Doug Brown was kind enough to allow his post at Brand Intervention to be reproduced on this site. It extends the benefits of running shirtless into the branding arena.
I prefer running to every other form of summer exercise because I don’t need much in the way of gear to get going.
Shoes and shorts. A shirt to prevent mass hysteria. Sunglasses to
reduce the glare, and a cap on my head. Tunes and podcasts seem to make
the miles fly by, so I take my iPod along. And I keep an eye on the time
with my trusty old Timex sport watch.
With these, I’m ready to go.
This week as I was cruising along through Esquimalt, fully kitted
with the gear I’ve mentioned, I was struck by a thought: How much was
all this gear removing me from the essence of what I was doing?
I wondered how much more authentic my experience would be if I peeled away the superfluous.
This is a principle marketing philosophy of mine, which I might summarize as reductio ad absurdum.
To get to the heart of anything, you reduce elements to the point where
further reduction renders the thought or the action, incomprehensible
So yesterday I went for a very different run: one without audio distractions, visual barriers, time-keepers or unnecessary gear.
I took it one step further by going shirtless. All I had left was a pair of shoes and shorts.
Honestly, I felt naked as hell for the first few minutes. But then I relaxed and connected to the experience.
It was probably the first authentic run I have had in 20 years. I was
fully present in the essence of the activity, not distancing myself
from it by add-ons. To remove any one of the remaining elements would
have created absurdity or injury. Or a police chase!
Reductio ad absurdum is the perfect criteria to measure
against any brand definition, idea or ad, because it strips away the
unnecessary and gets to the heart of the thing.
Running virtually naked is an excellent reminder of the principle.
No, you can’t see a photo.
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!