Running is a sport that only true runners understand. We lose toenails. We chafe. We wear sports bras that cut into our skin and make us bleed. We sweat profusely and run long past the mile that felt like it should be the last. We runners are no joke. Which is why Florida runner and mom Michelle Kirk’s post to the old man who told her running would make her boobs sag is so amazing.
I love that she is flipping him the bird. I love that she pulled no punches. And most of all, I love that she dispelled a myth so many female runners get sick to death of. Running doesn’t make our boobs sag. And even if it does? We don’t care. The truth is, age and gravity will have their way with our breasts regardless of whether we sit on the couch and never have kids and wear a bra 24/7. So why would we avoid living life?
As a runner with a 34DD chest, I know the value of a good sports bra. And I certainly feel for runners I see who haven’t discovered the joy of one. But it’s not because of sagging boobs. It’s because of discomfort and the fact that a bouncing chest makes running more cumbersome. Strap those babies down and go, go, go. But don’t do it for other people’s eyes.
See, that’s the thing men don’t seem to grasp. If you see a woman out for a run, she isn’t doing it for your pleasure. She doesn’t want to get honked at or smiled at or told her boobs are nice or saggy or bouncy or whatever comment you have to make. She wants to run. Because running makes her free. It makes her feel like herself. It makes her whole. As a fellow runner, I’d like to tell that guy to go screw himself, too. Mess with a runner’s sacred space, earn her wrath. And mine, too.
Because how dare he. How dare any man. Running for the past 25 years has made my life better. It has been there for me in every way and helped regulate my emotions. It has helped me navigate the early days of marriage and motherhood and helped me grieve the losses of parents and grandparents. It has empowered me by teaching me I can do things I never thought possible and kept my heart strong and healthy.
Through all that running, worries about whether or not I might be ruining my cleavage have never even entered my mind. It’s laughable and absurd that a man looks at a woman and thinks that must be her highest priority. Get serious, dude. And then bug off. I have got some running to do.