I know it’s time for this seasonal post and at first I thought about skipping it. But once I thought about it there were a few things worth sharing. This season I didn’t have to go out and buy a whole lot. Actually I think it was just a TYR top for a triathlon that as of yet goes untested. This season also shook out differently than I’d planned, yes because we got surprise married and planned it in a month but also for different reasons. Looking back this summer I felt really flakey and pulled in lots of different directions which is already the big thing I know I’ll need to work on next year. All of this stuff is things I love and this post isn’t sponsored by anyone and it contains no affiliate links.
Ordering groceries online
All of this summer felt busy though nothing crazy happened. We were busy with work at the start mostly wharfing but not crazily so. I started doing some gardening on the side and race training. More of my time issues came from failure to prioritize and guard my time effectively. But that’s not what we’re here about. Along the way this summer I tried ordering my groceries online and having someone pick them out for me using PC Express. You can find codes for free pickup but it costs $3 -$5 for prime time spots. Here’s the thing though even if you take a speedy half hour in the store value your time because you’re paying less than minimum wage to not get out of your car. When I was really busy this helped a lot.
It’s not perfect, I did end up with some wrong stuff sometimes, some things were unfindable on the website, certain medications can’t be picked for you but overall I was impressed. Nice things are that they allow for written notes if you can’t find a product on the site for a swap, you get a bottle of water and a treat if that’s your thing and you get to pick from your previous orders to make ordering easier. Overall it let me relax while shopping for groceries when ever I have the time like late at night.
Pro camera app
Still love GorillaCam but… my iPhone messed up this summer and had to be restored. My mom let me know that gorillacam would be disappearing since it’s no longer available in my region and it did. I tried a few other camera apps some of which I even paid for before finding this one. One was so terrible I even asked apple for a refund and they did give me one. Then I found this app for my runfies and it rocks. Not free but probably less than an hour’s work too. It’s pretty much lets you set every single setting if you want to in addition to a great self timer so there is some messing with the settings in the learning process but it’s worth it. Confession time I have mine set to 90 frames to pick just one cute picture and sometimes that’s still not enough.
Lululemon Scuba Hoodies (used)
My name is Allison and I think I have a new addiction. That is Lulu scuba hoodies that I buy on facebook. It’s got everything a good addiction needs, warm fuzzy feelings, going out to score and an adrenaline rush. It started innocently enough I went to lulumemon downtown to buy one for a friend and I tried it on for her to get the right size. That first hit was all it took two days later I was cursing facebook marketplace and looking for more. I bought a purple one, then a blue one a week later and I’ve said I’m done with it but I know there’s at least one more in there. Here’s the thing new at the store $130 for a sweatshirt is crazy. But… there is a reason they’ve been made forever and people are lining up to spend cash on them. I’ve bought more for $30 each in great condition. While they are not for working out they are so warm, so cozy and so structured so perfect for wearing to the gym, on the boat or for the start line for races. They are popular with teenage girls, who else has $130 for a sweater? You can’t wear it to work and they tend to wear them pretty tight. In both cases so far I bought ones that girls in their early 20’s grew out of. I’m hooked you guys!
Making your hobby a business
I’ve done this a few times with varying success. This summer I did it again with some gardening jobs. I have tutored for 20 years now because I turned studying into a business, sewing on some level making RC chassis covers, writing and I love to garden. I’m a big believer in side jobs and side hustles in general for a few reasons. One is having something on the side is a great way to:
- Supplement your income
- Put money away for extras or emergencies
- Pad your landing if you lose your job
- Get how hard it is to be self-employed
- Grow something that’s yours
Getting paid to do something you’re good at feels great and it’s even better if you’re going to be doing it anyway but it’s also bigger than that. Helping others with their studies helped my grades get better, making something others wanted to buy boosted my confidence and this summer getting paid to do something I loved to do got me back to it. The truth of the matter is that as I got healthy after grad school again and fitness became a bigger part of my life than it had ever been consistently my time to garden dropped off to almost zero. After all we don’t all have unlimited time to do exactly what we want to do. It did feel great to make some bands (ps paid for the wedding in a big way), help people who couldn’t do it themselves anymore and have them appreciate it. Mostly it felt great to get back to something I love simple because the cash made me make the time for it. If you have something you love to do as a hobby why not try to monetize it?
Sharing your fitness
Almost two years ago my running, racing fitness stuff was just my thing. Last year my mom and step dad got into the running thing but it was unclear if it would stick. They were super into it but was it just a passing fad? Truthfully for me it’s my introvert self-care time and when I can’t get out there (like this week(s) I’ve been too sick) I miss it terribly. But sharing your favorite thing with others is totally fun. Family races are great, so are evening paddles with my mom since she copied me again and got a board too. Right now we have lots of family visiting from overseas and I dropped off both my bikes and board for them to all use together too at my mom’s place. It was fun showing them the ropes one day and even cooler tonight. We happened to be next door to her place looking at a job and I saw them enjoying an evening paddle while we were talking to the customer and it warmed my heart. Even if fitness is your special alone thing too consider sharing it because that’s pretty awesome too.
Handstands in the world
I’m really bendy, like really bendy and I could always get into yoga poses that my overall level of strength shouldn’t allow. But the inversions that’s where the rubber hit the road so to speak. So over the years I’ve worked hard at getting better at those too. Now I can do a headstand unsupported if conditions are ideal (no crosswinds) and I’m getting better at handstands too. I only used to be able to do them in my upstairs hallway climbing one wall with my feet and then laying on the other. When I first started it was a miracle I didn’t put a hole in the drywall! Now I can get up there without the aid of the other wall. Progress! Anyway I’ve enjoyed doing handstands for running pictures a few times this summer plus it’s a great no motion option when I’m losing the light for the day!
What are motion pants you might ask? No body really knows but I’m guessing that it’s a terrible translation from running skirt in Chinese. Which is to say I ordered a really cheap running skirt from amazon and when it arrived it was tagged ‘motion pants’ for customs which was pretty funny at the time. I wanted a black skirt and this one is awesome. The shorts are the perfect length inside, the fabric is great and I’ve even worn it on some 20 km long runs. It does come in a few other colors and I 10/10 totally recommend this budget option. Though do go up a size. I’ve worn it and washed it a ton and it still looks brand new and I think it will for a long time too.
Letting go of goals
Are you a type A motivated person at least some of the time for some things? Me too! That’s a great thing overall but it can be hard to let know when to dial that back a notch. At the start of this season it was all half marathon with a side of sprint triathlon and a couple of PR’s for good measure that was the plan after all. Which really isn’t that crazy but it’s a pretty full plan for one race season. But you know what life just kept popping up and getting in the way in the best ways possible. The opportunity for a are side hustle, a half with no goals for me at least and getting married among other fun things just kept popping up. Almost to the point that the universe was trying to tell me something. Even that 10k PR opportunity was better spent chatting with a cool young runner. Picking a wedding day meant the sprint had to go along with planning it in a month and some missed runs meant there wasn’t going to be a PR at that half even though I’d be running it on my own.
You know what, I lived through it and had a lot of fun this summer anyway. Actually looking back it was a great summer! We spent more time in the boat not working, I slept later on average than I have in years and more time relaxing when I let go of certain goals. If you notice that life is giving you lots of lemonade minus the lemons all of a sudden look at is as an opportunity. Had I only put my head down and pushed through all that planned stuff I would have missed out on more. It is almost impossible to accomplish anything if you don’t make it a priority but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Rather let in the possibility that maybe that’s too much for one year given the direction life is going at the moment. I’m glad I did.
What amazing things did you discover this summer? Share with the group!
Check out last summer’s finds here!
And last fall’s here!