Start Summer With Socks, Santa and Squats With Schnauzers

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Santa! I Know Him!


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Whether you were a skeptic or a more-excited-than-Will-Ferrell-in-"Elf" believer, most of us fell for the world's greatest lie to some degree as children. Santa Claus was the man. He could do no wrong, he was a people pleaser and that magical giggle was enough to bring a smile to even the grumpiest of faces.

As kids, we believed in the impossible, the magical and the opportunity for greatness. Santa Claus was the epitome of this and as we aged and stopped believing, many of us lost that zest for the incredible and magical along the way. One of the unfortunate side effects of our transition from the gawky teenage years to the anxieties of adulthood and beyond is that we sometimes stop believing in our ability to do great things. When life comes at you hard and fast, or you've experienced one failure after another, or you simply feel like you're stuck in a rut that you can't climb your way out of, it's easy to think "Well, I'm just not worth it" or "I guess this is just the way things are now." It's what leads to overeating and complacency, weight gain and being sedentary.

Imagine for a minute, if we could believe in ourselves with just a fraction of the enthusiasm our four-year-old selves believed in Old Saint Nick. That whole-hearted, no questions asked, unwavering belief is a magic power in and of itself. Imagine what we could accomplish in the gym, at the track or pumping out squats in our living rooms. Believing in ourselves is the key to accomplishing any goal and it starts now.

No matter what decisions led you to the life you lead now, remember that you are capable of greatness, even if it's just for five minutes on the treadmill or one set of biceps curls. Starting today, let that childlike sense of wonder back into your head before you walk through those doors at the gym and remember that you are worth believing in, 100 percent, for forever. And who knows? There might even be a fellow gym goer, a child or a co-worker who learns to believe in themselves after seeing you go after your goals with everything you've got. Don't let them, or yourself, down.

Shop: From Bland to Bold Feet

Two things to know about me, right off the bat: I am a proud penny pincher and I am all about the basics. Leaping and diving through sales bins Scrooge McDuck-style is a literal dream of mine. And while I enjoy a killer pattern dress and some statement earrings every now and again, the bulk of my wardrobe is made up of jeans, black shirts, gray tees and sandals.

It goes without saying that these characteristics extend to the entirety of my closet and dresser, right down to my sock drawer. Let me paint you a pretty bland picture by saying that my entire drawer is full of basic, white, ankle-cut cotton socks. They make matching a breeze, they do the job and when they start wearing thin, I can pick up a six-pack at Target for less money than it costs to buy your daily latte. Simple fits me and in 29 years I've had no complaints.

Since being introduced to FITS socks, though, my feet and I are singing a different, super comfortable and swanky tune as of late. As FITS founder Bob Yoe says in a video featured on the company's website, "I wanted to make the best sock that's ever been made in the history of the world. I wanted something that could be made in America. I wanted something that when people wore they said, 'This is really great.'" Well, Bob, you got me because these socks are great. Really, really great.

Photo courtesy of FITS Socks.

Made from merino wool right here in the good 'ole U.S. of A, each sock includes a three-part fitting system to mold to the shape of your foot. The stitching, design and fabric come together to securely hug your arch and up near the tiptoes, creating a comfort level that you'll want to write home (or in a blog) about. They have the power to turn a shoe that's a few miles away from kicking the bucket into a workout-crushing tool powered by sweat and polka dots.

I know because my beloved Nikes are days away from sounding the death knell, riddled with more hard-earned holes than I can count after covering more sprints and Burpees than I care to remember. After one workout paired with the FITS socks, they almost felt like new. After my first workout, I laughed off the socks, telling my boyfriend that I thought the glorious feeling bestowed upon my feet was the result of a placebo effect resulting from my undying love for my poor, ailing sneakers. I've now worn the socks to four Orangetheory classes, put them through a Bikini Body Guide workout and wore them through a plyometric legs workout, and now I'm a full-blown believer.

The socks now have a permanent place at the front of my sock drawer, while I've moved the plain white cotton boys to the B-team in the back. The new real estate is great for them, too, since the socks come in a wide variety of patterns, colors and stripes. Plain grays, whites and blacks are there, too, but this basics addict has almost been reformed. Plus, if you see the words "wool" and "sock" next to one another and think "hold up, whaaaaa?" let me tell you that you haven't experienced luxury until you've exercised in wool socks. They're simultaneously wicking and cooling, while retaining less odor than normal cotton socks. Despite the price tag (socks start at a difficult to swallow $15), I'm looking forward to adding a few hiking options and these America-approved red, white and blue runners to my once-bland sock wardrobe.

Mission accomplished, Bob. This girl's happy feet thank you.  

Sweat: #SquatYourDog

I came in late to the hashtag game, stubbornly avoiding this latest wave in social media trends in a futile attempt to cherish the old ways of doing things. Since then, I've come around, peppering in a #LiveEveryWeekLikeItsAllStarWeek here, a #PumpedUponPatriotism there. But this most recent fit-inspired hastag may be my favorite of all time. Ready? #SquatYourDog. Yes.

Started by @ajgreenefit on Instagram, she first lifted her 70-pound golden retriever as a smile starter, and encouraged others to join the party.

A post shared by Alyssa (@ajgreenefit) on

Since posting, others have jumped on the bandwagon and it's adorable. Big dogs, little dogs, cooperative dogs, squirmy dogs—they're all here, they're all adorable and they're all going to help pump. You. Up.

How do you change up your workouts to make them fun and exciting? Would you squat your pet?

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Great article!
( https:// / ) Report
If only my eyes weren't bigger than my stomach.....ugh & Haaaaa Report
Santa's not real??? Report
great Report
not steady but do squats dont want to drop anything Report
Looove this idea. However, my 110lb boxer/pitbull puppy is not very enthused by it. Great post! Report
Looking for those socks. Report
My mother's podiatrist told her to wear socks to prevent rubbing in her shoes. Report
Alicia, you are a talented writer! I really enjoyed this post and must get some Fit socks asap! And a dog. But that will involve bribing the landlord. Report
My cats would never let me use them as the 17 lb weights they are lol! Report
interesting-- i love socks Report
curious article Report
The socks are interesting. Thanks for sharing! Report
LOL, I'll have to borrow a Golden! Report
good info and fun too Report
These socks look really great! Report
Informative! Thanks! Report
Thanks for the blog, and for sparking me to think about how to make working out more fun!!! My friend Dave leads kids on outings into the woods and plays games with them: Walk Like a Penguin! Slide down this snow bank! Run up and pat the moss on the big tree! and it keeps him young at heart and fit. I'm going to follow his lead! Report
thank you for a current dated article unfortunately I am allergic to wool and nylon.. Report
Great article Report
Great blog! Report
Thanks for sharing a great blog. Report
With my hip and knees I'm not big on doing squats. But I've been known to do kitty curls with my cats. Some are more cooperative than others. Report
the socks look interesting, but I have always had a problem with those really low profile socks staying on. I wear Thorlo light hiking socks all summer long and their regular hiking socks through the colder months. They are much thicker, but hold up well and are extremely comfortable for me - especially since I am always cold. Report
Great blog. Don't think I could lift my almost 70# dog and with a bad hip I'm afraid I would hurt her. I love the Santa / yourself analogy though. Report
Cora weighed 50 lbs and NO WAY would she let us lift her! Report
Great blog! Report
thank you Report
I can't pick up my 60-something pound lab, she has bad hips, don't want to hurt her but I love squats! So effective!

I am on the wool sock bandwagon. I remember reading a Spark article by Coach Nicole quite a while back where she mentioned them and I just kept feeling scratchy wool in my head. Not so! I picked up a pair this past January, and ran on cold, slushy day and my feet did not get cold. I wore them last week during the first warm day of the year and my feet were nice and comfy. Now wool sock are all I wear when I run.

I love the analogy of believing in ourselves like we believed in Santa! I will keep that with me during 'I can't' moments! Great article! Report
Sounds good Report
We have two cats. Maury would probably stick around for a static squat, but neither he nor Twiglet would be a willing accomplice otherwise... sounds like fun with a dog; maybe I need to borrow one! Report
I hadn't thought about squatting with my dog (who maybe weighs 10 pounds dripping wet.). Usually I try to avoid "squashing" her, because she likes to jump up on the rebounder in between my legs... Report
I used to squat my friend's lab mix, Lily. She looooved it. *lol* I'd scoop her up and start droppin' squats and she'd whap me with her tail and grin like mad. Report
Great blog! I always feel so inspired after reading these! Report
Love squats Report
love this article Report
Uplifting! Report
Love it! Report
Love this! Report
Thank You............... Report
Very nice thank you Report
Never too late to believe in yourself. Who says you can't do it?!?!??! We can SparkFriends! Report
busicling Report
GREAT Report