Sometimes the hardest thing you will do all day is get dressed. If you are putting on a sports bra it is definitely the hardest thing you will do all day. I’m not talking about the soft little boob-hammocks you wear when you are long past impressing the boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbour kids. I’m talking about the ones that you wear when you have the intention of doing a far-out hardcore session of the big E.
Stage 1: Denial
Yes it starts off the same way as the stages of grief. The blissful ignorance, or perhaps absolute subconscious refusal to accept the task that lies before you. The workout before the workout, the beginning of the end.
A sports bra looks the same as any small top. Usually brightly coloured, seemingly flexible, and a noticeable lack of fangs. You, my friend, have reached stage one. Now slip that bad boy over your head.
Stage 2: Feeling trapped
By ‘slip’ did you mean wrestle my suddenly large head into what feels like an armband? Why did this look bigger from the outside? Where is the elastic stretch that was promised? You wriggle your giant head through the point of light at the end of a tunnel looking for an end to this limbo, but alas it is just the other side of the sports bra.
Full of broken dreams you break through, arms windmilling madly. You wind up with a suffocating necklace. Your arms sticking awkwardly out the top like some humanoid pot plant. One boob at a time you detach your various body parts like snake would unhinge its jaw to swallow a warthog. Resist the urge to call for help or cry. You can do this. You summon up your last vestige of strength and pull it all down and wallah! It is on! You think this is the end but no. There are five stages. You’re not even halfway done.
Stage 3: Acclimatising
The air feels thin in here, you are feeling slightly lightheaded, maybe you ought to sit down? You are panting and feeling tired. Imagine, if this is getting dressed, what will the real exercise be like?
Everything I just described is actually a symptom of acute mountain sickness. Much like the mountain climbers in the Himalayas you are now attempting to live off a 30% (not an actual figure) oxygen intake. In fact if you google “how to train to climb a mountain” the first answer is just a link to Lorna Janes online shopping website.
Panting and clutching at the sink you wait to recover.
Stage 4: Examination
Once you have recovered your sight you will then start to study this new you. A you who likes to exercise and wear the equivalent of Chinese foot bindings on your boobs. Look how fit you are and how tanned that bright yellow top makes you look and – the fuck is that? Am I growing a second arm? Is my back pregnant? No. That is every ounce of fat you have squeezed out because this sports bra is at capacity. Sit back down caterpillar. You are not the beautiful butterfly you imagined. Wrap up and wait another six months.
Stage 5: Acceptance
Because you know no matter how bad you feel now, what is coming is ten times worse. Priorities, am I right? Sigh and thank god there is another layer to this outfit.