15 June 2017

Be Your Own Spirit Animal

Sarah McCroy embodies being your own spirit animal.

I was in Target when I first saw them. Unassuming. Hanging discreetly on a clearance rack. Discounted not once, but twice, and waiting for just-the-right-someone to take them home. 

I knew instinctively I was that someone

Without even trying them on, I walked to the front counter, paid $7.99 + tax, and was on my way.

I don't know what possessed me, but my life took an unexpected turn that day and I've never looked back. I transformed from a boring, legging-less nobody into the proud owner of lion-elephant-cheetah leggings. I had no worldly idea when I would ever wear them, but I knew they were awesome and my back-side was feeling neglected, so I bought solely because I felt strongly that, if I didn't buy them, I would regret not doing so at a future date. And the only thing worse than buyer's remorse, is NOT-buyer's remorse.

Conveniently, I had recently started wearing a tutu when adventuring and the colors complimented each other perfectly, so I packed my yellowish lion leggings next to my pink tutu as an alternative to your standard long underwear for an impending trip to Norway. With 7-ski days planned north of the Arctic Circle, I knew I'd put these Target Discounts to the test.

I was humbled by their performance. They kept my legs warm, dry, and chafe-free! And bonus feature: due to the seaming of the pants, every time I took a step it looked like the lion was winking at you (if 'you' are the person skinning behind me and 'you' have an unabashed desire to stare at my jiggling inner-thighs).

Jiggle away. Photo by Carley Ewert.

Thinking perhaps the performance was some Norwegian Voo-Doo, I brought the lion leggings back to the states for another test drive, this time on Mt. St. Helens for Mother's Day. Once again they performed like a dream. I had unlocked a magical backcountry combo: leggings + tutu. My inner wildchild was unleashed.

From then on I wore leggings with a tutu whenever weather allowed. I could claim it was for performance or some other reason, but in all reality, those leggings made me smile. Four years later they still do. I put them on and feel overcome with a sense of silliness and it helps me remember to not take life so damn seriously all the time. 

Recently someone called me their 'spirit animal' on Instagram, which I take as the highest of compliments. Their comment got me thinking: what if we all became our own spirit animals? Why do we care so much what people think or what people will say we we choose to do/wear/participate in something outlandish? Why does it matter? What is the point of doing whatever it is we are doing if not to amuse ourselves?

The Lion Leggings. In Norway.

In the last four years, I've amassed an impressive legging collection (Mario Car, Skeletor, and the Sphinx to name a few...) and have unabashedly worn the lion leggings close to 50 times. That brings my cost-per-use to less than $0.30 per wear. And isn't that what we all want? Stuff that makes us happy AND makes us feel like we've won the shopping lottery?

That's why I'm telling you, right now, to go out. Find something that brings you joy - something that makes you feel like your own spirit animal. Breathe in and blow your cares away knowing that you get to define your own happiness. Smile. 

Rest easy knowing that sometimes life is only about a lion winking at you from your inner thigh. 

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