Zum-boob: a Story of Humiliation and Redemption
I've been attending Zumba classes for like six years now, and teaching my own for four. In that time, I've dealt with some minor embarrassments - like pit stains, flatulence, and accidentally deleting my entire playlist just before a class. But those pale in comparison to the time I shimmied my boobs right out of their holsters in front of an audience.
I'm not a big-chested chick. Nobody has ever been impressed or appalled (or injured) by the ample size of my melons. Despite that, though, I wear two bras when I do Zumba: a regular one, and on top of that, a sports bra.
Why is that necessary, you ask? Well, the reasons are twofold. First a sports bra alone would mush my boobs to nonexistence and I would have the flat chest of a twelve-year-old boy. (Also: visible nippleage.) And second, when your boobs are smallish to begin with, and you've nursed four children, they lose volume. Instead of filling up the cups of your bra, they kind of just rest mushily on the underwire. Like pantyhose with the feet full of Jell-O. I have drawn a helpful illustration so those of you who don't have this problem can see what I mean. (PS - I hate you.)
Anywho, because there's so much space for them to flop limply around, a nice sports bra is the key to keeping them in place. But one Monday morning, I was running in a million different directions, trying to get the kids off to school and myself dressed and keep track of this and that ... and I forgot to put my sports bra over my regular one before I headed off to teach Zumba.
I didn't notice so much during the warmup. But when I got to the first upbeat song, I felt the unnerving sensation of nipple against fabric, and realized with horror that my left boob had actually left the confines of its bra cup and was flopped over the top. Still under my t-shirt, thank goodness, but still: I was all "OMFG" inside. I mean, it had to be relatively obvious. That kind of silhouette isn't exactly normal.
But what was I going to do? I had an entire class to teach, almost an hour left, and people expecting me to give them a good workout. As discreetly as possible while in front of a crowd, I shifted my shoulders and adjusted my bra to allow the wayward titty to slip back into place.
As soon as I moved, though, there it was again. Flop flop!
I couldn't go through the whole class calling attention to my problem by tugging incessantly at my bra. And I couldn't tone down my movements because everyone would wonder why I was being so lame. Luckily, most of the people there that day were my regulars - people who have been coming to my class for a really long time, and who know I'm a big dork and love me anyway. So I stopped the music and explained myself.
"Um, you guys?" I began tentatively. "I, uh ... wore the wrong bra today, and I'm having wardrobe malfunctions galore up here. So if you wonder why I'm not moving as energetically as usual, and tugging at myself a lot, that's the reason."
There were a few snickers, a few understanding nods. Nobody seemed horrified ... at first.
And then? One of my ladies left the room.
Oh no. My embarrassing bra snafu has offended her, I thought, cheeks burning.
But by the time I collected myself and went to push "play" on the music, she had returned - triumphantly waving a sports bra!
"I always wear two sports bras!" she said. "You can use this one!"
Now I know how rock stars must feel when people toss panties at them during concerts: awesome (okay, maybe not). Because in that moment, I couldn't have been more grateful for someone hurling their undergarments toward me. I put that sucker on over my t-shirt and resumed Zumba worry-free, my boobs firmly in place.
That was the only thing firm about them, but that's another issue altogether.