Friday, March 29, 2013

Shirt Free Club

I was that guy in high school and college that would always hope for "shirts" rather than "skins" when playing sports.  It wasn't that I was prude, I'm just svelte, okay skinny, and didn't need to prove that I didn't have chest hair.

Yet I spent hours without a shirt because I worked at summer camps and was the Waterfront Director for years.  I spent my summers wearing a swim suit and no shirt and will have skin cancer as my proof. 

I'm fine in the pool or beach without a shirt but out in "public" just isn't my style. 

So, this week I was running and had even looked at the weather when choosing shorts and long sleeve top.  I headed out on my run and was surprised by two things, first it was sunny and second it was warm.  These are things that shock us in the Pacific North West.  I instantly regretted not wearing sunglasses and about seven minutes later, I regretted wearing a long sleeve top.  For the next mile, I tried to push sleeves up and get comfortable but eventually I gave up.

In a move that would have been more fun to watch than do, while still running, I took off my top, forgot to take off my headphones, tangled everything, untangled things, tied the shirt around my waist, tangled my headphones, and eventually recovered and kept running.

The good news, it felt great.  Nice and cool and I felt like a vitamin D magnet.  The bad news, I wasn't preoccupied with being perceived as skinny. 

The good news is that now that I'm in my forties, I care but not that much.  I'm more focused on my comfort than that of strangers and so I'll wear things I'd never wear as a teen. 

I don't think I'll make it a habit to run without a shirt, or to start mowing the lawn without a shirt, or barbequing without a shirt or all the other things the the Shirt Free Club does.  Yet, I think I'm one step closer to becoming a member.

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