Part of a changing lifestyle is being adventurous enough to try new things. I am fortunate enough to have the resources at my disposal to try a lot of new foods, products, and activities. It keeps me motivated to have a mental list of all of the things I want to try. I am also one of those people who gets excited about new gadgets, clothing, and favorite foods. When I first got my new running shoes, I remember being so excited about trying them out and then breaking them in. As long as I keep trying new things, I have something to look forward to and something new to keep my life fresh and interesting.
I have tried so many new things during this process and some of them have been life-changing. Some of them, on the other hand, are just alright or–in some cases–quite terrible. I put together the list below of some of the things I’ve tried. I categorized them in one of four categories: “Things I thought I would hate, but I can’t live without,” “Things I am anxious to try,” and “Things I tried and can definitely live without.” I encourage you to try something new today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next) and reflect on how that product or food or thneed changed your life (or didn’t).
Things I thought I would hate, but I can’t live without:
- Fancy running shoes: Believe it or not, I actually thought my hiking shoes or cheap Payless sneakers could get me through a run. It turns out that it’s not normal for your feet to fall asleep on a run. This was shocking news to me. Once someone told me that I should look into the feet-numbing business, I started looking into the right kind of running shoes for my budget and feet. I ended up buying a Groupon for Athens Running Company. When I went in, a stranger watched me run on a treadmill for a few minutes, told me I ran normally, and pointed out a few shoes for me to try on. It was love at first site when I tried on my purple Brooks. Ever since that day we have been inseparable I will never wear another brand of running shoes. They are incredibly comfortable and so light on my feet.
- An armband for my iPhone: I honestly thought all of the people who wore them were big tools. I didn’t think I needed one at all. In the winter, I held my phone in my fleece vest that I wore on runs. But, as it started getting warmer out I ditched the vest and ended up holding my phone in my hand. BLAH
- Nike Plus iPhone App: I try as hard as I can to limit the apps on my phone. To me, too many apps means clutter, more distractions, and more stuff I don’t need. A friend (that’s you, Chandler) recommended Nike Plus to me at the beginning of this school year. Once I got it in October I was completely hooked. It is the absolute best way to track my progress, keep myself motivated, and find ways to improve on my running.
- Tofu: I was so against the idea of tofu. I thought of it as a processed, taste-less, disgusting food. Though in some cases this may be true, I have definitely enjoyed trying all the varieties of tofu. My absolute favorite tofu meal is a tofu taco from Barberitos.
- Running spandex: Maybe it’s because I have a bigger bum than most people I see sporting spandex, but I just felt entirely uncomfortable with the idea of wearing spandex in public. I ultimately bought a pair to start running in because my shorts are always riding up and getting stuck and all sorts of weird things shorts shouldn’t be doing. At least with the spandex, I thought, everything will stay in place. I really can’t live without them now. And now that my body is starting to get a little tighter, I feel much less self-conscious when I’m wearing spandex in public (especially if I’m running). So, there it is. I’m one of those girls who wears spandex as pants. Sorry I’m not sorry. They’re cozy.
Things I am anxious to try (either because I know I’ll love it or because I’m scared I’ll hate it):
- A water/phone belt: I see a lot of people wearing these belts while I’m out on my runs and I saw a lot of people selling them at the Cooper River Bridge Run Expo. They seem extremely convenient and much easier to deal with than a hand-held water bottle, backpack, or no water at all. Once I start getting into training for my first half marathon (after the summer) I will probably invest in one.
- Tofu-bacon: I can’t believe I’ve never tried it before! I must confess that I have tried real bacon and that stuff is outrageous. So. Much. Delicious. I really look forward to seeing how authentic the tofu version of it is.
Things I tried and can live without:
- Water bottle with hand strap: I bought a Nathan water bottle holder with a strap that goes around my hand and a pocket for my phone and ID. I liked it at first (when the weather was cooler), but now when I use it my hand gets all sweaty and uncomfortable. I also switch it between hands a lot, which is really just a pain in the neck. Maybe it’s something I need to use more often to get used to, but overall it’s not for me.
- Group workouts: My experience with group workouts was alright. I liked circuit training in a big group because you’re still focused on your own task. I really don’t like the awkward dance move warm-ups, boot camp workouts, or the peppy weight-lifting classes. I don’t know why really… they just make me feel weird. But, to each her own. You might really enjoy them. I honestly do encourage you to try them. If anything I’m happy that I tried.
- Speed training: Okay, I know I need to do speed training in order to improve, but I can’t stand it. It makes my stomach feel gross and my head spin and I don’t like it. That is all.
As with all of my many lists I have posted on this blog, I will continue to add to this one. If I find any awesome new products or try some amazing vegan food I will absolutely share my thoughts with you. Now, get out there and try something new! For me it will be going to bed early (aka watch The West Wing on Netflix until I fall asleep).