Tiny Hands, Big Hearts, Great Times

Sleepy-eyed people, stopping in at Sweetish Hill Bakery one Wednesday morning, were picking up coffee and eyeing tempting treats on their way to work. The three of us huddled over a table off to the side, intently arranging a pair of tiny plastic hands. When we erupted in gales of guffaws, folks gave us some serious stink eye.

It was not quite 7 a.m., and the AWKATs and I were clearly having too much fun.

Photo of a pair of tiny plastic hands coming out of a gift bag.

Alternative Fun For Injured Athletes

I’m lucky to have friends to exercise with…and even luckier to have friends who support each other when they’re injured. Anytime a bunch of athletes coordinate schedules, there’s always a subsection that, for one reason or another, has to sit out. Maybe it’s a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. Or perhaps an ankle was rolled and sprained. Hips can go wonky and require rest. And in a few cases, some serious health shit happens, stuff that could put anybody flat on her back — mentally and physically.

Photo of pair of tiny plastic hands before bag with AWKAT logo
AWKAT stands for “Awesome Women Knitting/Krafting/Koloring Awesome Things” (gotta work that “K”).

My bunch of workout companions (you can read more about AWDAT in “Friends: The Secret to Workout Success”) doesn’t let injury slow them down much. Where many might disappear until healed, these gals embrace down time. They continue to meet but instead of running, swimming, and biking, they’re opting to knit, color, and craft. Better yet, they post their meetings so those of us who are working out can join in. It’s refreshing genius – we laugh, have fun, and perhaps most important for recovering athletes, maintain that important social connection with workout buddies.

I was so inspired I created a logo for them, a spin-off name: AWKAT. Another member of our crafty athletic group put the logo on adorable bags that hold little colored pencils.

The tiny plastic hands? They were a birthday present from my friend Julie, a current AWKAT who knows I have a special fondness for the Saturday Night Live skit. On that morning in Sweetish Hill, she, Francine, and I reduced ourselves to near incontinence by posing me and those tiny hands in a variety of silly positions. Oh, that laughter felt so good!

Photo of woman laughing with tiny plastic hands and big mug of coffee.Photo of woman writing with tiny plastic hands.Photo of woman coloring with tiny plastic hands and little pencils.Photo of pair of tiny plastic hands and notebook.







And that hilarious gift keeps on giving. The tiny hands are on their way to run a marathon in Paris. I’d been searching for something special to help me remember to relax and take it easy; I’m running in Paris for fun.

What says “fun” more than tiny hands?

And what better prescription than a hearty dose of friendship and laughter?

Photo of pair of tiny plastic hands with "bad lyrics" coasters.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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