We are facing an epidemic throughout the DC metro area’s running trails…guys running without their shirts. I will try to think of a few reasons why a guy would think this makes sense…only to shoot them down from my holier than thou blogging perch of course.
I don't care if you're an awful actor, running shirtless is inexcusable.
1. “When I run past that girl, she’ll stop and ask me out because of my body.” Ummm, right. Has anyone seen, heard, or experienced this scenario? The SO says this is the male equivalent to girls running in sports bras and short shorts, clearly letting us know they don’t care about comfort. The woman who goes after this guy is the same as the ultra-shallow, ultra-desperate, ultra-pathetic girls watching Tom Cruise at the volleyball court in Top Gun.
It's just like an Abercrombie and Fitch photo shoot.
One request before I continue. Will all shirtless guys running around in cyclist spandex shorts please put a shirt on. You’re leaving nothing to the imagination. One day people will jump off a cliff or drown themselves in the nearest body of water after having your image burned into their memory. Just so your superficial self is made aware, the spandex only serves to increase your muffin top.
As bad as bicycle shorts look on runners, at least Matthew Fox keeps his shirt on.
2. “I run without a shirt because it’s too hot.” I guess you haven’t heard of Under Armor or other knockoff breathable clothing that repels your sweat. If you can’t afford fancy exercise clothes, at least wearing a shirt allows you to wipe the sweat off your face. Unless you’re wearing a shirt made out of super absorbent microfiber squeegee sponge material, a sweat-filled shirt won’t weigh you down that much nor keep the heat trapped next to your body. If you’re worried about the weight, then shouldn’t’ you also be running in track flats? Plus, nobody wants to know what your chest hair pattern is or that you wax it every week.
3. “I don’t want a farmer’s tan.” When I do walk/run and see these jokers, it’s after work and after 5 PM. It so happens that the sun is setting meaning its UV rays won’t exactly give you tanlines during your one-hour run. Plus, the routes I’ve seen shirtless runners on tend to have more treecover than open air. As the SO points out, if you’re running shirtless, at least do it after your chest has seen the light of day a few times since last year.
No matter how interesting your chest hair pattern is, going shirtless is for the beach.
4. “I like showing off my body.” In a way, all of us are conscious of our body image and will wear things (or not) to accentuate the good parts. I’ll grant you this, but running sans shirt just isn’t proper etiquette around the DC area. It's the unspoken code of DC running from Centennial Park in Howard County to the National Mall (think of the children!) to the Capital Crescent Trail. It’s only appropriate to run without a shirt when you’re along the (Santa Monica) beach. We’re running by presidential monuments for goodness sake!
How about I offer you, the shirtless runner, this compromise…wear a fitted breathable shirt instead. It lets everyone know your body shape and we aren’t forced to see your unsymmetrical chest hair and learn that you shave your armpits.