Awesome shorts, awesome friends, living big

It was one of those productive weekends that sets the tone for a fantastic week. And so today’s blog has a few topics to deal with including a product review and the power of friendships. Let’s get to it:

UR Sportswear!

Through the magic of social media, I met Jacalyn Gross, a young woman from Michigan who was a runner and climber along with having a degree in apparel and textile design. Energetic and athletic, she wanted to create a sportswear company that responded to the needs of the consumer, mainly women who wanted better looking and fitting shorts for running, climbing and yoga. And UR Sportswear was born. I took a pair of their shorts for a test drive this weekend and simply put I loved them. I have the “Just Rock Short” in “Eggplant Flowers.” (See the accompanying picture for what my shorts look like … but note that its not me in the photo. For all the friends I was with this weekend, I forgot to have them snap a pic of me in my rocking new shorts.)

First, the shorts feel great — a silky feel to the material but one that breathes extremely well. The legs have gripping silicon elastic at the hem which keeps the shorts in place, but not too tight as to restrict circulation or leave marks on my legs when I take them off. The back pocket is roomy enough for keys and a gel. The colors and patterns are cool and flattering. I used the shorts for yoga and for a recovery three-mile run. I still have to test them on a longer run, but the fit, feel and colors combined for a fantastic short that will get plenty of use and lift my spirits. Seriously. I love the function of these shorts but I also love the story behind the shorts, the determination of other women wanting to make a difference to help others live active lifestyles. Check out their website not just for products for inspirational stories about the start of the company and other runners, climbers and yogis.

The imprints of friends

Every day on Facebook, my friend Tracy posts a quote. Today’s was an appropriate recap of my weekend from author Marcia Lynn McClure:

Sometimes just the tiniest allocation of time spent with a friend, imprints on your mind and gives you something to smile about for the rest of the week, month, or your life!

On Saturday I returned to my alma mater, St. Bonaventure, for the annual Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Two women’s basketball legends were being inducted — Hilary Waltman, the program’s all-time leading scorer, and M.J. Telford, a player in the early 1970s who went on to coach for two decades. The day was a celebration of women’s basketball and a reunion of sorts with players and coaches I knew from my student days when I was a manager, holding the coveted keys to the cage and locker room and controlling the clock during practice. It was like coming home to family. The impact that Coach Telford had on me didn’t really come to light until years later. She didn’t just open up opportunities, she laid the foundation for me to take risks, step outside my comfort zone and pursue my dreams and interests, regardless of how they may look to the outside world. Trust me, upon reflection, there really isn’t much one can’t tackle after getting lost walking around Philadelphia looking for a laundromat with a huge gray sack of basketball laundry slung over your shoulder.

Surviving 30 minutes in cold, choppy water.

The friendship fest continued on Sunday when I met my friend Mary at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua, N.Y. to try our hand at open water swimming for the season. The water was 66 degrees. The air temperature was 55 degrees. We were the only people crazy enough to show up at the beach, so while we pulled on our wetsuits, we decided to swim in the designated area. The wind was brisk and the waves were pretty decent. But the longer we stayed in, the more comfortable we got. We swam for half an hour (much to the dismay of the lifeguard who was huddled to keep warm in her chair). Badass. Yes. That’s what we were. And the memory of that laughter with Mary will likely get me through any open water swim in this year’s triathlons. It’s the little moments which often leave the biggest imprints on our friendships. Not all days about setting the world on fire. And in reality, it’s the every day moments like these which bring me the best memories and the biggest smiles. It’s living big in the so-called small moments which opens up other doors, even if we can’t see them from where we’re standing at the moment.

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