More Than New Gear Angst

The first time I rode my new mountain bike, I didn’t love it. I felt wobbly, the front tire had a little hop in it, the seat was weird, and I thought the brakes were probably rubbing. I felt terrible. After all, it must have taken some real effort for my husband to unearth this beauty on eBay, get it shipped, and hide it until the Big Day. He’d involved the kids, and everyone was *sure* I’d love it. I put it away next to the bike I’d ridden for months, the one I felt comfortable on. I wondered if eBay had a return policy because I wasn’t sure that all of the money spent on this new machine would be worthwhile.

Some people love new things. This may show my age, but I’m more comfortable with, well, the stuff I’m comfortable with. I was excited about the new bike, but worried that I’d be disappointed in it. I don’t need the latest and the greatest. Although I know that change is good and I embrace it whenever possible, there are some things that just don’t need to be messed with.

Take my sports bras.

Did you take them? Because I’ve been looking everywhere. They disappeared sometime around my trip to New York on Memorial Day weekend, and life just isn’t the same without them. Without revealing TMI, I’ve tried different configurations of support, hoping the old navy blue Champions would show up. I love those things because they’re dependable. I’ve had them for years and they’ve been amazing, holding up — ahem — under any sort of stress I put on them, stink and mud included. The importance of a sports bra can’t be underestimated. To wit:

Unlike muscles which can repair themselves, breasts connective tissue are made up of suspensory Cooper’s ligaments which, when unsupported during exercise, can stretch and lead to irreversible breast sag.

<<GASP!!>>

Last week I gave in and bought a new bra thinking something so basic couldn’t possibly be freighted with New Gear Angst. But yesterday I did a short run. Sadly, the newbie just doesn’t work for me. Instead of the solid hug I got from my Champions, this rather expensive model was tepid in a place where I just can’t allow any …. wiggle room … if you know what I mean. And I was so self-conscious. Were the dog walker’s eyes wandering, trying to figure out if I had guinea pigs wrestling under my shirt? The lower band was slipping a bit, and it’s not easy to make an adjustment on the run, hoping to stay focused on my feet while scanning nearby houses for potential witnesses. This thing isn’t equipped for anything more challenging than vigorous grocery shopping, I’m afraid.

My new Saucony running shoes have come under the same scrutiny. My old (and I mean 7 or 8 years old) shoes were fine, but I thought new cushioning would be necessary for my old knees when I started running again. Unfortunately, I’d never had the sort of PainFul(!) pinched nerve in my foot that I got after starting with these shoes. And even though running is second or third on my list of activities, I get a consistent IT band pain that wasn’t there before I got new shoes. I’ve known plenty of people whose running ailments have been diagnosed as Wrong Shoe issues, from hip to knee problems. Maybe I should start running barefoot, which the media appears to believe is a good idea? Then there’d be nothing to complain about, would there?

While I mourn the passing of my Champion bras (why both at once, God, why??) I can’t help but chuckle at their potential afterlife. What if they fell out of my bag when I was staying in my daughter’s boyfriend’s bedroom the night of the prom? Maybe he thinks the bras belong to her and he’s keeping them in a special place (a shrine perhaps)? They’ve certainly earned that sort of respect, but I’d love to see the look on his young face when he learns the truth. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

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