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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. 😛