Goodbye, 'Jogbra'...

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 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!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest post: One new full convert's story

Richard has just this year become a full convert to shirtless running. He describes his journey in the following post (the 49th on this blog: The next will be our 50th)!

'I had thought of doing it for several years'
by Richard

Running shirtless… it is something I had thought of doing for several years.  I’d seen people on the streets – sans shirt.  I wondered what others might think.  A few had great bodies.  Most – like me – were less than sculpted, just average.  A few were maybe even less than that.

Now 45, I finally got the nerve to give shirtless running a shot just one year ago.  Sure, the fears existed.  What would people think?  What if I was spotted – naked from the waist up – by a neighbor or co-worker?  But, it didn’t matter.  Inspired and given reassurance by Bare Thomas’ Running Shirtless blog, I took to the streets.

Much to my surprise and comfort, I have survived.  I’ve moved from a safety shirt in my hand to a full convert. In fact, just recently, I didn’t store my condo keys in my normal hiding place, so I had to buzz another building resident to let in her shirtless neighbor!

Running barechested is liberating and comfortable.  No shirt sticking to my torso on humid days.  A cool breeze on my skin.  I have a 4.5 mile loop – on well-traveled streets – and I have yet to cause any accidents or be scolded/ laughed at by anyone.  In fact, I’m just now becoming secure enough to stand pat at street crossings (waiting for the lights to change and right time to safely cross).  Previously, I’d run a little to the left or right and loop around, rather than take the chance of those cars viewing my bare chest while they waited at the light.  I’m now convinced no one is bothered by my average torso being exposed.

Now, I look forward to running shirtless.  It’s fun, relaxing and easy.  The “what is he doing” stares – if they exist – aren’t evident.  My runs are better than ever (I didn’t say faster than ever!).

I thank Bare Thomas and his blog, and all those who contribute,  for giving me the courage and the push to shed my shirt and get out on the streets.  From this point forward, my neighborhood runs, weather permitting, will be shirtless.

I still haven’t run into – literally – any friends or co-workers on my shirtless jaunts.  I don’t run shirtless when I run from my work place (we have facilities here).  But I’m convinced I can continue the movement to shirtless running … and hopefully inspire others to join me.

Just do it!!


Hairy Jim said...

Great post. And one that illustrates, once again, the crazy way in which some of us build up the idea of going barechested into something it is clearly not -- disgusting, exhibitionist, etc. One of the most surprising things to many of us who have feared going shirtless, but wanted to, is how little others seem to care. Here we thought the whole world was going to pass judgment on our body fat, body hair -- whatever, and we find, to our amazement, they're 'barely' paying attention! Congratulations on your conversion... I wish you many more shirtless miles ahead!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm glad you did what you wanted. I myself am about to "convert" but rather quickly than others. I have never jogged outside at all, or all together, and I needed some convincing to run shirtless. Although I will run shirtless today it will be at night, due to my busy schedule,but when summer comes around that will change for sure.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog, and it is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Ever since I can remember, I have been afraid to be shirtless in public. I'm not overweight, but I've always had a poor body image. Nevertheless, I've forced myself to be shirtless when I jog. It hasn't been easy, but I am trying.

One of my biggest concerns is my profession. I am clergy, and I often wonder if it is inappropriate for the neighborhood to see their clergy-person half naked. I welcome opinions on this!

Phil said...

I think the self image that we have of ourselves tends to be far worse than actual reality. I also had a significant self image problem and rarely went shirtless when outside. The only time my shirt came off was when it was time to go in the water at the pool or beach, once out of the water, the shirt went back on immediately. I am not overweight and have an average body type, so being afraid of going shirtless was a self created problem.

My first exposure to running shirtless came several years ago when I started marathon training and joined up with a small weekend group of running buddies. The group leader set the route, pace and when his shirt came off the others followed, except for me. After running with the group couple of months, I was told that I needed start losing the shirt. I reluctantly complied and other then feeling very self-conscious at first, I felt much cooler and had better runs. However, once the marathon training was over, my group running ended and so did my shirtless running.

Since my group run experience proved to me that running shirtless was the best way to go, I eventually got up the courage to start running shirtless on my own. I started out by only going the safety shirt route, but have since dropped the safety shirt and now run shirt-free. My confidence was put to the test last weekend at a race that some of my coworkers were also running. However, I held strong and went shirtless upon putting race number on my shorts and meet up with my coworkers. It was a wet muggy morning so only 3 guys showed up and none of them ran races much. Initially they seemed surprised that I was shirtless and after joking with me a bit, two of the guys also decided to also go shirtless. The bottom line is the confidence that you display in yourself may go to help inspire others to enjoy the freedom of shirtless running.

chaco sandals said...

I don't have much idea on doing shirtless running. I just heard this twice..I think about it..Well it sounds cool...I love this post.

newbie shirtless runner said...

Love your story/post as it is very similar to my own. I just converted to shirtless running after a lifetime of excessive self-consciousness. My experiences on local trails have been similar to yours on the street - nobody seems to care and the odd stares I was sure would follow me just don't seem to happen. It is also very confidence building and liberating in ways that apply to many areas of my life besides just running. Thank you for sharing and helping me "see the light".

marmot ski said...

i like this blog, very inspiring! keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I met up with a buddy of mine last weekend for a long run, which was the first time we ran together. I was a nice spring like day around 15c (59f ). I ran shirtless of course, however my buddy ran with a long sleeve shirt and shorts. About 30 minutes into our run, my buddy started to complain that he was getting too hot. I suggested that he tie his shirt around his waist and toss it at the half way point when we stopped for water at the car. He stated that he never ran without a shirt before, so he decided to keep it on. However, after arriving at the car he finally decided to give it a try and tossed his shirt for the first time. During our second loop run, he mentioned that it felt much better to be running shirtless.