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.