Here, Anders in Sweden reminisces about his youthful, shirtless times. Hang on, it's an icy ride...
The picture on top of your homepage just reminds about when i was young, round 16 years. We were some schoolfriends who went running every Sunday, as much for the fellowship as the training. We persuaded more of our friends to join us and soon we were about 10 tough guys running together.
When we were out, we looked much as the runners on that picture. We thought that only cowards ran in jogging suit or shirt. We found in 'tougher' to run in shorts only. We did so the first autumn only until the temperature dropped to zero Centigrade, but next year we stayed bare for the entire winter (and winters are really cold in Scandinavia).
Not all the runners stayed with us when it dropped below zero.
We thought those bailing out were cowards and not tough enough. We got much "good advice" from "more knowledgeable" runners we met and much ironic commentary, such as: Are you training for Alaska?
It made for marvellous fellowship amongst tough guys and good training, too. I just felt a tough guy together with the others. The fellowship made it easier to run in the cold and to run faster.
The best thing was that we became popular among the girls. We asked some girls we knew to be present at the spot where we would reach the endpoint of our run. They came, waited and cheered and clapped their hands. It was marvellous then to chat briefly with them, before we got too cold because we were standing still.
You can call it flirting if you like. Knowing that the girls were waiting for us made the run easier.
After running, if it was cold, we would have boxing glowes in our bags. We would then stage short fights outdoors, when we still were warm. It was on a green common. If just two of us brought gloves, everyone could fight but it would be two at the time. The boxing was also a part of that fellowship. Again, it made us feel more like a tough guy to be in such company.
After running and boxing, we would don our training suits, which we would have stowed in bags on our bicycles, then bike home.
If it was snowing we might substitute a snowball fight for the boxing. We would hurl snowballs at the bare bodies and shove our friends into the snow.
I wrote in because the picture on top of the homepage just looked the same as when we were running in those days.I'm middle-aged now but still cycle a lot.