Last week was a tough one for me and I want to tell you all again how much every single comment, note, tweet and email helped me and, more importantly, Steve’s family and friends. You are amazing and I’m deeply grateful to every one of you who took the time to reach out. I read every single one as did many of Steve’s family. His wife Ashley even mentioned how touched she was by your outpouring of love, empathy and support on this site in her brilliant eulogy at the funeral. (Plus you guys crashed my site – I’ve never had so many hits in one day! – although I know you only did it out of love.)
I also got a little bit of sweet serendipity in the form of a package from Puma that arrived the day before the funeral. I’d agreed weeks ago to do this review/giveaway (seriously you guys are going to LOVE this one) but their timing couldn’t have been more perfect. See, one of Steve’s great loves was really loud, really bright, really flashy athletic shoes. Since he had to wear his “black Lifetime jammies” uniform every day, his one sartorial way to express his huge personality was with his crazy shoes. He was at the forefront of the penguin feet trend! At the viewing they had all of his many pairs of shoes on display (with matching flower arrangements!) and in between sobbing until I was sick, avoiding looking at the casket and hugging every random person that crossed my path, I got to admire them. (The man put my shoe collection to shame and you all know how I love me my shoes!) Then one of his trainers had a great idea: What if we all wore neon athletic shoes to the funeral? It would be a salute of bright color in a sea of black. Steve would have loved it.
And then like a gift from above (what? the UPS truck is way taller than me) this showed up at my house:
Clever, indeed! How awesome is this cute little reusable shoe bag? Solves the problem of cardboard waste and slimy shoes contaminating your gym duds in one recyclable move!
But when I saw the shoes they’d chosen to send me, as part of their Sweat Pretty campaign, I couldn’t stop smiling. Somewhere Steve was fist bumping an angel.
The first time I put these on I was so surprised – they look like your average running shoes but they are incredibly lightweight. Yet still really cushy.
Off to the funeral I went, wearing a somber black and white dress and black tights with a black wool coat, accessorized with… neon blue and pink Puma kicks. At first my friends and I felt like mall-walking grannies in our skirts and sneaks (albeit grannies with excellent taste) but as the church filled up and more and more neon peeked through, it was a beautiful experience. One of many that day. (Example: When Ashley told us that if Steve could see all of us now he’d tell us to stop crossing our legs, it’s bad for our hips. And then the sound of 400 people sheepishly uncrossing their legs.)
But once the business of the viewing/crying, funeral/crying, and memorial/laughing was done, it was time to return to the business of life. Which meant I had to face the gym. It was wrenching walking into that building that held the memory of Steve in every office, weight bench and cafe chair (oh he loved the Life Cafe!) and yet knowing he wasn’t going to pop around the corner, yank my favorite red hood off my head and make fun of me for looking like a garden gnome. (Why did he always go for the gnome?? Little Red Riding Hood is way cuter! So what if I’m not blonde? And have a beard.)
Yet Puma managed to even make that a little easier for me. Sometimes I have a problem getting dressed. The more anxious I am the more I change my clothes and the more nothing seems to fit right. But thanks to their little gift box, I just pulled on whatever they sent me and didn’t have to even think about matching stuff or whatever. (Although I did add a pair of my own leggings underneath. First it was cold out. Second, those shorts put the “short” in shorts.) It was a small mercy. Another small mercy: my friends agreed to meet me there so I wouldn’t have to go alone.
And yeah, we cried. But we also worked out. We even did Steve’s favorite black booty band (of pain) moves. There’s a metaphor in here somewhere about life and living it even when it ties you around the ankles with black rubber and makes you lunge until you spasm in pain and all that being good for you. Or something.
Wow. Worst roundhouse form ever. OR it’s the awesomest ballet move ever from the Nutcracker. Ahem.
But Puma wasn’t quite done with me yet. One more thing to make me smile: New Puma spokeswoman and two-time Golden Gloves champ Cara Castronuova (you may also know her as one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser) is a girl of my own heart. She’s currently on a mission to try out the most extreme workouts out there and videotape herself screaming and falling in at least 7 different ways. (SO FUN!!) Check out this one of her Trapeze Workout. Yep, just added this one to my bucket list!
So to help you have all of the fun too Puma would like to give one of you a complete outfit from their new Sweat Pretty line: A top, pair of bottoms, jacket and shoes! (Funeral sold separately.) To enter, just leave me a comment here about a pair of shoes that has a special meaning for you. Or, if you’re not a shoe person, tell me about an extreme workout you’d like to see Cara try!
Contest closes 11/11/2012. FTC disclaimer: I received my outfit for free from Puma (or heaven, whatevs). I was not paid to write this review. Opinions are all my own. As are jokes in bad taste.