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'
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!!
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!