Another Wednesday.... this is week 11.
I feel stuck--but I can also feel myself accelerating. I'm (re)learning how to run.
When I was a teenager, I was very fit but my genetics provided me with C+ cupsize in my bras, and... definitely I was encouraged not to run. I don't remember exactly what I was told. I would damage my breasts? I would draw too much attention? I do remember sportsbra shopping, back in those days (the early 80s). What a miserable experience.
There would always be two choices: the compressor and the iron maiden. The compressor would flatten one's teenaged breasts into an unattractive pancake, the iron maiden would mold them into twin icecream cones--all with an additional overlay of strapping, and inevitably with raised seams across the shoulders (and if you were really lucky, also under the cup-lines) that would chafe anyone who actually tried to run in one of those things for more than two minutes RAW.
In my 20s, I learned how to *lope*. It wasn't exactly running--more a sort of lumbering style. I was training with some guy friends. At the beginning of the season one of them told me "we'll have you sprinting alongside us soon enough!" At the end of the season he said--and not unadmiringly-- "Well, you'll never be fast, but you do keep on moving."
That was the "two bra" phase. Hot and nasty (and not in a positive way!), but I didn't want to be part of a guys' team and... majorly bouncing. I'd wear a regular bra over my sportsbra. That system was not comfortable, but it performed as needed.
In my late 30s, in recovery from pregnancy, I started running for pleasure. There was a higher-end sport-oriented bra store in my area. I tried on A LOT of sportsbras, and found one that actually felt comfortable--and it was in a color that I could wear solo, without an overshirt. Of course--the color was BLACK.
I was looking pretty darn lean in those days, and even if I had breasts... I wanted to be able to run in just my sportsbra, like I saw a lot of other women.... being able to do. But in the larger cup sizes... there was not a lot of choice. And a lot of the choices were "nude," "white" or "black." Those aren't fun colors. Those are colors that you would expect to hide under an overshirt.
Abdominal surgery (not a c-section) stopped my running--and athletics--for awhile. Running not being particularly "natural" to me, it fell out of my schedule. Until... I'm getting going with it again. And with that... time for a new sportsbra.
Monday I went and got myself fitted. I tried on eleven different bras. I found one that fit. I ran with it for the first time yesterday--nice! I ran... with pleasure. Okay, there's still a lumbering, slow aspect to my gait--but I've learned at least how to lengthen out my stride. It felt good. Short, (
!) but good.
But once again--the bras in the cute colors--they didn't work for me. I'm stuck, again, with basic black.
I think--I suspect--that the message I received as a teenager is still somewhat in place. If you're over a C cup in your bra--don't think you can run and be cute. Don't draw attention. Keep your shirt on! If you really have to take your shirt off... go with the basics.
So... my week 11 progress report, is to wonder about the state of progress in women's athletics/athleticism.