The Pros (and Cons) of Living in an Active City

Well if you haven’t picked up from my other posts by now, I have switched coasts and moved to arguably one of the most active cities in the United States: Denver. It’s a lot to adjust to after living in one of the unhealthiest cities in America for the past five years of my adult life, but I’m making the best of it. From hiking to running to healthy eating, I have made a big jump in lifestyle over the past three weeks.

Still, there are times where I feel purely inadequate.

Pro: Everyone is SO active!

There is never a dull moment – everyone is always willing to go out and do something. Even if it’s just walking around town for no apparent reason. Want to go rock climbing? Let’s go! Want to hike 52 mountains that are 14,000 ft. or higher? Sign me up! There’s always something to do and no excuse to not do it.

Con: EVERYONE is so active.

There’s always something to do and no excuse to not do it. Sometimes I just want to sit in my bed until 2 p.m. – especially if I was already super-active the day before. It seems to me that many people don’t know what an “off day” is – and seeing how off days and I used to be BFFs in the past… it’s a tough transition to make.

Pro: Just about everyone is in GREAT shape.

I have now met a fair share of instructors for just about any type of outdoor sport humanly possible. And if they’re not instructors, they’re participants. The bonus of everyone being active all the time is that it really shows when you see people out on the town… helloooo biceps.

Con: Just about EVERYONE is in great shape.

Seeing how I’ve only lived here for about three weeks now, I am no way comparable to the girls with shredded arms and shoulders from rock climbing, or legs from skiing or snowboarding; and it makes me feel inadequate. I love to hike and attempt to do it at least every day – or every other day if the previous hike was rough – but I have a ways to go to catch up to people who have been doing everything under the sun for years.

Pro: Bike lanes are the same as car lanes.

Going from a city where you think you’re going to get hit every time you hear the sound of an engine creep up behind you to where people preferably use the transportation of two wheels instead of four – this is AWESOME! It still doesn’t mean you get to ignore the rules of the road, but bikers here are more compliant than any other city I’ve ever seen. Plus, now I don’t have to be stuck on the shoulder, being one gust of wind away from slamming into a curb or a car.

Con: Bike lanes are the FREAKING SAME as car lanes.

I have already encountered tourists. And I want to hit you. Denver is a seriously bike-friendly city and there are a lot of stupid people that take that for granted. Will I get in trouble for hitting you? Possibly. Do you deserve it because you keep swerving in and out of the lane that we share at a low speed? Definitely. GET IT TOGETHER.

Pro: Almost every restaurant will have a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free option.

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this healthy in my life. “So you’d like the cheese pizza?” “Yes, but could you make that gluten free?” “Not a problem!” EXCUSE ME, WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?! What active cities have down that other cities clearly do not is how to make healthy food taste fantastic. I tried a vegetarian place in Philly once and never again. Here? “I’ll take the vegan option, please.

Con: There is NO SUCH THING as a vegetarian cheesesteak.

I’ve previously stated my gripe with cities claiming that they make “delicious” cheesesteaks, but this goes too far. First of all: STEAK is in the word. You can’t turn one of the greatest combinations of steak, cheese, grease, and onions on a roll into something that is vegetarian. Nope. I refuse to acknowledge this topic any further.

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