Here's the 50th post on the blog, and it's all about spreading the shirtless running bug! It's a guest post by Rockbound. Read on...
Inspiring shirtless running
I've been running for many years, always shirtless if the weather permits. Over those years, there have been numerous times when I suspected my shirtlessness inspired others to "convert". I've never suggested to anyone that they run shirtless or commented on it, so I cannot be sure I was their inspiration, but I strongly believe my example was a factor in some of the cases.
A typical scenario is when someone else's running schedule happens to coincide with yours and you meet them by chance on the road. After a few days, or longer, you notice that they have shed the shirt. This happens more frequently if you wave or exchange a brief greeting with them when meeting. I think the greeting helps make you more "real" to them, and makes shirtlessness seem less intimidating. This sort of thing has happened many times over the years. The most recent example was in the past month, when I met a high-school cross-country team starting their preseason training. All these runners wore shirts the first couple of days I saw them. By the third or fourth day, several of the guys on the team were running shirtless.
It's not always runners that are inspired. For several years, I've seen a guy who walks along some of my running trails. After two or three years, I noticed that he'd started taking off his shirt for at least part of his walk.
Sometimes, the inspiration seems to work quickly. A few months ago, I met a young woman running in the opposite direction. She wore shorts and a T-shirt. I waved as we passed, but she did not respond. Toward the end of my run, we met again. By then, she had rolled her T-shirt up over her sports bra, exposing her midriff. Now happily "shirtless", she waved, said hello and even made a remark about the weather. I was amazed at the transformation!
Why does shirtlessness inspire shirtlessness? I think there are two big reasons.
The first is confidence, which can be contagious. Your confident shirtlessness demonstrates to others that it's okay to run shirtless. People often hate to be the only one doing something, so you help their confidence by setting an example.
Next, I think that shirtless runners are happier, enjoying their runs more than many others, and that enjoyment is clearly evident to others. Think about it -- don't you see shirtless runners smiling more, showing more confidence, having more of a spring in their step, than most shirted runners? That positive attitude and enhanced pleasure in the running, I believe, inspires others to do likewise and make their runs more fun.
Let's keep setting an example and inspiring others!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!