Tuesday, October 26, 2010

growing up and sports

Confession: I love being active, but I almost never am.

I've always had a competitive edge, and growing up, that largely showed itself in school and sports. While I did participate in some competitive sports (soccer, swimming, tennis, and basketball), I generally just liked jumping into games of soccer or ultimate frisbee or racing. I loved being the best, I loved winning, I loved competing, I loved just being active.

This all started to go downhill soon after I hit puberty, and gradually fizzled out. I experienced rapid unexpected boob growth, and by the time I was around 14, I was embarrassed to be seen running and I started holding back. Plus, it was uncomfortable. I played team soccer for the last time when I was about 16, and that was it.

Being busty shouldn't be a reason for not playing sports. But for me, it was. I had no concept of a properly-fitting bra, let alone sports bra. I was 15 and in an ill-fitting 36DD and felt shut out from doing what I had once so loved. I was embarrassed to join in games with boys - something that I had always done - because invariably I would be in pain from the extra movement, I felt awkward, and I would "accidentally" get bumped in chest a lot.

I felt no other choice than to withdraw from sports and games, and, in consequence, withdraw from other people. I felt that something was wrong with me, and at 15, I clearly recall sternly telling myself that I needed to "grow up" and stop wanting to be active and play games, because I thought I must be at that point of being "too old." I didn't know what that meant or entailed, I just knew that I was getting to the point of being unable to. I would start running as I always did - then stop abruptly because of the awkward and obvious and painful bouncing. Stop! I told myself. You're being stupid again! Grow up!

And so I learned to curl my shoulders in, to stand with my arms over my chest, and I learned to stop running. I learned to be picked last instead of first. I learned to protect myself. I learned that I would be treated like an adult by males in their 20's and older because of my body.

I still like being active. At summer camps, I gave the kids in karate a run for their money - those little boogers could never catch me! But I avoid working out (something I've never really liked anyway - playing a game is so much more interesting), and every time I see a game of ultimate frisbee being played on campus, I want to run and join in, but I don't.

Even now, after I recently got an Enell sports bra for a mere $20, I would have to actually be wearing it at the time, or go back home and change completely. There is no way I could wear that corset-like apparatus all day, 'specially simply in anticipation of a game that may or may not be happening. It would be competely impossible for me to play any sort of active game in one of my (2) regular bras, though - I literally would pop out of them (experience speaks).

I know that other busty girls who are very into sports can and do deal with it by wearing supportive clothing when they're playing. But what about day-to-day life? When I was in my teens, I thought I had to resign myself to the fact that I wouldn't be able to play sports ever again. I know now that this doesn't have to be the case. However, I just haven't figured out the specifics yet. I thought getting a good sports bra would solve everything, but it really only works for planned-ahead events where games will be the only activity. Day to day life? I'm guessing either a really good supportive regular bra that would work for at least light activity, or a sort of semi-sports bra that would at least keep everything contained, although it would allow for a rather limited wardrobe.

I need to get out of this non-active funk one way or the other! And yes, swimming doesn't require a sports bra. However, it does require a swimsuit (something I haven't owned since I was 15). It's been on my to-do list to get one for oh, about a year now. :P


  1. I once ran down the street to meet some people just to have them guffaw at me cuz I guess my boobs were flying everywhere or something.

    And then once I tried to dance with my little bro and he broke down laughing at my boobs flying around. :P

    That's such a bummer though. :( I've never been a very active person, but I've often been thankful that I wasn't because of all this... it's hard.

    People would never think that your body might limit you like that by no fault of your own.

  2. FWIW, I've known people who actually wear the Le Mystere Dream Tisha bra (style #9955) instead of a sports bra because it's so supportive. So if you like that bra, you could wear it as your everyday t-shirt bra and then be ready for impromptu activity.

    I'm not a huge fan of the shape on my figure, so I haven't worn it in several years, but I do remember having to go up a band size (in case you decide to try it)

  3. I know this is a wildly old post, but my sister (32K) got a Freya Active underwire, and has been wearing it as an everyday bra because the shape is just that nice. It comes up rather high, but is otherwise indistinguishable from a "regular" bra under teeshirts, provided the neckline is high enough to disguise it. If you've not solved this issue yet, one of these might do it, worn on days when you're going somewhere (picnic? park?) where there's a decent chance of activity. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

    And thanks for the blog... we're similar sizes/shapes, so it's quite nice to go through and see what's worked for you.