Monday, June 23, 2008

Bend it Like Dolly...Or Don't Let the Boobs Get You Down

Or more appropriately, "When the Boobs Won't Let You Get Down" : )

Guys, just bear with me here. You will have no way in which to identify with the problem I have with some aspects of martial arts, or even just exercise in general.

Boobs. And I don't mean idiots. I mean female anatomy. Ladies, if you have the garden variety average size, you will probably identify with my problem about as much as the guys. But those of you females reading this who are on the more ample end of the spectrum, you could probably write this blog post yourself.

As I said in my previous post, the adult class stretches and exercises for the first 45 minutes of our class in order to be in better shape and to have warm, stretched muscles for the instructional part of our class. Most of these exercises are just as easy for me to do as anyone else in the room. I am actually pretty limber & stretchy, which I think surprises some people given that I'm overweight. The neck stretches feel great. The toe touches - no problem…I can touch my fists to the floor. The crunches, while not exactly my favorite, are not too difficult - anatomy wise, anyway. The Cobra - I love it. Feels great. But then there are the ones that require me to "bend it like Dolly"…Dolly Parton that is.

Okay, I'm not THAT big, but big enough that when I sit with my legs straight out in front of me together, and try to fold myself in half, my very short waist, coupled with "the girls", well I can barely bend! I just do my best. When we sit with our legs stretched far out to each side (think almost splits) and try to touch our head to each knee, I can rest my forehead on my knee…if I push the corresponding "girl" toward the inside of my knee! (I'm sorry, I know this is pretty graphic, but you gotta admit - it's also pretty funny!) The other ladies in the class and I have a laugh over that one. Now, the next step to this exercise/stretch is to pull the soles of our feet in close and bend down in half and try to touch your head to your feet while keeping your knees flat to the floor. Again, I'm bendy. I’m stretchy. I can do that because the girls are not in the direct path!

Now, you might say, "Get that girl a good sports bra!" I am here to tell you, have you ever tried to buy a good sports bra for those who would need it most? I mean, really? If you're a small chested gal, you would have no problem finding effective and possibly even cute sports bras. I did find two that held the girls pretty securely, but there was one problem. Okay, two problems. First, and most serious of the two problems - remember the gi top is white cotton. You could see right through it. That was not going to do. Remember, I told you, I do not like to "stand out" in a crowd. (Sorry, I couldn't help using that pun - it was unintentional at first - until I realized how funny it was in context! : ) The other problem is that in my life outside of martial arts, the girls are one of my better features and smashing them down making my chest look like a barrel is just pushing the "not caring what I look like" thing I talked about in my last blog, just a bit too far. There you go, guys, here is your chance to get involved in this post and get rich in the process - invent a sports bra that gives us the support we need without making us look like John Goodman taking a karate class.


Brian said...

I suck at stretches, and I don't even have to worry about boobs. I've always never been able to touch the toes standing.

Well MAM if I go into bra engineering one day I'll be sure to carry this post with me. :)

Martial Arts Mom said...

Brian, you'd be a rich man if you could come up with a bra that is comfortable and defies gravity at the same time! : )

Perpetual Beginner said...

Martial arts mom - Get thee hence to title nine sports!

I suffered through both karate and kickboxing, boinging all the way until I found them. They sell their bras by barbell rating - 1 barbell is for the small-chested among us, up to 5 barbells, for the terminal bouncers. I wear a 38-D, and generally a 3-4 barbell bra does me fine. Right now I have a Frog bra, a Three-Blessings bra, and a 'Cuz She Said So bra. My favorite is the Frog. You wouldn't want to wear it under ordinary clothes (uniboob!), but you DO NOT BOUNCE. The Three-Blessings is good, but a bit difficult to get on and off, while the 'Cuz She Said So is a little rigid for my tastes - though I know some people who swear by it.

BTW - Hi? I'm a mother of two boys (8 & 10) who is a brown belt in Isshin-ryu karate in Indiana. I found you when Michele of Just a Thought commented on my blog ( ) and I tracked back to her blog, and then to yours.