*This Blog is sponsored by Zappos x ASICS
You all know I am all about that active lifestyle. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm outside with Cailey (my dog) every weekend, and whenever I can after work if there's still remaining daylight. I like to move and I like to do it outdoors. For this collaboration, I received running shoes from ASICS by way of Zappos. Now while I am all about moving myself (and my pup), I am not a runner by nature. I am a yogi, a gym fan, a hiker, an occasional boulderer, and I am down to try all sorts of fitness challenges (I've done the kettle bell challenge, the keto diet, Whole 30, and a few other things I've got pending blogs for). But under no circumstances do I default to running as an activity, and I haven't since my high school track and soccer playing days. My selection of running shoes are normally reserved for 30 minutes on the treadmill after lifting weights at the gym. HOWEVER, my dog is an avid runner. Cailey loves nothing more than to sprint down the side walk to the end of her leash hoping I will pick up the pace. When we get outside on a hiking trail, off leash or on, she runs back and forth, hopping up and down with excitement while willing me to chase her. Nothing brings me more joy than the joy on her face when she's excited about something. Dogs are funny like that, right? They get us doing things we don't necessarily enjoy just because their pure excitement brings us happiness. So I compromise with her, even though she doesn't know it, and I take her for a short hike followed by a trail run. I'm happiest outside away from the cities and suburbs and surrounded by nature. Take me being happy with where I am, her being happy at me running with her (and just in general because she's a well cared for dog) and a hike up the hills and sprint along the ridge-line is a pretty enjoyable experience all around.
Don't get me wrong, we will do wind sprints throughout the neighborhood from time to time, and we always go on long walks, but for real runs we hit the trails. That also means the shoes I choose to wear for mine and Cailey's outings need to be able to go from gym to street to trail. My ASICS GT-2000 were designed to be versatile enough to adapt to any sport, wherever and whichever sporting activity that might be. For me that would be going from my gym or at home workouts, to chasing my dog down the sidewalk, to mild hikes up a trail for some ridge-line running. So spent a day wearing these shoes doing all of those things to see if they held up to the test.
First and foremost, I got them through Zappos which meant shipping was free and fast. Bonus is that if the shoes didn't work out, Zappos has a 365 day return policy. The shoes arrived about two days after I ordered them, and I took them out that weekend. The ASICS GT-2000 shoes I'd selected fit true to size and were really light weight and comfortable. It had been raining all week so the ground was muddy, and I was nervous to hit the trails. Cailey and I took them out to test them on a walk through the neighborhood and there really wasn't any "breaking in" time needed because they fit so nicely. So we (ok, I) then packed up the car and headed to our favorite park to get some yoga and running in.
After some stretching, yoga, and a 20 minute muddy hike up the hills, we were ready for trail running. The shoes were comfortable and supportive and easily transitioned from mild hike to damp ridge line romping. I was very happy with how they adapted overall, going from sidewalk sprints to easy hiking, to trail runs. In fact, I can't recall another pair of shoes I have that have made that transition so well. Most of my running shoes are just that-for running or for wearing in the gym. Most of my trail shoes are for hikes, and some tout themselves as crossover hiking/trail running shoes but they're usually so clunky that they skew more towards the hiking boot side of things than effective running shoes. My overall opinion of these ASICS GT-2000 shoes is that if you are looking for a versatile piece of footwear for your sports and other active activities, these would be an excellent choice. For me, they are going to be my go-to easy trail running shoes from now on, although I'll probably save them for less muddy days.....they got really dirty, and trying to do yoga in them again after our run resulted in a very dirty Cheryl in very weird places. Note to all of you reading this: If you decide to do yoga after running in the mud, maybe don't try and touch your feet to your head. lol.
Reviewing Athleta's Sculptek Denim while exploring downtown Napa with my pup.
This post is sponsored by Athleta #powerofshe.
Welcome back to my blog!! Today I'm going to be talking about Athleta's Sculptek denim. This denim is "infused with the brand's most innovative stretch technology" and is supposed to allow me to do any activity imaginable. Athleta encourages customers to get active in these jeans, which I was admittedly nervous to do. If you follow me on instagram (@cherylfyoga), you know that I've never been a fan of getting bendy in stiff clothing, and have a hard enough time not ripping my jeans based on booty size alone! But these jeans weren't stiff when I unboxed them. I was really suprised by how much they felt like traditional denim, but still had obvious stretch to them. Seriously and not because this blog is sponsored, I love Athleta. I love the company's mission statement, I love how supportive they are of women and inclusive in their ad campaigns, and I love how their clothes fit and feel. So I was nervous, but also very excited to try something new from them. Without further ado, lets get into it!
Cailey and I took these jeans out to Napa valley for a day exploring around town. I brought with me my Sculptek denim, the Foothills tank (pictured above), and the Foothills long sleeve (pictured below), as well as some cute slides (did you know Athleta sells shoes?!).
You can shop my look from Athleta HERE or by clicking on any of the pics in this post!*
I got the Sculptek skinny jeans in overdye wash. These jeans are high-rise, skinny legged, fitted, and ankle length. Aka they tick all the boxes for me for what I look for in denim AND yoga pants! They fit really well. They are true to size and fit snugly. They feel like real denim, and not like what most jeans that are super stretchy and/or made for movement feel like. I could definitely wear these pants to work and look super appropriate and then turn right around and go long boarding or running around in the woods with Cailey (where I often climb rocks, do spontaneous yoga, and wrestle in the dirt with my dog). Basically, first impressions were good all around. Plus I liked how I felt in them and that's really important to me.
The first place I took these jeans was down to the Napa River. Cailey had fun running around, in and out of the water, and chasing birds. I had fun testing out these pants on what used to be (might still be?) a kayaking launch area. I changed into my Foothills long sleeve top to protect my arms and practiced my hollow back pinchas. I felt like this was a good way to test how these pants felt when I was doing a deep pose, but also wouldn't put me at too much risk of ripping the booty. Needless to say, the Sculptek denim passed the hollow back test with flying colors! I was really happy that I was able to do a few different variations without feeling restricted, and because of the fit of the pants, they didn't slide down and expose anything.
Love the detail on the inside of the jeans when you roll the ankles. And true to style, I got pretty dirty in the pincha process. Dirty knees for the win! haha. At least my feet stayed clean.
Once I left the river, Cailey and I started walking through town and we found this alley full of really pretty murals commissioned by the city. I love a pretty wall, so decided this would be a good place to try some more yoga poses and see how the pants held up with some deeper poses.
I started off with a dancer pose variation that I love and again was really pleased with how freely I was able to move without feeling hindered. I wasn't nervous about the jeans holding up at all at this point.
And then I got brave! I decided to go for the splits and really give these jeans a run for their money. I was SHOCKED. I was able to do full splits with zero issues at all. Don't believe me? Here's your proof!! At this point I went from nervous about ripping new pants, to a true believer that these Sculptek denim lived up to their claims to be made for movement! Like seriously, splits in jeans that aren't jeggings. Incredible!
I tried a variety of different split variations, lunges and other leg based flexibility poses and only encountered a problem with one pose. I found that when both legs were straight, I had no issues moving and felt like I could do so freely. I also found though that when my front leg was bent in pigeon, I wasn't able to get my hips down to the ground, which I wasn't too concerned about because it gave me a chance to practice keeping my muscles super engaged doing the pose that way instead of relying on my flexibility's ability to get me to the ground meaning I don't have to work as hard to balance.
Overall I really liked these Sculptek denim from Athleta, and I think Cailey did too (at least she liked adjusting me while I wore them--scroll down). They fit true to size, look really nice, and YOU CAN MOVE IN THEM. Athleta wasn't kidding. I will definitely be wearing these jeans a lot in the future and you should too.
You can shop my look from Athleta HERE or by clicking on any of the pics in this post!
If you liked this review of Athleta's Sculptek denim, check out my other two Athleta reviews:
Suit Up and Explore On and When a Yogi Does Crossfit.
Follow me on instagram for more street art, yoga around NorCal, and poses with my pup @cherylfyoga and follow @Athleta to see more pics of their products in action.
This post is sponsored by Athleta.
The coastlines of Northern California have some of my favorite views in the west. I love the rocky terrain, the colorful wildflowers that pop out of the sand, and the beautiful spray of the ocean crashing against the often jagged cliffs that line its shores. Most of these beaches aren't the kind tourists flock to to spend a day lounging in the sun. These beaches, while they do get their fair share of sun, are windy and wild. Tourists come for the views more than anything else. And I come to play in the sand and the sun because I like to go where the people aren't. lol. At least when it comes to running around in my swimwear, doing yoga and climbing rocks, but there's a reason for that (other than my social anxiety).
Here's the thing. I have no problem with people wearing barely there bikinis. I have a few of them myself. But personally, if I'm going to be in my teeny tiny bikini, and doing yoga, I don't want to run the risk of flashing someone my intimate parts; especially small children at the beach or someone posting things on Instagram. The itty bitty bikinis are a favorite of mine for lounging poolside, or taking a dip, but these are not the kind of bikinis I feel comfortable wearing while doing the splits in in public. No judgment or shame on those who do; it's just not comfortable for me, personally. If I'm going to be taking a beach yoga class, climbing up rock formations on the shore, paddle boarding around SF, etc. I want my swimwear to keep me covered and comfortable, but still look cute. I want my swimwear to keep up with me the same way my athletic wear does! Enter Athleta.
Athleta swimwear, while more coverage than I'm used to wearing on my bum, still makes me feel like I look cute, but I know my bikini will be able to keep up with all my activities. I don't have to worry about jumping off a cliff and having my top fly off, or doing a back bend and having something slip out. And my suit is reversible! Two looks in one, ftw! The bikini I selected is pictured above. You can check it out here (top and bottom)! I also now don't feel the need to find more secluded beaches to do my yoga and tanning sessions for fear of accidental flashing, but I probably still will because...social anxiety.
But that brings me back to the cold beaches of the coast that tourists come to for the scenery but don't linger at, and I do love my solitude. I appreciate it even more now that I work a job that requires me to be constantly interacting with strangers via social media. It takes a while to acclimate and warm up when you're coming from much higher inland temps down to a windy seashore. I've realized that while I love the beauty of these beaches, staying for a while means packing several layers and usually doing a very vigorous vinyasa practice to get my blood pumping before I don't notice the cold anymore (meanwhile my friends back in Vermont are rolling their eyes at me as they hang out lakeside in the sun when it's 50 degrees out and act like that's summer...I'm used to California now, ok?! haha). Fortunately, Athleta's swimwear line includes the board shorts and rash guard I'm pictured in. The shorts have built in bikini briefs so you can wear the whole outfit as your swimwear if you wanted to, and I was definitely beyond thankful for long sleeves when the first gusts of ocean air were blowing over me.
My favorite thing about these beaches is definitely the views, but on the colder days, I also love the solitude. Noone is giving me funny looks as I gleefully chase my dog down the shore, or do some impromptu barefoot bouldering. Noone is pointing a camera at me as I point the camera at something else. And I don't have to worry about anything but listening to the sounds of the waves go in and out. I feel very lucky when I get moments to myself. Especially at Marshall's Beach (center photo) which is just outside of San Francisco. Just me, occasionally my pup, and my Athleta, ready to Suit Up and get out there.
You can find more about Athleta by clicking their name anywhere in this post or checking out these hashtags on social media: #suitup #powerofshe @athleta. Leggings in the bottom right photo are also from Athleta. Yay for coordinating with pieces I already own.
For more pictures of these beautiful beaches (and me doing yoga at them), check out my instagram @cherylfyoga.
AKA, this outdoor gear lover and nature enthusiast's dream collaboration.
I'm Cheryl. I moved to California from Vermont in 2015, gave up the path I'd spent years planning for, and started down a road to a happier, more fulfilling life. Goodbye suits and courtrooms, hello bare feet and yoga mats. After a few years, a couple of cross country moves, and a broken heart, I know I don't have all the answers, but I'm slowly starting to get the hang of things. :) I'm just taking things one day at a time, trying to figure out how to live my best life and help others do the same.