in your life. That’s great, but realize this: People have to be ready for it. If a family member of friend seems interested in something active, then by all means, get them something to support their lifestyle change. But think twice before buying a gym membership or piece of fitness equipment for someone who has shown no interest in getting healthy or fit. First, it might be insulting. Second, the most lasting change comes from within, not from outside pressure. Just something to ponder while you’re surfing the web or cruising for a parking space.

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