Saturday, November 21, 2009


AddictionAddict is such a strong word. No one wants to be labeled an "addict", as it has connotations that you are no longer in control of a certain aspect of your life. Even things that may not appear harmful can become an addiction-running, shopping, eating...yet in all of those situations, something that is either healthy or 'everyday' becomes something that is out of your control. People become "shopping addicts" and spend all of their money, and get into credit card debt. People can become "exercise addicts' to the point of injury. People that are addicted to eating are often people we see morbidly obese, and end up suffering from Diabetes and high blood pressure. Just like a drug and alcohol addition, no matter what the subject, an addiction takes over a persons life to the point they are no longer in control, and if they don't get their "fix" of whatever it is they are addicted to, it can send them into a frenzy.
If  you happened to read my previous post, it is no surprise that I attended and participated in my first (and hopefully last) intervention today. I have thought about nothing else all week, and woke up with hives this morning in nervous anticipation of what was going to happen. I had no idea how I was going to react, other than I knew I was so nervous and pretty "checked out" of every other aspect of my life for the last week. All I could think about was how fast this person spiraled out of control, and became an 'addict'  that was absolutely going to kill himself. It wasn't a matter of  'if'; it was a matter of when.
When I got the the "pre" intervention meeting, I felt a strange calmness, and some comfort that so many people that I KNEW he cared so much about were all together, asking him to get help. I felt like with this united front, there was no way he'd continue down his path of destruction. I was happy to see his best friends weren't going to make excuses for him, but confront him so that he had no one to turn to, no direction to go in-except to get help.
Two of his friends went to get him and bring him back to the one of the guys' house "to hang out". We got a call about 45 minutes after they left that he wasn't coming, and he told them he just wanted to stay at his own house all day and 'take it easy'. So, the 9 of us got in the car and headed to his house. I felt sick to my stomach not knowing what I was going to walk into, and even worse when I started to think about the fact there was a loaded gun in the house.
As expected, he was surprised, confused, angry, and hostile when we all filed in. His sister did an amazing job at talking out to the living room, because as soon as he figured out there were quite a few people there, he retreated back to his room. She began her letter to him, and we all went in the order that was rehearsed. Everyone had a tough time getting through their letter, as every single person was in tears as they read to him what his addiction has done to them, and how its destroyed relationships.
The rest of the details of the intervention don't need to be rehashed, other than to say he refused to go. Oddly enough, he emailed me at 8:30 that night and just said "thank you for being there today. I really appreciate it", which completely caught me off guard. I thought he was upset and angry I was there. I replied to his email, and then he replied back. I have never been in this situation before, so I didn't know what to do-but I felt like keeping the lines of communication open was a step in the right direction. We talked about how he felt when he saw us, and how he's never felt so alone in his entire life as after all 9 of us left his house. We talked until 6:30 in the morning, and there were so many times throughout the night I thought I had him just about to agree to go...then he'd dash my hopes with a reply that he needed more time. Starting about 2 hours after we hung up, at 8:30, his sister, his parents, the interventionalist and I were all in constant (and I mean CONSTANT) contact to put a plan together to get him into treatment. Luckily, around noon I got a call from him, and as soon as I said "hello?" he just replied "I need help."
I called the detox and got the packing list of what he could and could not bring, and we made plans that I would pick him up the next morning at 11, help him pack his bag, and take him to the crisis stabilization unit. I did arrived at his house and went straight back to his room where he was already laying clothes out.  I just kept looking around his gorgeous house thinking how he had so much-the nice house, the fancy car, a great family...and a SUBSTANCE was going to take it all away from him. I have a hard time understanding how addicts get to that point, because I don't think I've ever been addicted to anything. When I walked around to the far side of his bed, I saw all our picture frames still out, but on the floor. We haven't spoken in two years, or seen each other in the same amount of time. I said "oh...our pictures? I know you've dated girls since we split up..didn't they mind?" and he goes, "look at this" as he opened the top drawer of his nightstand, I could see everything I had ever given him. Every card, every note I had left for him, the photo album I made for him for Valentines day over 2 years ago...all right next to his bed. I felt so sorry for him, because that was clearly a sign that he doesn't cope with things in his life that he doesn't like, or can't get past. It was a small symbol of a much bigger problem, but it was impactful just the same. As I packed his bag, the tears were streaming down his face and he just kept repeating "I can't believe my life has come to this."  Honestly, I couldn't either.
As we drove to the hospital, I kept looking over at him and just saw tears streaming down his face. Every now and then he'd crack a joke, which would make us both laugh. At one point he said "So, does it make me any less of a man that I love Taylor Swift and my favorite song is 'Fifteen'?...(ironically, it is a favorite of mine as well)...or does the fact I am a prescription drug addict and alcoholic, on my way to detox kinda take that title?"  Comments here and there like that, there were small signs of the person I knew so long ago, and they made this entire experience even harder, because I knew that person was still there, buried under all the pills and booze. Unfortunately, years of heaving drinking and pills have taken over much of that funny, sweet, always smiling, "do anything for anyone" guy, and he was now outwardly a slurring, stumbling, mess to most people. His legs have already started to atrophy from the extremely high doses of drugs he was taking, so he couldn't walk. He held onto my shoulder as we walked from the parking lot into the waiting room. The tears had stopped, but as soon as I said "I am here with (insert name), and we are here to check him in. You guys are expecting him"  I looked over and the tears just started flowing again. I could tell it was becoming more and more real, and all starting to sink in.  After the paperwork, we were sent to an "assessment room" where the check in counselor immediately brought in a nurse. She said he was in danger of seizing, as he was already in withdraw, since he hadn't taken anything since the intervention two days earlier. When they took him back, it was one of the hardest goodbyes I've ever had to do. I went to give him a hug goodbye, and he had a death grip around my neck-and I practically had to peel him off in order to go with the nurse. He could barely walk on his own, so I knew he couldnt walk and carry his bag, so I went to hand it to the nurse and she said "he must carry his own stuff". He reached for it, and took two steps, when it was crystal clear he couldnt go any further trying to walk AND carry the bag. She finally gave in and took it from him, and watching him walk away, towards the big sign that read "Crisis Stabilization Unit" was absolutely gut wrenching.
I had no idea it would effect me the way it did, since I haven't seen him or talked to him in so long. Walking out of the hospital towards my car, I felt like it was up there with one of the worst days of my life-with the exception of the day my mom was in the ICU and I thought she wasn't going to make it. It was absolutely comparable to the day I had to bury my two best friends, and in some ways it was worse. Their funerals were awful. AWFUL. But there was some finality to it, and there was a definite ending. Its been a long and slow process to deal with their death, and I am not sure I'll ever be in a place where it doesn't effect certain aspects of my life. But with this situation, I left that hospital and had no idea if I would ever see him again. He has to stay in detox for a week, but then what? No one can force him into rehab, and if he goes, no one can make him stay there. It wasn't discussed, but I think he thinks he has to go to detox for a week, and then he'll return home to his beautiful house, his fancy car, and he will have beaten this awful disease. He has no idea that the "plan" for him is to go to a residential treatment facility for up to a year. Again, no one can make him go, but many professionals that have seen him think that is his only shot at living a sober life. He can't do it without going to a live in treatment facility where he learns the coping skills and life skills he needs to deal with emotions he has numbed with drugs and alcohol his entire life. I think when he gets out, and realizes he needs to go into a residential facility, he's going to resist it all over again. When he realizes he is most likely going to lose his house, his car, and most of his material possessions, it will send him into a downward spiral. Walking out of the hospital that night, almost 6 hours after we walked in, I was so sad for him, and it was so devastating in so many different ways. This was someone at some point not too long ago that I looked at and thought had a very serious relationship with. Now I didn't know if he is going to live or die, ever be able to walk again, or if the damage he has done to his body was permanent. I called up to the hospital that night I checked him in to make sure he was okay and he got on the phone and sounded like such a scared little boy. He kept saying "Ali, they are treating me like I am insane. I feel like I am in jail. Everyone keeps telling me about this condition where you stop taking Xanex at the level I was taking it, and you just die in your sleep-you never wake up. I don't want to die. Please don't let that happen to me." I have absolutely never felt so helpless in my entire life. I couldn't tell him it wasn't going to happen. I couldn't really say anything except, "You are in a hospital, and they are going to take good care of you."
From the time I took the phone call asking if I would attend the intervention up until that point I did think he wanted to die. I thought he was trying to kill himself with drugs and alcohol on purpose. I realized during that phone call he had the "invincible syndrome" most of us had when we were in high school or college. He didn't want to die. He wanted to numb his emotional pain, but he never thought it would kill him in the process. He also told me that he wanted to go to treatment from the intervention, but "something" wouldn't allow him to, and "he couldn't tell me what it was."  He finally told me while we were packing his bag. He had done cocaine for the first time in many years the night before the intervention, and was afraid for it to show up on the tox screen when he checked into detox. I replied "you have X, Y, and Z (all prescription drugs) in your system already. They aren't going to care if cocaine shows up too. They just need to know what you are on so they know how to detox your body."  He replied, "but I don't want them to treat me like I am a drug addict." I was completely confused and I looked at him puzzled and said "but you ARE a drug addict-with prescription meds"...and he replied "Right. Cocaine is for street thugs, or the people you look at and know are drug addicts.  Its a low class drug. I haven't done it since a couple times in college.  I don't want them to look at me like I am one of those people that do cocaine". I said "So whats the difference between cocaine showing up on your tox screen and the insanely high doses of what you are on?" and he replied, and I will NEVER forget exactly what he said "A doctor can prescribe what I take, so its not nearly as bad."
I haven't stopped thinking about that sentence in two days. In reality, cocaine alone cannot kill you. Heavy doses of prescription sedatives and pain killers can. This whole time he didn't think what he was doing was that wrong, or harmful, because he originally got all the medicines from a Doctor.
What pisses me off the most is a General Practice physician wrote those meds for him, many years ago. Not a psychiatrist. Any physician besides a psychiatrist does NOT get extensive education in CNS conditions or medicines. No GP should have written that for him to begin with, let along with the plethora of other meds he was prescribed. That is not to say if it wasn't these drugs it wouldn't have eventually been something else. I am sure it would have.  But I bet there are a LOT of prescription drug abusers out there that don't realize the harm they are doing to themselves, or justify it, because "its legal", or it started off as a prescription from a medical doctor.
Now he is fighting for his life, and in the process going to lose everything he's worked for for the last nine years. His dad is going to lose a lot of his retirement trying to pay for his detox, and then he has to figure out how they are going to fund his rehab (if he goes). At the same time, we can all want him so deparately to get better, but if he isn't ready or willing himself, all this money, time, and energy is its only a matter of time before a relapse if he hasnt hit his own rock bottom and realizes he needs to turn his life around, and he can't do it alone.
I went straight from the hospital Tuesday to school, and was an hour late getting there. I sat in my seat in a class of about 120 students and just sobbed. I hadn't shed a tear up to that point, but it hit me all at once, several hours after I left him. I tried my best to hold it together until class was over, but when I got home i couldn't stop crying. I was upset for HOURS, and I felt like I was going through the exact same grieving process I had gone through with my friends that had died. At that particular moment I was angry. So angry I couldn't stop crying. I was angry at the Doctor that wrote him that medicine.  I was angry at him for not realizing a drug addict is a drug addict-it didn't matter if he was on crack, or a prescription. If he was abusing it, he was an addict. I was angry it got to this point before he was getting help. I was angry he couldn't even walk anymore, and still was in denial it was due to his drug use. I was mad that after two years it still absolutely killed me to give him a hug when they came to take him away, and he had such a tight grip around my neck and wouldn't let go; which killed me inside, but I wouldn't let him see it. I am mad that he asked me to "not let him die", because to everyone up to this point, it looked like that is what he was trying to do to himself, and there was no way I could stop it if his body couldn't take it anymore. I am mad that the guy I knew in college, that would do anything for anyone, had the cutest smile, and most infectious laugh is now a committed patient at a hospital I call on for work. I am mad he had the world at his fingertips, with a great job, great family, great girlfriend (if I do say so myself), and he threw it all away, because he couldn't deal with his own reality and never learned coping skills to deal with life.
He has now been in treatment for 2 days. He has 5 days left, before he is released. I have no idea what is going to happen to him or where he is going to go at that point. I hope beyond hope that he is committed to getting sober, but unfortunately I am not sure he is in detox for himself. I know from my own extended family members that have been through similar situations that he can go to detox to get us all "off his back", but if he isn't ready to get sober himself, this is all for naught.
Two weeks ago he honestly never crossed my mind, and rarely has for the last two years. Now I think about him constantly, and wonder how this could happen. How does it happen to anyone.  How can you get to the point where a substance, or a drink, literally can ruin your life. I simply don't understand it, and I'm not sure I ever will.
Before I got the call asking if would attend his intervention, I already felt like my plate was full. I have my own medical issues going on, my dad has medical issues that I am worried about, work had been crazy with launching a new drug this quarter, and with an extra load in school, finals, and end of semester projects and papers coming up in the next two weeks everyday my "to do" list was overwhelming. I feel like I dropped everything Sunday, and just started picking it back up today...and its incredibly overwhelming to think of what I have to get done in the next two weeks. But it pales in comparison to what he has to tackle in the next two weeks, and the long road he is facing to what we all hope is a recovery.
Everyone is talking about their Thanksgiving and Holiday plans and it makes me so incredibly sad to think that in the BEST case scenario for him, he will be spending the holidays in a rehab center with a bunch of people he doesn't know.  I hate drugs and alcohol for what its done to him, his family, his friends, and so many others just like him. I only hope its not too late for him to turn it around.
To top off this week, tomorrow is my best friend's brithday, that passed away on November 2, 1997. Tomorrow he would have been 33.  I have dreaded Novembers (his died November 2nd,  then his birthday is November 21st) for the last 12 years. Now there is so much more to put on my petition on skipping November, and going straight from October to December.


interventionI warned people that some posts would be serious, and this is one of them. If you aren't in the mood for serious, I would encourage you to stop reading now. Consider yourself warned...
So, tonight I've been sitting here trying to write a letter for an intervention for someone that I knew several years ago. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt having posted in a laughing manner about how drunk he got the last couple times I hung out with him, knowing now he stands in a position where his life is literally in danger. He has suffered from several gran mal seizures lately, he has been charged with  a DUI where he registered a .37 (and could have killed himself and/or a family), and he has cut all ties with everyone important to him. He was closer to his dad and step mom than anyone I've ever met before...and he  hasn't seen them in a year. His friends called me and asked me to attend his intervention, that would also include his parents, friends that he has cut out of his life, a professional interventionalist, and the police. I am having a very hard time understanding how he could get to this point so quickly. He has gone from someone I definitely thought drank too much, to someone who could easily lose their life to the disease of drugs and alcohol. I am having a hard time understanding how at one point not too many years ago, we were on the same page...and now he has a choice of either rehab or jail, and I am hoping to go to Harvard in a year (by no means am I saying I am better than he is, I just can't seem to understand  when I started setting my goals higher, and his goal at this point at this point may simply  to live another day) Or, maybe his goal is not to live another day. At this point it seems like he is trying to kill himself, and no one seems to be able to stop him. That is what I am so scared of. When did this downward spiral change from someone who "partied too much" to someone on the brink of death. DYING. I have lost more people in my life thus far than most people lose in a lifetime. I cannot stand the thought of losing another one.  His parents, friends, and the interventionalist asked me to be there sunday at noon, and to write him a letter to read during the meeting. Even though I haven't seen him in over two years, for some reason they think I may be able to get through to him more than they can. I hope they are right, but what they don't know is I've had my own "interventions" with him, and none of them have worked. Maybe it will be success in numbers. I hope it will be. I hope when he sees his family, his friends, and myself there telling him he needs help, and he'll take it. For some reason, I just don't think he is going to.
I LOVE to write. I would write for a living if it could pay my bills. I have never had trouble putting "the pen to paper" (figuratively, now that we use computers). But with this "letter",  I have started, erased, started, erased, and started again on my letter to read at the intervention. I love the show "Intervention" on A& E, and I know how critical it is to word things in a way that aren't threatening, accusatory, or place blame on the individual. This is the first time in a long time I am at a loss for words. What we say to him on Sunday can literally be the difference between him living and dying. If he doesn't go to rehab, he will die. Its that simple.  I just wish I had the magic words that would make him realize he needs help, and  seek the treatment that is being offered.
Unfortunately right now, I don't. Now back to staring at the blank screen that I hope will materialize into my letter that convinces him he needs help...

The Triumph of the Human Spirit


The Campers
The Campers
Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to venture down to Warm Springs, Georgia, to assist the President/Founder of Getting 2 Tri, Mike Lenhart, with a clinic on balance and mobility for new amputees. In the broadest sense, Getting 2 Tri is an organization that coaches and teaches physically challenged Paratriathletes how to compete in sports, specifically triathlons. Less than a month ago, two of the "Team G2T" athletes were competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. These are serious athletes, and extremely impressive.
The Shepherd Center was putting on a camp for people that were mostly wheelchair bound, with a few that had limited mobility with the help of a prosthetic. The campers were put up for 3 days, and were able to attend seminars and "workshops' specific to their interests'- from scuba diving and wheelchair basketball, to track running and swimming, among many others.

Mobility Drills
Mobility Drills
There was a schedule each day of what time each clinic would start, and the campers got to pick and choose which ones they wanted to attend.  I was there with the head of the Atlanta Chapter of Getting 2 Tri, Albie Whitaker, to help Mike run his clinic. The people attending this camp were not "paratriathletes" getting ready to compete in the mecca of Ironman triathlon competitions (i.e. Kona); most were new amputees, just trying to get used to balancing with their new prosthetic or even stand for a short period of time.  One lady we worked with had just had her amputation 6 weeks prior to attending the camp. She was a lower leg amputee, due to Diabetes. Other amputees were due to motorcycle accidents, a severe seizure, as well as car accidents. One 16 year old female camper was paralyzed from the waist down from diving head first into a shallow pool when she was 9. Although they were not ideal for his organization, Mike is passionate about helping people understand that their life is not over once they have limited mobility or are unfortunately confined to a wheelchair, and was happy to help out at the clinic.

Running up and down the track
Running up and down the track
We braved the unseasonably cold weather, (read: froze our tails off) for the first clinic out on the track for an hour and a half with a woman that was a single lower leg amputee. She did all the drills, and by the end of the hour, was running right next to Mike up and down the track.
While watching Mike work with her, I met the sweetest 18 year old boy who was paralyzed from the waist down due being shot by a stray bullet in his neighborhood. He told me that he was just playing in the front yard with his sisters, when he got shot in the chest. His family had to move to a new home, one without stairs, and in a split second his entire future changed. Before the shooting, he was the star football and baseball player at his high school, and was hoping to go to college on a sports scholarship.
CIMG2556-1My heart literally broke as he was telling me his story, but his spirit was unaltered. He was as happy as he could be, and emphatic that nothing was going to slow him down...certainly not a wheelchair. He said he obviously wasn't going to play "normal" football or baseball, but he was going to go to college, get his degree, was already playing on a wheelchair basketball team, and was looking to get involved in more wheelchair sports. He was happy, and talking about being paralyzed the same way I would talk about having a stubbed toe-it was clear that nothing was going to hold this kid back in his life. He believed it, and in just a short time, I believed in him. It was freezing cold out, and as I had 5 layers on and was still shivering, he had shorts on and a long sleeve T-shirt. When we finished talking, I said "you are going to get sick! Your legs must be freezing in those shorts!" and he very politely, but with a slight grin, replied "Ma'am, I can't feel my legs." Talk about feeling like you just put your foot in your mouth.

The cutest little boy at the Scuba clinic
The cutest little boy at the Scuba clinic
After that session, we went inside to warm up. I had the opportunity to watch the scuba session, which was simply amazing. We continued on with our afternoon session, which we held indoors due to the cold weather. The first lady to come up to the track was not to sure about the clinic, as she was a new amputee, and didn't want to get out of her wheelchair. The other 3 participants were used to their prosthetics, and much more comfortable doing the drills. Everyone did a great job throughout the 90 minutes, and we wanted to finish up with each person running down and back on the indoor track. The first three people went, and then much to our surprise, the lady who was so hesitant at the beginning agreed to go. She went with Mike, and she did awesome-laughing and smiling the entire time. It was like you could see her realizing that her life wasn't over as she got up out of her wheelchair and started taking her steps down the track. When she turned to come back, she had a huge smile on her face, and she was so proud of herself-just as everyone there was proud of her.

Mike helping her out of her wheelchair
Mike helping her out of her wheelchair
CIMG2559-1When Mike got up to take the last person down and back, a young boy wheeled onto the track behind me. I had my back to him, and didn't turn around when I heard him talking. I wanted to watch the tremendous progress everyone made in just an hour, going up and down the track. As I was standing there watching the last guy going, I vividly remember thinking to myself "thank god I have all my limbs, and I can walk and run without any assistance, and I don't constantly have to worry about falling down". As if he heard my thoughts, the young boy behind me was talking to another camper, and said "Man, what I wouldn't do to be able to put on a pair or prosthetic legs and walk again. I'd give anything for that." I sat there for quite awhile, completely consumed by what he had just said. As I was looking at these people, NOT feeling sorry for them, but just so thankful I was not in their shoes, he would give anything to be able to have the limited mobility that they had. I didn't want to be in their position, and this kid would give anything to be in it.  He was paralyzed from the chest down, and had no movement at all in his lower limbs. He was 17 years old, and had been paralyzed in a car accident. Just as he said that, I looked across the gym and saw a banner that read "The Triumph of the Human Spirit", and I had what Oprah likes to call an "Ah-Ha" moment. I realize everyone takes things for granted at some point in their lives. But this was different. This was realizing that the same position that I felt so incredibly thankful not to be in  was the same position that was unattainable and nothing more than a dream for someone else. I have had my fair share of medical issues, but they all pale in comparison to what these people face every day.
CIMG2557We were teaching a woman how to simply get up and stand from her wheelchair. Sounds so easy, and yet, that  is all this boy dreamed of being able to do,. Unfortunately, unless science has a tremendous breakthrough, he probably will never be able to do the tasks that the campers in our clinic  were able to do.  Then I thought of the 18 year old boy out on the track, with the gregarious personality, bursting with determination and pride. I have no doubt that nothing was going to slow that boy down. I thought about the woman who didn't even want to join our clinic, but by the end was going up and down the track, with confidence. It's such a short, simple sentence, but has so much meaning..."The Triumph of the Human Spirit".  The triumph of the human spirit picks people up when the world has knocked them down. It tells you to get up and try again, when you think you can't. It pushes you to achieve the goal that everyone told you was impossible, or just a dream.  Its what gives you determination and drive, and forces you to be the absolute best that you can possibly be.  The triumph of the human spirit is what tells you not to take no for an answer, to keep pushing for something better, and not to let anything, or anyone stop you from achieving everything you want in your life, no matter what your circumstances.
The "Triumph of the Human Spirit" reminds me of some quotes that I love:
"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will." — Chuck Palahniuk
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."-- Maya Angelou
"Have the courage to be the person you know you are.” ~ Jeffrey Benjamin
"Once you choose hope, anything’s possible." Christopher Reeve
“Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes

Tennis players aren't the only athletes that want to look cute!

Last spring I was strolling through my neighborhood Target, when I saw a super cute running SKIRT with a matching tank on the end of an aisle. I have always run in Under Armour pants (even in the ridiculous Atlanta heat), mainly because I hate having to constantly pull my shorts down as I run (and they slowly creep up) or chaff my legs. I tried some one, and was very surprised to see they were not only cute, but they were comfortable, too! I bought one outfit that I figured I could walk my dog in, but I still wasn't sold on the idea of "running" in them. It was a short skirt, with spandexy shorts underneath. It was NOT a skort...from the back it still looked like a skirt (to any guys that may be reading, which is doubtful on this topic...a "skort" looks like a skirt from the front, and shorts from the back. This looked like a skirt from all angles.
I also tend to only wear a sports bra or a small tank top when I run, because I chaff very badly under my arms in a shirt. One thing I loved about these skirts was the fact that each one had a matching tank top that was adorable. After wearing the outfit several times to walk the dog and run errands, I decided to test it out for a run. I LOVED it! The skirt stayed exactly where it was supposed to, the tank top didn't chaff my skin at all, and I got several  compliments on my run about my "very cute outfit". Every time I went GirlGetStrong 001back to Target, they had a new  color and a new design, and I loved them so much I usually ended up buying a new outfit each time.
I was running quite a bit this summer, but if I wasn't in "work" clothes, I was almost always in one of my  "running skirt" outfits. I ran errands in them, went shopping and to school in them, and of course, I  worked out in them.  It was a cute work out outfit that beat the Atlanta heat, still looked "girly" and best  of all, was comfortable.
GirlGetStrong 003I had gotten so used to running in them that I decided to run the Chicago Half Marathon in it, along  with my favorite running sports bra/tank from Gracies Gear ( I got  a ton of compliments on it as we lined up for the race, and really liked the pictures that came out  afterwards. There are several brands of "running skirts" out there, and most of them are fairly  expensive. All of mine have been washed several dozen times, and still look AND FIT like they did the  first day I got them-and at the Target price, they were definitely affordable! Each skirt was less than  $20 at full price, and if I happened to come in the store when they were changing out colors (which  was just about weekly), they were marked down to $14.99.
GirlGetStrong 004GirlGetStrong 009Once I knew I liked them, they were comfortable,  and they would hold up for a long  run, I just made  sure they were the Champion brand that Target sells, and they had  a cute matching tank top.  Now  that the weather is turning colder, it's back to my  Under Armour pants-but I look forward to the  Spring when I'll be able to get out  my cute running outfits again! Tennis players aren't the only female  athletes  allowed to wear cute clothes!
GirlGetStrong 005GirlGetStrong 006

Friday, November 20, 2009