Thus far in this series I have talked about how my personal experiences as a soccer player and trainer are what lead me to creating a new and improved sports bra.
This post is about my decision to step up to the plate and do something about it.
Upon returning from my Z Health course in 2013 as discussed in my previous post, I felt a new level of excitement I hadn’t experienced in quite some time.
On top of this education I was receiving, I had taken a leap of faith and moved to out of San Francisco to beautiful Marin to slow life down a bit. Great article from Scientific America on the brain benefits of slowing things down.
I realized living in San Francisco was no longer in line with what I wanted in life. I wanted to be closer to nature, have more living space and get out of the hustle bustle.
I never in a million years could have predicted how much of a positive impact this would have on my life. It gave me time to rest my brain a bit and ultimately find a creative side to me that had always been there but was getting lost in the fast paced city life.
Now that I had identified where my pain was coming from it was time to put my neuroscience education to the test and explore exactly what it was about my sports bras that weren’t getting the job done properly. I needed to identify how I could improve my breathing mechanics, reduce the bounce and find a place where the straps are still supportive but don’t put undue stress on the muscles and nerve endings in my neck and shoulders.
Additionally I needed to find a way to transition this bra from a supportive mode to a relaxed mode. So I gathered a bunch of my old sports bras, a pair of scissors and some elastic and start experimenting with the fit of my bras. My brain started going mad with ideas and I took a quick trip to Walgreens to grab an ace bandage and saran wrap. I played with every which way I could compress my girls and then put it to the test. Next were my initial findings.
Problem: Shoulder Straps
As it turns out most sports bras are designed RACER BACK style. Many designers believe it assists in supporting the breasts. However what I have found is that for a larger breasted athlete this is your worst nightmare. If the rest of the bra is not doing it’s job the force from your breast bouncing is directed right to your neck and shoulders.
Needed wider straps with less elasticity and that were adjustable.
Compression is a double edged sword. Too much and you can’t breathe but not enough and you can’t find the support you need.
Adjustable and adaptable compression. The ability to use it when you need it.
Problem: Bottom Band
My trouble with the bottom band has always been it is too tight and uncomfortable or too loose and unsupportive. All sports bras bottom bands are designed essentially the same way. I decided it is time to mix it up and try something new. I wanted to have a band that is tight yet comfortable and supportive but without keeping me from being able to breathe.
An adjustable bottom band with a specific amount of tension built to be supportive yet expand with one’s rib cage when we breathe. It adapts to weight gain and loss and is easy to loosen after a workout for a more relaxed hang out fit.
As I started to tinker with a better solution my mind, body and soul were feeling ignited and I knew I was onto something. 13 Signs you are on the right track!
This initial prototyping, research & testing phase went on for months. I did a lot of soul searching during this time and before I knew it I was packing up my bags to move in with my parents to save money and pursue my idea to the fullest.
This was just the beginning of what would become the next 4 years of my life & lead to the creation of my bra lab. I haven’t looked back since!!!
In my next post I share what it has taken over the past 4 years to finally bring my sports bra to life! I hope you enjoy!