Red and green? That's so six weeks ago. These days, the in colors are pink and white and red. Generally in the shape of a heart and wrapped around something chocolate.
With less than two weeks to go until Valentine's Day, the stores are pushing boxes of candy, coffee mugs filled with Red Hots and all kinds of sugary (and frankly saccharine) stuff. And of course, somewhere, there's bound to be a feature on Yahoo! News or some other online outlet about the best and worst things you can get a loved one for Valentine's Day.
Invariably, on the "worst gifts" list, along with the usual suspects (cleaning products, household appliances, sex toys), will be the words "anything fitness-related."
I'll admit to being eccentric in many respects, but a gift like a good pair of hiking shoes is going to make my heart beat a lot faster than it's going to if I'm unwrapping a pink stuffed I-Wuv-U bear holding a silk rose. And, being part of a community where that sort of thing (the hiking shoes, not the pink bear) is not just tolerated but actively encouraged, I am pretty sure Valentine's Day translates into an opportunity to get fit and have fun, as well as a good way to pump up some interest in fitness.
That's why I was particularly glad to go by a gym that was advertising a special Valentine's class featuring yoga you could do with a partner. The sign noted "Last year's class sold out! Reserve now!" Inspired, I started trolling the Internet and looking for other Valentine's Day tie-ins and promotions. In Minneapolis, I found a site for a Valentine's Day 5K that invites participants to "run with your sweetie or search for your soulmate." It further notes that the race is a good way "to get your heart pumping."
But it's nothing compared to what many tennis clubs are promoting. Let's just say the words "Love" and "Match" come into play a lot. Cardio Tennis is a biggie.
Two-fers are also a big deal. A bunch of ski resorts offer an evening of skiing on Valentine's Day (which falls on an unromantic Tuesday this year) with two-for-one lift tickets as well as other tie-ins (two-for-one concessions, lessons, rentals and so on).
Of course, you can also go the edgy route. In Illinois, there's a racquetball tournament known as the Pole Dancing.
"Seriously," she told me. "It's being offered at the club right next to the building where I take my kids for day care. And they're advertising it as this full-body workout."
Perhaps there are some fitness-related gifts that can still get you in trouble, even when your Valentine is a fitness devotee.