I’ve been trying to be mindful of my evolving privilege this year as my beloved and I enjoy a second year of both of us having full time employment. One thing that struck me over the past year is the privilege of pursuing my fitness goals is directly tied to how much money we make.
One example is registering in the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon. Great event, registration opens January 1 at 10am EST. You need a credit card to register and I think I remember it being $140 or so. Not a bad price but also smack dab in the middle of holiday spending. There’s the gas and access to a car to get to Kincardine and hotel stay not to mention wetsuit rentals and perhaps some gear purchases. I think my trip this past year cost me $600. That was registration, hotel & gas split with a friend, dinner the night before and lunch after plus I got a XXL trisuit for $90 and XXL cycling shorts for $40. STEAL of a deal in my size but WOW. That was all from 1 event within driving distance.
I look at my bicycle that I now know I must replace, the frame is bent. I got it on kijiji for $150 and it took grip tape, tires, tubes, a pump, spare tube, a wrench, a tire wrench, water-bottle and holder to be able to go on a 20km ride. That’s $150 just to be road worthy. As the temperature dropped I bought a pair of $20 light tights to go over my shorts, $120 for a fitted fleece jacket, $10 for gloves, $140 for a rain coat. Then there’s the rollers.We got them last year for Christmas for about $250. This fall we got a trainer, same price point. And I am doing lots of this on the cheap, especially the clothes for my top half, they aren’t cycling gear, they are multipurpose and I wear them even to work.
I got to thinking about the logistical tail of a gym membership to swim $40 a month. Goggles, a training suit every 6 months or so, running shoes, a really good bra. I can hear the old school till cha-chinging away. I’m not resentful, I’m thankful I can do this but there come a point when you realize that no one living in poverty could swing this. So no one on minimum wage could invest like this in their fitness and lots of women support themselves and their kids on minimum wage.