My favorite sports bra in my closet is black camouflage.
It goes with all of my workout tops and compression pants and isn't too distracting when I wear it into a crowded gym. It's comfortable... a little too comfortable.
The same could be said for my workout style in general. Back at school, I worked out in our brand new gym as much as six times a week. I loved how in shape I was, and how the flexibility in my schedule allowed me to go work out as much as I wanted.
Back at home however, it was a different story. My parents' old and trusty treadmill had died an unceremonious death before my spring break, so I was facing the prospect of reactivating my membership at the local YMCA or hitting the road running as much as possible.
I chose the latter option, but I would always find excuses not to go for a run: it was too hot, too cold, it was raining, I was tired, etc. After a few weeks, I began to feel the effects of my lazy workout style.
My running stamina wasn't at all what it used to be, and the abs I was beginning to sprout at school began to disappear.
Most telling was how tired I'd get after a day of work at a local day camp. I work with four year-olds, and I could barely keep up with them. Something needed to change, but I wasn't sure what.
I tried keeping a schedule, changing the time of my workouts, changing the intensity. Eventually, I was getting back into the shape that I was accustomed to at school, but something still wasn't clicking.
As a last ditch effort, I looked into some random articles on color theory regarding clothes, and got an idea. I have never been one for bright colors. Ever since I was little, I liked everything to match and go together. Why would I spend money on a bright pink shirt or a neon yellow dress to wear on special occasions, when I could get five times as much use out of the same item in black or white?
But, at this point, I was desperate to feel good again after a workout - you know, not like I wanted to lay on the floor and wait for the sweet release of death.
So, I reached into the back of my closet and pulled out a day-glo rainbow tie-dye sports bra. The thing was garish, ugly and not something I liked to wear on a regular occasion. But hey, you never know unless you try, right?
I threw on the sports bra and went for a run, hoping for some sort of sweaty miracle.
Now, I'm not gonna lie to you and say that wearing this sports bra turned me into an Olympic sprinter or anything like that, but I did feel like something was different. It was a little easier to push myself up the hills around my neighborhood, and my ankles didn't seem as achy afterwards.
I'm not a scientist by any means, so I'm willing to assume that this was a case of "mind over matter," but that's not to say that this experience was any less significant. If all it takes to feel like my workout was more productive is some brightly colored underwear, I'm willing to throw some clashing colors into my ordinary orderly life.