Running with breasts.
I have breasts. I have rather large breasts. I blame my mother for them, but nevertheless they are mine.
Does having an ample bosom hinder women’s athletic success? Honestly I never thought about it until I read Amanda Hess’ article in the EPSN Body Issue, You Can Only Hope to Contain Them.
It got me thinking: do our breasts slow us down? Personally, I have not had the luxury of running without them so I have nothing to compare it to. And there is no way for me to take them off to figure that out. That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed that they impact my running life. They do.
Running generally makes me feel strong, invincible, and very empowered unless I have to worry about my breasts. Many of us know the drill: adjusting the bra straps, jumping up and down while in front of the mirror to make sure we are not bouncing, also checking and double checking to make sure the nipples do not show (the main reason you’ll never see me in a white bra). I do that when I first try on a bra, but after that I don’t think about my breasts very often and I never thought of them as hindering my progress. And I think containing them is the wrong verb. I support mine. Containing seems so harsh, like I am strapping them down in cages.
I try to keep them from bouncing, to support them. I have gone through many, many, many different types of bras in an effort to harness their propulsion. I use that word because in an article in the ESPN Body issue, Hess wrote that the nipples on a C-or D-cup breast on a hurdler can accelerate up to 45 mph in one second which is faster than a Ferrari and that in an hour of moderate running my breasts will bounce several thousand times. That sure sounds like propulsion to me.
Real world, I may not be as fast as a hurdler, but that still gives my breasts a few miles per hour of forward movement and at the very least several hundred times of bounce. And that calls for some heavy reinforcement for support.
I know this from experience. One day I had on a cute little sports bra, which in hindsight I can only describe as a tube top with spaghetti straps. Did I mention that I have big breasts? Anyway, I put the top on and went out of a run. About half mile into it I felt strange. I was having a very hard time finding my rhythm. Cars were honking as they passed me and I was oblivious. Until I looked down. I looked down and saw my naked breasts which had escaped from the running top. Need I say more? I don’t think so.
Hess also stated in her article that large breasts can interfere with a woman’s competitive sports career. Could that be why I am not a world class athlete? No, I am sure there are other reasons. But I am not allowing my breasts to stop me from running. I am a woman, I have breasts.
Do my breasts slow me down? Is it just me or is this a stupid question, anyway? Does it matter if they slow me down? Unless I am willing to modify them someway, which I am not, what difference does it make?
The fact is that we can always find reasons not to run. We do not need journalists or anyone for that matter to give us more. Big breasted women! Small breasted women! Medium-sized breasted women! Go get fitted for a bra and hit the pavement or the trail. It may take a while to find the perfect bra, but it is well worth it to feel strong, invincible, and empowered regardless of your pace. And after all, don’t we all need support?
What do you do to keep your breasts behaving? Do you think yours slow you down?