Unlike relaxed California, it does not appear socially acceptable or normal to stroll around the city here in Hamburg in athletic, form fitted runner gear. I find myself blatantly stared at and I cannot help but feel the little Oma & Opa’s judgmental eyes upon me as if I was offending them in some way. I find this amusing and startling as I lived in track gear most of my life back at home and compression tights, spandex shorts and tank tops were stable wardrobe items during my entire competitive track years growing up. Although I do not run as much I use to, I do still enjoy going to the track or Alster to satisfy my running addiction. Although athletics are very popular here, I have noticed that most only “unveil” themselves solely when preforming their exercise indoors or on the track and quickly change into “normal, proper, acceptable” wear after completion, as to not leave the facilitates without a trace of their strain or sweat. I suppose it is different here because it is not as common to have your own car to slip away in and drive home undetected- most, like myself, take the Ubahn to and from allotted destinations and are therefore subjected and exposed to the eye of the public at all times. There is no way of hiding! I suppose the norm here is to pack two pairs of clothes and shoes everywhere you go. As sometimes I just want to take my ipod and go, without lugging baggage to and fro, I am learning that I am the only one who can let others make me feel awkward. I realize I automatically assume what others are thinking ( its not too difficult though with their disapproving and shocked faces) but I ultimately have control of the way I feel and realize that I have the choice to become effected or not by the glares. Its not like I am wearing anything super revealing or scandalous, just simple running tights and top. Although I am usually very respectful and quite the rule follower and obviously enjoy dress up when going out, on occasion when I want to travel in my running gear, I am just going to put my eye phones on, forget about businessman in the suit sitting next to me and simply pull the foreigner card.
My sisters and I at the track :)