Subourbon Mom

Sport Bra Removal – The Struggle is Real

sports bra 2

As I continue my journey back to moderate fitness so I can flail around in an inner tube all summer with my cup of bourbon, I have come to the realization that my old school sports bras are holding me back – not up.

Everyone moans and groans about the hardships of exercising – the exhaustion, frustration, injuries and limited food choices, but women don’t usually address one of the most difficult post-exercise struggles that many of us face:

Removing that sweaty sports bra.

Let me begin by explaining that I’ve had my four sports bras for at least 5 years, which is longer than I’ve stuck with most t.v. shows and celebrity crushes. And I’m told it’s probably not a good thing – they are designed to keep The Girls contained, and to prevent the pain of all the independent jumping about they like to do. I’m pretty sure at this point those old sports bras are not doing much more for me than keeping everyone from realizing it takes me at least 15 minutes to warm up when the gym thermostat is set to “arctic.”

Oh they’re comfortable enough, like my fave pair of sweat pants – soft and stretchy. But they also have that irritating habit of turning into a boa constrictor-like leviathan I can’t remove once I’m done punishing myself for eating that entire pan of Rice Krispie treats.

And if you’re changing in a gym locker room, it’s even worse – there are witnesses to the absurdity that happens after every workout.

After every session I try to let myself cool down as much as possible before turning myself into a pretzel in order to get that stretchy monkey off my back. It never works, but I do have a system:

Step 1: Try in vain to pull the sports bra over my head by grasping the sides, like you would a t-shirt.

Step 2: Succeed in twisting the bra into a tourniquet, where it becomes stuck, wrapped around my upper chest like my own hand-made mammogram.

Sports bra removal1

Step 3:  Proceed to thank God for my inhaler that allows me to breathe during this most difficult part of my workout.

Step 4: Bend over at the waist and scrabble at the back of the sports bra with two hands to try and pull the damn thing off.

Step 5:  Curse my stiff shoulders and vow to do more stretching.

Step 6: Get one arm out, accidentally getting a whiff of my armpit and the nasty, sweaty bra at the same time.

Step 7:  Gag.

Step 8: Pull bra over my head while exhaling and fling it across the room in victory.

Step 9: Swear (again) that I will splurge and actually buy a quality, zip-shut sports bra.

I can’t even imagine what it must be like for my friends who are more…buxom, and have to “double bag” The Girls every time they work out. Taking off two of these Lycra straightjackets would be enough to make me give up on the whole exercise thing together.

In case these struggles are preventing you from exercising, don’t worry – they make snap- and zip-front sports bras, an sexy ones, too.  Apparently this is not a new phenomenon – others had these struggles as well, and shopped for sports bras more recently than 2005. But until I can get to the store, I’ll push (or pull) on, trusting that I’m building triceps every time I get undressed after a workout.

Front close sports bra

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