True Life: I’m Becoming a Gear-Head, and Giveaway Winner!

The Qore Performance giveaway has come to an end! Thank you so much for all your comments about this awesome company. I’m incredibly passionate about what they are doing and I know you will be too once you give them a try! So congratulations to Steph F. from Wisconsin, who is our winner! She selected the slider shorts. If you didn’t win, no worries! Use discount code TRex20 to get 20% off any product on Qore’s website and test their products out for yourself! They make excellent holiday gifts 🙂

In fact, I’ve become a bit of a gear-head recently, which is sort of weird. I’m not typically the type of person to pay a whole lot of attention to the latest tech fabrics or boot technology or lightest-weight backpack, because it just honestly has never interested me all that much. I think that has started to change for two reasons: 1) I’m learning a lot about different kinds of really cool technology thanks to some very forward-thinking brands that I work with, and 2) I’m expanding my interests a lot more into the travel and outdoor spheres in addition to running and barre.

For example, on Veteran’s Day last week, I headed out for a hike. I’ve been dying to get out and explore more of Greenville, but it seems like it’s been raining here every single weekend for the past 2 months. That’s not an exaggeration. So yeah, it was a random Wednesday, but the weather was beautiful and I had a new pair of hiking boots in my closet to test out so I thought, why not?

img_3298-1024x768-1-2 HOKAS come in many forms, apparently

A big part of my motivation was wanting to get out and test out my new hiking boots. See, HOKA has entered into the hiking boot market (which makes sense since they started out making trail shoes). I’ve never really had a pair of hiking boots before – I always just wore trail running shoes, and in fact, that’s how I hiked the entire Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. But now that I live somewhere with quick access to a ton of hiking trails and outdoor resources, it seemed like it might be a good idea to get some actual hiking boots. Plus, I’ve got some more international trips up my sleeve for next year, and all of them revolve heavily around trekking and nature. Luckily, HOKA hooked me up and sent me a pair of their new boots! Holy crap, what a game changer! There is a huge difference between hiking in boots and hiking in running shoes. My ankles felt way more supported, and that HOKA cushioning was noticeable. I hiked 7 very hilly and technical miles, and although I was super sore the next day, my feet felt great. Oh, so this is what it is like to have the proper gear!

img_3339-1 A little solo hike waterfall action

In speaking of my international travels, I’m currently on the hunt for the world’s perfect backpacking backpack (not as redundant as it sounds). I’m looking for one that includes a detachable daypack and is good for trips of about 2 weeks. I’m in the process of doing my research now and am preparing to buy one pretty soon! Same thing goes for a new camera. I am ready to bump up to an entry-level DSLR and take some lessons and figure out how to really take amazing pictures that I can share with you here. If I am going to go to beautiful places, I might as well take pictures that do them justice, right? So any recommendations that you have (on either a sweet backpack or an entry-level DSLR) would be most appreciated.

When I was growing up, my mom always emphasized “quantity over quality” – yes, literally the exact opposite of what most people heard growing up. She grew up in a family where money was tight and she didn’t have a lot of options on clothes to wear, so she bought a lot of inexpensive clothing once she could afford to, and that way, she had options. For a long time, I subscribed to that theory as well, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the value in spending more for something that I truly love and will last a long time – something like a great backpack, camera, or hiking boots. What’s the point in being uncomfortable but having a million different ways to be uncomfortable? Sometimes that means waiting a little longer and saving up more so that I can have what I want, but it’s worth it in the end, at least in my opinion.

So to that end, I’m putting my money where my mouth is an investing in high-tech products that I think are awesome, useful, and worth the money. Qore Performance has just introduced its latest project, the Hydration Shirt, and is currently raising funding on Kickstarter in hopes of making this dream a reality.

9e5df0f286feb1ce0387a764001ee41f_original-678x1024-1-2 Both long sleeve and short sleeve are available!

What makes The Hydration Shirt unique are the Pulse Point Pockets which hold the heat-absorbing inserts in place where our bodies have a high volume of blood flowing close to the skins surface. These inserts absorb heat from your blood stream so your body doesn’t have to sweat or breathe as intensely to dispose of excess heat. In turn, this keeps more water in your body, boosting hydration and nearly every other aspect of athletic performance with it: endurance, strength, mental focus and especially recovery.  Of course, The Hydration Shirt is also moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, four-way stretch, and UPF 50+. It’s amazing. ” – Qore Performance

I put my money where my mouth is and backed the Hydration Shirt campaign – I can’t wait til my shirt gets here! I purchased the short sleeve version because South Carolina is a very stupid, hot place, but I can’t wait to try it out. Knowing how much their shorts have changed my running for the better and how much other gear I’ve purchased or been given has changed my life, it is exciting to think that there is something else in the pipeline that could improve the way I stay active. Check out their Kickstarter campaign and grab one of the Hydration Shirts at a MASSIVE discount before they’re all gone!

Yes, I’m turning into quite the gear-head, and I’m fine with that. While I’ll be the first person to tell you that you don’t need a lot of stuff to get out and run, hike, or travel, I’ll also be the first person to tell you that there are some products out there that just make life a whole lot easier.

LEAVE A COMMENT: What gear can you not imagine living without? Do you have any backpack or entry-level DSLR recommendations for me?