Allow me to be frank: I NEVER heard of a skin care company that tailored to sweaty individuals like me who love working out. I didn't know whether I should jump up for joy or to be exceptionally skeptical.
A few weeks ago, I tried out a trio kit from Fre Skin Care and I can honestly say that I'm shocked by the results. Before I give you the details, let me give you a bit of background about the company.
Contrary to the delusion that I may have unintentionally painted through my Instagram posts or Facebook feed, I do NOT have this stellar background or this glorified history of being a runner. In fact, my interest in sports was limited to watching boxing matches on my once pirated cable box from a dude name Courtney. If one person in the projects paid for the Tyson fight, EVERYONE who received illegal cable from him watched that fight for sure. Boxing was -and still is- whimsical to me. I admire the awkward dancing in the ring, the disturbing shit talking that takes place and the art of skillfully throwing an upper cut--but I wasn't intrigued with the regimen that came along with it. In fact, it's the only sport that I took seriously at one point and at times, I bare knuckled a few bullies with those skills--but that's another story.
Running is one of those things that people from other sports use as a form of conditioning or even punishment if the team screws up. Until five years ago, I thought runners were absolutely nuts for going great distances. I knew nothing about cross country work, sprinting on the track and field, a fartlek was a funny juvenile word and if someone could've told me that I would be doing endurance running, I'd probably let out a hearty cackle until I was begging for an oxygen mask. In my hood, we ran for the ice cream man during hot summer days or to kick someone's ass in a game of tag. On the contrary, the speediest people that I knew were crackheads and drug dealers who ran from the cops--and no, I will not turn this into a glorified sob story. But I get this question often: "Why do you run--and stick with it?"
My son didn't go to school this morning--this was after nagging him for a bit over a hour to get dressed, eat and stop complaining. I misplaced my keys once again and it's not the first time that I've ever done this. Forty-five minutes prior, I saw this orange tag sitting on my coffee table nudging me to pick them up; and so, I nuzzled them into my large palm before going to the bathroom.
My plan was simple (or as simple as my life can be): Shower, eat, drop off my son to school, swim practice, 4 mile run, workout, pick him up, eat again, work from home and destress my mind with a friend. See, I told you I'm not that simple. Instead, I found myself shaking, muttering and nestled in a fetal position as I had a full blown anxiety attack in front of my son--I'm the mother of the fucking year. This too is nothing new for me but maybe for you.
January is over and February going to go by quicker than we realize. I’m certain that many of you created New Year’s Resolutions--or maybe rejuvenated a bucket list with items that we carried over from the previous years. But get this--80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are broken by February 1st. That’s probably a heavy statistic to hear but here’s another one: It takes 21 days to form a habit. What does this mean for you? Well, today may be the day that you want to pick up that goal that you left on the wayside and pick it back up; after all, the year just started.
I’m partnering up with Tampax Pearl Active to help you create that habit and reach your goals. Consider me your online accountability buddy. Yes, I know talking about menstruals might be an unusual topic but let’s take this opportunity to address some stigmas like avoiding the gym because of a fear of leaking while on your periods. The average menstrual cycle takes 21 - 28 days, coincidentally aligning up with the amount of days in takes to form a habit and the month of February. If we push through our periods and create a consistent fitness routine, we can reach our fitness goals faster.
I want you to take on this challenge with me to #GetInMotion, working out 28 days straight and try different types of routines until you find the one that works best for you. But what about rest days, right? Being active can be as simple as parking your car a bit farther from home, encouraging you to walk a bit more--if you’re like me, perhaps you’ll run a few laps around someone else’s car. Don’t overthink this process too much. You can even take your children, nieces or nephews on a hike, create an adventure in the park or simply liven up your routine with a different dance move. On days that I need to take it down a notch, I’ll be incorporating a good stretch into my workouts and placing my feet on the mat to do some necessary yoga. What about the days you’re on your period?
Let me guess: You’re ______ doesn’t permit you to dedicate a hour of your time. Truly, I can relate to this sentiment. As some of you may know, I have a lively ten year old son with a chronic condition, a busy freelancer that’s always on the go and with my own battles with sciatica and endometriosis, I never know how my day will go. I don’t want to just tell you to move your body for 28 days, I want to join you on this journey. Twenty minutes of your day will not only keep you motivated but liven your spirits just a bit.
Here’s the deal: I am giving away a YEAR supply of Tampax Pearl Active. Tag me @iamlshauntay and @Tampax using the hashtag #GetInMotion in your sweat selfies for a chance to win! Why Tampax Pearl Active? Tampax Pearl Active provides up to 100 percent leak free workouts and as much as this may seem personal, my endometriosis condition used to make me want to stray away from doing intense workouts. Their MotionFit Protection moves with you and I feel extra protected when doing power moves like box jumps or mule kicks at the gym. With a sense of security during those days of the month means I can hit my bigger goals sooner--like learning how to swim for my upcoming triathlon or being in condition for my trail ultra marathon. Let’s make some progress in a huge way by being consistent in our regimens without fear of our periods.
Disclosure: This blog post is in sponsorship with Tampax Pearl Active
Once in a blue, I'm fortunate enough to review some really dope items that piques my interest. Back in December, Koala Clip's founder Kristina Powell reached out to me after reading my brief craptacular experience during the New York City Marathon. Around this time, I must have been contacted by every company under the sun but here's what made me instantly love her and want to test her product:
My viral infection is desperately trying to abandon ship and I am determined to keep my ass motivated to make it through my first trail ultra marathon. Sure, it's a 50K-equivalent to 31.06 miles- and I've completed a 60K (37.28 miles) before but not on a trail. I was fortunate enough to test my insanity on pavement both times; trails are a different type of hell. If I didn't learn this during the North Face Endurance Challenge in Massachusetts last year, then I must be a goddamn fool. In turn, I will be getting my redemption at their Washington, DC location aiming to knock that shit out like the boss bitch that I am.
When I'm recovered, I know that my loved ones and the Internet is great for keeping me honest about my journey. Hard to lie to myself or the masses when there's a digital imprint reminding you to be on top of your game.
Over the last couple of months, I've been introduced to a new audience thanks to my first contributing piece to The Root about being heckled during the New York City Marathon--and MOST of the feedback has been amazing. Nevertheless, I find myself here once again, trading in conspicuous hecklers for upgradable concerned trolls who follow my articles; some are bold enough to surface into my inbox.
Again, I question my own credentials -thanks to trolling- of what message am I sending to myself and to an unsolicited audience about being a plus-size athlete. A few weeks ago, I started receiving concerned e-mails from various people on my platforms, questioning if I have a 'resume' showcasing my fitness and running accolades. One person has gone as far as to write me a six paragraph bittersweet love letter praising my 'little medal from the NYC Marathon' but wanted to give me an opportunity to be transparent with a growing audience if I purchased any or all of my prized possessions from E-Bay.
Remain humble--even when the world is showering you with opportunities to be overbearing. Life is an arrogant teacher awaiting to tame her students with pop quizzes. This random but not so random thought surfaced as I talked with one of my close long distance friends about the changes occurring in my life.
In my head, I'm normal as fuck--I wake up, shower, juggle a ridiculous schedule and try to balance out my social life with a chaotic but sedentary freelance assignments. To others, I'm supernatural and much more entertaining than what my brain tells me. Realistically, I haven't been this inactive in five years and it's starting to piss me the fuck off.
I've been toggling back and forth on this one screen for 1 hour and 39 minutes as I develop my tentative race calendar for 2018. For the last four years, I conquered fears in the most extreme ways. Perhaps you think I'm being melodramatic; I wish I was telling a lie. Just to give you an idea of my history of shenanigans, I will start from the beginning of my fucktardism and then it'll make sense on why I'm babysitting the screen that I'm on right now:
2017 had a series of highs and lows.
Listen, I didn't think it was possible to be in anyone's newspaper or magazine unless I was choking someone out in the street. As a New Yorker, I keep in mind that I'm one subway ride away from a night in jail. Somehow, I've been in a laundry list of places last year and it's all from being myself. If only my ten year old son understood this logic, perhaps he wouldn't feel so awkward some days about being a self professed weirdo.
Before y'all pull out the razor blades and mace on me, I'mma need y'all to understand that I didn't run away from my blog. Nothing makes my booty mentally twerk like sharing with you guys--for the record, unless it's a pole, I can't dance worth shit.
In a matter of a month, my life changed on an insane level. So, you guys remember me briefly blurbing about the jack ass on the NYC Marathon course, right? Somehow I managed to ovary up and write a detailed personal narrative for The Root's newest platform: The Glow Up.
And you know what? The shit was a hit.
Like mega hit. Like over 60K viewers hit. Do you hear me bih?! In a matter of hours, my personal narrative changed my life tremendously.
Some of you are probably screw facing the shit out of me and asking what the fuck is a 60K. Sure let me entertain you:
A marathon's distance is 26.2 miles or equivalent to 42.2 kilometers. If you get your rocks off on torture, go for an ultra marathon and essentially that is what this was. 60K is equivalent to 37.28 miles.
If you're like most of my Facebook page, the next question was probably followed up with: Why the FUCK would you want to do that? So glad that you asked.
I wasn't prepared this year.
Like at all.
Quite frankly, I thought that this year would be my year.
Like many, I had a plan to be diligent, would commit to my 4 - 5 days a week of consistent running, eat healthy and keep my mind clear. Instead, I learned how to eat my own words while grieving, talking to a therapist and questioning if I even wanted to bother. Despite it all, I became bib number 68301: Third time TCS NYC Marathon finisher.
If you are reading this, it means that I am a holder of the 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon finisher medal. Perhaps you are a first time reader on my blog and might be asking if this is my first marathon ever or even if this is my first time doing a marathon in Chicago. The answer is safely no. Others who may have been following my journey for at least two months know that this summer/fall has been exceptionally cruel to my mental and physical. In turn, I am just as shocked that I can write this blog with joy and elaborate on the wonderful (and not so glamorous) elements of doing this particular marathon.
Start your eye rolling or be intrigued right now. As I'm writing this, I am picking at brunch that I made two hours ago because I wasn't sure of how to start this post. I'm sure that at some point of each of our lives, we looked at someone (or maybe felt up somebody if we're Stevie Wonder blind) and said to ourselves, "Shit, they're kinda big (or really slender)." I'll give you a few minutes to lie to me or yourselves to say that you're always PC and would NEVER have such a thought come to mind. Pardon me as I cough up a sleuth of profanity, you lying bitch. I hope you know that I said this with love. Nevertheless, this very serious Instagram direct message came in last night and I asked if I could respond to her via blog. Simply because I don't feel like she's trolling, let's call her Noli* for blog's sake.
Noli*: Hi Shauntay (or Latoya). I'm not sure which one you prefer. Your page is really inspiring. I shared your info with my friend Danielle* a few weeks ago. As you can tell, I'm a relatively thin white woman. I'm not that sporty but your blogs are so poignant. If I may, can I ask you how to approach something. Please please don't curse me out. I'm not a troll. I swear.
Me: Good morning Noli* and either name is fine. It's just a first and middle name but people go by both. Thank you for the kind words dear and for passing on my page to your friend. Hopefully I'm not too off the wall for her, LOL. I'm an open book, as long as it's coming from a genuine place. Be blunt and ask. I don't bite too much.
Noli*: Thank you. I had to put it out there. I follow your site a lot and while I laugh, I wouldn't want to "piss in your cornflakes" hahahahaha! My friend Danielle* is a beautiful woman. I like her a lot, like attracted to her but I'm concerned about her weight. Is there a nice way to tell her that she's fat? You are very tactful with your way of talking to people through honesty, humor and detail. I don't feel right saying to her that she should lose a few pounds. Plus, I don't even know how to tell her I'm attracted to her. You obviously feel comfortable with the word "fat". I whisper words like that. It's offensive to a lot of people. How do I start a conversation?