This post brings my message home by sharing my experiences and practical knowledge from being a personal trainer from 2008-2015 after half a lifetime of sports bra struggles.
At TRX I had the opportunity to work with fitness and health professionals from around the world. I was so inspired by what they were doing and the impact they were having on people’s lives that I quit my job and jumped on the fitness bandwagon. I knew if I was ever going to work in the startup world again I wanted it to be for a product I created and for a problem I solved. I realized working for someone else was not for me.
So I took a leap of faith even though everyone around me thought I was crazy and I went for it. Being a personal trainer for me was a love/hate relationship.
- Changing people’s lives for the better
- Being able to be outside most day
- Ability to be active all day
- Working with motivated individuals
- Working with unmotivated clients and I found it terribly draining, because for better or worse, I am someone who easily absorbs the energy of those around me. (If you are a trainer here are some ideas for helping with this issue we all face.)
- The hardest part I found was the schedule. Most of my clients wanted to train before or after work. Which meant my workday would begin at 5:00 AM and end most days around 8:00 PM. Let’s just say this lead yet again to many hours in my sports bras.
Right around the time I was reaching a breaking point and considering other work options, I had an epiphany. The funny thing is - these very long hours were a constant reminder of something I have always been frustrated with as an athlete. The struggle of living in a compressive sports bra day in and out!
Being a trainer took it to another level. Not only was I looking for function (i.e. support) I wanted to look cute and needed something I could comfortably wear all day. I was constantly demonstrating for clients how to perform certain exercises and because I trained outdoors most of the time, I was constantly on the go from one location to another.
I found myself every morning asking the same question. Who am I training today? Will I need to demo and have the ability to run with them? If the answer was no, I would wear a “comfortable/cute sports bra.” If the answer was yes, I would put on my high impact bra which would start to hurt after about 1 hour of wearing but at least I wasn’t awkwardly demo-ing exercises with my boobs bouncing everywhere. Having both comfort and support just wasn’t an option for me. This bra just didn’t exist. In her article “Understanding a Woman’s Most Essential Fitness Accessory: The Sports Bra, Ellen breaks down quite well many of the issues with sports bra today.
My life as a trainer taught me so many wonderful things and led me to studying neuroscience, natural movement & alternative health all of which inspired the idea to create a more supportive yet comfortable sports bra for women on the go.
In this next part of this series I discuss how a condition I developed at age 16, Hashimoto’s disease (Hypothyroidism), added a whole other layer of challenges to my experiences as a competitive athlete, personal trainer and need for a better sports bras. (Click here to read on)