My parents and I are going on a backpacking trip this week. When you’re backpacking, it’s a pretty bad idea to bind, with all that weight on your shoulders and back and the need for full lung capacity. The last time I backpacked, it was a solo trip. I didn’t care so much. It was like when I’m in my room alone. Without the pressure on my chest, all I have to do is not look down or into mirrors, and I can mostly completely ignore it. I was trying to anticipate how I would feel on this trip with my parents. I mean, it’s not like they’ll change their perception of me. They’ve seen me wear way more girly things than a sports bra. I have also found that I am okay with running in a sports bra. There’s no way that I could run binding. I have enough breathing problems as it is.
While I was thinking about this, I said in my head “sports binder” instead of “sports bra.” I realized that with this perception switch, I feel totally fine about not wearing my usual binder during a camping trip. I also realized, that that’s really what a sports bra is. It does bind down a little, but appropriate for sports. Just like a regular bra is not appropriate for sports, but for different reasons.
Instead of doing something potentially harmful — completely binding while backpacking — I did what I was going to do, but with a perception change.
I think this was prompted by something my mom did when she was helping me pack. She was going through some of our camping clothes. She holds up a sports bra and says, “Do you need any of these things?” She didn’t want to refer to me wearing a bra. She knew that it was something I might need, but she didn’t want to say “bra.” I thought then, “What else would you call it?”