How one man became 'completely comfortable in his own skin'
I grew up in high school not the most athletic person and therefore was very, very insecure with going around shirtless.......even at the pool I would wear a shirt. I had pale skin, skinny arms and legs, and a gut. When I did go running it was always with a shirt and I remember the shirt sticking to my skin and a gross feeling when I was done. Indiana summers can be very unpleasant in terms of heat and humidity. When I was in college I made a choice to better myself in mind and body. I remember going to the gym at 6am in the cold Indiana autumn mornings and frigid Indiana winters with no one to spot me or work out with, but I had a goal, and that was to build my self-esteem by building my body. It took a lot of self-motivation, but being on science scholarship meant I had to maintain all As in science and math, and to have good grades I needed a good regimented program. By going to the gym I was getting into a healthy routine. As spring came I noticed that I had a little more definition to my arms and upper body. In the wintertime I did cardio strictly by swimming, but now it was spring and I wanted to get fresh air.
There was no transition into running shirtless. I just realized that my physique looked passable enough to run with no shirt on. I simply drove to the track, stripped my shirt off, applied suntan lotion, and I was off. After only a few days I had a very healthy tan and felt completely comfortable in my own skin. Whenever I saw another shirtless runner in better shape than me, it only solidified my motivation to get to the shape he was in. Now I feel a sense of pride whenever I see a guy, start off running with a shirt on in 90 degree muggy heat until he sees me with no shirt on, eventually stripping his own off. It's sort of a brief bond that develops between too complete strangers. Even when I run 5ks I will start with a shirt on with the bib number applied to my shorts knowing at the end I'll be bare chested. In the summertime I don't strip off in 5ks because I am trying to show off, but it just becomes the common sense thing to do when I can feel the heat and sweat radiating in between my skin and the cloth. And chafed skin from wearing a shirt is in no way fun. This upcoming summer I am hoping to run my first 10k, and I'll for sure be shirtless by the end of it. I love going around outside shirtless and getting a sweet sun tan. Now I will even do yard work and house painting minus the shirt......it's the natural thing to do.
Also, I sleep shirtless too now. Again, I'm more comfortable in my own skin now and the shirt I've found is very uncomfortable to wear in a bed, even in the wintertime.