In the hustle and bustle of daily life, I love things that go the distance. In fact, it’s more than just a love. It’s a fundamental need. I need things to serve their intended purpose – and others. The things I spend my time and money on need to work in and outside of the box, aka for their “intended” purpose. When I bought the Aspire pant last April at Athleta’s friend and family sale, I thought to myself: great name, cute pants. Atheltic, yet with a draped fabric. They were comfortable and felt easy to wear with sneakers, even flip flops after the occasional yoga class I need more than I care to admit. Plus, I aspire to do things every day. In fact, I aspire a lot. I aspire to be more. I also aspire to be less. I sometimes aspire to be both at the same time. Once a goal, now a pant, suddenly the two seemingly coexisted: my goal and the pants I wear to achieve them were one in the same. As such, they came home with me during Friends and Family.
If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s always be prepared and expect the unexpected. You can plan until kingdom come – but all bets can be off just a quickly as they were on. Take the Monday morning this past May when for the first time in fifteen years as a member of the California bar, I was called in for jury duty. It happened to be a particularly hectic day – if all went according to plan. Kids had sports and after school activities, husband was working late, I had two sets of friends schlepping each child to and from their after school activities in the instance I was selected for a jury; and if I was selected, and dismissed at 5 pm on the nose, I had exactly 18 minutes to pick up both kids at different Greenbrae locations, bring them home, make a quick dinner in time to meet the babysitter, hand them off, shower and change to head into the city for a work event that night. P.S. Husband was working late. This was one day I needed to run like a well-oiled machine. But as I said, you have to expect the unexpected because if you don’t, you might as well just throw in the towel right now.
Everything started off on schedule. My alarm went off at 5:30. Like Dolly Parton, I stumbled into the kitchen for my much needed cup of ambition. After it was poured in my to-go mug, I threw on my Aspire pants (for their intended purpose – casual, light exercise, comfy cute pants), sneakers and a zip up sweatshirt, grabbed the dog, and headed out for his morning walk.
I must digress at this point and introduce you to our 1 year-old labradoodle, Babka.
Babka is a labradoodle – which in theory means he is half labrador retriever and half poodle. But really, Babka is about 98% poodle and 2% labradoodle. (Before writing this blog, I was convinced he was 99.9999% poodle – but he jumped into my friend’s pool in pursuit of a tennis ball the other night, demonstrating, in my mind, that indeed, he has at least 2% Labrador retriever in him). Babka is smart – arguably, too smart for his own good—and mine. I swear he is going to speak any day now. He also has the best highlights of any living thing I’ve ever met (curious that I bring a picture of my dog to the hairdresser to show her what I want my hair to look like….) and the most expressive eyes. They scream “Mommy, you are home” when I walk in the door, his tail whipping back and forth so fast that it actually causes him to shimmy; “Love me!” as he lays down with his legs in the air and paws folded in half; and “F*?!*k you lady – good luck getting THAT on me” the second he sees me take the leash off the mudroom hook. From what I understand, most dogs like going for a walk. Mine likes the walk once he is on it – but hates the leash and the gentle lead used to keep him from walking me down the street.
This morning, as the leash made its way into my hand, his beautiful greenish old-soul, hazel eyes screamed “later!” as he took off faster than a race car down the street – glaring at me the entire time. After 45 minutes of chasing him up and down the street, through my neighbors’ back and front yards, I literally threw my hands in the air and began walking home. I guess he decided he too had enough exercise for the day, and finally began following me home.
Babka’s morning exploits had turned well oiled machine into a hunk of junk. Rushing around to get everyone dressed, fed and ready, and bags packed, I succeeded in getting everyone else ready except for myself. Initially annoyed, I quickly realized that it was time: it was time to put the Aspire pants to the test. Let’s face it: I was technically dressed. And actually, I looked cute. The pants have great drape to make them look dressier than ordinary athletic pants. They have cute zipper detailing and adjustable rouching at the ankle. I was rocking the sporty mommy look in my Aspire pants. With some tinted moisturizer, lipstick and mascara, I was good to go. I decided to put Aspire to the test – and they did not disappoint.
For jury duty, I switched out my gym top and sports bra; and substituted it for a striped muscle tank tee, knit bomber type sweater jacket and my Saucony sneakers, with a leather Chan Luu wrap bracelet. With some red lipstick and mascara, and my hair in a ponytail, I was off to fulfill my civic duty.
When I ran home that evening, though like a good airline pilot, I managed to make up time in the car, I thought I’d take the pants for a dressier spin. I chose a graphic print J. Crew tee shirt, a black structured blazer, a long necklace, and my stiletto pointed heels. It was metro chic, edgy and fashion forward without looking like I was trying to hard (or that I had not showered since the morning and had otherwise been in the pants all day long). I grabbed a Stella and Dot cobalt blue clutch, and I was off.
Who would have thought?! Literally, my aspirations for the day finally took shape in a pair of athletic pants that were anything but. Once intangible, I now wore my dreams, like my heart, on my sleeve – and pant leg—as I could go day to night with ease, in comfort, and confidant all the while. To aspire is as easy as wearing them. Well done, Athleta (and designer of the Aspire Pant, pictured below, Lia Ramsey (who I ironically ran into at jury duty that day, who I know from college!)
Power to the She!