If you have an active person on your list and are stumped, you’re in good company. When it comes to an aspiring athlete, it can be tough to pick out the perfect gift.
I’ve accumulated this list after years of trying to steer people toward gift giving success, so if you are stuck, give this list a look and get that shopping done. Full disclosure here, I own a retail store here in Carlisle.
1. Entry into a race or event. Ask around and get an idea of an event that they would like to do or in which they are planning to participate. Some local races can be pretty reasonable, or perhaps you kick in some money for the big race next year. Further, with races selling out very quickly, they may have already registered but need lodging or a gift card to a cool restaurant for after the race. Personally, if I had a half gallon of Turkey Hill’s Double Dunker ice cream after my big race, I would be forever grateful.
2. A day to train. It might seem kind of cheesy, but opening up their schedule to get a run or ride in is an awesome feeling. Time is money. Getting the chance to go somewhere else to train or train just a little longer than usual is a great gift.
3. Practical gear. When it comes to gear, it’s very personal, but if you do some research, you may find that they have favorites when it comes to socks, shorts, hats and nutritional items. We have customers who have worn the same type of socks for years, and their family members come in and buy them by the case. It might not be a surprise, but they will thank you every time they use the product.
4. Something for the cold. A nice headlamp or super-duper mittens might mean the difference between staying inside and eating more cookies or going outside. Not that there is anything wrong with eating cookies.
5. A photograph of them. Not to stroke their ego, but it’s cool to have a picture of a past race or achievement. As much as I do not like looking at pictures of myself, it’s cool to have an action shot of a past race or a candid shot of my family at the race.
6. Membership to a gym or pool. Pay for a month or a year — either way it’s a way for them to do what they love.
7. Gift certificate. This is easy. There are so many products out there at so many different price points that this can be an effective way for them to get exactly what they want, when they want it.
So there you have it; a list to finish up your shopping so you have more time to exercise yourself! Don’t forget that exercise can be a great stress reducer too, so do not be afraid to get quick little workouts in during this stressful time of year.
Josh Beck, a 1996 Big Spring High School grad, is an owner of Appalachian Running Co. in Carlisle. He is a nationally ranked triathlete, a former professional cyclist/triathlete, a husband and a father. His column appears twice monthly in the outdoors section. Email him at email@example.com