I ran on #SportsBraSquad Day. You might be asking yourself. But wait, aren’t you a dude? A bro? One of those non-sports-bra-wearing-kind-of-runners? Yep. That’s accurate. For me, the day was about more than that. Strength is not defined by what you wear (or what you don’t). I think we can all agree on that, but before we get into it, let’s talk about how it got started.
The run down
Over the weekend was National Sports Bra Squad Day. Yep. It’s a thing. Have you heard of it? The #sportsbrasquad was originally started last year by Kelly Roberts—aka Run, Selfie, Repeat. The idea behind it was to find and create the self-confidence in your own body and recognize the strength that comes in all shapes and sizes and to own it, and crush it, and run how you damn well pleased (at least that’s how I understand it).
Here is a quick snippet from the 2016 post.
“I used to feel envious of the women who were confident enough to run in a sports bra… So I ran a marathon. And then I ran 4 more and still I didn’t feel confident enough to take my shirt off when the temperature rose. Well, not anymore! That all changed this past weekend because I’ve decided to finally close the chapter on my own personal insecurities and finally run in my sports bra. I’m done worrying about what other people might think about my body. Do I really care if someone judges how I look while I run 13 miles in a sports bra? HELL NO. Not anymore.”
June 24, 2017
Sponsored by Oiselle (who also sponsors Kelly), the world saved the date for runners to come together. The unofficial count of cities that participated in organized group runs were well over 50 (including international locations). If runners couldn’t make it to the organized runs in larger cities, they were encouraged to run with friends or rock it solo—the point was that everyone could participate.
Note: the hashtag #SportsBraSquad is a year-around thing. It’s meant to be used any and all days, this was just one particular day the interwebs decided to celebrate (annually).
San Francisco, 7:57am
Hosted by myself and @hollyrichardson88, we set up a fun run of 3-miles starting at the Ferry Building. I know Holly from November Project SF and we are both friends with Kelly, so we offered to help make it happen. We got started a little late, because, well, runners just are hardly ever on time. But we logged 3-miles with a lap around AT&T park, and we even had a water station. Well, the water station was .2 miles into the course, so it was more of a place to leave our stuff, and a place to hold cookies for after we finished (because goals). Here are some photos:
What it means to me?
Now we circle back to the original question: why do I care? And why did I participate? I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m very self-conscious. For every photo that I post, there are countless “bad ones” that you never see. There is a reason I make that silly face in all my photos, but we’ll save that for another post. Insecurity is not an emotion that is only experienced by women. I chose to participate and host a run because I believe in empowering everyone to feel strong and confident while they run, and in life.
I have a soon-to-be 6-year-old daughter and for every time I tell her that she looks pretty, I make sure there are an equal number of times (if not more) that I tell her she looks strong, or happy. I know that she will be partially shaped by what she sees in the media, or by what her friends will say, but it is one of my many jobs as her father to make sure that she loves herself for who she is.
But the sports bra thing
This particular event focussed on giving runners a day where we would be “ditching our shirts and inhibitions.” It was expressed in several posts and on social that running in a sports bra was not required. To come as you are. To run in a sports bra (or don’t). To run in a shirt (or don’t). To just simply run together as a community, and that was something I could get behind.
I ran in a shirt – heck, it was a cotton shirt with spray paint on it. Our run in San Francisco was a wonderful combination of sports bras, shirts, and tanks. No one cared who wore what. It was the simple fact that we were out there doing something together.
Raise the community as a whole
Does that mean that if you did not run in a sports bra that you are NOT strong? And you are NOT self-confident? Nope. Because we are bringing attention to one portion of the running community (or life) it does not discount everyone else. It’s just like if you went to an event that brings awareness to Lung Cancer, or you share something about the prevention of Lung Cancer. Does that mean that you only care about Lung Cancer and don’t give care about the other kinds of cancers? Of course not. It just means that you are helping bring attention and hopefully change to a cause.
I’m all for raising up the running community as a whole—it’s kid of my thing. This was an opportunity to help bring attention to runners that this topic touched. I was happy and proud to be a part of this day. As you can see from the hashtag #sportsbrasquad, I was not alone.
How did you experience Sports Bra Squad Day?