Some people travel to China in order to discover new horizons; I just had to go two metro stations away to enter the unknown. The Terra nova for me is called “Sport Department“. My jogging is limited to running-pushing the Stroller to get on time in the Kindergarten, my workouts – to carrying Nora up and down the stairs. I never needed special attire for either of them. As it goes for city biking, the first rule in Berlin is: Spandex is a no-go.
But now it is different. We need to be light, and yet prepared for every kind of weather, what we wear should be easy to wash and quick to dry.
With the first unsecure step into the labyrinth of sport fashion, I am overcome by vertigo and amazement that I haven’t felt since my very first baby-catalogue. What is what and for what? I decide on a small warming up for the further shopping – socks should be pretty easy. Socks are just socks. But not exactly! Rows and rows of active-socks, trekking-socks, jogging socks, skiing-socks, biking-socks, socks with reflectors and without, sneaker socks and footlets…And they are all from “innovative materials”, padded at the toes and heels, they all ensure the ultimate foot-climate and promise, if not to change your life, then at least maximum comfort in the foot-zone. The abundance of specialised foot wear for every imaginable activity makes my choice impossible: how should I find the right ones, my Ultimate pair in this Sea of Socks? After hour and a half, dazed and confused from all the browsing and comparing I hesitantly pick up one pair of trekking socks (all biking ones unfortunately are white), and realize I lost courage and strength to venture onto the next, and crucial stage: pants and leggings.
To save time and potential embarrassments I relegate the next shopping to Globetrotter,- the Berlin Mecca for the traveller . They have sections for different sport activities, so I have to go only through the biking one, and be sure that what I buy will be the biking pants, not, save god, pants for jogging. Volker comes along as a consultant. We never made it to the biking pants, though. As we pass through the row with jackets Volker gets distracted, and before I know it, he is already trying on one and pushes into my hands the female version of it. The leaflet proclaims it to be breathable, water-resistant and absolutely wind-proof. Well, I already have a jacket with (at least advertised) the above-mentioned properties. As for Volker’s jackets – one could dress a whole biking group in them. But I am told that none of them is as breathable, as water-resistant and wind-proof as this new revolutionary piece, which will completely change our biking experience. Plus, these jackets will save us approximately 2 kilos in our limited luggage space. The last argument does it – just think of all the other things I could buy and carry within this free capacity of 2 kilos.
After the socks ordeal, the rest seems pretty easy- I quickly learn that they are pants for jogging, for biking, for work-out, for yoga, etc. Although my uninitiated eyes still cannot perceive the subtle differences among the different types, I exclude all the fancy leggings with gauze on the calves, with zips at the ankles, with lace along the side of the leg, etc., and settle for the plainest black ones. They might be for jogging, but I don’t care anymore.
At home I put on my new leggings, the ultimate biking jacket, even the new trekking socks – and all of a sudden I feel 10 years younger, in great shape, sportive, active and cool. Finally I get it – why bother to work-out, to jog or go biking in China,- you just have to buy and wear the right sports attire to feel empowered and fabulous. Who says that the clothes do not make the (wo)man?