by Rebecca Nelson


You! You say too many negative things about your body on social media. Stop that right now.

This talk is not good for our daughters, our sons, our significant others, and of COURSE it is not good for ourselves. I don't think our pets care much for it, either.

Whether you are ripped, don't give a rip, or feel ripped up about it, you CAN run in just a sports bra. I know this because *I* have run in just a sports bra, and I was the last person on earth I could imagine doing so.

It was Thursday, November 6, 2014. Temperatures were in the mid-60°F in late morning when I ventured out for a five mile tempo run on the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle. I had been back into running for just three months after a decades-long absence, and while my legs were feeling good, my body was a wreck that day. A hot, sweaty wreck in leggings and a long-sleeved shirt. 

I was just a mile in. I wasn’t gonna make it the full five miles. Unless…I took off my shirt and ran in just my sports bra.

So I did it. And I LIVED. And it felt GREAT.

Thirty-nine-year-old me, mother of two, doer of zero strength training, running less than 18 miles per week at this point, ran in just her sports bra. And has done it many times since.


If *I* can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS.

Here are some helpful tips:

Tip #1: Overdress. I am a chronic over-dresser on runs (see above); however, I have turned this weakness into part of my STRATEGY. At the mid-point of a run, or whenever my poor clothing choices have turned me into a red hot sweaty mess, I release myself from the burden of upper body covering. Running without the shirt becomes a REWARD that I look forward to.

Wear a sports bra you like, that supports your upper lady bits properly, and that you like the look of even before you put it on. (For example, have you seen the Ballard? Front AND back? Tooting our horn a bit here, but it's gorgeous).


Tip #2. Keep getting older. In my personal experience, the older I get, the less I care about what other people think. It's pretty great.


We’re never gonna look like 2008 Lauren Fleshman. Heck, even Lauren Fleshman can’t look like 2008 Lauren Fleshman anymore. But we can FEEL like she does when she runs. When I’m running for myself, this is my goal. And when I’m dressed in the confidence to run in just my sports bra, this is how I feel.


Tip #3: Think big picture. Think of the astronaut high in the sky in the space station staring out of one window and seeing the vast and dazzling emptiness of space, and looking out of the opposite window to marvel at the pale blue dot of Earth upon which all of humanity is contained as well as every city and animal and mountain range and you running in your sports bra is not even visible in the slightest so just keep doing your thing, it's FINE.

Tip #4: Run with a squad of like-minded individuals on, say, #NationalSportsBraSquadDay.


Seattle Birds, celebrate a run on National Sports Bra Squad day at the Flagship Store on Sunday, June 24th @ 9 am. Shirts Off, Wings Out!


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June 20, 2018 — Rachel Kristjanson

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