Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spandex Hell

I went to the bike shop a while back.  Most days I love going to the bike shop.  This was NOT one of those days.  Walking in I see my friend Brad working behind the counter, immediately I felt at ease.  He was just the person for this task. Over the five years we have known one another we have had many great bike chats. Brad has taken great care of the hubby and I…especially at the last minute.  One year he redid my front brake cables while I waited in the shop, it was the day before leaving for the Dirty Kanza 200.  I told him I have an amazing opportunity, Sorry… I can’t tell you  yet, coming up and I need to represent in the womens PRO cut kit. The look on his face said it all.  He knew this was going to be a challenge.  He was going to have to fit a square in a circle. Impossible?!

As nicely as he could he explained the challenges I was facing.  In case you don’t know me…. I am not built for a PRO cut kit. I am not ever going to be described as long and lean.  I have curves and muscles.  I think I am built more like a rugby player or a small football player.  These are my observations:  I have wider shoulders than most women.  My arms are also larger.  In addition, I have more than an average amount of boobage  that needs to be contained. Add in a set of good sized legs,  true to my German heritage, and there is my recipe for disaster.  So now that you get the picture you can understand the situation poor Brad was in. 

Brad took the time to go through the racks of Womens apparel and patiently handed me jerseys to try on. There were no comparable bibs or shorts to try so I would need to go by the measuring tape, Fuck!  NOT the way I wanted to approach this but my only alternative.  My measurements don’t make any sense, at least not to me.  (Since I am worried about my thighs fitting I plan to include my measurement) I have to admit that I was really unhappy while trying these jerseys on.  In real life I wear smalls and mediums.  Having to try on size XL and L and then seeing how they fit was kind of humiliating, maybe not the correct word.  It has taken me years to shed my former FAT LIFE and this little shopping trip was bringing it all back. I know… calm down.  (This trip was supposed to be fun)

No offense fella...Not how I want to look

Brad also showed me the sizing manual for the Womens kits, however the sizing measurements are completely different from the Canari brand kit I would be ordering.  It was helpful to see the manual since I was unable to try any shorts/bibs. From start to finish Brad spent about 30 minutes with me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. 

Later that evening Jim came home and asked me how things went at the shop.  He found me in the closet starting to tear up.  I told him of the kit sizing and he just re-iterated what Brad said.  “You know honey…you are not built like MOST women”.  I know he was trying to be nice, but he should have stopped there.  He continued on saying, “you have arms and boobs and big legs…..”  I am aware, thanks Babe.  I have the same parts as everyone else just in different proportions.  Yea, I get it. I still don’t feel  much better as he hugs me. This sucks! Going through this for the second time today has me a bit emotional and I cry.  After several moments pass I stop and come to my senses. 

While this experience truly sucked I got through it. It was not really any different than going shopping for any other outfit to wear.  I am noticing I can no longer buy apparel at Target or Penneys.  Their clothing is not designed to fit my body.  What fits around the waist and hips will not fit around my legs.  Or it fits everywhere but the arms and chest. Be that as it may, I have become very secure with my body over the years. I like how things are shaping up, even as I am about to turn 45. I am constantly amazed what it allows me to accomplish.
I ended up settling on a size Large jersey.  The PRO cut stuff is pretty snug.   I could see my ribs.  Also any extra skin I have….. anywhere.  This kit is definitely going to make me more accountable this year.     I have an amazing opportunity, that I can’t tell you about yet, coming up and I need to represent in a Womens PRO cut kit.  Since the day I visited the bike shop I have been working my tail off in the gym Since the day of this trip I have been working my tail off in the gym.  I have incorporated even more cardio, more weights, and rowing.

I think I can make my square a circle in the next few months.  I believe.

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