Sweden Made Me: Active
In this series of post, expect a story on how Sweden changes us into someone new – someone better (hopefully). After a conversation with my dear colleague Andrés during our last meetup, we agreed on telling the world about how great the force is in Sweden. The kind of force that encourages us to change. In my case, it made me do sports regularly. Even the natural couch potato can be an avid exerciser.
I have to tell you that I barely working out during my life before Sweden. Do not get me wrong, I am not lazy but there is no need to do sport. With my father’s genes, I used to have a hard time gaining weight no matter how much food I consumed. The weather is always sunny and humid, even stepping outside after a refreshing shower made you drenched in sweat. Imagine having summer all year round. Such a good life, huh?
But living in Sweden is life changing
I used to live in Bali before I moved here. That city was designed for automobiles that people found it weird seeing a person walking alone in the pedestrian. It was such a rare and pitiful sight, I guess, that three motorcycle taxis and two taxis pulled over during my twenty minutes walk. Honestly, it was not convenient to walk or bike. However, life in Uppsala is so different that I changed the way I transport myself with biking. I wish every city in the world would be more bike and pedestrian friendly, or just have adequate public transport so each citizen can lower their carbon footprint.
Biking is so much fun. I used to bike a lot when I was little just for fun, but now it actually took me from point A to B – such benefit! Although, I am not sure if I would still bike in winter. Why? Oh, because it is going to be snowing and slippery and cold and dark…
The darkness that takes away your soul
Imagine invisible dementors for the whole
four six months chilling out above your house. Välkommen till vintern! You may think that you are not affected, but you are. Sure, there is vitamin D supplement to replenish your sun deficiency but what really helps to cure the blues is by working out. A lot of studies suggested that doing sport give you benefits such as improving mood and sleep pattern. There is a tendency to stay in bed when the weather is cold and dark, basically, the whole summer, which is why playing a sport or just taking a walk outside during winter is highly recommended. See how happy I am while running.
My idea of recreation has changed
If you ask me a year ago, my idea of recreation would be going out to the cinema or a nice restaurant by the beach. Somewhere convenient where no specks of dirt involved and protected from the sun. Recreation means comfort at that time. Since I am a human, which is a very adaptive species, the environment around me altered my perception on leisure activities into things that are (for me) very outdoorsy.
It is unbelievable that I actually enjoy hiking and canoeing; I am still surprised at myself. I thought I was always a big city girl but then life happened and it changed you. By moving ten thousand kilometers from my home country to study, it is already a step out of my comfort zone. Today, I realized this is not me trying new things and becoming someone else; thanks to Sweden, I never feel more like myself as I am now.
Featured image and photos are taken by Kartika Dyah Palupi (except for the selfie one).