YOU’VE IDENTIFIED YOUR FITNESS GOALS FOR 2018, have developed a schedule, and are performing the daily workouts. You might be 3 weeks into the process, if DAY ONE was January 1, or not as far along if a later date was the launch of a new healthy you. Possibly you also set nutrition and sleep goals that are intended to complement or potentiate exercise plan outcomes.
For all that planning, perspiration, and perseverance, what rewards have you promised yourself? The pride of getting it done, feeling and looking better, and having bragging rights in future conversations-with-self? All are worthy but intangible rewards.
However, it doesn’t seem smart to aim for a big dinner-with-desert splurge or night of margaritas, Mexican food, or other guilty pleasure denied by current nutrition plans.
Consider saving for a piece of apparel or gear item that acknowledges progress made; something that the confidence you will have gained in reaching an interim goal will allow you to wear. An item or garment that costs a bit more than your usual active wear purchase, but that doesn’t break the bank. Ideally something that will excite and encourage continued adherence to a reasonable plan and schedule. That will keep you on track, and loving it.
The timing of rewards should be contemplated. If given to self too early in the plan for results to be realized, memories of childhood trophies awarded for just showing up might be recalled, which were not meaningful or motivating. A small reward might be best accepted after a month of sticking with a plan. Something of a bit more value might come after finishing a first race, 8-10 weeks of training, a weight mark reached.
My vote is for apparel. We all wear athletic shoes and another pair won’t show off a better, stronger, more flexible body. Or improved posture or balance. And the shoes will fit and look okay whether we break from the plan and slide backwards or continue to make progress. But new apparel that looks better on the ‘new’ form, won’t look as terrific with backsliding, and might be the ideal reward.
High schoolers hoping to go to college are frequently advised to apply to ‘safety’ schools (chance is good for acceptance) and to ‘reach’ schools (may be slightly out of reach for acceptance but a stellar application may do the trick). Think about aiming for ‘reach apparel’ as a reward. Leggings, shorts, or tops with construction or material type that you may not have considered yourself eligible to wear.
The top, big-name sports apparel manufacturers come to mind immediately. However, since reading the article featured in a recent blog post (“Why do you buy running shoes?” January 20, 2018) in which the long time CEO of shoe company Brooks Sports Inc. showed no understanding of runners, I’m resolved to become a more thoughtful purchaser.
There are lots of small newer companies making garments and shoes that have a life vision for themselves and the world. Earned Runs has posted about or highlighted a few in the past: Allbirds, Bombas, Tracksmith, and Gettees for example (links below).
Another fitness apparel company that has captured the attention of people who wear leggings is Outdoor Voices. It was featured in Vogue magazine this month, and has been noticed by the business world. The OV founder says the company believes “that when you drop the expectation to perform the magic happens”, and “that the joy of the game outlasts the win.” Her customer, it seems from the OV website, is “The Recreationalist”, a person sand boarding, viewing the stars in a dark sky national park, and jogging or hiking rather than running.
OV proclaims “Navy is Nature’s Black” in The Recreationalist sections; and calls it “the recreational color of the great outdoors”. I love this concept, that nature has a fashion sense of sorts.
The women’s leggings look comfortable and form fitting, much more so than the men shorts. But they have clean lines and look like they are made for activity. There are grays, navy, and pale pastel colors. So, OV leggings may be my ‘reach apparel” reward when I make it to the end of week 10 / Part 1 of the “Saints Days’ training plan and finish both a 5k in February and a 10k in March. In navy or navy and dark gray!
I have a few weeks to decide. There are other great companies yet to be discovered that may also sync with my values and spiritual side. And whose products will motivate me to keep moving for fitness and health.
What do men consider as ‘reach reward’ apparel? Polling male family members shows this topic isn’t of much interest. What might, then? 'Public Rec' technical leisure apparel is designed for men.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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