Why I'm Done Worrying about What I Look Like in Spandex

Sunday was a big day for cyclists, particularly British ones.  Sir Bradley Wiggins, winner of gold medals in track and road cycling and the Tour de France, attempted (and beat) the World Record for cycling for an hour.  It's a really big deal, and the last guy that did it had to be carried off the track. Not only did Wiggins climb off his bike and walk away, he got on another bike and did a victory lap. Dame Sarah Storey, who I personally love as a commentator, was like "he's basically just done the equivalent of giving birth."  And I trust her, since she's done both.  
The thing that interested me was discussing his equipment.  It's all very specialised and made to be just right for doing what he was attempting.  Light, aerodynamic, skintight, pressurising.

Now, I'm not going to compare myself to Bradley Wiggins, but I do understand the need for proper clothing when doing active stuff.  I wear a helmet and sunglasses and waterproofs when I need them.  Unfortunately,  I'm pretty scared to actually wear the stuff that I need to wear to be comfortable.  I cycle every day, and it's starting to get hot.  Which means that jeans are not really the best clothing to wear cycling every day. I don't do a job with a dress code, but I do need clothing that doesn't chafe, make me super sweaty, and that dries quickly if I'm in a shower. And this being England, I'm in a shower frequently.

I have one pair of spandex "athletic" trousers that I wear for this purpose.  Unfortunately, that one pair of trousers doesn't do the job when you need clothes for every day. Plus, these grey spandex leggings have a rubbed off bit where my thighs rub together, and I've sewn them up twice.  Basically, I needed to take the plunge and buy more Lycra leggings.

First, I went online.  Where I was immediately confronted with this:

I immediately decided that what I was doing was not sufficient to warrant pretty leggings or an attractive sports bra.  The lady in the first picture isn't even wearing a bra in one outfit!  I do not look like that.  It must mean I am not active enough.  It must mean I'm not healthy enough.  I do not spend my lunch break in a spin class.  Heck, I haven't been to a gym in months.  I can't do a plank for more than 30 seconds without wanting to die a fiery death.

I mean, here is a list of my weekly activity:

Cycle 20-30 miles.
Walk between 2 and 10 miles, depending on activities.
Lift 36lb weight and carry it 4-5 times per day (plus occasionally throw her onto sofa).
Dance until I'm breathless 2-3 times per week.
Carry a backpack or bags filled with all of my groceries 1-2 times per week.
Lift/move/protect/care for a quite large 7-year-old for an hour a day.
Garden 1-2 hours.
Yoga video or stretch twice per week.

Wait a minute...

I deserve for my clothing/equipment to be suitable to what activities I'm doing.
I deserve for my baggy mom trousers not to get caught in my bike chain.
I deserve for my sweaty crotch to dry quickly (active people, you know it happens!).
I deserve for my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder to be comfortable and functional.
I deserve coolness and moisture control.

Do I have the body pictured above?  No, I do not.  But you know what?  It doesn't really matter.  My favourite blue sports bra may be stretched, but it's because I wore it while having a baby. My midriff isn't defined and toned, but me, my doctor and my husband are satisfied with my body, and no one else's opinion really matters.  Everyone's always saying how bad it is for you to sit around, but society automatically wants a runner that looks like a marathoner or a yogi who can do handstand scorpion pose.

Where are the people who want their workout video to say "fun" and "fast" and "multiple ability levels" rather than "insane", "shred" and "rip"?  I had a baby.  I'm done with the ripping and shredding, thanks.

Spandex was made for both of us.  Not just for Bradley Wiggins or the perfect amateur athletic specimen.  You know how I know it was made for both of us?  The name.  It's an anagram of "expands."  Because that's exactly what it does.  Mine might expand a bit more than theirs, but that's literally what it was made to do.

I wore my spandex all day today.  I was comfortable, cool and I didn't worry what I looked like.


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