The Freedom Of The Sports Bra

Reading. I’m always reading something. I love learning new things but I also like reading stuff that I don’t have to think super deep on. I read a lot on nutrition, fitness and exercise ideas. I take what I find useful, and a lot of times I share it with others whom I think may benefit from it.

Sometimes the fitness stories are meant to be amusing in a relatable way to the reader. Sometimes, they are thought provoking and make you think. Often, they are inspirational and make me realize I can still go beyond where I am now… that there’s always a bigger challenge.

But this story I read the other day was about a form of freedom the author had found and I kinda related to it. I guess I related ’cause it’s starting to get warm here in the vast state of Texas and when it comes to workouts, it doesn’t take long to start cooking up a good sweat .

The story was about how the author found freedom in tossing her shirt and working out in a sports bra and how the world didn’t come to an end when she did and how free and liberated she felt being able to do that. And I mean, c’mon. Now days, there are so many that are cute, colorful, and fun it seems … wrong… to hide them.

I totally love being a woman but I have to admit there are times when I see dudes running down the road on a crazy hot day in nothing but a little pair of shorts and I feel  a tiny bit jealous. They look so…free and unconfined… as they plow out miles.

But I understood what the author of the story was saying. There’s a certain level of just being comfy with yourself and not really caring about random people and just being able to do what you want… to get past worrying about someone else and what they may be thinking…like that matters ?

I made the move a long time ago.

When I first started running I ran in cheap stuff from Wal-mart, cotton stuff. Trust me, you’ve never known awesome until you are running in shirt that is soaking wet with sweat and it feels like it weighs 10lbs hanging off you. Never again…….

Then as time went on I got acquainted with dri-wick fabric and that helped a lot. But still, as small and light as I could get those tanks, they were clinging and drippy and overall felt like a poor wet skin hanging off me.

Then one day the thought was… just leave the shirt behind.

That began the dialog in my head…. “what will people think seeing me running down the road?” Do you really care what a random person might think?”

Uh. No.

And all the sudden I’m worried about some  strangers and whether or not they can see my stretch marks or if they think my abs are suitable enough to be flaunted running down the road or whatever else random stranger may or may not be thinking.

Honestly, I never really think much about someone I see running other than “hey, go you!” haha and if it happens to be a woman in a sports bra and shorts I really think “go you” cause she’s out there doing it and doesn’t care.

That screams confidence to me.

You know what happened when I made that move? Other than feeling like I didn’t have wet, loose skin hanging off me?

I felt amazingly free. I was so much more aware of my body and how it moved. I was sweaty but now I could feel it on my skin and could feel the air cooling me. I could feel the sun. I started developing an envious athletic tan lines 😉

It was…..

Complete, total freedom.

I felt unbound by that extra layer.

And you know what? No one seemed to care. The world didn’t stop spinning. My abs didn’t seem to be a concern or what  they looked like or didn’t look like.

Wow. I didn’t have to have a perfect body to do it… it was just a simple move to toss the shirt.

I hate when it starts getting colder again and I have to layer up. It feels so different to not have the sun, and wind on my skin, I feel weighted down.

Ahhh, but now the warm air of spring has arrived, and for cycling and (soon, running again) the belly is getting some sun and fresh air 😉


Tell me… are you comfy in just a sports bra working out? Have you made the move to do that? Why or why not?  (Sorry guys!)20150805_081351


Making An Impact

I love new reading material almost as much as I love getting my hands on new music. There’s something about diving into an untouched book or magazine that I love.

Geez. I’m a nerd.

That being said, the only magazine I subscribe to ( no surprise) is Runners World. It’s always loaded with info I find useful as well as amusing. I love reading about elite runners and soaking up what they do and implementing whatever might work for me.  Of course there’s always some inspirational runners story that makes me feel proud to be a part of the running community.

This month I’ve been reading with avid interest as it features “every day, ordinary” runners.  They had a big contest you could throw your name in the hat to be the cover person for this months edition.

I contemplated it. And didn’t.

Oh I have in the past, and was blown away when I was selected to be a part of the Dec 2012 “Runners Body” feature ( you can read that in another post) it was an amazing experience to work with a professional photographer and be photographed in such a way that showed the strength, power, and athleticism of my body.

Some of the winners selected for this months feature included cover winner who lost over 100 lbs. running and how her life has been changed, others who have overcome great odds, some run crazy numbers of races and miles, they have battled through diseases, abuse, and emotional trauma.  They train, teach, inspire and are these beautiful shining examples to the people they are around.

Running has been a sanctuary, a place of healing, hope, and strength for them. I read these stories and cry. I get inspired. I dream bigger.

That’s when I think…. “yeah, now I know why I don’t toss my name in to those competitions. I’m just so… ordinary.”

I haven’t done or experienced the things these people have gone through.

I mean, yeah, running let me drop the weight of a hefty toddler and I do relate to it being a place I go to for thinking, stress release, peace, and my personal escape.

But the thought came again… I’m just…so… ordinary.

However, as I thought on that and reflected on those stories, things started coming to my mind…

All the times people have messaged me, responded to this blog, or talked to me in person to tell me that I inspire them. To keep doing what I do because it motivates them to DO something…. to make changes, to get moving, to be strong, to make better food choices, to be the best “me” they can be etc.

When my crazy running posts have people wanting to go and try running. They ask about shoes, gear, and how to start. I share from my meager education on being a runner. I rejoice when they really start embracing it.

When someone tells me they finally signed up for  a race. Best feeling ever.

Or comments that if I can be out ( running, cycling, or whatever craziness) they too, can get out and do what they need to do. I remember a friend messaging me to tell me how she was struggling through her workout and she remembered seeing my post that I was doing 28 miles that morning. She said  “remembering you were out running, I told myself if you could do that, I could get my workout done!”

When I counsel/mentor/encourage someone and they “get it” and start on their health and fitness journey… and start walking that road of freedom…nothing feels better.

Like… nothing.

That’s when I realized…. I might not ever make it in a magazine by doing something “spectacular”  but I am making a difference in my personal world that I live in.

Being me… in all my odd, fun, weird, non-conforming, quirkiness doing what I do….does touch and impact lives. I don’t have to be anyone else or do what they’re doing.

I just need to be me and use the talents, gifts, and abilities that God has given me and that can make an impact in the world I operate in.

You too, my faithful 1.5 readers, never underestimate, the impact you have in your world.

You can inspire, encourage, build up, and challenge those around you =)

Tell me…. how do you inspire or encourage in your personal world ?



Things You Never Knew About Running

The other morning I’m in my happy place at Starbucks drinking coffee, writing and pondering new blog ideas when I hear my messenger notification go off. Popping it open I start reading a message from a friend who begins sharing with me that he had been out for an early morning run and how glorious it had been ( I started secretly feeling jealous that he had been out doing it ) but I am proud of him ’cause he’s a new runner and has really been sticking with it.

The next part of his message had me choking on my coffee, almost spitting it out, and then, laughing hysterically.

I am using his message here exactly as I got it….

” But after about a mile, I felt something bad in the lower intestinal area. It was not a desperate situation; the Vikings were not at the back gate with a battering ram but they were fast approaching. I don’t normally need to poop before 6 in the morning but I must have shook something loose. I am sure you wanted to know that. At the very least, I gave you a new blog topic.”

I was dying. It was so his style to fire off something like this to me. I assured him he was right, it definitely added to my blog fodder of ideas… and here we are…. things you never knew about running.

So we’ll begin here since…. he started it 😉 I’m not gonna go all into the poop thing (eww gross) but I told him some runners did have issues with it, sometimes it had to do with what had ( or hadn’t been eaten) or what’s taken in during the run. Some runners just have super sensitive tummys  and they deal with it all the time. It usually doesn’t bother me unless I’m running hard and fast for awhile. I mean honestly all that pounding and slamming your insides around can shake things up. It’s a risk you take running. Some runners develop a good skill of finding trees 😉  My poor friend got some personal experience with it haha…  at least he now knows something else about running….ok… that’s all I’m gonna say on this topic….

run tp

You develop a love/hate relationship with it.  You commit to a run and in that first mile you’re thinking… WHY? and then you ponder the fact running is hard work and that’s probably why everyone isn’t eagerly out on the street doing it and why your friends tell you that you’re crazy. To run requires work… and serious work. And then you realize you feel kinda bad ass ’cause you ARE out there doing it. And you finish beat up and exhilarated thinking of your next run….

run another step

Shoes. You will develop a fetish for new cool running shoes and you will spend more money on them than any other footwear you own. You will become committed to a brand and even a particular style. You will pout like a child when they decide to change up and “improve” your favorite style.

Running clothes. You learn terms like moisture wicking and dri-fit. You make sure those terms are on whatever you buy. You ponder how could a pair of barely there shorts cost that much ??? You buy them anyway ’cause when you know what you like, what you run most comfortably in, there is no guessing game.  You don’t wanna have to think about what is on your body when you’re running.

Cotton garments and baggy shorts are the kiss of death. I wear neither of them anymore.

Gu’s, gel’s, sports beans and the like. You’ve most likely never even heard of these things till you start running. On a stand alone basis, they are almost gaggingly disgusting. Thick, gooey and super sweet you don’t intentionally make a meal of them. However, when you are out on a long run and your body desperately needs sugar and an overload of immediate high octane carbs, they taste like manna from heaven 😉

You will sweat like crazy and smell like a middle school boys locker room.  And there isn’t a runner in the world who doesn’t take that as a sign of a successful run. We are sorry if you have to be around us before we hit the shower.

Oh yeah… showers…… never feel more amazing than when you are dead dog tired after a hard run. Seriously.

You learn to appreciate the aches and pain of sore legs muscles after a long run. Sounds crazy but you feel awesome even when they ache.

You never plan to be a runner.  You don’t. You swear it’s only something your neighbor does or the crazy health nut across the street from you. But one day you’re out there on the road and you’re doing it and you wonder when THAT happened.

You get really, really testy if you can’t get your run in. You don’t really mean to be grumpy about it, but dang it, you want to be out there.

run crazy

You won’t win any gorgeous foot awards. Thankfully I’ve never had the problem of toenails turning black and losing them ( many runners do) also through constant pounding of miles you can build up some serious pads on the bottoms of your hooves. Oh, well. I’d rather be a runner and have those than not.

Entering a race will bring out the competitive beast edge in you. Ok maybe not everyone. I see lots of well behaved happy, chatty, selfie taking people on the race course… and I’m thinking… “really? we’re in a race here” haha

After long runs or races you will feel your legs in ways you never have before. After running marathons I have to walk down TONS of stairs to head back to my hotel. That is a total blast.  What sicko laid out that path for runners after a race?? 😉

stair pic

Running becomes addictive. Relax, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s a good kind of addiction.

It will build your confidence and empower you like nothing else. I remember after training for and running my first marathon thinking if I could run all those training miles and then do a 26.2 mile race, I could take on anything life threw at me.

marathon idiot

You meet super cool and supportive people. Probably enough said there. Get involved in the running community and you’ll see =)

You will sport interesting tan lines. And you get the interesting comments like… “why are you always so tanned?”

running tan

99.9%  of us know we’ll never “win” the race. However, when you cross that finish line and collect your medal, you’ve won. You’ve met your own goals, overcome obstacles, and have your own triumphs. We deserve that medal as much as the first one who finished.

We are a stubborn lot. Runners don’t give up or give in easily. We run early. We run late. We willingly leave warm toasty beds on cold mornings to go run in the dark. We’ve been known to run in the rain and cold weather. If we’re training… it’s even worse 😉

Running builds your body. Running can carve out some amazing legs, build your butt, lean out your abs and overall contribute to losing weight. It is the best cardio for losing weight… at about a 100 calories burned per mile… it’s a fat burner for sure.

running pain in ass

And not just physically….. running also clears the mind, helps give clarity, brings peace and helps you refocus. I do my best thinking and creative brainstorming when I run.

run relaxing

Ok… so now that I’ve clued you into the secret truths of running…. you’re  ready to get after it, aren’t you ?

Runners…. is there anything you’d add ?

runner reason