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, February 3, 2015

[Guest post] Running shirtless - 'the common sense thing to do'

How one man became 'completely comfortable in his own skin'
by Henry
I grew up in high school not the most athletic person and therefore was very, very insecure with going around shirtless.......even at the pool I would wear a shirt.  I had pale skin, skinny arms and legs, and a gut.  When I did go running it was always with a shirt and I remember the shirt sticking to my skin and a gross feeling when I was done.  Indiana summers can be very unpleasant in terms of heat and humidity.  When I was in college I made a choice to better myself in mind and body.  I remember going to the gym at 6am in the cold Indiana autumn mornings and frigid Indiana winters with no one to spot me or work out with, but I had a goal, and that was to build my self-esteem by building my body.  It took a lot of self-motivation, but being on science scholarship meant I had to maintain all As in science and math, and to have good grades I needed a good regimented program.  By going to the gym I was getting into a healthy routine.  As spring came I noticed that I had a little more definition to my arms and upper body.  In the wintertime I did cardio strictly by swimming, but now it was spring and I wanted to get fresh air.

There was no transition into running shirtless.  I just realized that my physique looked passable enough to run with no shirt on.  I simply drove to the track, stripped my shirt off, applied suntan lotion, and I was off.  After only a few days I had a very healthy tan and felt completely comfortable in my own skin.  Whenever I saw another shirtless runner in better shape than me, it only solidified my motivation to get to the shape he was in.  Now I feel a sense of pride whenever I see a guy, start off running with a shirt on in 90 degree muggy heat until he sees me with no shirt on, eventually stripping his own off.  It's sort of a brief bond that develops between too complete strangers.  Even when I run 5ks I will start with a shirt on with the bib number applied to my shorts knowing at the end I'll be bare chested.  In the summertime I don't strip off in 5ks because I am trying to show off, but it just becomes the common sense thing to do when I can feel the heat and sweat radiating in between my skin and the cloth.  And chafed skin from wearing a shirt is in no way fun.  This upcoming summer I am hoping to run my first 10k, and I'll for sure be shirtless by the end of it.  I love going around outside shirtless and getting a sweet sun tan.  Now I will even do yard work and house painting minus the's the natural thing to do. 

Also, I sleep shirtless too now.  Again, I'm more comfortable in my own skin now and the shirt I've found is very uncomfortable to wear in a bed, even in the wintertime.