May 2015: First up, though I still try to put up blog content whenever I can, it has been easier to more regularly visit the the Twitterverse. Follow me at @barethomas10 and let's keep the shirtless running flag flying. Of course, the blog still attracts very interesting comments, and good discussion. Keep it up.
Second, in the years since this venture launched, and as shirtless running among women has gone increasingly mainstream, the term "jogbra" has clearly declined in use. I will thus prefer "sportsbra" henceforth - as has already been the case on Twitter, and in recent posts here.
I continue to welcome guest posts (sent to email@example.com) on any related topic, including from those who would discourage stripping to the waist. I am myself of course a fervent convert to the joys of running bare. But let all voices be heard!
Monday, March 15, 2010
From time to time, there have been references on this blog to people 'converting' to shirtless running. This is just a figure of speech, mostly: In truth, of course, we happy converts hail - male and female - from every religion and belief system.
That said, in embracing our healthful practice, we can also see ourselves as standing up for certain 'higher' tenets that go beyond just 'Be Comfortable'. A brief summation of such a five-fold 'creed', entirely in keeping with most faiths, might run as follows:
(1) All Are Equal
When we run shirtless, or jogbraed, we voluntarily reject any need to clothe ourselves in fancy attire (though at night, reflective material should be part of our get-up). Our upper body is no longer an advertisement to our financial ability to afford special fabrics, or aesthetically pleasing clothing. We strip ourselves back to the essentials - we wear enough to protect our modesty, but that much anyone can afford.
(2) We Stay True To Our Beliefs
There is always the possibility that someone will demand we 'cover up', that unflattering comments may be directed our way. In ignoring such 'slings and arrows', we declare that we are people who strive not to compromise in doing what we believe is within our rights, where we do not impinge inappropriately on others' lives.
(3) We Declare Our Commonality
By stripping to the waist or jogbra, we dare to be jointly distinctive as a community, and effectively call out in solidarity to every other shirtless runner. This is the 'camaraderie' of being stripped-down together, a powerful oneness despite other differences.
(4) Our Bodies Are Temples
By committing to running and regular exercise, we respect our bodies and put health first (we could, after all, be the sort of 'comfortably shirtless' person who simply lounges about at home)
(5) We Are Unafraid To Set An Example
There is evidence that there are runners who feel constrained by being fully-shirted, yet feel too 'embarrassed' to reduce their attire-load. By presenting ourselves as exemplars, we may lead some to join us and overcome inhibition. Even people who never imagined there was freedom in running shirtless may be inspired by us.
* An important point missed, in your view? An element needs modifying? Just write in! *