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!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beating the "blanket of humidity" (guest post)

Chris from Alabama, new to running sans shirt, tells his tale.

I grew up in south Alabama where the summer heat and humidity are extreme. It always seemed like shirts were optional for any kind of outdoor activity for my friends, but I never felt comfortable doing that. I’d ditch my shirt to go swimming, but that was about it. Looking back, I think it was because I wasn’t involved in team sports and didn't consider myself athletic.

As an adult, I got a lot more into exercise and fitness and have always been pretty fit. Even with all of my lifting, running, biking, etc., I've never felt comfortable going shirtless. I'll admit that always wanted to feel more comfortable doing so, because it looked like a lot more fun. Mostly, I wanted that confidence that seemed to go with the ability to peel off your shirt before, during, or after a run. I never equated it with exhibition as much as being confident and fit.

I’ve always set and motivated myself to achieve short-term goals. After recently discovering and identifying with @barethomas' blog, I decided that one of my fitness goals in May would be to strip off my shirt during a regular morning run. (A perfect time since that's usually when the blanket of humidity that covers us May - September, moves in) The posts and stories included in the blog helped encourage me to stick to my goals and served as a reminder that there are always people around that understand how you feel.

On one of my morning runs late in May, the summer heat and humidity had kicked in and I knew it was time. I told my neighbor/running-buddy it was time for “power-mode,” and peeled off my shirt to finish the run. I definitely felt more comfortable without the soggy shirt, but it was the surge in confidence and energy that made me finish strong that morning. (I do usually run with my neighbor.  He’s taken his shirt off during a couple of extremely hot mornings, so I never thought that it would he would think twice about it.) After that day, I pulled off my shirt during a run or cool-down a few more times, but as other posts in the blog have mentioned, I knew that my shirt was still there for safety.

In June, I challenged myself to act like a shirtless-convert and leave my house for a run without a shirt. Last week I completed that goal! It felt fantastic, but my running-buddy was on vacation and I knew that made it a little (okay, a LOT) easier. Because of that, I feel like I'm not quite done. It wasn't a normal run.

I’ve continued to leave my house shirtless for more than a week now, but the hurdle of showing up in shorts to meet my running-bud for a typical run is still there. I'll be closer to calling myself a convert then.