Stop Selling Me: Exercising without Consuming
I have long been involved in two forms of exercise that really don’t take that much equipment. Running and yoga. Running requires a good pair of shoes. I should probably replace my shoes more often. I buy the top of the line shoes, but I almost always only have one pair of running shoes that I’m using at a time. Yoga requires a mat, a towel, a bottle for water and some running pants and a sports bra. I have three yoga mats, actually two are my husband’s that I have commandeered. I use my old bath towels for yoga towels in addition to one YogiTowel that I got with my annual membership deal at the studio. I don’t actually like it much better than the bath towels. I’m happy to wear my running tights some of which have holes in them to yoga class. I don’t really care how I look in class–it’s hot and sweaty and no one looks good. Running, same.
I particularly like running because nothing needs to be bought to do it well. My yoga studio on the other hand can sometimes seem like a pusher of yoga gear. I did a little research and learned that it is common business plan for yoga studios to have good deals for yogis to attend class and to make most of their money on overpriced yoga gear. I don’t really begrudge them the effort, but I only buy things when they are on 75% discount, and rarely even then. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile–there’s always a little “here’s the sale going on” bit at the end of class that detracts from the spirit of the class. I try to just meditate through it.
But last week, an ad came across my Facebook feed and I got mad. The ad, which is from Brooks Running, is of a woman’s chest in a sports bra. The slogan across the top of the photograph reads, “Because your sports bra should never celebrate a birthday.” I currently own seven sports bras. Only one has not celebrated a birthday. I find it hard to find good sports bras. I don’t get rid of them until they fall apart. Or they smell really bad. Sometimes even then, I just try to find better detergent.
Something about this line just got in my craw. A sports bra is not a cellphone. There is no planned obsolescence. As long as the elastic does the work it’s fine. There is no reason that your sports bra should not celebrate a birthday, except that Brooks Running needs you to keep buying things.
Don’t fall for it.