Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Shirtless Coalition

I’m going to use this format as my way of coming out of the closet. The clothes closet, that is. Or, in this case, the no clothes closet. I’m not talking about streaking. These guys cover that. I’m talking about the distinctly male issue of whether or not it’s okay to go shirtless on a summer day’s run.

I’ve seen a recent up tick of blog posts about this topic (mentioned here and here for two but elsewhere also, I’m sure) and the general theme is, no, a man shouldn’t run sans top. It’s considered bad form. It’s cocky. It’s frowned upon. Well, I’m announcing that, on warm summer days, I run without my shirt.

I’m here. I’m shirt-free. Deal with it.

The shirtless male runner is one of the few prejudiced against groups remaining in the United States these days. Nobody - and I mean nobody - has it worse than us. And we’re tired of it. Though we wear no shirt, we have every right to the road edges and sidewalks. Though you can see the glistening pools of sweat on our chests and treasure trails, we are entitled to a friendly passing runner greeting. If we stumble and fall over a popped up slice of concrete, do we not bleed?

Do the folks who condemn the shirtless male runner also condemn a shirtless female runner? I think not. No, they encourage it. Double standards!

I know, I know, you are probably thinking, ‘Nitmos, of course you are allowed to run shirtless. My God, those granite chiseled pecs!’ And I get that. When you hear “Beefcake!” shouted at you several times over the course of a leisurely, topless June run, you start to think you are immune to the scorn of the Anti-Shirt Choice establishment.

But I have to support my less well developed (or overly developed) bare-chested brethren (or sistern – really, we ALL encourage that.) We are HERE. We are SHIRT-FREE. DEAL WITH IT!

Have you ever felt the warm summer air pass over the dimpled convex bumps of your exposed areola?

Have you ever let the flood of chest sweat run unimpeded down to your gray running shorts, dampening them in a triangular pattern that makes it appear as if you’ve wet yourself?

Before you head out for a run, have you ever had to inspect your torso and shoulders for flaming, ripe whiteheads to explode (these reflect in the sun and blind passing drivers)?

If you answered No to any of these questions, quite simply, you haven’t lived.

Vote now to show your support for the shirtless runner. We are HERE. We are SHIRT-FREE. Deal with it.


Would you have me wear frilly tassels on my summer runs? Would that make you feel more comfortable? I could swing them around in exotic, nipple-bending circles for your amusement.

I realize that my chest hair is sparse. In fact, my areola’s are dotted with a ring of single hair follicles laid out like Stonehenge. The sweat runs down the shaft of each strand and lingers on the end like a bulb on Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree before jettisoning to the sidewalk or onto the back of a passing dog. It’s not all glamorous but it’s the price I pay to be topless and happy during summer running.

I’m taking a stand. I refuse to acknowledge the scorn from the Anti-Shirt Choice crowd. I will be running sans top ALL SUMMER LONG. Even during chilly rain storms.

I propose that this July 4th all of the Shirt Choicers out there burn a moisture wicking short sleeve running shirt in protest. Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and Ghandi (yes, I said GHandi) have nothing on us. Please leave your supportive thoughts in the comments.

WE ARE HERE. WE ARE SHIRT-FREE. DEAL WITH IT.

But what’s up with those dudes with the skimpy little split leg running shorts that ride up their hip? Ewww, gross.

Happy trails.

43 comments:

RazZDoodle said...

Preach on, brother! I joined the club this morning.

Where the hell do you wipe off all of the sweat, though?

Stormy Vawn Bradley said...

Hilarious. I think you should only go shirtless if you got the body for it. But whatever floats your boat.

Kimberly300 said...

ahh.. shirtless dudes.. makes my skirt fly up!!

Lauren said...

A mental image of a mini-nipple-esque stonehenge was just what I needed this morning. Thanks!

I guess you'd have to wear those awesome 80's sweatbands to wipe the sweat, right?

tfh said...

Hey, I'd rather see a shirtless guy ANY DAY than a guy with nipple blood speckling the front of his shirt.

Plus, the covers of Runners World always make running sans shirt look so cool and sexy.

Vanilla said...

Surprisingly we stand united in this. I'm especially supportive of women running shirtless.

Kristina said...

Perhaps we can make peace between camps by introducing men to the tankini. It really has revolutionized the options for women. I'm sure there's a bra company somewhere that would send you one to test out...

Lily on the Road said...

OMG, say it ain't so!

Are you waiting for an endorsement from Ombrelle?

Slather up, we don't want to see too many "unhealthy" freckles.

Marlene said...

Nothin' against shirtless dudes... but what do you use to wipe the snot of fyour face when a snot rocket fails miserably?!

Xenia said...

When the temps are high, shirtless running becomes more a requirement than a choice, so it's all good.

Having said that, I live in a university town where the exposed flesh tends to be young and muscled. I highly approve of the scenery.

Al's CL Reviews said...

As long as you don't have man boobs...because then it is painful to watch.

Vava said...

Last week I ran shirtless and it was THE way to go in the heat of summer. Keep on rockin that heart rate monitor strap tan!

BTW: My word verification is "factsthi". Doesn't take a genius to rearrange THAT into something else much more interesting. In fact, one could say that your post is a good example of some awesome FACTSTHI.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I say ROCK THE SHIRTLESS RUNNING!

Viper said...

I tend to hold off on going shirtless for as long as possible, but eventually it just gets too hot. But I still feel like one of THOSE guys.

I guess it gives me incentive to keep up with push-ups and sit-ups.

That said, a shirtless run in the summer rain is one of my favorites.

joyRuN said...

Shirtless is okay with me. Just no butterfaces please - so disappointing.

Roisin said...

I just posted about how this is my favourite part of the summer. Shirtless running dudes. Go on with your bad self :)

BTW, my word verification is "pigslug." I just think that sounds funny.

Jamoosh said...

Shirtless is not a problem. Half shirt is a problem.

BrianFlash said...

I just can't pull it off. My overall skin whiteness causes too many potential accidents and the world sunscreen supply would be depleted if I used it over my entire torso.

But if you can get away with it (and can put up with our condescending stares) go for it!

X-Country2 said...

I run in just a sports bra this time of year, so I clearly vote for skin!

And to answer Razz's question: I wear a sweat band on my wrist. It serves to make me look badass AND wipe sweat.

Adam said...

You can wipe off the sweat in a sort of squeegee type hand movement. Then, wipe your salty wet hands on your shorts. Problem solved!

As long as you start running without a shirt on as soon as it is warm enough, you don't have to deal with sunscreen all summer long either. That is, unless you burn like a lobster.

Jess said...

I never knew that shirtless runners were discrimated against. The skinny guys on my college xc team did it all the time. They probably thought they were buff eye candy. Haaaa.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

"Have you ever felt the warm summer air pass over the dimpled convex bumps of your exposed areola?"
---------
We have a term for that here in Arizona. It's called Self-BBQing. Not recommended.

Jessica said...

Ya, just put on the tankini, and top it with a manzierre, and I think you will have a winning combination.

John at Hella Sound said...

He *says* he's sparsely populated in the chest hair department, but the reality is Nitmos is quite hirsute, and shaves his torso follicles into a carefully groomed heart.
I've seen it. And it's scary.

M2Marathon said...

I'd rather a shirtless dude than one in one of those gay male sip-up running vest things, any day. Rippling sweaty muscles are just SO diet-coke-ad-HOTT.

And sclil to you, too whatever-T-F that means (word verification).

Running and living said...

I am all for shirtless running - I can look if I like what I see, and turn myself if I don't. It's all good! Ana-Maria

Rural Runner E said...

I am okay with running sans shirt...if you can pull it off. I for one cannot. People like me (and in worse shape) should not run without a shirt.....if you can, go for it, more motivation for me to run...I hope to get back to a state where I can run without a shirt.

Irish Cream said...

This is right about the time of year when I try to convince myself that my beer gut "isn't that bad" . . . and that I'd rather show off how many pints I've had over the winter months than die of heatstroke. As for men? I say go for it! I need some eye candy (or alternatively, somebody who will make me feel better about the state of my own abs!)

Beth said...

Where is the picture to go with this post? I say, if you have the abs, go for it. If I could lose a quarter in your belly button, keep the shirt on please.

Irene said...

LMAO!

I'm all for shirtless as long as you have the body to go with it. :)

Mike G said...

I'm happy with the sleeveless muscle tech t shirt. Plenty of ventilation with that, without being TOO revealing.

I decided to stop running topless after a warm summer run in college when I jogged past a little girl who burst into tears at the sight of my hairy chest. LOL ah so I stick with the t shirts now. I guess if you shave your body or you're genetically more "evolved" it would work.

Marcy said...

Yes please. But ONLY if you can carry it off. You don't even have to be a beefcake. Just no man boobage and a beer gut.

PinkAsphaltMama said...

I was all with you 'til I got t that last sentence about the split running shorts.

There's a guy on my new running team this summer that wears them. I'm too afraid to run his pace on a windy day -- I remember too well wearing wrap dresses back in middle school and what happened on windy days.....

...shudders...

WV: forri -- I don't want to see that guy's forri.

The Laminator said...

I'm all for you ditching the shirt...but please, just don't forget the sunscreen!

Morgan said...

LMAO! I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard right now. Absolutely LOVE the post! I don't think it's bad form to run topless, if I could I would. Sports bra's are stifling but alas no such luck as support is needed... Enjoy your shirtless runs and don't forget the sunscreen!

Laurie said...

I have no problem with shirtless running, I think if you're comfortable enough with your body to do it, than by all means, please do.

However, I think if the weather is not warranting I would have to disagree. I saw a guy the other day running topless with little short shorts (so what?) well, it was only 5am and barely 50 degrees. You can't tell me that he was too hot...maybe he had just been mugged and was running in his skivvies to get help?...wouldn't explain the expensive (bright white) shoes though.

Julia said...

Haha! What a funny post! I live in CA, where I see shirtless guys everyday, doing their thing. I had no idea it was such a big deal! I say guys should go shirtless if they want to. :)

DelDean said...

Yeah, tough call on this one. U gots to have the bod or else it's gross. Like where I used to live there was a clothing optional beach. I went there once to check out all the hot babes. But couldn't find a one...instead it was mostly fat wrinkled old farts.
Seriously, no one wants to see that. ewww, not even fat old wrinklely women want to see that, do they?

Serious Running: Chris Barber said...

I run shirtless unless it is the dead of winter and the weather will not allow me. I think 60 degrees is my shirtless threshold. Look at me in the upper right, that's me finishing a marathon in Washington, DC in March; shirtless. I only saw one other shirtless man in the entire race, I passed him with half a mile left to be the first guy to finish the race without a shirt! How's that for accomplishment?

Anonymous said...

As long as you are comfortable, i am ok running shirtless, even though you may not have a nice body to flaunt.

Ted Houk, M.D. said...

http://towson.patch.com/articles/the-unusual-commute-of-dr-ted-houk
Since 1996, I go shirtless above 28°F, gloveless above 40°, my range is -50 to 104°, though I haven’t been in Wisconsin temps since 1977. Min temp here is 10°F. I am shameless, so should you be.

Tim said...

I usually run shirtless when it gets above 60 degrees F though I've gone sans shirt as low as ~55 degrees on a sunny and calm day. No shirt for me is better as I'm one of those guys that sweats a ton during physical exertion and if I wore a shirt (whether cotton or dri-fit), it would be soaked and heavy.

Anonymous said...

i usually go shirtless only when I'm swimming but the other day when i walked home from the pool in town i didn't wear my shirt home because it was very hot and i just wanted to be shirtless it felt cool to be shirtless because i see all the other guys do it and it just felt cool to me