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 barethomas@gmail.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!

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.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great job! I, too, always felt uncomfortable without a shirt, but wanted to do so. I go to a lake to run and in the March to October range, a lot, if not most guys run shirtless. Really helped me strip down. I still don't run shirtless around home. Another goal to kick. I am very happy to hear you have gone a full week shirtless on your runs. I can't wait to hear how it went when your running buddy was back. I am sure he will be fine with it and I hope you inspire him to lose the shirt permanently, too.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply, Jamie!

I'd call myself a convert now. My running bud didn't react negatively. He only commented that it was #noshirtMonday or #noshirtfriday a couple of days. It feels great and it has definitely been confidence-building. I say, go for it!

Chris

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Congratulations! Is your buddy running shirtless, too, now? That would be great, if you both go shirtless full-time.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

He hasn't yet, but it won't suprise me when he does.

Anonymous said...

Did a 5K shirtless, Jamie! Whoop!

Chris

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris! Nice job! How was it? Were you nervous before hand? I have not made it to this point yet. I am not a very fast runner, so that makes it a little harder. If I were faster, it would be easier to strip down.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

It was fun, Jamie! I was extremely nervous. I'm not fast, either, but I made up my mind to go for it. Do it!

Chris

Jordan said...

Great article, and great accomplishment! I too have run shirtless alone but not with someone else. I wouldn't know what to say, but I'd feel the need to say something without drawing too much attention to my shirt coming off. "Power mode" wouldn't sound right to me, I could maybe pull off "#NoshirtMonday" though. Very curious to know what other shirtless runners say when they're about to take their shirt off.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Jordan, the "what I was going to say" was what worried me. I didn't think he'd care and he'd taken his off once or twice before when it was hot. I'd pulled mine off when he wasn't there, but walking down the street to meet my running bud out of the blue shirtless seemed like it needed a statement. He handed me the statement with #noshirtmonday. I agreed and told him that it was hot and this felt a few degrees cooler. It's just how I show up now

Chris

Empire said...

Gentlemen! Great to read your posts! I wanted to do it for so long just to prove to myself that I was an adult and had no reason to care what other people thought.

I'm a counselling student and decided to utilise a cognitive behaviour technique which is experimentation; basically doing something you're not used to and noting whether the experience was positive or negative.

I went to the park with a shirt on and started to run. I eventually happened across a private path that was deserted and I whipped off my shirt. I felt amazingly empowered but also...very normal. As I continued to run I felt warm.

Eventually I decided to go back to my car knowing I had to pass people. I just went for it and kept the shirt off. I'm skinny but no one remarked or cared at all and I felt so good about myself.

The next time and the time after that and the time after that I just left the shirt in the car. Cool or warm I run sans shirt because it empowers me!

I met my running partner for the first time and simply said "I get hot when I run, will you feel uncomfortable if I take my shirt off?" He said 'no' and off it went.

Just go for it because you deserve to feel good about yourself and be your own person! Know that you're not alone and that we're your bros who've got your back!

Anonymous said...

It is a great feeling of freedom, Empire! It's fun when it starts to become part of how you experience running, huh?

Chris

Empire said...

Absolutely! I actually don't like running but doing it shirtless motivates me and helps me to enjoy myself. I never run with a shirt on now regardless of whether the sun's out lol.
My whole perspective has changed. If someone looks at me or laughs as I run by, my internal responses aren't paranoid anymore. There are just so many rewards from this one adventure.

Anonymous said...

There you go! I enjoy it a lot more too!

Chris

Anonymous said...

A few mornings ago the weather was hot with very high humidity. My nonagenarian mother-in-law sat at her kitchen table looking out the window. When I came into the room she said, "Five naked men just ran by the house." Should have seen the gleam in her eye! I think it was a real thrill.

Thanks Empire for the way you have expressed this freedom. It is reasonable to protect others from harm, but not reasonable to protect others' feelings at our own expense. I second your admonition. Go for it. No harm done.

Anonymous said...

The freedom, the comfort, the confidence-boost...it's a great way to start the day!

UK dad said...

It's my favourite time of the year when there's a nice nip in the air when running around 6am in the morning. For a few weeks now I have been joined on my run by my eldest son (11) If he wants to wear a shirt or vest then it's fine but a couple of days ago he chose just to come out in shorts and trainers and experienced his first barechested run. I've run barechested for a number of years but have never forced my eldest to come along, let alone be stripped to the waist. Today was the 3rd day the pair of us were out together barechested and he says he's enjoying it. He just can't believe that when I was his age it was normal for PE and a lot of Games lessons to have either teams of vests and skins, or more commonly, everyone as skins......how times change, but if given the opportunity, boys would embrace exercising barechested.

Sam said...

Good for you UK dad - it's fantastic that your example has inspired your son to go running barechested. I wouldn't imagine that at 11 he is too self conscious of his body and by the time he enters his teens it'll feel totally normal. As you say, a generation ago he would have experienced PE lessons in skins - as you did and I did too. It's a pity that practice now seems to have died out in UK schools.

UK dad said...

You're right, he's definitely not self conscious. He finds it a fun thing to do which is good too.

I feel that structured PE lessons in skins really should be part of school life, for one thing it would sort out the "body issues" problem, encourage the youngsters to take pride in their own physique and I'm sure the girls wouldn't object to seeing them in skins either.. Incidentally a couple of weeks ago his class had PE on one of the hottest September days for a while....what did they wear? a rugby top... absolutely mad.

Sam said...

Yes, that really makes no sense. From what you say your son would certainly have been quite happy doing the lesson in skins and, especially in the heat, I'm sure most of the other boys would have felt more comfortable too.
As you say there are several reasons why it would be good for boys to do at least some PE barechested - and if girls today are anything like they were at my school, they definitely won't object! We all wanted to look cool in front of the girls and even more so if we happened to be in skins.

piracua said...

Great article and great comments! Yesterday I run shirtless for my very first time. I peeled off during my run and it was great. It's a shame the cool weather is coming. I did it on a trail and I'll try to do this at least a few times before cold weather arrives. I had not run for years but the option of running shirtless has encouraged me to start again running and doing it always shirtless!

sprtsluvrr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Stayed shirtless for the rest of the season for sure, and pretty much every time it warms up, like this week! The neighbor hasn't joined me, but I won't be surprised when he does.

C

Shirtless George said...

I'm shirtless nearly 24 hours a day from spring until end of fall with some exceptions, such as when I go to work, in the middle of winter when it's too cold, or anywhere with a dress code. On the way home I'm influenced into going shirtless in the car all the time

Mark Rodriguez said...

My name is Mark and I'd started doing my shirtless jog here in Houston back when I was forty just to see why guys does that. I'd came across a guy who was doing something in the car and in case he'll ask me what was I doing with no shirt on and some people are prude and I had said to him just jogging. He doesn't mind me doing it. It felt good that day. Just to let you know.

Shirtless George said...

I already started riding my bike without a shirt on, so far nobody pays any attention to it since I don't do it to be narcissistic but to be more comfortable, I live in Arizona so it's too hot to wear anything above my waist, next I'll try running while shirtless and would only play on a shirts vs skins team if I could be skins. And I'm shirtless as I'm riding this,took my shirt off while I was in the car

Toby said...

Good for you George, I'm interested to know how you get on with running shirtless as I'm trying to build up the courage to do that myself. It's a bit cooler than Arizona where I live (in the UK!) But even so, with summer approaching I would like to start running without a top. Any tips or advice you (or anyone else) can give would be gratefully received!

Shirtless George said...

Next tine just leave the house without a shirt on, and don't pay attention to what other people will think.id rather be in the UK in summertime, but in my case I got introduced to the shirtless lifestyle at home in my late teens, but I do cover up when it gets too cold or any time it'd be considered bad manners(such as if I had a bunch of company over). Since my 20s I've kept my shirt off nearly 24 hours a day at home with some exceptions I stated earlier,

Shirtless Robbie said...

Congratulations, Chris, that is awesome! Glad you have found the self-confidence to ditch the shirt, running shirtless is more comfortable and motivating at the same time.

Any chance you would be interested in writing a guest post for the Shirtless Freedom blog? Most of the posts have pictures and you are certainly welcome to share some if you want, but a text post is fine, too. I would like to get a bit more of the personal experience aspect of things on the blog.

Anonymous said...

I just need motivation to run shirtless. I will take of my shirt, but when cars go past I put it back on because I am worried about being seen by neighbors driving past. I am wondering if anyone has any tips?

Paul said...

I know exactly what you mean - I used to do exactly the same thing. And it feels really unpleasant putting a shirt on when your skin is already covered in sweat!
If you don't yet feel confident enough to leave your shirt at home altogether, how about taking it off and leaving it at a point on the route that you'll pass again - maybe behind a tree or on a fence? That way you'll force yourself to stay bare-chested for at least a while no matter what. And maybe by the time you return to where you left your shirt, you'll have got more comfortable with the feeling of running without one and just tuck it into your shorts instead of replacing it?
Worked for me anyway... good luck!

Anonymous said...

I feel confident enough to leave my shirt at home, what's the point of putting it back on when you're just going to be sweating into it?that motivates me to not worry about people think of me shirtless. Once I take off my shirt, it stays off until the following day. I will even go to bed without a shirt on, and during vacation weeks I still keep it off the entire week 24/7

Shirtless George said...

I feel confident enough to leave my shirt at home.That helps me to not feel shy at the last minute and put it back on. I do everything while shirtless the time of year, unless I have to cover up. I live the permanent shirtless lifestyle, I've run shirtless before, even rode my bike while shirtless too.And I am still shirtless as I write this. I do everything that way, including the occasional running

Dave said...

The weather in the UK has been a bit hit and miss this summer. But today is quite warm. When it is nice I quite often go on bike rides and cycle without a shirt. It is quite warm today so can't wait to finish work and go for a run. I dont usually run without a shirt but last week when it was warm I went for a run - mid run when I got hot I lifted my t shirt over my head to expose chest (partially shirtless i guess) but tonight I will probably remove it altogether. I love the freedom of being shirtless but haven't yet got the confidence to leave the house and start the run without a shirt altogether.... Still need that safety shirt!

Shirtless George said...

I can easily leave the house without taking a safety shirt with me. I did it once before, only that time I wasn't running or riding my bike. I was walking across the street to a friends house with my shirt off, and didn't take a shirt with me for an emergency. Eventually I'll move onto shirtless running and shirtless bike riding without bringing a shirt with me

Anonymous said...

This chat encouraged me a lot to start running shirtless, for real to start running. I never liked running but when I arrived to the USA and saw some guys running shirtless I thought to myself "I would like to do it". At the beginning of 2017 spring I decided to do it and I got to a trail in my car with no shirt on, I hop off my car took my shirt off and start running. Was great! What a freedom sensation! I was a little bit nervous abouthow the people could react but most of them not even fixed their eyes on me and some others geeted me with a smile and a couple of guys thumb up, it was encouraging. Theb I moved to an apartment very close to the trail, i can get there walking, and i started getting next to the trail to a place where i can warm up, arriving there and warm up with my shirt on and before start running i took of my shirt and hanged it up behind a sign beside The trail, so i could enjoy the whole route shirtless, took it at the end and put it on before arriving to the building. Sometimes i felt a little concerned about if someone could take my shirt and i couldnt find it and i would be obligated to arrive home shirtless, ha ha! I thought "it would be a good excuse to let me be seen shirtless bu sine of mu neighbors, was a mix of fear and excitement, but my shir was always there.
The next challenge was to leave my apartment bare chested. I need to lock the door, go down the stairway, cross the parking lot and get to the road by half a mile and then get to the trail. What I deed was to wait for the summer days when early morning it use to be hot enough to have a good excuse to leave and arrive shirtless, so I chose to do it at that time because there were less to find a neighbor inn muy way and out worked perfect! I went running shirtless the whole summer at least three times a week and felt awesome. Now for me running means going shirtless. Like swimmers or boxers do their sports shirtless and nobody complains about it, why would someone complain about someone else running shirtless? Now it is autumn and running sans shirt is not that easy because off the temperatures, but when it is more than 60 I don't hesitate on doing it. The best of running shirtless for me is that I started loving running, and now I'm willing to run shirted!! If weather requires it, but always longing for the hot days to close and open the door of my apartment only wearing my shorts and shoes! If you're thinking on doing it, just start!! You won't repent, nobody will brother you. Let's be more the shirtless running guys than the shirted!

Anonymous said...

This chat encouraged me a lot to start running shirtless, for real to start running. I never liked running but when I arrived to the USA and saw some guys running shirtless I thought to myself "I would like to do it". At the beginning of 2017's spring I decided to do it and I got to a trail in my car with my shirt on, I hop off my car took my shirt off and start running. Was great! What a freedom sensation! I was a little bit nervous about how the people could react but most of them not even fixed their eyes on me and some others greeted me with a smile and a couple of guys thumbed up, it was encouraging. Then I moved to an apartment very close to the trail, I can get there walking, and i started getting next to the trail to a place where i can warm up, arriving there and warm up with my shirt on and before start running i took of my shirt and hanged it up behind a sign beside The trail, so i could enjoy the whole route shirtless, took it at the end and put it on before arriving to the building. Sometimes i felt a little concerned about if someone could take my shirt and i couldn't find it and i would be obligated to arrive home shirtless, ha ha! I thought "it would be a good excuse to let me be seen shirtless by some of my neighbors, it was a mix of fear and excitement, but my shirt was always there.
The next challenge was to leave my apartment bare chested. I need to lock the door, go down the stairway, cross the parking lot and get to the road by half a mile and then get to the trail. What I did was to wait for the summer days when early morning it use to be hot enough to have a good excuse to leave and arrive shirtless, so I chose to do it at that time of the day because there were less probabilities to find a neighbor in my way and it worked perfect! I went running shirtless the whole summer at least three times a week and felt awesome. Now, for me, running means going shirtless. Like swimmers or boxers do their sports shirtless and nobody complains about it, why would someone complain about someone else running shirtless? Now it is autumn and running sans shirt is not that easy because of the temperatures, but when it is more than 60 I don't hesitate on doing it. The best of running shirtless for me is that I started loving running, and now I'm even willing to run shirted!! (If weather requires it), but always longing for the hot days to close and open the door of my apartment only wearing my shorts and shoes! If you're thinking on doing it, just start!! You won't repent, nobody will bother you. Let's be more the shirtless running guys than the shirted!

Anonymous said...

Please forgive me for publishing my coment twice. I used my cellphone to do it and i noticed it had a lot of mistakes, so I wanted to correct them and publish it again

Anonymous said...

I remember feeling a lot of trepidation the first time I took my shirt off during a run around my neighbourhood some years ago. I was around 14 or 15 at the time and went running a couple times a week. The weather was usually pretty unbearble and by the end of the run i'd want nothing more than to peel off my wet shirt but always held back because I was worried my neighbours would see me barechested. Even the idea of my older sister seeing me return sans a shirt and poking fun made me hesitant. Most of all though I was worried that my next door neighbour, a girl about same age as me who attended the same school,and whom I was developing a massive crush on would catch a glimpse of me shirtless.

One day the heat was just too much though and halfway through my run, I stripped off in a somewhat more secluded and wooded area, thinking if I saw anyone I knew I could quickly put my top back on. But it felt so much more comfortable feeling the air cooling my bare body I guess I decided to risk staying shirtless all the way back home.

As fate would have it of course, just as I approached my home, my neighbour and another girl emerged from the house and saw me almost instantly and at a glance noted my half clothed state. It was too late to put my shirt back on now so I slowed down and approached my own doorstep as nonchalantly as I could, wiping my sweat away with my shirt and pretending to only notice them at the last instant. Burying my embarassment, I smiled and waved at them only expecting a wave back or more likely, stifled giggling, but surprisingly they actually engaged me in conversation! They said they were surprised anyone could run in this heat and even commenting on my body, saying how I looked good shirtless. It was of course a huge confidence boost for a teenage boy and since then, I have been running shirtless more often than not. My neighbour and I even dated for a while after and we would sometimes run together, my shirt usually being removed at her request! Once in a while she would relent to my own pestering and she too would strip down to a sports bra ;p

Anonymous said...

Well done mate, I sure wish I had the confidence to leave the house without a shirt and go running. I feel stupid for really being so vain, if I had a great athletic looking body I would’nt care what friends and neighbors thought of me. I am just worried that they will judge how I look and think that my over 50 body ought to be covered up. In the future I intend to move to a different area and will start being shirtless as weather permits as often as possible. In the meantime any advice would be appreciated?

Shirtless George said...

IN the United States men are told that only physically fit guys with six pack abs should go shirtless and that everyone else should practically dress like the 19th century if they don't look like male models or the male bimbos on stereotyped reality shows. My advice to Matt would be to simply leave his shirt at home and not worry about other people will think.im looking forward to spring because I'll get to start keeping my shirt off no matter what I'm doing as soon as it warms up. End of February is when I start keeping my shirt off almost 24/7 at home.

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Peter said...

Hey I'm from Hong Kong and I really enjoy running shirtless as it's much more comfortable and enjoyable. At first I'd still hesitate to start running without a shirt and I'd only take off my shirt midway when I feel so hot. However later I find it is more convenient to leave without a shirt at the very beginning. I particularly enjoy the feeling of my skin being in touch with fresh air and sunshine, and how my torso becomes shiny with all the sweat. Being shirtless also motivates me do work out more frequently to build up muscles and to me it's a display of manhood. It saves my laundry as I can wash less sweaty t-shirts too. Besides running, I also enjoy being shirtless while working out, hiking, staying in dormitory or even walking on the street.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason why there are no new posts on this blog?

Anonymous said...

One time we were doing PE and we were playing football at sea. It was winter and we were with a vest because there were around 35/38 F. degrees. One of my friend made my a strong faul and I reacted so that teacher order me to take off my shirt and to play without it as a punishment. It was very cold but I was used to it because sometimes I run in snow bare chested. The problem was that I threw her my shirt so that she got very angry and said: “ok if you don’t want to go to the headmaster for this, just go into the sea” I was frozen, without a shirt and it also started raining, in fact my classmates went to repare under a palm, but I had to do this thing to avoid the headmaster so I entered in the sea and remained there for some minutes. When I came out she didn’t give me back my shirt so that I was shirtless with pouring rain on my chest and I couldn’t warm in any way... unluckily I reacted another time to the teacher so after we went back to school on foot, obviously I was still shirtless under rain, she said ok we must continue. She said ok I put your shirt in your class but you’ll go back school after other 2 hours of excericises. She let me run for other 10 kilometer in a park near school. It was very muddy and my chest got dirty. Then she let me made a lot of push ups near puddles so that I can got more dirty. At the end of the punishment, which lasted 3 hours, she said “ok you’re tough, you can go back school on foot, I’ll go back by car because there are 5 kilometres”... the last 5 kilometers I was too tired, it stopped raining but it started hailing and my chest was covered in mud, grass, water and other dirty things.. at the end I discovered that it wasn’t only a punishment because she also gave me 10 which is the maximum vote so that all this effort was paid.. moreover it was very exciting too and I think that in the future I could do this thing another time, maybe even more tough

Anonymous said...

Have you got a shower before going back to your class?

Anonymous said...

No because school had just closed and my shirt was inside. Yeah, there were 32/33 F, less than in the morning, it was hailing and I was still bare chested with chest covered by mud and grass... but I cannot do anything else than catching the bus as I was, shirtless..

Eric said...

I had a similar experience when I was training for a run.. it was January and the temperature was very very low in mountain where I live (around 20 F) so that I decided to go out with a shirt. After I reached the destination, however, I was alone, because I asked for a passage to one of my friends so that after I went away there was anyone except for me and it would be the problem. In fact, I started running for many kilometres but during the run I ha to pass a small mountain river. At that point I decided to take off my shirt because running with a wet shirt would be impossible,. I was excited to experimenting shirtless run on Alps with no shirt but during the passage my shirt which I had placed inside my shorts was taken away by the power of the stream, so that I remained totally shirtless with
20 F, moreover I was wet and I couldn’t warm with anything. The only thing that I could do was to run very fast in order not to feel cold, but I had to run a lot because I’ve told my friend to come back after 4 hours. I was so tired that I stopped running even if it was freezing, so that I was there, in just shorts, waiting for an hour my friend. However, I think this was a great experience to improve my physical attitudes, infact I get used to this cold especially because it helped me to run faster to get warm. Next time I went in mountain, even with 15 degrees, I didn’t take with me a safety shirt, because the more I felt cold, the more I run, the more I got in shape.
What do you think about this experience? Have you ever tried such a similar experience or another one like the one described by the comment before?

Anonymous said...

Eric

Are you the same guy as Anonymous acouple of posts above. Your writing style is remarkable similar, and your experience equally improbable!

Eric said...

Yes i’m the same guy, in the first comment I didn’t want to put my name but ok then I did.
Regarding stories, trust me, they really happened.can you explain me why not?

barethomas said...

Time. And not having enough of it!

Shirtless George said...

Instead of just running shirtless, I actually still do everything shirtless. If I get a chance to do so, I will even walk home from work shirtless too. And I frequently ride in the car without a shirt on too. Nobody seems to have any objection to that

Jeremy said...

Hi George, like you I like being shirtless and i usually take off my shirt not only for running, walking or driving... I often play airsoft shirtless! It started during an hot day when everyone decided to take off our shirts. Since then, we go to the place where we played without a shirt so that, if someone ordered us to wear a shirt, we cannot do it. We played near an abandoned house so it was full of bushes and dirty places where to hide in, even shirtless. The advantage was that we didn’t feel hot and the disadvantage was that we got very dirty (especially our bare chest). Even though the place was far from town, so we didn’t care of being dirty, one day three/four girls were walking there and they saw us in that conditions. It was funny because nobody of us had a shirt so we decided to continue playing as we were, with sweat and mud on our chest and a group of girls watching us. I think they were excited to see us in such conditions, because the next day they were there and at the end we became friends. I want to ask you if you have ever played paintball/airsoft shirtless and why did you choose to do it ?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this season is now over. I can't wait until spring rolls around again. Anyone else have the same sentiment?

Anonymous said...

I went walking with a friend this summer in the countryside, and he took off his shirt and made me do the same. This was a first for me as I don't normally spend time shirtless as I'm quite shy and don't have a great body. But I'm glad he made me. The last time was probably at school when we always had to do shirts and skins in PE. Even tho we were all boys and soon knew what each other looked like barechested, I never really got used to being topless. I always felt very awkward and naked standing around in just my PE shorts. Looking back I'm not sure why it was a big deal, especially as my classmates were all quite used to seeing me stripped to the waist, and they all seemed comfortable when they had to be topless. Next summer I'll have to try the walking again and get more confident.

Anonymous said...

I have been insecure for most of my life about the way I look because I am so thin. I never took my shirt off even in the pool. Over the past couple years I have become more and more comfortable in my skin and have challenged myself to do as much as I can shirtless (even when I'm feeling extremely uncomfortable). I'll walk around the house shirtless, ride bikes shirtless, go running shirtless and anything else I can do shirtless. I have even gone to the beach by myself and rocked the speedo but that is another story for another blog.

I have friends who also have insecurities and don't like to be shirtless so I challenge them to lose the shirt too. Sometimes they do reluctantly and sometimes it takes them awhile until they realize it is so hot and they see all the other shirtless runners being so free. Once they do you can see their insecurities melt and they feel really comfortable.

This summer my friends and I went on a hiking trail in the middle of summer. The temperature was at least 98 degrees not including the humidity which brought the temp to at least 102 degrees or more. My friend, Cameron brought his girlfriend Joanna with us and so my insecurities went to the max so I unfortunately I wore a shirt and I hated it! The entire time the 4 of us were running I was thinking about losing the shirt. How could I do it? When? What would I say? What would she say?

As we were about half way running through the trail, Cameron was struggling so I stayed back with him while the other 2 ran ahead of us. As we started back running, 3 shirtless runners whizzed passed us like glorious stallions and that was it. As quickly as they passed by us, I ripped off my shirt, stuck it in my backpack and ran like the wind. Cam was shocked (he is insecure) by how free I was and I kept on going until I turned the corner catching up to Taylor and Joanna who were both waiting for us.

As we approached they were both amazed and she said "Wow, we were just saying how hot it is and Taylor was wanting to take off his shirt too."

And that was his cue. Taylor ripped his shirt off too and we both felt so free. We challenged Cameron to do the same since he was sweating profusely but he was too insecure so after a couple nudging we let him be and started running again. About 10 minutes later we told Cameron that he would feel a lot more comfortable without the shirt because he was starting to overheat. That's when he gave up the insecurities and lost that shirt too.

There we were, three shirtless guys forgetting the awkwardness. Feeling confident with what we were doing, I documented this moment in an Instagram Story which I would never have done in the past.

Next summer, I am ready to start each run leaving my shirt in the car no matter the situation. The feeling is so freeing and I encourage you to do the same. Hopefully I can bulk some more so I can post some shirtless photos too.

Cheers!

Jamie said...

Hey Anonymous. Great story. Glad to hear you are so free being shirtless. Two questions. First, what was the tipping point for you starting to go shirtless. Second, after that run, did Cameron and Taylor run shirtless full-time, too? Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I think the tipping point was the fact that I felt "less than" whenever i would wear a shirt to the pool. There was something longing or missing. I would start running shirtless whenever I was far away from people but then over time I got more comfortable.

Even now when I start to feel insecure I find another shirtless runner on the trail and run nearby so I feel like i have a fellow shirtless friend. One of the trails I run has a bunch of us especially in the summer. It's almost strange if you aren't shirtless.

Taylor will do anything shirtless but Cam...well he is a work in progress.

What is your experience again Jamie?

Jamie said...

My story is listed down below on this blog, if you want to read it. It is listed as "guest post", maybe four or five posts below this one. I did run shirtless in my neighborhood a few times, but way early in the morning before everyone was up. A few neighbors saw me, but I was ok. I have since moved to a house, but haven't run shirtless in the neighborhood yet (just stuck to trails), maybe next spring. I did take advantage of having to do yardwork by going shirtless to cut the grass, etc., so my neighbors here know I like being shirtless.

Glad Taylor is shirtless pro. Keep working on Cam. Invite him out to run with you and keep nudging him towards shirtlessness.

Jamie

Dan said...

That's a great story Jamie. Keep being confident. What do you currently believe is your hesitation?

I try to do things so I don't ever look back with regret. Being shirtless around people you know is more intimidating internally than it really should be. Last summer several of us guys went to the pool for the first time as a group. I pretended like I wasn't insecure about being shirtless and not a single one of them said anything to me. We were all just one shirtless dudes playing watervolleyball.

One thing I've used to help me get used to showing so much skin is wearing low tank tops everywhere shirtlessness is not acceptable. Then it becomes second nature almost.

I've also learned to appreciate being thin especially seeing how so many cross country and track runners are my build.

So leave that shirt at home, and the first moment of great weather do a run around your neighborhood. No one really cares and there is probably some other guy or girl that is waiting for someone to take the lead. Taylor and I will be the leaders this spring!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I want to share my experience. The first time I was shirtless was for a bet. I hated being shirtless in public but I managed to overcome this fear. I was, with other friends, playing at home. Suddenly it started snowing and one of my friends told me his story when he run shirtless in snow, and he said: “ I bet that you cannot do this”. Obviously I never run shirtless, especially in snow, but you know, when you are with other friends it seems you’re weak, they said “no you can’t you can’t” to provoke me. So I decided to try this experience. I wanted to take shirt with me but my friend said no, you have to leave it at home and so I did. The problem was when I was outside because I thought I had to stay ther for just a second but my friend close the window, and I was shirtless in the middle of a snowstorm. At that point I had to warm myself and the only way to do it was to run. I started running shirtless in snow and frankly I felt better because I was warming myself. It was a strange feeling, snow on my chest mixed with sweat. I never tried it but at that point it was the only thing I could do. There was only a moment that I didnt like too much, because it started hailing, and to protect myself (snow is cold but hail on bare chest is painful) I went into a sort of small tunnel that I discovered to be a sewage tunnel. You could imagine how my chest became, very very dirty. But, except for this, it was exciting and I want to run shirtless another time. My friends were astonished because they couldn’t believe I could resist but I did. They only laughed because of my dirty chest, but it was the only way to avoid hail on my bare chest

Anonymous said...

Any new shirtless convert stories for this new running season?

Ira said...

I've been experimenting with more shirtless runs, for a while and the stories here inspired me to try it more during the winter as well as the rest of the year. Mostly I took my shirt with me, cause I couldn't face people thinking me totally bonkers. I've been running barefoot quite a bit of the time for about ten years now, since the "Born to Run" barefoot-running fad started (the fad's gone, but I'm still running barefoot). So when people see me running wearing just my key-belt and shorts, and maybe carrying an ID, they can really think I'm "crazy:" I started carrying ID or a phone for if I get stopped by the police! I got into this "Spartan" phase a couple of years ago, doing Cross-Fit, yoga, and running barefoot, as well as reading about parkour and Erwan Le Corre's MoveNat, and experimenting with the Wim Hof "Iceman" cold-tolerance method. Did you guys read Scott Carney's "What Doesn't Kill Us," which came out recently? Anyway, many of that reading has encouraged me in my Spartan, shirtless, barefoot training. While my body is now 59 and not the best-looking, I actually am in pretty-decent shape for a dude my age. So I guess what's been most surprising for me is the fact that I don't get stopped by the police even more! While a number of times they've called my wife, most of the time the cops just pass me by, driving slowly, or keep up with my pace. When it becomes obvious from my pace and my "attitude," if not my muscles, that I'm not a crazy but that I've taken off my shirt and left my shoes home to engage in a serious athletic pursuit, the cops usually leave me alone, or at least they mostly want to leave me alone. But funniest of all have been the number of times when the cops stop me very apologetically, saying:"We're sorry to stop you, sir, and you're not doing anything wrong, but we get all these women reporting you to the cops on their cellphones saying they just passed a guy in just shorts running, no shoes, no shirt, and we're sorry, but we just wanna be able to say we checked you out and you're O.K."

Shirtless George said...

I'm definitely a convert. So fat I have been keeping my shirt off 24 hours a day no matter what for the last three weeks.I even have my shirt off to go to the end of the street to check the mail, shirtless walks around the neighborhood, etc. Gabe up wearing shirts entirely at home 3 weeks ago, my family is used to my being bare chested 24/7 now

Ira said...

George, that's absolutely awesome, dude! Thanks for sharing the encouragement! Deep down, I'm really dying to make such a lifestyle choice, but slowly, I'm getting my courage and confidence up. Keep it up!

SHIRTLESS GEORGE said...

I often can't wait and take my shirt off in the car on the way home sometimea too, I'd put if I the trunk of the car so I wouldn't get shy and cover up if somebody saw me bare chested.after a while you forget you're bot wearing a shirt. I was shy about it as a kid but my dad in his own way helped me get over that and I am shirtless as I am writing this. First thing I did when I got home was take it off and put it in the laundry hamper

Rex said...

I ran a race in the early 90s in July that started after dark. I was about 30. I saw some runners without shirts & discovered why as I had trouble with humidity. I started running shirtless later that summer. I ran that race 25 yrs later bare chested and had a much easier time. It’s good for comfort, some sun & vitamin D

Shirtless George said...

I will try running shirtless pretty soon, don't ride my bike shirtless anymore but do pretty much everything else this way, I simply don't like wearing shirts so I stay bare chested almost 24/7 like I posted several times before. I'll see what other physical activities I can do shirtless this summer too

Anonymous said...

That's an excellent story Ira! I have yet to run barefoot and I'm still testing the barechested running this season. Each time I think about trying the weather is not permitting and I feel weird being the only shirtless guy on the jogging path. In my city it is not frowned upon as 60% of the guys on the path are barechested, it is just that initial shirtless run that gets me every time. But it will happen soon. And I also hope it rains on one of those runs. I've always wanted to run shirtless in the rain for some reason.

Ira said...

Got in a good 6-mile barefoot, barechested run today in the drizzle. First time this season I didn't carry the tee-shirt, but left it home. Thanks for the encouragement, guys!

Anonymous said...

Went to the trail to go for a job and although I saw several barechested converts, I could not muster the courage to join them and stripping down to the waist. I really wanted to but sometimes it feels weird taking my shirt off in the middle of the trail because of what others might think. Any suggestions or ways you've overcome this dilemma?

Shirtless George said...

Just go ahead and take off your shirt in the middle of the trail and don't worry about what other people would think. In my case, I'd have taken my shirt off as I was exiting the car so I wouldn't get uncomfortable at the last minute. When I take my shirt off in the car I usually put it into the trunk so I won't get shy and cover up at the last minute, and I will be taking my shirt off as soon as I finish typing this message. In my case like I said numerous times before, I simply don't like wearing shirts, this time of year it stays off no matter what I'm doing, including running, bike riding, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, I just want to tell my story. I think the best way to run shirtless is to have an experience where you’re forced to be without a shirt. For example in my case, I went out with friends in a countryside to play airsoft. The rules were the following ones: if you were shot and you didn’t say it, you were tied to a bar and shot by hundreds of shots. I made the terrible mistake of not saying it. I believed I could hide the fact I was hit, but the second time I was shot, stupidly I exclaimed: “no! Another time!” So I was discovered. Luckily I have strong abs and I didn’t care about all these shots. The problem was that these ones made my shirt ended up in shreds, so that I had to continue shirtless till the end. I was worried at the beginning because I thought “how can I hide in bushes, under other places, without a shirt?” Yes I was scared, but not hiding means being shot, so I made a decision. I decided to hide myself under a bush so that my chest quickly became covered with mud and cut grass. Moreover thorns wounded my chest a bit, but I managed not to be shot other times. When my friends saw me at the end of the match, they laughed a lot, and they were right. I was very dirty and somewhere on my chest there was small wounds. But at the end I think that if I had had a shirt, this would have been destroyed and I would have wasted money. So in my cases, this episode made me take a strong decision. It is better to dirty my chest with dirt and grime than my shirt. Because shirt cannot be recouped, my chest instead yes it is dirty, but I can easily wash it. So that is my experience

Anonymous said...

The weather is heating up quickly here in the south and there are dozens of fellow barechested runners on the path now. This makes stripping the top so much easier now and nothing beats the feeling of the sun on the bare skin. Thanks yall for sharing your experiences. It's good to feel part of a tribe. Keep them coming