Some thoughts about pain and corseting

Lacing help or notIn early April of 2015 I began thinking more about some comments I had recently read, and those over the past few years that I’ve run across, regarding comfort level during waist training or simple corset wearing. Some say that if you experience aching or soreness, you should either take a break from corseting, or loosen up.
The matter seems more complex and nuanced to me. Of course, those who hold that opinion are coming down on the side of caution and I can’t completely disagree.
Yet I wonder how many times you or I start to feel a bit challenged in some endeavor or when wearing our corset, a body ache or pain, and we decide to cut ourselves some slack? Maybe we do loosen up or do take it off and skip a day of corseting. But when do we “cut and run” too early, or too late for that matter? There’s no simple answer.
What if we are generally healthy and our challenge and discomfort has nothing to do with the heart or blood pressure or serious breathlessness, and doesn’t involve notable swelling, bruising, welting, tingling, severe pinching or pushing to the point of truly excruciating pain, isn’t clearly associated with serious acid reflux or migraines? Or what if in our subjective judgment (pain is, after all, a subjective experience), we do experience a bit of pain, yet decide to persist in corseting? I’m not one to say in all circumstances, loosen up.
Consider how many times we have put on an uncomfortable, perhaps pointed-toed, pair of heels and walked farther than was just comfortable, even to the point of getting some blisters. Don’t ballerina’s dance sometimes until their feet bleed? Haven’t we seen marathon runners collapse, or Olympian skiers and runners fall just before the goal line? Sometimes they struggle up and make it!
Some years ago when I was more regularly corseting and gradually lacing down and moving up in wearing hours to achieve noteworthy waist reduction and reach my personal best of 19.5″ (over the corset, of course), quite a few times I kept my corset on and tight-laced beyond just discomfort and even yes, into a good bit of pain. My waistline would ache terribly and I would want out in the worst way. But I would distract myself, move positions, eye the clock, and decide how much longer I could tolerate the challenge.
If we don’t challenge ourselves to reach the boundaries of pain and sometimes beyond, especially as we become experienced corset-wearers with well-seasoned corsets, I’m not certain that we have given waist training our best effort.
My ultimate perspective on the matter is derived from my position of being first a radical feminist and second, a “leaning Libertarian.” You may then understand that at base I believe it is your choice to make in most everything in life including corseting, and my opinion or advice about pain and when to loose up or take your corset off is at base irrelevant.


Postscript: I just saw the newscast on May 8 Friday and Channel 7’s Person of the Week: Sarah Cudd. In fact, Captain Sarah Cudd. Cameras filmed the last few feet of her 12 mile hike in late April  to earn her Expert Field Medical Badge test carrying a 30 lb. pack as she completed training in the Army. The video went viral when posted on Facebook in May:

She fell at least twice just yards from the finish line, with time ticking away. Her army buddies surrounded her to cheer her on and encourage her to get up, to “lean in” (as Facebook executive  Sheryl Sandberg would say), and to struggle on step by step until she crossed the finish line in time.  No one could touch her to help.

Three days ago I watched Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. star in the 2000 movie “Men of Honor”  about the Navy diver, Carl Brashear, an African American, who wanted desperately to reach Master Diver status, and who did so after losing an injured leg (his choice rather than be crippled the rest of his life). It is a remarkable true story. Wearing a new diving suit that weighted 250 lbs., he could barely take the 12 steps required to prove his ability in front of his judgment court, but he did. Two weeks ago I was astounded an my senior center where I now regularly exercise three times a week, to see a lovely, grey-haired petite lady sit down across from me and proceed to follow the instructor’s exercises one by one. Her caregiver was sitting by me. We chatted between huffing and puffing along, and I learned the lady was only 93 years old. Need I say more?


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