In which I have a fight with my boobs
Updated: May 27
Surely, the most difficult thing about running should be the actual running, right?
I bloody hate sports bras. Honest to God, they are an instrument of torture! The hardest thing about doing exercise should be the actual exercising, not the removal and installation of one of these blooming things. As if it's not bad enough, heading out on a freezing cold morning, when all sane people are still tucked up in their warm, cosy beds; the only ones out and about are the fellow crazy runners and dog walkers. Then there's the gruelling exertion involved; the huffing and puffing, sweating and groaning, aching and cursing. These are the things I have come to expect from exercising.
Don't get me wrong, there are many things to enjoy about it; the peace and quiet, for one thing. A chance to get away from the Husband and the kids, whom I adore totally, but for my own sanity, I need time to myself as well. A chance to process my thoughts and pound out my stress on the paths and pavements. The countryside of Somerset is truly stunning. Many-a-time I have stopped my run to take a photo of gorgeous landscape, beautiful flowering plants, the waves washing over the rugged pebbles adorning local beaches. And I'm not the only one. Check the Strava accounts of any Somerset runner and you'll see a gushing tribute to the picturesque scenery, from men and women alike. You'll find hastily taken photos from a country farmyard. One that boasts a public footpath running through it, but, you speed across it, hoping the Farmer doesn't catch you, because, although you have the right to be there, you still feel like you're trespassing, and you also know he has a gun! Close-ups of cows and sheep with their offspring, grazing the fields. Gigantic potholes in the road for us to complain about and, being in the country, there seems to be no hurry to sort these things out.
One thing you shouldn't be struggling with before a run is your attire. I can truthfully say, it's the part I dread most. I'm sure you're thinking to yourselves, "well, it can't be that bad!" A slight inconvenience at most, but, oh no... It's a mission that involves taking a deep breath and fully preparing yourself for the battle. I don't have particularly large breasts, but I'm by no means flat chested either. I require more than a flimsy crop top or vest with built in support. The girls need properly restraining, and whilst we're not talking about appendages big enough to give you a black eye, they would certainly be very sore if they weren't strapped down correctly.
It begins with squeezing your head through a reasonably small opening, whilst trying not to rip your hair out with the bra hooks at the same time. Then a lot of unnatural contortion pulling it down over your mammaries and successfully inserting both arms simultaneously, bearing in mind the material is extremely thick and restricting (I do understand that this is the whole point of a sports bra,) but I curse this design every time. Then once the arms and breasts are in concurrently, the wriggling begins. The back must be hoicked up, then the front pulled down, then the process must be repeated again and again until the whole bosom is within the bra, no under-boob remaining. And, finally, the reaching inside the bra to lift and separate them, which, if you're lucky, results in an extremely pert looking cleavage, not a hint of previous pregnancy or breast feeding from years previously.
Another issue, is that once the bra is on and as tight as is required for adequate support, it quite often leaves me unable to breath properly. Many a time I have been half way up a hill, only to curse under my breath (as much as I am able) that I'm not achieving anywhere near full lung capacity, due to the fact that the under band is restricting my chest from properly expanding and I'm panting frantically, like an over excited dog that's just been dragged from the sea by his exasperated owner. Of course, I'm one of the lucky ones, I know a couple of women that actually have to wear two bras when they go running. Two bras! I can't even begin to imagine... By the time I'd successfully donned two bras, I think I'd consider my exercise done for the day. Sod that for a game of soldiers!
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