Today is Global #SportsBraSquad Day! A movement that was started by one of our favorite bloggers Kelly Roberts who writes Run, Selfie, Repeat. It started as a way for women to shed their shirts while running to show they are stronger than their insecurities. And it has been amazing watching it take off. Check out the hashtag on Instagram and just see how many strong women ran sans shirts today!
For some reason, as women, we find it hard to take off our shirt when we are pouring sweat. We would rather have the soaking wet shirt stick to us, mess around with trying to adjust it, and still make our bodies 10 degrees hotter rather than just taking it off. Why? Probably because we think people will judge us. I don’t look like the women in running ads. Before this movement started, I really did think that someone would pay attention to me enough to be like, “Ew, that girl should not be running without a shirt.” Guess what? People don’t care!
Even today, running with Sarah, no one gave us weird looks or did a double take. We live in Memphis. It’s hot here. Girl, just be free! Or run with your shirt on. Either way, we want women to look beyond their body image and look at what their bodies can do. That is what this movement is all about.
So when, Kelly Roberts told the world that there would be a Global Day for this kickass movement, I immediately text Sarah to save the date. Technically, we had run together in our sports bras while training for a trail half marathon, but no one else saw us. We were struggling in the woods, melting from the heat. I had ran by myself in a sports bra on the beach. (You can read all about that experience on Women’s Running Magazine. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to share my story thanks to Kelly Roberts. Scroll down and you can see that I am the last woman to share my experience.)
Anyways, Sarah had never technically ran in such a public place in just her sports bra. For some reason, we both find this intimidating. Sarah even mentioned that when running alone she didn’t want people to think she was promiscuous. Which is another crazy point in why we are afraid to run in a sports bra. As women, we have to worry that someone may take our skin as an invitation to approach us. We have to worry that someone might think we are asking for something or trying to show off. People! It’s hot! Running is hard! I may look fine but that doesn’t mean I want you to come get handsy!
As we were finishing up our last mile, Sarah said, “You know this actually feels good. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.” My heart was so happy to hear that! We both have our insecurities about our bodies. Today we chose to set those aside and show the world that we are strong!
I think that society, especially the running community, is doing a better job to showcase all body types. Just pick up the June issue of Women’s Running Magazine. They have done such a great job in showing people that not all runners look the same. Women have been speaking up about the fact that beauty is not what a magazine tells us it needs to be. And guess what? We have been heard. You have so many companies now making sure that they show their clothes on all body types. That’s the great thing about being human. We aren’t all the same. We need to start embracing ourselves and our fellow humans. Don’t judge. Lift people up. Show people that you can live an active lifestyle and not have to strive to look a certain, perfect way. We want people to be and feel healthy. Not beat themselves up over a number on the scale. I love my body. I am proud that it can run and run and run and run. Instead of thinking about the number, I think about what m body is capable of.
This movement isn’t trying to tell people you MUST run in a sports bra. For me, it’s a way to show that I am stronger than society’s perceptions of what women should look like and what women should wear. I hope this movement can give more women courage. I hope that it can allow them to see the strong sides of themselves, whether they’re running with or without a shirt.