I think I sprained some delicate body parts the other day while twisting myself into various contortionist positions. No, I was not doing yoga. I was trying on sports bras - in the comfort of my own home, where I would not be quite as mortified if I needed to call 9-1-1 (as opposed to calling them from the dressing room at Target).
You know, my sports bra requirements are pretty minimal. I need to be able to get in and out of them without personal injury. I want adequate...stabilization.
Medium support. Maximum support. Padded bras that provide "coverage." And what is up with that anyway? Why are we supposed to be ashamed that we have nipples? When is padding being added to men's undershirts and tech tees? Oh, right...it's only women that are supposed to feel shame about normal body functions like nipples and breastfeeding and periods and pregnancy and vaginal odor and sex and birth control and maternity leave and health care...oops, off on a tangent there. A little.
Where was I? Sports bras. I tried three, size medium. Medium support because "maximum" is only for the larger gals, I guess, judging by the available sizes. And those bras must keep everything trussed in like a straitjacket, if my experience with medium support is anything to go by. I gave up on one when I managed to get it over my head, and one arm in, but there was not enough stretch to get the other arm in without dislocating a shoulder.
Bra #2 was also a pull-over style. I struggled, but managed to get the thing on with only a couple minor muscle twinges. "On" as in, over my head and shoulders, arms through the correct straps, entire back of bra rolled up above my shoulder blades, and boobs sticking out underneath bra band. All women know this is just Step One of The Donning Of The Sports Bra. Step Two is Adjustment. I adjusted. Heard a few popping sounds as I reached around to unroll the back of the bra. Made sure everyone in front was perky and not lopsided (fun fact - this is where being able to see nipples is a useful thing, you know?).
I could almost breathe. This one had potential. Now to take it off. Keep in mind, I was not sweaty and damp at the time. You know, everyone's USUAL state when removing a sports bra. Because, theoretically, you have worked out in some way between the putting on and the taking off.
It seriously took me 10 minutes and multiple attempts before I was able to escape. I felt like Houdini. At one point I was considering finding a scissors and cutting my way out, and then had to take a little break because I made myself laugh a little too hard thinking about what I would tell the returns clerk at Target as she asked "anything wrong with it?" while gazing at a sliced up sports bra.
I stood in my bedroom, panting from the effort, and looked at Bra #3. This one had hooks in the back, seemingly making entry and exit easier, but what I had not noticed was that it was also a racer-back. So while the bra band had hooks, the straps were still connected in the back, so in the end it was still a pull-over style. With the added complication of hooking the back, while it was on.
As every teen-aged boy knows, unhooking a bra is a cinch. What they don't realize is hooking them is not a cinch, which is why most of the female population hooks them in the front and turns them around. Needless to say, I could not get this damn thing hooked. And I tried. And tried and tried and suddenly realized, this is ridiculous. I can't spend this much time trying to hook up a bra, for God's sake.
I returned $65-worth of sports bras yesterday. Another batch is currently in a bag in my bedroom, awaiting tryouts. I'm considering turning the whole thing into a drinking game this time. Wish me luck!