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Overcoming Depression, Self-harm & Addiction - How Endurance Sports Saved Me

Truth be told, I wrote this post about a year ago. I've been waiting for the "right" time to share it, but something in the back of my mind was always afraid to. Today, as I gear up for a thirty-week training program for my first full Ironman, I feel compelled to share the reason why I decided to do this race in the first place. I also wanted to share my story because it might give someone out there hope and perhaps help them find the light if they're lost in the dark, as I once was.

"Triathlon heals broken things, all you have to do is tri"

If you have ever met me in person you may have noticed the scars on my arm. Most of the time I avoid conversation about them. If someone asks, "What happened?", I have learned to change the subject or just answer "Oh, you know, when I was a kid..." and attempt to change the subject as quickly as possible. The truth is, I suffered from depression and self-harm for most of my childhood and throughout my teen years.

I didn't have the most perfect childhood, but then again, who does? I was raised by a mother who suffered from severe depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder herself. Over the years it developed more into, what was then called, split personality disorder or now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). I'd rather not go into the dirty details about it, but I will say it lead to some pretty scary situations when I was younger. The police were involved several times and there were open CPS cases against my mother. Over time I think we all began to see that her home was not the best place for any child even if CPS didn't agree. My older brother and sister both moved out when I was about 12 and shortly after I was sent to stay with my older brother, who was still just a young man himself.

Over the years I attempted to remain close to my mother. As her illness worsened she was prescribed more and more medication. The cabinet under her sink looked like a pharmacy and I remember her in and out mental institutions many times. When I got into high school, I attempted to move back in with her, but we fought endlessly. She would have episodes where she wasn't herself, but one of her alters and it frightened me. She attempted suicide a few times during these episodes and, once in particular, I remember having to remove the knife from her hand. Because of the medication she was on, she would also have seizures and blackouts and would need emergency assistance. It was about this time that I began to self harm. It was a very dark time for me. I had been sad and scared for so many years and it was confusing for me to understand her behavior. Both my sister and brother, who had always been my protectors, moved out and I was all alone with this "person". I honestly didn't know how to handle it. Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you live in constant fear, you cope in strange ways.

I moved back in with my brother for my sophomore year and things seemed to get better. My brother encouraged me to begin running cross country and try out for sports. I remember my coach really taking me under his wing. He was the first person that really showed an interest in me because of something other than my family troubles. He believed in me and, with his direction I lettered in cross country that year. Running became my outlet. It became the thing I did to survive. My brother and sister were both always by my side, but running was truly my escape. This birthed my love of the sport.

The time came for me to move out of my bothers house. My sister agreed to have me move in with her and her best friend. She had been through her own struggles, living in several different places over a short period while she struggled to finish high school and learned to support herself. By then however, she was stably providing her herself, in college, and roommating with her best friend in the house her mother had left for her. That year I was granted educational guardianship of myself so that I could join a work/study program and begin to support to myself. Honestly, I was just a kid and did what any kid would do; I went a bit crazy. I moved out and barely finished high school, but I did it with the guidance of my sister and her friend (who is really more like family now).

I decided that I didn't need to go to college and charged head-on into the working force. I was caught up in adult life, but I was still very much a child. I stopped running, moved out of my sister's after graduation and became very depressed. I knew I needed help so I made the decision to see a doctor who then prescribed me the anti-depressant Alprazolam or Xanax as its commonly called.Even now as I look back at it, I can't recall anyone ever telling me that medication wasn't the cure. After all, I'd seen my own mother take what seemed to be an endless supply of medication. In fact, I distinctly remember her and her doctors telling her she would need to be on medication for the rest of her life.

Over the next couple of years, I developed a dependency to these drugs. The more I took them, the more numb I became. My life seemed to spiral down further into depression and I took more and more medication. The time came that I too was having blackouts. I had started self medicating and I wasn't taking the pills as directed. I was still self harming and anytime I felt anything at all, I took a pill.

Eventually there weren't enough pills. I knew that I couldn't stop taking them because when I did I would get sick with dizziness and nausea. I reached out to my family and finally asked for help. My sister and brother helped get me the treatment I needed. I was admitted to the hospital to complete a medically supervised detox for a week to wean myself off of the medication and then I entered an intensive out patient treatment. There I finally had the chance to talk to someone and begin working on me. I learned that self medicating and self-harm had been my only outlets and they were self-perpetuating. I also learned that I had stopped feeling anything at all. There was no happiness, there was no sadness, there was just emptiness. I also learned that I didn't have to feel this way (imagine that!). I didn't need to be empty to survive because I could learn to FEEL and LIVE again.

I can't begin to explain what it's like to have to learn how to feel emotion again. To learn how to cope with real heart-ache head on and sober, feel happiness and joy again and to be filled with the emotion that had been suppressed for so many years. I had so much help from my sister. She too struggled with her emotions regarding childhood but was always steadfast in her therapy to work through her feelings. Without her guidance, I don't think I would have found the strength to make it through that time.

After about a year of therapy, I felt like I was starting to become me again. I finally decided to go back to school and I started living my life. My sister, who was now working on her PhD, was there again guiding me back to a positive life.  I signed up for college classes, got an apartment, and tried to be a normal person. I poured everything I had into my education. I had a few relapses that first year and I stopped going to my counselor due to insurance issues, but I managed to maintain my recovery.

I met my husband about a year later and we got married. He had two small children and I was incredibly excited to have them in my life and be a mom for the first time. I also started running again and really began to remember how much joy it brought me. My husband was so supportive and we even got the kids involved and we all raced our first 5k together. After I completed my first half marathon, I knew that it was time to begin my journey. For so many years I had robbed myself of life. Here I was, with a family who loved me, I was in school bettering myself, and I was still maintaining sobriety!

For the first time it felt like there was endless possibility. I knew I didn't want to waste this life! I decided to throw myself full force into running and that eventually lead me to triathlon. Things got pretty hard there for a few years. As I continued my education, I found myself struggling to balance work, school and family life. At one point I was in school full time, working two jobs, and trying to find time for my family. There were some pretty hard days. I can say without a doubt that training was the only way I coped. It gave me hope to have a race on the horizon. I gave me purpose and reminded me that the stress was worth it.

Every race was a celebration of my life and everyday I decided to go out and train, regardless of the reason or mood, I was celebrating my life. There was so many years that I didn't think I could do any of this. There were so many times that depression clouded my sight of the future or that medication kept me from having hope. It felt like there was no tomorrow. It felt like I didn't deserve happiness. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Today, I celebrate my life. I graduated college with a degree in nutrition (which I've also discovered is my passion). I continue to race triathlon, as you already know. This year I am celebrating 10 years free from depression, self-harm, and addiction. Of course there, are days that I feel down or scared but I know now that I DO have a positive outlet. I know that depression does not have a place in my life and neither does medication or self-harm. If I ever begin to feel those things again, I turn them right into training fuel. I look at my family and I cant even begin to think of what my life would be like without them. I'm strong for them just as much as I am for myself. Everything I do is for them. I want my children to see me and be inspired to do great things. If they ever experience self doubt, I want them to know that there is a positive way to work through their struggles and that medication is NOT the answer.

So here I am, about to train for my first Ironman. Why? Because this has been my journey. When I was little my brother told me about this thing called "Ironman" and said it was the hardest race in the world. I remember him saying that only the strongest athletes could do it. Here I am with years of triathlon and running experience under my belt, years of recovery and mental toughness built into my story. I know that I am that strong athlete!

When I cross that finish line, I truly believe it will be the ultimate celebration of life. Every training day spent represents a hard day that I chose to live through. Every time I made the choice to step out on the pavement or exhaust myself in a pool, I was choosing life rather than the vices that once held me down. I was choosing to keep going even when things felt unbearable. I'm grateful for my past. Without it, I would not be who I am today. The strength I gained from my experiences with addiction and self-harm have brought me to where I am today in my training. I have an Iron will and I know that I can overcome any obstacle. Crossing that finish line means so much more than becoming an Ironman; it means that I am so much stronger than my addiction ever was.

I've also decided to dedicate my journey to become an Ironman to a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Shatterproof is a national organization committed to protecting people from addiction to illicit and prescription drugs. More than that, it strives to end the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease. It is an organization that truly understands that addiction is a profound public health crisis. One of their many initiatives it to reduce prescription misuse and abuse. They advocate the mandate that both prescribing professionals and dispensing pharmacists utilize their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) and mandate prescribe education on evidence-based prescribing standards.

I will have more information coming in the near future regarding the local fundraising events I will be hosting throughout the year. For now, if you would like support my cause by making a donation, join my team to help raise funds, or just leave me a message of support please feel free visit my Shatterproof Fit page here for more information. I hope you'll take this journey with me and help spread the message that #weareshatterproof.

Happy Running!

Saving for an Ironman

Well babes, it happened! I officially registered for my first FULL Ironman! I've been talking about this for so long that it almost doesn't feel real. Like I'm still just talking about how I'm going to sign up "one day". I'm sure in a few more weeks it will all sink in as my training starts to ramp up and I begin to sleep like a rock and eat all the food. Perhaps I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. Let me back up a bit first and tell you how this all came to be, because I feel the process of getting to registration was just as important as the training itself.

I decided after my half Ironman in Austin last year that I was going to do my first full Ironman in 2016. Unfortunately, the race sold out the week before Austin (2015) and I didn't have enough time to get the money together.
Something all aspiring Ironmen should know: races sell out FAST and EARLY. Some destination races even sellout in days or hours. Be sure sure you know what to plan for when you pick a race. If you don't know anyone who has done the race you want to do, you can always find good advice on the Ironman Facebook page for that race (ie Ironman Texas).Just join the page and ask around about sellout dates for past years. You can also check the Ironman blog for past years for more details.

I promised myself that I would begin saving for the 2017 race in January of 2016. I was sure that would give me enough time this round. Well, January came and I started to save a few dollars here, a few dollars there, and it was a SLOW SLOW process. I was really trying not to take away from our set budget at all and it literally yielded little to no savings.

I've said this about a million times, but I'm a very frugal person. I have a lot of guilt when it comes to spending money on this addiction hobby of triathlon. What mother wouldn't?! You can easily drop $1,000 on a bike, $150 on shoes, $300 on kits, and this list goes on and on and on! When you have children and you're on a tight budget, it's hard to make excuses for spending that much money on anything other than your kids and bills....especially yourself.

So, with that in mind, I decided to get creative. If I was ever going to come up with enough money for the entry fee without touching our budget or having the guilt of spending money, I knew I needed an alternative source of income.

I started looking for part time jobs. Jobs that I could do on the nights and weekends that wouldn't keep me crazy busy. Traditional part-time jobs just didn't suit me. I just cant picture myself as a waitress again (something I did in high school). I was lucky enough to find my job at Nuun. I would have NEVER thought a job a like that existed.
For the record, if you ever want a fun job that pays well, look for jobs hosting demonstrations. Most beverage and supplement companies hire people to go work at events for them and give out samples and host demos. These jobs pay well for part-time work, take little time, and are just down right FUN. If you've ever been to a race I'm sure you've seen those people in the tents giving out free samples and what not. Some of those people make $20+ an hour to be there. These are companies like Muscle Milk, Zico, Sparkling Water, Red Bull, and many more. My job at Nuun was the bulk of my Ironman fund. I worked weekends here and there for no more than a few hours at time. Most days I was up early and back home before my family even woke up. Not to mention the life time supply of Nuun...winning!

I also recruited my husband to work a couple of the bigger events with me at Nuun. He made it clear when I started that he wanted to attend events and races with me to help set up tents and just hang out in general. He figured it would be something fun we could do together as a couple, but also a way to keep me from breaking my back lifting heavy stuffs. Being the awesome husband he is, he ended up donating those paychecks to me for my Ironman fund. He's such a sweet man!

Another way I made money was through my blog! Every now and then I will get paid to review products or to write nutrition plans for people. It's pretty random, I'm not one of those bloggers who makes a regular annual income through my blog. When I did have an opportunity for a paid campaign or make a little money through my blog this year, I took it and I saved the money from it for Ironman. This was the smallest part of my savings but hey, every little helps.
I also joined grocery rebate programs. Namely, Walmart's savings catcher. If you download the app you can sign up for the program. All you do is keep your Walmart receipts and enter the barcode or QRC code into the savings catcher app. They then compare their prices to competitors in your area. If an item from your receipt is found for a lower price at another store near you, they give you the difference in the form of a rebate. I had $20.00 in rebates the first month! When I saw how beneficial this could be for my Ironman fund I sent a mass text to my family asking for receipts. Don't worry, I told them how it worked and they were happy to help me by donating their receipts in order to contribute to my race savings.  Every time I had $100.00 in rebates I cashed them out for a Walmart gift card (you cant translate rebates to cash). I used that money in store in place of cash and just put the cash towards my savings fund.

Another thing I did was to STOP racing. Yes, you read that right. I stopped racing in 2016. Most smaller races can cost anywhere from $60-$150 per race. When you plan a whole race season you can easily spend several hundreds of dollars in race entry fees. I decided to put off racing until I saved enough money for Ironman Texas. This was probably the hardest part for me, but it helped that I was working for Nuun and was still able to attend races (albeit working them) and hang out for most of spring and summer.

Now, just because I stopped racing that doesn't mean I stopped training. I made this year into a sort of extended off season. I backed off my endurance training and adopted more speed work and a heart rate training plan. I focused on doing real work to improve my performance before I start my 30 week training plan for Ironman Texas. It was just enough to keep me busy, but not enough to really overwhelm me. It was definitely a distraction from the absence of racing.
Lastly, and most importantly, I received an anonymous donation in the amount of $200.00 toward my race entry.  Now, I know not everyone will have a fairy god mother out there like I did, but it could be helpful to let your friends and family know that you are open to donations. I found that my family was very willing to help me when I decided to start saving. I would never out right just ask for money, but the Walmart receipts were a great help and I ended up with almost $200.00 in rebates. Every little bit counts!

I cant begin to express my gratitude to my donor. I have an idea of who it was, but I know they would never admit it. It's funny how the kindness of others can make such a huge impact on someone's life. Last week I thought so much about how I could pay this gift forward. I've been working hard and making plans to give back during my road to Ironman. I don't want to give too much away, but know that I do have plans to pay it forward. More details on that to come in a later post!

So that's it! In case you're wondering my race entry fee was $760.00 plus my annual USAT (USA Triathlon) membership fee of $50.00. That may not be much to some people, but it was a mountain of a bill for me. Especially since I was trying to save for this race without effecting my regular budget. All of the money I used for this race came from secondary income and I'm proud of that. I will continue my savings until race day. The money I save between now and then will go toward hotel and travel costs. We have gathered quite an entourage of people who will be attending the race with us. Including my friend James Kelley who will also be racing. Whatever I save will go to our support crew so that they can have some fun while we're out there becoming Ironmen!

I can't wait to continue this journey. My offical training plan starts in late October so be sure to check back for updates. I'm hoping to post a series dedicated to each week of training. I hope you'll join me.

Happy Running!

You might be a triathlete when....

I've always claimed to being a runner. I love running so much that I started this blog just so that I could talk about my love for running! Over the years I've expanded more toward triathlon and I've really started to love it even more than running I think (though it includes running so...) I've always been hesitant to call myself a "Triathlete". Even after my first half Ironman last November, I still feel funny calling myself a Triathlete.

A while back I joined  the Facebook group Women for Tri in hopes of building a sense of belonging in the triathlon community. The experience has been incredibly fruitful to say the least. Women in this group talk about anything from training, kids, work, races, equipment, motivation and more. I could never have imagined connecting with a group of women who are so encouraging, supportive, funny, and just so down to earth!

Many of you may not know this but I'm a 33 year old step-mom. I've helped my husband raise my children since they were pre-school aged, but I have never had any biological children. I've always wanted to, but when your busy raising two children, a third just seem so hard to plan. One night I was thinking about my goals for the upcoming year and I posted this on the Women for Tri Facebook page:

The responses from the other women were hilarious! So many other women felt the exact same way! Women chimed in saying they planned their families around race schedules, used training to bounce back from child birth, one women even planned to freeze her eggs so that she could race longer. I was overwhelmed at the response. It made me feel so much better too. I was thinking so seriously about this topic that I had forgotten how truly funny it really was.

Women began to chime in on the Facebook page over the following months sharing their own "You might be a triathlete when...." posts and it was epic!  So today, I'm sharing the best of them with you in hopes of bringing a little joy to your day. I know I've been guilty of most of these!

P.S. If you have coffee in hand, might I suggest sipping on it after this post. 

You might be a triathlete when....
  1. You know you can wash and style your hair all fancy because tomorrow is "rest" day.
  2. You get excited and smile about an outfit or shoes because they match your Garmin.
  3. All of the laundry on your drying rack consists of swimsuits, bike shorts, tri kits, and running clothes.
  4. You book vacations and family trips around your race schedule.
  5. You just plain plan your entire life around your training schedule.
  6. You're asked if you have big plans for the weekend and your response consists of swimming, biking, running, and eating.
  7. Your car is filled with swim bike and run gear at all times just in case a spontaneous opportunity to train pops up.
  8. You go shopping for "nice clothes" and you always come back with sneakers, compression socks, t-shirts, and new sports bras.
  9. It feels so much easier to complete a 14 hour HIM training week that it does to blow dry your hair, put on make-up, and wear "real" clothes
  10. Product names like "Hoo Ha Ride Glide" and "DZ Nuts" are totally normal to you.
  11. Sticking your hand down your pants in public to apply said product is totally acceptable.
  12. Your perfume of choice is Eau de chlorine.
  13. Your favorite pictures of yourself, are the ugliest race photos you've ever taken, but showcase your race awesomeness.
  14. You're forever loading and unloading workout bags.
  15. You keep losing toe nails.
  16. You are entirely comfortable blowing your nose when cycling at high speeds without a tissue, using just one finger.
  17. You don't mind hopping off the bike and ducking behind a tree to pee on your long bike ride.
  18. You also welcome the warmth of peeing in your wet suit in the early season.
  19. When you want to wear a pretty dresses, but you have weird tan lines and lots of random bruises.
  20. It is perfectly normal that your bikes lives in the house with you.
  21. You do not mind eating ice out of your bra that you dumped in to cool off during the run leg of the race.
  22. You can't wait to swim, bike, or run on your 10 day vacation because you have plenty of time.
  23. Working out 10-12 hours a week is no big deal. 
  24. Waking up at 4 am to train is also totally normal.
  25. When you consider 17,000+ total strangers on a Facebook page your "friends" because you share the love of swimming, biking, and running.

Well friends, that's all for now. I honestly received hundreds of these, but I think I will save the rest for a part 2 perhaps? We shall see! I hope you all had a productive training/racing weekend! What are some of your favorite you might be a triathlete when moments? Share them in the comments below.

Happy Running!

A Monday Virtual Coffee Date

Happy Monday babes! My friend Dixya over at Food, Pleasure, and Health writes these lovely virtual coffee date posts to share what's been new in her life and what she's been up to. I just love to read them so, I thought today, I would give it a try. Thanks Dixya for the wonderful inspiration!

I had such an amazing weekend and I figured if we were having coffee today, that would be the first thing I'd want to share.

So, if were having coffee today I'd tell you all about the Sprouts Summer Splash event the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors had on Saturday. It was so much fun!

We met up at ALMI Design District apartments in Uptown for an early morning Barre Class hosted by Lauren of the Barre Code - Design District. I've attended some events with the Barre Code before while working for Nuun, but this was the first time I'd actually tried the workout.

(Photos Courtesy of the DFA)

Lauren has to have thighs of steel! Seriously! I had sweat dripping off my brow and into my eyes. Lauren had us working until our legs were literally shaking. Afterword, we cooled down with a beautiful brunch sponsored by Sprouts.

They were kind enough to set up a Prosecco bar featuring sparkling drinks of the tastiest flavors. I'm officially in love with the Sprouts sparkling Mojito and it may very well be my new poolside mocktail (after Nuun, of course!).

We also sat down for a fun smoothie bowl demo by Emily from Zen and Spice who is so incredibly talented. She showed us the basics and gave us some great tips on how to keep our bowls low cal and delicious, like using plain Greek yogurt to reduce sugar or using Acai paste to yield a higher flavor.

By the way, both Dixya and Emily are Registered Dietitians and nutrition enthusiasts like myself. If you're looking for great reads, recipes, or just fun & healthy food ideas, I highly suggest visiting their blogs.

If we were having coffee today, I'd also tell you about the family hike we took after Barre class. I was still riding the high after leaving the girls on Saturday and rushed home to insist that my family get outdoors for the day. I'm working an event next weekend for Nuun and REI at the Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve.

The moment I heard about the preserve I knew I had to take my family out there. My son loves hiking. If you're a mom of a teen boy, you know how hard it can be at times to get them to enjoy anything with you. I just knew he would love it and Cedar Ridge Preserve did not let us down.

We hiked the Cattail trial down to the pond and back. The temperature on Saturday was over 100 degrees, but we didn't let that stop us. The 2.4 mile trail was beautiful, even in the dead heat of Texas summer. I will say this, there is a bit of a downhill/uphill elevation change that makes this trail a bit challenging.

More so on the way back to the trail head as it has a pretty steep incline. I had my Garmin running during the hike and saw my heart rate spike all the way to Zone 4 with 180 beats per minute! Apparently we need to more things like this. ha ha ha!

In total, we spent about two hours hiking and exploring the nature preserve before the heat got to us. We're going to make an effort to go back and hike all of the trails Cedar Ridge has to offer. Perhaps a little earlier in the day next time.

If we were having coffee today, I'd tell about my friend James who completed his very first triathlon on Sunday. James and I go way back, but I haven't seen him in years. He used to DJ at house parties and clubs in the DFW area when I was just 19.

We worked together at one of my very fist jobs and have been friends ever since. Now, he plays shows all around the world and is really making a name for himself. When I heard he'd taken an interest triathlon, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with him and support him in his triathlon journey.

He was racing the Take on The Heat triathlon by Playtri and invited me to join. Unfortunately, I'm still saving all my money for Ironman Texas so entry for this race was out of the question. But that didn't stop me from going out to support him.

My husband and I headed out to met up with his girlfriend Jen (who is also a DJ) to cheer him on. He killed it too, taking 6th place in his age group!

He completed a 300 meter pool swim in 5:28 minutes with an average pave 1:49/100m (that's super fast for a beginner FYI!) ,a 9 mile (two loop) bike ride in 24:02 min with an average pace of 22 mph , and finished up the race with a 5k run in 26:15 min for an average pace of 8:28 min/mile.

James has plans to race Austin 70.3 later this year and maybe even Ironman Texas with me in 2017 if all goes well. I'm so excited for him. It's always amazing to watch a friend fall head over heals for triathlon the way I have.

Also, if you're into electronic music, check out some of James' music links below. Makes for good training tunes and I have to brag, he's not just a great triathlete, he's kind of an awesome DJ!

It was an amazing weekend filled with fun, great friends and adventure. I can't wait for next weekend but until then, tell me what you did! If we were having coffee, I'd ask all about you so don't be shy.

Happy running friends,

Enso Rings Review + Giveaway

Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links. I purchased rings of my own for review.  As always all opinions are my own.

A while back I was invited to join Enso Rings as an affiliate. I like to be picky when it comes to companies that I work with because it’s important to me that I share only the best with my readers. I also wanted to test the product for myself before introducing it to all of you to ensure it was a quality product.

Enso rings is a fairly new product. They began their company as a kick starter, how awesome is that?

“An Enso, in Zen Buddhism, is a circle that is hand drawn or brushed in one or two strokes. It expresses a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, single mindedness, and oneness of life.” – Enso Rings

I just love this symbolism because I truly believe that marriage is two people coming together as one. If I’m not going to wear my own wedding ring, I at least want to wear something that symbolizes the love that my husband and I share as well as the life we’ve built together as one family. I’m a pretty symbolic person, can you tell?

As triathlete I spend a great deal of time in the pool. The most expensive problem I have is my wedding ring. I thought it was a great idea to purchase a micropave wedding band before I became a triathlete. Now that I’ve lost a few of my tiny diamonds in the pool, I’m second guessing that decision.

After complaining to my husband for countless hours he finally asked the question, “Why don’t you just take it off?” Well why don’t I just tattoo my “Single” on my forehead while I’m at it? I hate taking off my wedding band about as much as I hate losing diamonds in the pool. When Enso approached me I thought their product would be a great solution to my swimming troubles, but as it turns out these neat little rings are great for more than just swimming.

My husband works with his hands on a daily basis and is also an avid gym goer. The callouses his wedding ring leaves are nothing short of scary. Not to mention during the work day his hands and fingers tend to swell causing deep impressions to form around his band.
He never complains about it hurting, but I’ve seen him take it off and you can clearly see the inner pattern branded on his finger.
Like my ring, his ring is also micropave, we purposely purchased his ring with diamonds only half way around the band. We wanted to ensure the inner portion of the band that is most exposed to work elements wouldn’t suffer from the abrasive materials. As you can see, his ring has still taken a beating. He was more than willing to give the Enso ring to chance when I told him they were made of silicon and stretched.

I purchased the Ultralite Silicone Ring in the color Obsidian for him and the Infinity Silicone Ring in Obsidian for myself.
Honestly, I wanted the Women’s Ultralite Silicone Ring for myself, but for whatever reason they do not offer that ring in my size (5). Kind of a bummer, but the Infinity ring worked great. I liked the thin design even better.
We couldn’t recall my husband’s wedding band size and our initial order was a bit too small for his finger, but Enso was great with our exchange. I just shot them an email  with the correct size and they mailed it to us with a return label included so that we could send the small one back. It was super easy and quick as well. Something I can totally appreciate when ordering new goodies. No one wants to wait to play with fun new toys!

Once we both had a good fit, we began testing! I wore my ring everywhere in the beginning and never took it off. I absolutely loved it. I never noticed how often I pulled out my hair with my wedding band until I could run my fingers through my hair with the Enso ring on.

Funny story: When I blow dry my hair in the morning my wedding ring constantly snags the on/off switch and turns the blow dryer off. I bet I turn it off and on at least 20 times in one sitting. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world! Problem solved with my Enso ring! It's flat and smooth so there's nothing to snag the switch!

I also wore it to the gym and the pool. What I loved was that it never felt loose or like it would fall off in the water. It was also great post swim in the shower. I was a little worried that the silicon material would pull on my wet hair, but it was the exact opposite. It seems to glide through without tugging or pulling. Now that weather is creeping up in the 90's here here in Texas, my fingers tend to swell at the end of long runs. I’ve been training mid-day in 90+ degree heat and my fingers look like little sausages when I get home. It’s nice when I wear the Enso ring because I don’t have issues with the band cutting into my skin. The most rewarding part of wearing the Enso ring came with open water swimming.

I have a tendency to hold my fingers close together when in open water for fear of losing my wedding band. I’m constantly checking to make sure it’s still on my finger which can really throw off form and slow me down during a race. It was nice to not have to worry about that while wearing the Enso ring. It stays snuggly in place, even in cool open water when my fingers shrink.

Overall I’m very happy with Enso! Their site offers so many designs and has introduced a new line of stackable rings which means now, I can match my rings to my tri suit! The possibilities are endless.

To show my support for Enso and to share the love with all of you, I will be giving away an Enso ring to one lucky winner. You have your choice of any single regular ring or you can choose the two ring stackable bundle. All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter below! The winner will be announced on Friday 07/29/2016. You can enter once or use all four entry methods to increase your chances. The winner will be contacted via social media entry method on Friday to discuss color/size and shipping.

Happy Running!

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