Breasts are something womankind has been dealing with forever. Whether you've got that va-va-voom thing goin' on or you're on the smaller side, chances are you have some sort of opinion on how your chest affects your daily life. Well, according to a recent article in ESPN The Magazine, our "assets" are a major player when it comes to female athletes.
In a rundown that's equal parts informative and perplexing, writer Amanda Hess outlines every single hardship that sports gals have endured on account of their breasts. Turns out, whether you're an MMA fighter, an elite gymnast, or even a golfer, your breasts could be hindering your performance. All kinds of scientific research has been done to prove that athletic output decreases while breast size increases, and the article is rife with anecdotes about athletes who went as far as to undergo breast reduction to better their chances at success.
Of course, as we all know, the everyday trials and tribulations (and joys!) of having breasts aren't just confined to the Olympians among us. The troubles of finding a sports bra that doesn't feel like a torture device or having a spin class turn into a major pain session are problems all of us deal with, too. Sure, we don't have to worry about exposing ourselves to 15,000 screaming spectators with the slip of a strap (a predicament bestowed upon MMA fighter Ronda Rousey in the article), but that doesn't mean going for a long run is a picnic for the chest.
For the sake of comparison, though (and playing devil's advocate), women today have it a lot better than our sisters from yesteryear. When the first woman competed in the Boston Marathon in 1967, breast science was so underdeveloped that experts were worried the repetitive motion of running would actually cause the runner's chest to atrophy. In fact, sports bras weren't even invented until the late '70s, and, according to the article, it is only just recently that breast biomechanics labs have begun to crop up to help improve our support systems.
In the end, the experts at ESPN are still unable to offer any kind of lasting advice or solve the question of how breast size really hinders us after all — it seems that even the biggest sports nuts are just as perplexed as we are. While we're not exactly comforted by the fact that even in the year 2013 having a D cup (or an A cup) can affect your life this much, we can at least rest easy knowing we're not hitting the treadmill with nothing more than a T-shirt supporting the ladies. (ESPN)