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What socks have to do with my stroke

This is my story of survival, recovery, + healing. But first, you should know that I was once a long-distance runner.

As a long-time distance runner, I have relentlessly searched for socks that perform and last because I have high standards for performance.

I need comfort for long runs, support, and softness. I can’t stand it when socks cut off my circulation mid-run. That annoying line on the toe? What is that, anyway?

So when I discovered Bombas, I am dead-serious when I say I fell in love. And for me, it wasn’t just about socks—the connection was much more meaningful, which I know sounds super weird. But here’s the thing…

 

Hers and his.  Hiking at the Hollywood sign, in LA.

 

Several years ago, I had a medical accident that caused a stroke in my left vertebral artery. It was tragic and devastating, especially because I had just given birth to my first child three weeks prior. I suddenly went from running several half-marathons a year to learning to walk again, first regaining my gait with a walker and then mastering more complex movement through extensive physical therapy.

I remember my therapist setting goals for me: initially moving confidently with a walker, then working up to the ultimate goal of walking to my mailbox independently. It feels crazy to type those words—a lifetime away and yet so fresh.

 

One of my biggest long-term goals was to run a half-marathon again. I knew I would not be able to manage a public race for some time, so I decided to get on my garage treadmill and start with half a mile. Every few days, I’d add a little more distance. It took me months and months (not my typical training schedule), but I eventually gained enough strength and confidence to perform the length of a half-marathon in my garage.

 

Celebrating our post-run victory. Kimbia means running in Swahili.

 

When the day finally came to run 13.1 miles, I told my family when I expected to finish so they could cheer me on. I got on my treadmill and set out on my journey. A couple of hours later, my husband and one year old came out to watch my final few miles. I’ll never forget the feeling of those last few steps as I sprinted to the finish, remembering how hopeless I felt just a year prior. During my recovery, every step toward the mailbox had me wishing for the days when space blankets and medals hung around my neck after I crossed a race finish line. But instead of medals and post-run bananas, this time I was met with the cheers of a baby and my husband. It was the best feeling.

The day of my half marathon

The day of my “indoor- treadmill” half marathon. J wearing his My Mom Rocks shirt. Running 13.1 after recovering from a stroke was my biggest achievement to date.

I hate to admit that that was the last race I’d run. Another baby, a cross-country move, and a deployed husband demanded more of my time, so running fell to the wayside. Running was my long-time love, and I gave it up. But this year, I’ve finally started to come back to it, and there are two things I will not do without: my Brooks running shoes and my Bombas socks.

I’d heard about Bombas and that, like the company says, they’re the world’s best socks, so of course I was curious. And I am here to tell you, they have absolutely created the BEST socks. I was given my first set for Christmas more than four years ago, and they have held up like new, I kid you not.

So when Bombas reached out with an offer to work together, I jumped at the chance! Not only do I freaking love the socks, but this company’s structure and mission aligns so well with my core values of social responsibility and sustainability. Here are just a few reasons I love this brand:

 

Can buying socks be sexy?

 

  • The word Bombas means bumblebee in Latin; bees are a model of community, working together to make their world (and ours) a better place. Nature’s inspiration is at Bombas’s core.

 

  • Bombas has donated 25 million pairs to unhoused people with its buy-one-give-one program. Additionally, it has donated more than 50 million items, including its expanded clothing line across all 50 states. I love it when you can give yourself something special and share that joy with others in need.

 

  • Bombas is B-Corp Certified, meaning, it went through a rigorous procedure to demonstrate that it values people, planet, and profit in every aspect of its business model.

 

Socks that give back.

 

  • Bombas seeks to support both underserved and underrepresented communities. Take, for example, its Black Hive Collection, which are socks made by the Black Hive—aka, Black Bombas employees (including creators, designers, and marketing minds). They’re made with bold, vibrant colors and patterns that reflect what they are—a joyful creation of Black futures and an inspiration to strive for everyday excellence.

Staying true to its mission, every pair of Black Hive socks purchased are matched by a pair donated to someone in need within the Black community.

 

 

Socks that give back.

 

 

  • Bombas also has a Pride Collection, designed by people within the LGBTQ+ community and photographed by an all-queer crew for the company’s campaign. Because homelessness disproportionately affects the LGBTQ+ population, with BIPOC and transgender individuals being particularly vulnerable, every item purchased from the Pride Collection sends a donation to organizations doing work in this population, including:

 

Buying socks will never be the same. 

And you know I have a special offer for you! Use this link to get 20% off your first purchase. I promise you won’t regret it.

 

I know that many of us give up pieces of ourselves when tragedy (or pandemics) strike, but I am finding the road back to myself, in part, through running. So long as I have a great pair of socks and shoes, a sidewalk, and fresh air, I’m finding myself again, one step at a time.

*This post is sponsored. I will always give my honest opinion about my experience with a company and its products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

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