Since I’ve been walking regularly, I’ve noticed that one of life’s great divisions is between those who possess activewear and those who don’t. I belong in the second category, which automatically excludes me from the gym (hooray!) and Saturday parkruns. I did try one, once: intending to walk the route, I turned up at the crack of dawn to find half the world gathered on the Greenbelt in Constantia – the half that has the right gear and the right competitive attitude. Possessing neither, and drenched in the humiliation of being the only participant with a handbag, I never went back. I hardly need add that I don’t own a watch that tracks my steps, heart rate and blood pressure, either. The mere thought of all that constant monitoring is enough to bring on palpitations.
Why the Active Ones choose hideous Lycra garments that make them look like locusts is a mystery. Do the outfits make them feel more athletic? Or is it about air flow and sweat management? There must be some advantage that makes up for the unfortunate lack of style, but it’s one of those things I’m destined never to know.
Jeans, a light jacket and a comfy pair of shoes are all I need for my daily tour of Rondebosch Common. Admittedly, I’m not aiming to perspire. I feel pleasantly warm as I stride along, and I hope that calorie-burning, weight-bearing, circulation-promoting, heart-helping things are happening in my body, but they aren’t top of mind. What started as an enforced outing for a dose of fresh air, a stretching of muscles and a break from the computer has morphed into something else entirely.
Inhabiting my days
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