Join Us June 24th For Global Sports Bra Squad Day
It started with a bunch of “If/Then's”...
2001-2009-- "If I can lose weight and get skinny, then I'll love what I see when I look in the mirror."
2010-- "If I can lose the 75 pounds I’ve gained after my younger brother passed away, then I’ll feel beautiful."
2011-- "If I can keep this weight off, then I’ll be desirable."
2012-- "If I can become a runner, then I'll finally lose the 20 pounds I need to lose to look good in a bikini."
2013-- "If I can run a marathon, then I'll finally have a runner's body."
2014-- "If I can break 2 hours in a half marathon, then I'll feel proud of my body."
2015-- "OK. IF I can break 4 hours in the marathon, THEN I will finally be able to look in the mirror and love what I see."
2016-- "OK. OK. If I can qualify for the Boston Marathon and run a marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes, THEN I will finally feel confident enough to run in my sports bra."
When will I be good enough? Strong enough? Pretty enough? Strong enough? Happy enough?
The day I created the #SportsBraSquad was a day that changed my life.
It was a hot as hell summer day back in 2015. I was getting ready to run 15 miles when I caught myself assessing my reflection as I got dressed. I wasn't slender and I didn't have a rippling six-pack or a thigh gap. I felt defeated.
At the time, I was running 40+ miles a week, fueling my body with healthy foods and proper portion sizes, and I was running stronger and faster than I'd ever run before. I was kicking my ass and working harder than I'd ever worked before and I was still a size 10. When I compared my body to the bodies in fitness ads or Women's Health Magazines, it was hard to believe that my body was strong. I looked nothing like those bodies. I had love handles. And cellulite. A belly that wiggled and jiggled when I ran. I didn't wear shorts because the rubbing and chafing between my legs led to blood and horror. And I had a flabby skin roll where my armpit met my sports bra.
I couldn't wear the shorts the strong fitness models and athletes wore...how my body be strong as well?
I swallowed my disappointment and took off for my run, but about a mile in, I was boiling. I started repeating an "If/Then" I'd been saying to myself for over a decade:
"If I were skinnier then I could run in my sports bra."
I stopped to do some drills and started imagining what it would be like to run only in my sports bra.
Would I ever be skinny enough? Or brave enough? At what point do I get to actually get to let go of my insecurities and actually feel confident with my stretch marks, love handles, and belly on display?
I was doing the work. I didn't deserve to boil just because I didn't think I was skinny enough to run in a sports bra.
"F*ck this", is what I remember thinking to myself the moment I decided to ditch my shirt, "It's too damn hot". I put my GoPro down, told the camera how terrified I was to run in my sports bra, and I ditched my shirt.
I tied my shirt to my sports bra, took out my headphones, and armored up for the inevitable moment when a stranger would tell me I was too fat to run in my sports bra. 15 miles from Brooklyn to Manhattan later, not a single person even glanced at me. I couldn't believe it. Not only did I feel A HELL OF A LOT COOLER running sans shirt, but I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.
The day I joined the #SportsBraSquad, I realized that the only person telling me I wasn't strong enough to run comfortably through the summer months, was me.
The #SportsBraSquad isn't just about encouraging women of all sizes to embrace their strength so they can find a tiny bit of comfort during the hot as hell summer months, it's about redefining what strength looks like. So much of our worth is ascribed to how we look. Are you skinny? Fat? Do you have acne? Zits? Acne scars? Stretch marks? Wrinkles? Cellulite? Scars? Pigmented skin? Freckles?
What if you don't buy into the obsession to get and maintain our prescribed beauty ideals? What does it mean to proudly say, "I'm fighting to put my strongest foot forward. I'm beautiful. THIS is what strength looks like!"?
Before I joined the #SportsBraSquad, I rarely saw women who weren't slender running without a shirt on. Seeing women of a diverse range of shapes and sizes matters! Because without a range of strength on display, the only bodies we see are the ones we see in the media! And according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. 5%! And in a badass campaign called The 67% Project, Refinery29 found that despite the fact that most American women are plus-size, they make up less than 2% of the images we see.
The larger a woman is, the more likely she's going to be labeled as lazy, unhealthy, and whether or not you want to admit it, ugly. AND I CALL BULLSHIT BECAUSE HEALTH ISN'T A LOOK, IT'S A LIFESTYLE.
One of the most effective ways to change the way we see and feel about our bodies is to experience what they're capable of. To get active in ways that empower you. It doesn't matter if that's running, cycling, lifting, golfing, dancing, surfing, going to the gym, getting on an elliptical, walking, or rock climbing. (THIS LIST CAN GO ON FOREVER BUT YOU GET THE POINT!) Joining the #SportsBraSquad is about facing our inner critics, being seen, supporting one another along the way, and showing the world that strength comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages.
So mark your calendars because Sunday, June 24th marks our second Global #SportsBraSquad DAY!
In 2017, over 75 cities around the world hosted meetups so that women could come together and proclaim, THIS IS WHAT STRENGTH LOOKS LIKE.
Can you join global #SportsBraSquad day solo? OF COURSE! Snap a photo and share why you're running with the #SportsBraSquad hashtag!
Want to run with a #BadAssLadyGang?!?! DO THAT! Assemble a squad! If you're interested in hosting a meetup in your area, CLICK HERE or fill out the form below.
Looking to join a meetup in your area? Meetups are listed below and updated often! Keep checking back for info on a meetup near you!
You ready to shed your shirts along with your insecurities?
Get ready because June 24th, we're showing the world...THIS IS WHAT STRENGTH LOOKS LIKE!
Lenexa (9am Sunday, June 24th at FitStudio 13212 Craig Overland Park)