The active lifestyle is for the young and/or wealthy

In gemopper, happiness by Karina Meerman

This may be the first year ever that I have invested heavily in my health, which has always been a bit of a vague concept to me. I didn’t get all the running and the moderation and the carrots. Okay, I got the carrots, but not the broccoli and the half-cooked peppers. But late last year I was diagnosed with asthma and a trip to the hospital in May confirmed in very bold print indeed, that I needed to start taking care of my health. (I was airlifted from an island to a hospital. Needless to say I have maxed out my health insurance. Ka-ching!).

Anyway, after the diagnosis I quit smoking and put on quite a bit of weight. To keep that in check and to improve the condition of my lungs and heart, I purchased a FitBit pedometer. It’s a clever wristband with an app and an online dashboard where you can track & trace all sorts. I’m a nerd. I like sleek gadgets with clever apps and it works for me. (If you’re Dutch and want to bitch about that, read my column first).

To get myself into exercising some more, I bought a MiracleSuit. It is an expensive bit of swimwear, suitable for the sturdier girl and it is a gorram miracle indeed. This pinnacle of textile architecture defies ALL gravity. I have dresses that make me look less good. And it got me to swim – in the sea even. Last week I rolled around in the Mediterranean like a giant seal in a skirt. It was glorious. But the expense didn’t end here.

Soles. And shoes
After a couple of months of going my 50K steps a week, my knee was really sore and my back started to ache more often. It was off to the podiatrist for some inlays (not covered by insurance). Podolady gave me a hard time about wearing canvas shoes and flip-flops all summer and I could see her point, so I dug out my old walking boots. Old indeed. The Internet was invented since I got them and I hadn’t treated them very well. The soles were so corroded they had to be replaced for a mere 120 euro’s. (Gasp!) Or I could buy a brand new pair of boots for a few euro’s more. Guess what… Yes, they are very comfortable, thank you. And no, running shoes were not a good idea. It’s the knees, you know.

So. I’m much poorer now (quite broke actually), but nothing stands in the way of the New & Improved walking, swimming freelancer. I am fortunate that I can afford it, sort of, but dearie me. How expensive this “active lifestyle” becomes, if one is not in optimum condition.