Holiday Gifts for Athletes from Athletes

by Michelle Merlis

If you’re looking to avoid big box stores and send your money someplace other than Jeff Bezos’ pockets this year, consider purchasing your holiday gifts (or, really, any gifts!) directly from those who own small businesses and/or have really cool side gigs. ALL of the gift suggestions below support other athletes from all over the country!

Give the Gift of Health & Nutrition

It doesn’t matter how much you train or how hard you train if you are not fueling.

  • Kylee Van Horn, with FlyNutrition, offers custom meal plans for athletes. I have been using this service for quite a while and Each week, she plans your meals individually around your training schedule, allergies, food intolerances, dietary preferences, and specific goals.
  • Local runner and nutritionist, Theresa DeLorenzo, offers a membership program through her nutrition service, Nutrition for Optimal Performance. Give the gift of a monthly or annual membership that includes a monthly newsletter with nutrition tips, recipes and workouts, access to a live monthly nutrition chat with goal setting and cooking demos, and access to a variety of yoga and fitness classes. It is a one stop shop for health and fitness.

XmasGift-6Final.jpgCoffee Buzz

Runners love coffee, no doubt. Here are two options that are not only heavenly, but come from fellow runners.

  • XmasGift-3Final.jpgFazenda Coffee. A Boston based coffee shop whose Ops Manager, Pete Cannon, is a runner!

Running Art

Deck the halls with… running art!

  • Lily Shiland draws custom contour maps (hint: perfect gift for the trail runner in your life). You can visit her website here to see what she has created. She’s still in the process of setting up her shop, but you can reach out to her directly at for custom work. (second hint: Josh Merlis… want!)

Custom contour map from Lily of one of

the best running trails in Boulder, CO 

  • Custom portraits, custom race bibs, prints, and greeting cards. We Run on Art is a collection of running art genius from Jessica Hofheimer.

Sample custom race bib from We Run on Art

Beyond Running and Athletics

XmasGift-5Final.jpgLet’s face it. Most of us are not professional athletes, which means we fit running, and other adventures, into our daily lives. The following items are perfect for the athlete in your life looking to create balance and manage stress all while crushing their goals.

  • Inner Drive Athlete offers a variety of services that focus on building your mental strength to become an even more incredible athlete. I have not worked with Danielle Snyder before, but I can’t say enough about working with a sports psychologist and its impacts on performance!
  • Becoming A Consummate Athlete by Molly Hurford and Peter Glassford is a book that “helps you build the habits you need to crush your goals & live a healthy, adventurous life”. I just got my copy and I’ve only read the first chapter so far, but I’m sold.

For the Kids

XmasGift-2Final.jpgI don’t have kids, but if I did, I would have them reading this series: Shred Girls. Also from Molly Hurford, Shred Girls are about empowering girls in sports through the lens of a variety of biking characters.

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