Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

The Best Waterproof Athletic Tape

Waterproof athletic tape that actually stays on in the water or extremely sweaty situations is nearly impossible to find. I have spent years suffering through terrible tape that falls off in just about every situation.

My swim coach used to wrap injured joints with what felt like half of a roll of athletic tape, and it would all have fallen off long before we got out of the pool. I was queen of sweating off ankle tape in the middle of basketball games.

waterproof-athletic-tape- waterproof athletic tape

I accidentally found my favorite waterproof athletic tape.

Back when I was healthy, one of my CrossFit friends taped my hands with tape made to protect my palms during endless pull-ups. I was massively skeptical. The weird tape had goats all over it. But it stayed put like nothing I’d ever tried.

I went home and bought myself a couple of rolls of Scary Sticky Goat Tape. A couple of months later my PTT was flaring up, and I couldn’t find my athletic tape. In a pinch I used my Goat Tape.

The hold was impressive. It outlasted the entire CrossFit workout and my shower after.

I’ve never gone back.

best waterproof athletic tape

The Best Waterproof Athletic Tape: Scary Sticky Goat Tape

Goat Tape stays on no matter what I throw at it. A hot, sweaty, dirty hike in the middle of the summer? No problem. An hour and a half swim with endless kick sets and sprints? You bet. Hot yoga? Totally chill.

To be extremely clear, this tape is not like Kinesio Tape. It does not stretch with you, and it’s not used in the same way. Goat Tape is more of a traditional, stiff athletic tape that is used to stabilize joints and limit range of motion. It has been a life-saver post surgery, especially in the early days when I couldn’t even stand the pull of the water on my ankle while swimming.

best waterproof athletic tape

Important things to know:

Goat Tape is extremely sticky. It’s in the name, and they mean it. If you have body hair, you will need to use pre-wrap to prevent an acutely painful, unexpected wax. My brother and I learned this the hard way when I taped his arches… but I bet his feet looked better in sandals!

I purposefully tape my ankle without any pre-wrap. I feel like it gives me a better hold, but there are pre-wraps with adhesives that would likely give you the same feel. Or you can just shave. No judgements here.

Like any tape, your skin needs to be clean and dry before applying or it won’t stick. If you sunscreen or even put lotion on hours before, the tape won’t stick to your skin once you start sweating or swimming. It will, however, still stick to itself.

Always wrap your tape longer than you need. I tend to add an inch or two to the end of the tape to allow for it to unravel slightly in the water without causing critical failure. The end doesn’t always come undone, but it gives me piece of mind that an inch or so can loosen and I won’t have any problems while swimming. This isn’t necessary if you aren’t going to submerge it in water.

Ins and Outs

There’s something satisfying about watching things go. Even if it’s not my stuff, a donation pile is soothing and full of promise. I love checking in on #minsgame and reading blog posts about what people choose to keep or get rid of.

I never really thought to track my own ins and outs until I saw this post from 600 Square Feet and a Baby. Her pile was so inspiring that I thought I would share my own. This is a list of everything we’ve donated, trashed, sold, or bought in the last three months.

Ins and Outs

Outs

Donated:

1 pair of snowboard boots
Plastic cutting board (was saving for camping, but it’s not in good shape)
Pair of socks (too big)
Sample mouthwash (new dentist, didn’t know to refuse)
8-year-old water filter jug

Sold:

Sweatshirt
Fancy bookmark
Leggings

Recycled:

Pair of black pants (replaced in December)
Broken raincoat
4 shirts
Old swim trunks

Trash:

An 80% full bottle of hair spray from 2009…maybe earlier. It hadn’t been used in at least four years.

In:

Matt:

1 pair of swim shorts, replaced dingy, two small trunks
1 t-shirt, replaced one of the ones that was recycled
1 raincoat, a much better fit than my old, broken one that he was squeezing in to.

Me:

Nothing.

Although to be fair I did try my best to find a new fleece jacket. So far no luck, but I’m still looking. Once I find one my two, sad fleeces will be donated and recycled respectively.

What I Read This Month: March Books

Where did this month go? March flew by, and all of the little books I read certainly helped speed it along. My March books are certainly an odd mix. I have been trying to read more of the books that I put on my Goodreads list from years ago (like One Day and Gulp). It’s kind of fun to go back in time and read the books that had caught my attention, although some of them fall a bit flat. Turns out we’ve both aged.

March Books

In honor of spring, I read books about deep winter, death by indigestion, and parenting. I’m really selling it aren’t I?

March Books 2017 Book Reviews

Difficult Women

I will read pretty much anything Roxane Gay writes. She has a strong voice that comes through whether she’s writing searing essays or stomach-turning fiction. The short stories in Difficult Women were arduous to read. The women in each story face horrors, try to put themselves back together, and seek out destruction. I was’t prepared for it.

It’s a must to pair this with something uplifting. And maybe don’t read the news while you’re working through it either. In internet speak, the whole thing is potentially triggering. Gay doesn’t make the stories go down easily, but her writing will drag you in anyways.

 

One Day

I finished One Day early in the month, and I’m still mad at David Nicholls. I was fully sucked into this book until he started dropping bombs three-quarters of the way through. By the end I didn’t like any of the characters and I was disenchanted with the whole story.

Is the movie less frustrating?

 

The Little Book of Hygge

The Danish concept of hygge (hue-guh or hoo-gah depending on who you believe on the internet) is right up my alley. I’ve been fully into hygge long before it took over the entire world, I just didn’t know there was a word for it.

For some reason I thought The Little Book of Hygge was a list of great ways to create some hygge. Instead it broke down the cultural importance of hygge and the typical activities that Danes consider hygge. I still enjoyed the book and I came away with a great deal of kinship for people in a country I could never survive in.

I hope this concept continues to catch on. I’m much happier sipping a cup of tea in a comfy, warm room than trying to hear people over the cacophony of a loud bar. Can we all just agree to spend more nights at home with a good book or a great friend?

 

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Pink and I have never really gotten along (not the singer – we still don’t run in the same circles). Even though I refused to wear pink as soon as I could semi-verbalize my distaste for it, I still fell hard for the princess complex and their damn plastic high heels.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter explores the heavily gendered toys that are marketed to children and how they impact their play, friendships, and word view. This book was just as eye-opening and scary as Peggy Orenstein’s more recent Girls and Sex.

I have got to stop reading books about how hard it is to raise intelligent, well-rounded, well-adjusted, socially-conscious children. It makes me feel terrified at the prospect of being tasked with it myself – like keeping them alive and relatively happy isn’t hard enough.

 

The Science Writers’ Handbook

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to be a journalist or a nonfiction writer. It thoroughly explains everything you may need to know and it answered a lot of my (endless) questions about making freelance work. From what to look for in a contract to the importance of a good home office setup, The Science Writer’s Handbook felt like having a friend and a mentor patiently explain the mysteries behind ‘working for yourself’ full time.

 

Gulp

When I first heard Mary Roach talk about Gulp with John Stewart (way back when he was on The Daily Show), it didn’t grab me. It sounded gross and not very interesting.

Well, multiple Roach books later and it seemed like the right time to bite. It wasn’t my favorite of hers, but it still captured my attention and gave me a few laughs.

 

Eat Pretty

Books like Eat Pretty always remind me to eat better and to pay attention to how I’m treating my body. However, this book was a bit flat for me. It was gorgeous to look at, but I didn’t get anything new or life-changing out of it. None of the recipes in the book grabbed my attention, and most of it was things I had already heard. I would recommend Skin Cleanse over Eat Pretty, but it is a great reminder to eat more healthy fruits and vegetables.

 

Want more recommendations?

Check out what I’ve read so far this year:

February
January
Best Fiction and Nonfiction Books of 2016

You can see all of my book reviews here.

Small Space Clothing Storage

I’m obsessed with organizing. I love looking at how people fit things in tiny places. But that’s no secret around here. I thought since I spend so much time staring inside other people’s closets and drawers online (in a totally not creepy way, swear), I should share our small space clothing storage solutions and give a little peek at what things look like around here.

Our storage space is limited – we use the space under our bed as our garage, complete with golf clubs and snowboard. But after six months of splitting a single dresser and a tiny closet I’ve come to realize that it’s really working for us. Our tiny space is plenty of room for two.

Here’s how we do it.

small space clothing storage dresser organization

Stand It Up

It took me a long time to finally succumb to the organization goddess’ folding method. But once I went KonMari I’ll never go back to stacking my clothes. I first tried this when I had the luxury of an entire dresser to myself. It worked so well that I had a fully empty drawer. Standing folded clothes up vertically makes it super easy to see what’s in the drawer and grab what you need. It also means we fit significantly more per drawer.

small-space-clothing-storage-dresser-drawer-organization-KonMari-folding

Line It Up

My boyfriend laughs at me for this, but I store my clothes in a particular order. I don’t have separate drawers for each item, instead I have rows. Take my exercise clothing drawer (yes, this is 50 percent of my wardrobe and you better believe it’s my most loved and most used). My tank tops, t-shirts, and long sleeve shirts are all down the left side. Next to them are my shorts, cropped leggings, and the last of my long sleeves in the back. The third row is sweatshirts and long leggings (which are typically used for lounging or layering, less so working out). On the far right side I have my sports bras and miscellaneous socks, arm warmers, etc. in the far back.

This setup means I can reach my arm over while still in bed and pull out exactly what I need for the day. A cold girl’s dream.

small space clothing storage organization under the bed storage canvas bag out of season clothes off-season clothes

Store Out of Season Clothes Elsewhere

Yes, we each have two drawers in an average-sized dresser and half of a hall closet, but it’s unfair to say that we keep all of our clothes between the two. Out of season storage makes our small space work.

I’ve been trying hard to streamline my wardrobe, but even with the harshest knife I can’t fit everything in my allotted space. Thankfully Northern California really only has two “seasons” – cold or warm. In the fall I put away my light sweaters and pulled out my heavy sweater dresses, long sleeve shirts, and thick cords. In a couple of weeks I’ll make the swap again and pull out my dresses and other warm weather gear.

About 85 percent of my clothes stay in my drawers or the closet, but by swapping out season-specific pieces I can save a lot of space. It’s also really nice to not stare at thick sweaters in the middle of the summer. I hate being reminded that winter will come around again. It also means that everything in front of me is something I could wear right now instead of cluttering my daily choices with out of season items.

I keep my off-season clothes as well as anything I don’t frequently wear (rash guard, bike shorts, fancy pea coat) in a canvas bag under my bed. The bag breathes, which is really important for storing clothes or fabric long-term, and the zipper keeps dirt and unmentionables (ie. spiders) out.

small space clothing storage closet organization

Limit Hangers

We only hang up the clothes that absolutely must hang. There just isn’t room to put all of our clothes into the closet. Instead it’s a place for things that wrinkle easily or are too bulky to fold. Dresses, jackets, skirts, and dress shirt are the only things we hang. Okay, that and my boyfriend’s motorcycle gear.

Say Goodbye

We don’t have any magical storage solutions or ‘life-changing’ products. We didn’t take any trips to organizing stores or have our closet professionally designed to fit all of our stuff. Our clothes fit in this small space because we made sure we only had as much as we could store.

My boyfriend and I both like simple, hardworking clothes. We wear the majority of our clothes frequently, with exceptions for fancy occasion clothes. Before we moved in together we both had to downsize two full drawers and half a closet (way more than half in my case). We got rid of a lot of the things we never wore, and we keep getting rid of things as the seasons change or our style shifts. New clothes are also welcome, but if one comes in another must go.

Why I’m Addicted to Lifting Heavy

One of the hardest things to give up after surgery was lifting. And even then I didn’t really give it up. I was back in the gym, struggling under heavy weights, while I was still in a cast. I just couldn’t stay away for that long. Lifting keeps me sane, strong, and happy.

peroneal tendon surgery recovery – Exercise-weight-lifting-heavy-seated-dumbbell-strict-press

But it wasn’t always this way.

“In college, I avoided the “bro zone” of the gym like it was a frat house after a rager. I was intimidated by the grunting, the weird machines, and the almost entirely male population outside of the cardio section and free weights. I didn’t want anything to do with their protein shakes and bro tanks. Instead, I used the cardio machines and would do the same one or two exercises with 8-pound weights every time I went to the gym.

But I really wanted to lift.

A taste of CrossFit was all it took to get me addicted to lifting heavy. After a couple of months, I was lifting more weight than I thought possible. Five years later, I regularly squat more than I weigh, and 25-pound dumbbells are my go-to. Today, I feel at home under the bar.

While there are great weight loss and calorie-blasting benefits of lifting heavy, it’s not why I do it. Weightlifting makes me care more about the weight on the bar than on my body. I work hard at the gym to push my body and mind. It’s about what my body is capable of, not what it looks like.”

Continue reading on Healthline.

*This article was originally published on Healthline as 7 Reasons Why I Lift Heavy (And You Should Too). It’s one of the ones I’ve enjoyed writing the most recently, and I thought it fit in well here too. 

Zero Waste Swaps: Bathroom and Kitchen

Going zero waste or living a low-waste lifestyle takes time. We are actively working towards reducing our waste, one swap at a time. We’re a long way from being able to fit our yearly trash in a jar, but that really isn’t our goal anyways. Here’s the progress we’ve made since January.

Zero waste swaps: Kitchen

The majority of our household waste historically comes from food packaging. While we haven’t eliminated it completely, we have definitely made progress.

Zero Waste Swaps Kitchen

Dried beans

As a vegetarian, I eat a fair bit of beans. We have beans at least twice a week, and all of those cans really started to stack up. I was tired of the cans cluttering our cabinet, counter, and eventually recycling bin. The BPA can lining worried me greatly, and the fact that BPA-free linings may not actually be any safer meant there wasn’t an easy canned choice.

The swap for bulk dried beans meant I no longer had to worry about plastic chemicals leaching into our beans and it eliminated at least 50 percent of our can consumption.

 

Pasta

We’ve struggled to find pasta in bulk that both my boyfriend and I can eat. I can’t eat wheat, and he can’t eat quinoa. For some reason the only wheat-free pasta we can find in bulk is made with quinoa.

Instead of freaking out about it or cutting it out entirely (a sin as an Italian), we’ve been buying pasta from a company that uses 100 percent recycled cardboard, non-toxic inks, and compostable cellophane in its packaging. It’s not the perfect solution, especially since the product is imported from Italy, but it’s progress.

 

Lunch Meat

As someone who hasn’t eaten lunch meat in more than 10 years, I was surprised by how it easy it is to buy lower-waste options. We bring a reusable container to the grocery store and ask the people at the deli counter to put the lunch meat straight into it. This saves us at least one plastic bag and often a couple of plastic sheets each time we shop. Unfortunately they still use a plastic sheet to catch the slices when they cut it, but hopefully with enough pestering emails and requests they will swap it for something compostable.

Zero Waste Chocolate Swaps Substitute

Chocolate

Oh man did I get excited when I saw the bulk chocolate selection at Rainbow Grocery. I eat at least a square of chocolate a day, so this discovery made my day. Bulk chocolate cuts out at least two chocolate bar wrappers a week. Hopefully our three jars will last us the month until we go back to Rainbow.

 

Soy Sauce

Technically, it’s tamari, but the store sold soy sauce in bulk too. We filled up a jar and then came home and topped off our nearly empty glass container of tamari. I felt like I’d somehow outsmarted all of the companies who make it too easy to make trash.

 

Sandwich Bread

The lucky among us now eat a freshly-baked whole wheat sandwich bread that comes in a compostable paper bag. In the future he may also pick up bread in one of our reusable bulk bags from the farmer’s market, but most of those are currently pre-bagged as well.

 

Zero waste swaps: Bathroom

Our bathroom is far from zero waste, but I’m slowly chipping away at it.

 

Handkerchiefs

As much as I don’t love the handkerchiefs I purchased, I’ve been doing my best to use them instead of tissues. I’m slowly getting used to them – although I do hope to find some made out of thinner material in the future.

 

Compost Bin

This was such an easy swap, it’s silly. I finally turned our trash can into a compost collector and added a small paper ‘trash’ bag for things like floss that we still haven’t swapped out for compostable or zero-waste alternatives. We are lucky enough to have city-wide compost collection, so composting is just as simple as taking out the trash.

What can you compost from the bathroom? Nail clippings, hair, used tissues, latex condoms, and anything made from cotton fibers or cardboard.

 

Related:

Zero Waste Pantry

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Inspiration

The Truth About Plastic

Toxins Hiding in Your House

Zero Waste Tea

Can I Recycle This?

Tales of a Paper Towel

6 Months Post Peroneal Tendon Surgery

Let’s just get right out there and say it. I am not at all where I thought I would be 6 months post peroneal tendon surgery. I went into my 6 month post-op appointment yesterday feeling like I was meeting with a professor to check in on a project I hadn’t started.

But I left feeling pretty good about where I’m at.

My calves are finally the same size. (Which means my crops don’t creep up to my knee anymore– hallelujah!) The (albeit exceedingly nice) fellow showed a great deal of enthusiasm for my stellar hopping ability and single leg heel raise strength.

I was feeling great.

My leg strength had been coming back, which also means nearly all of pants actually fit again instead of hanging off my legs like sacks. Its amazing how looking like what you’re used to makes you feel like yourself again.

I was feeling strong. Ready. I was slowly creeping up in how much weight I could lift, my single-leg squats were rapidly improving, and I was throwing in new things at least once a week. Running felt like it was right around the corner.

And then I woke up 65 years older.

Out of nowhere I woke up early one morning with a completely numb left leg. In my half-asleep state I decided it was asleep and just need a little extra blood flow. The more I tried to get the feeling back, the more I realized something else was clearly wrong. After panicking, ruling out a blood clot, and being wide awake, I realized it was sciatica.

Two weeks later and I’m still fighting with it. I finally have a better sense of what makes it better and what angers it to the point where it sends angry stinging bees all the way down my leg into my foot. Short of anger management for pissed off nerves, I’ve tried just about everything.

After months of progress and feeling like I’m finally coming back into myself and a healed body, the sciatica has been particularly devastating. I can’t lift at all, even benching seems to irritate it. Running on the Alter-G or outside like I dreamed of is out of the question until this is fully resolved. Just staying comfortable and getting my work done day to day has been a huge challenge.

But there is good news.

I can swim. Swimming seems to be the one thing that reliably soothes my sciatica and my mind. My ankle is killing it in the water – I can kick a fair bit and flip turns are no problem. Now if I could just get my skin to stop peeling off like a molting snake from the chlorine…

In Case You Missed It:

I thought I could still play basketball
One Month Later
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Eight
Nine
10 months and surgery
11 Months + Surgery
What I learned from a year of being injured
Three months post peroneal tendon surgery
Four months post peroneal tendon surgery

What I Read This Month: February Books

My February books kept me afloat this month. They gave me a break from my own chaotic, self-doubting mind. The books I read this month were either full of much needed advice and encouragement or they were the perfect escape from my overwhelm.

February was my busiest month ever as a freelancer. I worked more hours than I have at any job in years. I’m not saying this to complain, despite the fact that most of this month was downright miserable, or do a weird ‘I’m so busy’ brag. But rather, I’m trying to explain just how much these books meant to me.

The fact that I read at all this month is something worth celebrating. There were days where my brain had turned to mush and my eyes were deep in the throws of revolt. But without fail I started nearly every morning with at least 15 minutes of reading. Those 15-30 minutes were often the best part of my day.

Despite the tears after going to bed and the ice-cream-after-lunch days and the downright shocking amount of work I powered through, I somehow managed to read five books this month. In doing so I also realized that my dream job might actually be getting paid to read engaging books all day. If you’ve figured out a way to make that a reality, please let me know.

In the meantime, prepare yourself for some long, rambling thoughts on this month’s books.

February Books

What I Read This Month: February Books

Relativity

This fiction was straight nourishment for the heart. I loved the way that 12-year-old Ethan saw the world (both literally and figuratively). The switching perspectives/ narrators kept me hooked and made it even easier to root for them all, even when I felt conflicted about it. Be prepared to have a greater appreciation for physics and a deep desire to watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson after reading this one.

 

Voices in the Ocean

For as long as I can remember I have always loved to be in and around water. I used to dream about being an oceanographer (didn’t realize it was mostly about staring at maps on computers) or a marine biologist until the realities of the math/chemistry required and the amount of time I would spend living in a lab set in.

This book was for the 10-year-old marine biologist inside of me. Voices dives into the complex world of dolphins and our fascination with them. It both filled me with a sense of appreciation and awe for our oceans and the incredible animals that live in them, and it also made me feel depressed and helpless about the current state of our oceans and the horrific things we do to their inhabitants.

I loved Susan Casey’s The Wave (and have made just about everyone I know read it). This book didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but I still enjoyed it. Lovers of The Cove and Blackfish will likely enjoy it.

 

Tools of Titans

Another massive tome from Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans lays out the best lessons, advice, and habits from the world-renowned guests on The Tim Ferriss Show. I read this one in little chunks throughout the month, and I feel like it’s one that might be worthwhile in going back to. It’s packed with great information (and things that will never apply to my life).

While I recommend picking it up, I will say that if you are a regular listener to the podcast it can feel repetitive (you’ve already heard the interviews, and much of it is direct quotes from guests). It’s also, purposely, all over the place. Advice directly conflicts, people disagree on how to get to the same place, and a lot of it may not be helpful at all.

I think I should also say that I’ve generally been cooling on Ferriss lately. I’m not interested in taking adaptogens or biohacking my body, and he seems to be going further and further into quick fixes and magic pills. A lot of the things that excited him the most in this book just didn’t click with my lifestyle or interests.

 

A Man Called Ove

Oh man, I loved A Man Called Ove. It caught my eye on the shelf at the library, and despite no time and lots of other books in my arms, I just couldn’t help myself.

I’m so glad I picked it up. This was my favorite book of the year so far.

This grump felt like an alternate-reality version of me. I cracked up constantly, and the dark humor was top-notch for me. The curmudgeon inside of me felt perfectly at home inside the pages. This book was the highlight of the month. It’s obvious why A Man Called Ove a best seller in so many countries.

 

Scratch

I have yet to learn that books about writing, especially how to make a living at it, are never uplifting. I have not once finished a book about writing and thought, ‘yes, of course I can do this and it will obviously be easy!’

Scratch was real. Cheryl Strayed exposed the debt that was quickly sinking her and her husband before Wild came out. Sarah Smarsh showed that not being able to afford a haircut means that a best-selling novel is right around the corner (or something not even close to that but that’s the version I need right now). Austin Kleon turned ‘selling out’ on its head and made me regret being terrible at visual arts.

The writers in this book talked straight to the voices in my head that have the same doubts, fears, and ambitions. They constantly made me face the reality of what I’m trying to do (not great timing on that one), and also showed me that they all started here too: broke, tentative, unsure, and desperate for someone, anyone, to help them figure out how to make this work.

While the book is great for anyone who wants to know what their favorite writer’s life is really like and what writing looks like behind the scenes, it’s written for aspiring fiction writers. I still found it helpful for non-fiction, especially the general commiseration about the lack of pay across writing and the terror of setting out on your own.