Last week was a hot one (like seven inches from the midday sun? Santana? No?). Folks were eating ice-cream, sunglasses were on, girls were sporting the latest summer looks down by the river as the lads showed their daring bravery by jumping from the bridge into the cool waters of the Shannon. My father was in a paddling pool. Poor fuckers stuck in offices were slowly but surely melting into puddles of figures and data. It was a glorious Irish summer!


Me, this was the week I joined our local gym.


Gyms are usually hot places. In a heatwave… Well!


After getting a good weight session in I was boiling. Dying. Puddles were forming wherever I stood. I was looking forward to jumping into the cool waters of the pool. As I began peeling of my gym gear, sweat rolling down my forehead, I noticed something. My bra was stuck, literally. The sweat had welded the fabric to me. I never thought I would be betrayed by my most supportive friend. My sports bra. A heavily structured piece that is secure most days. Today, was like it was made from No More Nails. This shit was not coming off. It got to my underarms and no further! So you can just imagine, beetroot red from the training, glistening with heatwave sweat, in my undies with my sports bra only half off. No one around to help a sister out. I started panicking. Was I going to have to just put it back on, walk out to the pool where husband no doubt was already bombing it down the slide to tell him that I am stuck and we need to go home? No I need to get in that pool just to feel human again. Do I just pretend it’s a sporty bikini top and just fuck it and go swimming? No, because the bastard thing has to come off at some point.


Having a fear of being trapped, in anything really, I started to breathe really quickly. I started to feel really claustrophobic and it was only getting hotter. And I couldn’t stop sweating! I was no longer able to get a good grip. I was going to die wearing this thing.


There was only one thing for it, I was going to have to hulk my way out of the bra.


Worried that a more delicate and elegant lady might walk in and spot me ripping my sports bra to pieces, I ran into the toilet cubicles. Great, not only am I trapped in my one clothing, but also in a teeny cubicle with the scent of pee. Sometimes kids forget to flush and that’s ok but it was not helping the situation.


Not convinced this was even going to work I decided that I would have to rip/loosen the elastic enough to push it down over my hips. I grabbed one of the shoulder straps and started pulling, hard. I could hear the stitching creaking under the pressure. I forced my shoulder up and out! Now for the next one, ok, squeeze! Sweat still pumping, breath getting more shallow. What if this doesn’t work and now I am just a woman with a one strapped sports bra! Squeeeeeeeze. Pull. At this point my arm starts to get sore and cramping from being forced into a position it is not used to. Ow, breathe, ow, pull. Once more. Is this was birth feels like??? BOTH SHOULDERS ARE FREE. Now, I just need to get it over my hips, my fine, child-bearing Nolan hips I got off my Daddy. Pushing the bra down, hearing the fibres stretch, feeling the fabric tear, praying it will be over soon. Shimmying, pulling, shimmying once more. Pop! Off it came!


I could have ran around the gym with this surge of freedom I felt! But since I was no longer wearing anything supportive that would have been foolish.


So on went the togs and into the pool I jumped, revelling in my sweet release…