Meet the Whatever-Fits Multi-Sport Athletic Mom, Casey & Her Car
As a single mom living near coastal Maine in a semi-rural wooded area, with a flexible work schedule and a 9-year-old son to entertain during his summer break from school, my car is my survival tool! I like to stay in shape while making use of our local lakes, community pools, beaches, bike paths, hiking trails and tennis courts. It makes the hot summer days a little more exciting for both of us. As a result, our car is often loaded down with supplies we may want to use on a whim. When people see my car, they assume I’m headed on vacation, but in my reality, we live in “Vacationland” already so we try to take advantage of it whenever we can. Here’s a little bit on what we have and how we make use of “whatever-fits” in our compact sedan the helps us on our summer daily sporting adventures.
- Bike Rack: This was an inexpensive addition to our car, instantly allowing us to bring our bikes wherever we want to roam. We feel safer riding off-road with our bikes and making use of our local riverside bike paths and mountain biking trails.
- Swimsuit, Sportswear, Cover-Up & Towel: Maine weather can be very unpredictable even if I’ve checked my weather app twice before we leave the house. We don’t like getting caught in town by the lake without our swimwear on a hot day, and we don’t go without an extra cover-up if an extra layer might be needed. So we’ve started keeping back-up sportswear in the car at all times. I like to have my SportPort Long Sleeve Athletic Top because I can wear it over my swimsuit and get the added sun screen with the ultraviolet protection of the UPF 50+ fabric, plus it looks a lot more flattering than a wet or sweaty t-shirt.
- Running Outfit: Not to sound repetitive, but my son is with me most of the time. Unfortunately, he doesn’t share my love for running, which means I jump at any opportunity to fit in a few miles. My SportPort Compression Sports Bra Tank Top with a pocket for my cell phone is a must. I’m able to run worry-free if I know my son can easily reach me and I’m still able to use my phone’s running log APP. Plus, I feel safe because the cell phone pocket offers EMF protection against any harmful radiation that might be coming through my phone to my body.
- On-the-Go Bag: In the floor-well, you can see a bag that I bring with me each day. I keep the necessities for cleanliness in there: biodegradable body wash, dry shampoo, body towel, deodorant and a wide-tooth comb. Stocked regularly also are snacks that will survive the heat of the car, like nuts and dried fruits. Lastly, I keep a pair of headphones, just in case I can sneak that run in.
- Mini-Cooler: This is just the right size for us for a few hours out and about to keep our drinks and sandwiches at the right temperature.
- Cycling Gear: On the other floor-well is my helmet, bike gloves, bike lock and cycling shoes. These cycling shoes are actually triathlete shoes, so they double as running sneakers. The clips (for the clip-in pedals of my bike) are inlaid below the tread so they don’t interfere with my stride.
In the Trunk:
- Kayak & Gear: With the backseat folded forward, we have just enough space to wedge inside our youth-sized kayak. While my adult kayak fits on the roof of the car, we don’t always bring it along due to the extra hassle of lifting and strapping it to the roof. Something that may be helpful to know is that some youth kayaks are weight-rated high enough for an average-size woman, plus they are often more affordable than adult kayaks. So, if you’re looking for a kayak that’s easy to transport and store, you may be able to get away with the kid-sized option. We take turns kayaking and swimming with this one so I’m not constantly driving around with a boat on top of my car! This also cuts down on supplies, because we only need to have one lifejacket and one paddle.
- Beach Chair: Because it’s much more comfortable for me to keep an eye on a kid in the water when I have back support, my folding beach chair gives me any easy way to sit outside and a place to hold my drink and a storage pocket where I keep sunscreen and snacks.
- Tennis Gear: We are beginners, but that doesn’t stop us from hitting up a tennis court or two per week. It’s great exercise, especially if you’ve only got a few balls on hand, because you’re constantly chasing missed shots around the court.
- Kite: Running to get a kite in the air and then walking around to keep it up and out of the trees is a great way to get some extra steps in for the day and also have some good laughs! We buy the inexpensive ones now because we often get them tangled or ripped anyway.
- Balls: As any parent may know, a ball, whatever kind it may be, has the potential to keep a kid entertained indefinitely as long as you’re willing to pass it around with them. I especially like throwing the football back and forth because I will feel muscles that I don’t usually use in my upper body the next day!
- Bike Pump: It only took one flat tire experience before I realized the importance of keeping a pump with me. This one is easy to use and doesn’t take up much space.
- Sun & Other Protective Supplies: I keep sun glasses, sunscreen, body lotion and lip balm with sun protection in the car at all times, because I prefer to keep my skin and body safe, from head to toe. And, bug spray, because we live in Maine and the bugs can be fierce.
While I am usually an anti-clutter person in general, I prefer the fun and active options a packed vehicle provides us. I also like to embrace spontaneity in the summertime. School-year schedules and activities tend to require more planning and organizing, so it’s nice to enjoy the freedom that summer allows!