While the title of this particular episode along my path of self-imposed physical virtue would lead one to think that the apparatus described would be the mechanical destroyers of sinew and will, drawing from the tired and overtaxed muscles of my physique the sweat, like blood, that fuels their sadistic pleasure… Um, yeah, not so much. I shall speak of something much, much worse. Something so hideous that it could only be imagined by a sociopathic sadist that revels in the tears of all women. Yes, my friends, I speak of that heinous device… the SPORTS BRA!
For those of you who do not know me, I will only say that the majority of my life, even after traditional puberty, has been free from the need or desire from the architectural marvels to defy gravity’s effect upon the secondary sex characteristics of the female form. I was, to quote that old phrase, flat as a board. While this particular trait was the source of my despair in my adolescence as my friends were getting their first training and more substantial foundation garments, my natural athleticism quite soon convinced me that my lot in life was not so bad.
I witnessed more well endowed friends in tears after basketball, volleyball, and softball practices and games. I watched as my aquatic sisters strapped themselves down like Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria to “reduce drag” for a swim meet. I listened to the complaints of friend and foe in the dressing room and dugout about the uncomfortable tightness of uniforms and lack of support in their underwires while girding themselves with enough metal, fake whalebone, elastic, and lycra to divert satellite signals from space.
However… karma, they say, is a bitch. Apparently, my gift of middle age and premenopausal life was a second puberty, graced by a hormonal surge that gifted me with the feminine curves that I had never before possessed. I have often joked that I finally figured out what Victoria’s secret was… she had my tits held hostage for 44 years and apparently decided to give them back when gravity could overpower my body’s natural elasticity. Crafty bitch! For a tidy sum, she will also let me have the technology (satin covered and fashion conscious) to combat said gravity… but I digress.
Thus begins my tale of woe… What my male readers probably do not understand (or you might… I won’t judge) is that the process of improving physical fitness and “getting into trim” has a curious effect as we grow older. Age decreases the collagen and natural elasticity of our skin. That’s right, folks! We lose inches in adipose tissue (fat) and firm up our muscles… and we are left with some flabby epidermal and dermal material that hangs on us a bit like an ill fitting suit. In the younger individual, the skin will tighten up incrementally, but the older we are (or the more weight we lose), that outer layer of ourselves may not ever quite catch up. Like a pair of old, stretched-out tubesocks, gravity sings the siren song, and so the folds of extra flesh fall to the floor. I could, at this point, go off on a tangent of my own with the medical concerns and other issues that come from this, but I am only prolonging the agony and procrastinating my shame.
In my particular case, my primary issues with extra dangle in my bangle happens to be in my chest… Hey! I’m just as surprised as anyone! This is something that I have never… EVER… had to deal with… the extra bounce in my jog. Plus, it hurt! Actual pain accompanied gravity, running, and my boobs. No bueno. This should be an easy fix. I mean, I have foundation garments, right? But no, these are nice bras. These are pieces of lovely feminine construction that I do not wish to sweat through… and they weren’t cheap. Additionally, laundering said garments are not precisely the wash and wear instruction.
This presented a predicament. I recalled that I did actually own what was formerly known as a “jog bra” in my former life. This sort of garment is made of lycra and sweatsuit material; thus, washable and providing necessary support. I put on my pith helmet and got out my shovel… and found it! Clutching my holy grail in victory, I placed it in my gym bag with the rest of my workout gear and toddled off to work.
Fast forward to the end of business. All of my staff have gone home. I shut down my work space, grab my bag, and betake myself to the restroom to change into my workout gear. I almost chuckle to myself. The dreaded cardio would face a worthier opponent today as I faced it bravely, and upright, without having to clutch my saggy, sore bosom in response to repeated gravity-impacted jolts. I had my secret weapon. My “JOG BRA”! Muahahahahaha!
1. Remember my “second puberty”?
2. I’m not so flexible as I used to be.
Before I continue, let me say a bit more about the construction of a “jog bra”. As I said, this is a construction of lycra and cotton designed to be washable, supportive, and wick away the perspiration. Additionally, these bastions of the athletic female form are designed to hold everything still… and tight… and … dear heavens! I have seen male impersonators that put less effort into flattening their own chests! Really?!?
First thing I noticed? I must have been half asleep as I packed the tiny… and I do mean tiny piece of elasticized fabric in with my running shoes and other workout gear. Either that, or my euphoria upon actually locating the damned thing overrode any other sense… (take that as you may). Why? Because, I am pretty certain that I couldn’t have comfortably fit into this thing before I passed my first puberty, flat-chested or not!
Second thing I noticed? I had ill-advisedly chosen as my external workout apparel a shirt that required some… nay, any undergarment or else I would be arrested for indecent exposure and put away forever as a psychological harm to others.
I am nothing if not stubborn. I had laid my wardrobe, and I would wear it. This thing has elastic, it must stretch. Poor, foolish woman!
I am pretty sure that the military has not yet developed the technology to resist physical effort in the way this small piece of elasticized cotton can. I managed to get my arms, and head levered into it when it failed to accommodate any further efforts I made. There I stood: Arms pinned to my ears and blind (imagine Mr. Bean with a turkey on his head… and, there ya go). Strain as I would, this beast would not be moved. Near to losing consciousness from hypoxia, I leaned back against a wall and must have relaxed in just the right way so that I was able to ease one shoulder and my head through the appropriate holes. The other arm was pinned resolutely to my latisimus dorsi for all I could tell, but this was progress! My hope was renewed that I would not be trapped in the bathroom until my staff let me out the next day half naked and suffocated from my efforts. After much grunting and wiggling (that was much less enjoyable than one might imagine from that highly descriptive language), I was able to push through my other shoulder. This must be something like entering the world through the birth canal! Another brief respite resting on the only available seat… use your imagination… and I disentangled the lower elastic band from somewhere behind my left ear and pulled it sharply into place below my breasts…
And they were immediately relocated to my underarms and shoulderblades. Really?!? This is more comfortable than just letting gravity do its thing?!? After forcing the air forced out by pain back into my lungs, I managed to rearrange myself (do you guys do this with jockstraps all the time? If so, I have new sympathy) into something that was less painful that being crushed under boulders… something more along the lines of having steel bands wrapped tightly around your ribcage suppressing normal respiration.
Sagging against the wall for support, I found that I was sweating profusely, exhausted, panting with physical exertion, and exhibiting all the symptoms of a hernia and pulled muscle somewhere in my neck and shoulder… Hang on girls! I’m going to work out now!