Women who are active and endowed with certain ‘charms’ need GOOD sports bras.
No way around it.
I have become somewhat of an expert on sports bras since deciding I wanted to live an active life. Let’s call it necessity. Or self defense. 🙂
Let me tell you a story…
My friend Anneke TOLD me several times early in my lifestyle-change journey that I needed to get a ‘good sports bra’. Her exact words to me were ‘Betsy. DO NOT run to Walmart and buy a cheap, uni-boob, stretchy sports bra. They don’t provide support. Spend the money and buy a decent one.”
I was losing weight and was NOT going to spend $50 on a bra that would not fit in less than 2 months.
So I ran to Walmart and bought TWO cheap, uni-boob, stretchy sports bras. I did NOT tell Anneke what I had done. (I’m guessing that RIGHT ABOUT NOW she has figured it out.. 🙂 )
Prior to figuring out they made sports bras in larger sizes or that I really did need a special bra for running/jumping/moving? I was doubling up my regular bras, a very COMMON practice for larger busted/overweight women. I have a feeling I am the only one dumb enough to publicly admit to this practice.
But, you do what you have to do.
Anyway, I signed up for a bootcamp class led by another friend, Amy. Her fitness bootcamp classes are well known in our area for being really fun and a welcoming spot for all abilities. About 75-100 people in a gym all jumping and moving and sweating. Fantastic music. Everyone having a great time for an intense hour of cardio.
I and my new sports bra went to her class.
About 15 minutes in — we do something called a burpee.
Variations abound, BUT the basic concept is: You start by standing up straight, quickly drop to a push-up position, do an actual push-up, hop back up quickly and then with your hands over your head — you jump for the sky. Repeat multiple times. Fast, fluid, strong.
I did the push-up part of the burpee and when we got to the ‘jump for the sky’ part…
All hell broke loose.
When I landed, the girls unceremoniously tumbled out of the bottom of the handy-dandy sports bra…
The CHEAP piece of crap bra then proceeded to quickly and tightly roll itself up toward my neck.
Kind of like an old fashioned window shade.
So… Standing in the back of Amy’s class with everyone doing burpees… I am being choked by my bra.
AND my boobs are very decidedly NOT in the bra.
I am a sweaty mess. In a form fitting workout shirt. Boobs loose. Bra choking me.
I tried to discreetly unravel the bra from my neck and armpits… It became obvious that it was NOT going to happen…
At this point I’m on the verge of hysterical laughter… Not tears. I KNOW full well that this is damn funny and totally stupid.
But I also have NO real clue how to undo this holy-freaking-sweaty mess without having to walk through what feels like 1,000 people to the bathroom on the other side of the gym which now feels bigger than a football field.
I have no choice.
I crossed my arms and made a red-faced hobble/dash for the safety of the bathroom. I got everything put back where it belonged. I quickly went back out to the class and gave it half-hearted gusto. Keeping my arms GLUED strategically to my sides. 🙂
I got home and promptly tossed BOTH bras in the trash can with some creative language thrown in to make me feel better. I silently vowed NEVER to tell a word of this story to Anneke. Ever.
I immediately set out on a mission to find a better sports bra so that I could keep going to bootcamp with Amy.
Over the next year or so I tried EVERY bra they made in my size. Varying degrees of success. Mercifully there were no more epic, public failures. 🙂
About a year later, I was whole-heartedly trying to learn to run. And it was – uh – apparent that I would need a REALLY good sports bra. Better than the ones I had found on my own at that point. I needed one that had exceptional motion control, would protect my back and would not chafe me.
I asked Spencer (running coach) to please connect me with any of the local female athletes he knew so i could ask them a question. He introduced me to Taryn.
Taryn is an athlete and dietician. She also happened to be working at a running store. A quick email to her with far too many personal details and within a day or two she had me in a GREAT sports/running bra. One I could RUN, jump, move around in with NO ISSUES! It fit perfectly! To this VERY day that bra has never betrayed me. And I’ve put it to the test. 🙂
What I learned from all of this was:
- Sports bras really do come in all sizes. ALL sizes. It may cost you, but remember what it could cost you NOT to have a good bra. 🙂 Pay the money and get a good one.
- Ask your local RUNNING store for help. Guy, girl – NO matter. Those folks in running stores have heard it all. And runners have to have some of the best motion control on the planet.
- On a similar note… Yoga bras and some of the other fun/cutesy bras are not necessarily serious about keeping the girls locked down and in place during high impact sports. ($58 bucks for the TaTaTamer and it does not tame the Ta Ta’s.)
- Read reviews on websites. Large busted women/over weight women have compassion for their well-endowed sisters and will usually post what the issues/benefits are in pretty plain language.
So the moral of this story?
Burpees are bad for you. (KIDDING! Amy I’m kidding!)
Listen to your friends who are speaking from hard-earned experience.
Invest in a good sports bra. 🙂