My thunderous applause is now reduced to a light appreciation.

Kudos to Big Bertha. She’s supported me so much since the summer that I simply had to devote a full blog to her.

I have recently had an obsession with googling sports bras and reading apparel reviews, and it all started when the jiggle got worse, the clapping got louder and the chafing began. I’d known for a little while that it was time to move away from the current boulder holder to something a little more fitting for me because I’d lost a lot of weight and the running had decreased everything in that area, leading to a little too much bounce. So, after thirty years of knowing my increasing bra size and buying bigger to accommodate, it seemed I’d entered into a new era in my life and I hadn’t a clue where to start.

Having been dazzled by bright colours and claims of no bounce from various different brands, I thought it best to seek advice from another fairly well endowed runner who just so happens to be a work colleague. We openly discussed chafing, front loaders, zip mishaps and bounce-ability and I went away determined to try her recommendations.

And so it began. I googled, read reviews, found the cheapest options online, and I bought. But each one gave me a thunderous round of applause when I ran, or failed me on technicalities such as straps detaching themselves from the bra. After my drawer became so full of running wardrobe malfunctions that I had trouble closing it, I decided it was time. In all my 40+ years, I’d managed to avoid it but faced with a dilemma – spend more money on bras that simply did not work, or seek professional help – it was a no brainer. I simply had to GET FITTED.

I dreaded it. I had visions of a tape measure and running on the spot behind a flimsy curtain and, to be honest, I wasn’t far wrong. The only missing bit was the tape measure. After decloaking in the changing rooms, the professional I engaged for the task simply got hold of the bra I was wearing, jiggled it up and down and disappeared to find me more appropriate sports attire. My thoughts at the time was that she was either a master brazier fitter, or absolutely crackers and simply in it for a laugh.

The result she came back with wasn’t very appealing – more suffragette than sexy. Black, black and black. High at the front and no racer back clip ability. It didn’t say ‘running’ on the packaging either. I wasn’t impressed but nevertheless strapped it on, adjusted my boobs (on her advice) and jumped up and down.

No bounce. NO BLOODY BOUNCE!

Internally I was cheering but conflicted with the lack of visual appeal. I’d seen some nice multi-coloured, go faster, wicking bras with air holes in the sports section as I’d entered the shop which would surely be better, so I said “Ermm, it’s for running. Would I be better with a running bra?”

“That’s up to you love. Personally, I like them higher when I’m doing my jazzercize. They have less chance of bouncing.”

I insisted on trying a Shock Absorber Run bra on anyway but she was right. I bounced and clapped in it, which was sooo not the point of this exercise. So I deemed her initial advice to be correct, got my purse out, wafted my card over the reader and I was away with a less than appealing bra.

I was a little apprehensive when I tried it out the next day. It was a warm evening and I was expecting a little chafing but it didn’t happen. And I didn’t get a stitch, which I used to get with my two bra combo. All that bloody money I’d spent online shopping and I’d simply needed to drive 6 miles to a bra shop to find comfort.

The thunderous applause I used to get on every run has now turned into a light appreciation from Big Bertha. Her unassuming looks but strong ability to support my requirements has meant she has accompanied me on every run since she came into my life. And my old but lovely looking run bras are now at the bottom of my running drawer. I know what you’re thinking… Bertha must be a smelly old trampish thing by now, but she has a lovely warm scrub in the washing machine after each run and is still going strong.

The moral of the story? Your boobs are transient little blighters that will try and escape apparel given every chance. So seek professional help and stuff them into a boring black bra that’s suitable for jazzercize AND running.

If you like this kind of blog, why not visit our Facebook chat group and join some rather lovely people who also have a few running stories to tell.

Stay foxy (even in a boring black jazzercize bra).

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