So, now that it is finally warming up on the East Coast, I think it is time to address something that has long bothered me when I am running on Kelly Drive.
No, not the crazies, or the horn honkers, or the high school rowers who walk six across on the path. I’m talking about something I can actually do something about.
Guys. Running. Without shirts on.
I understand running is a sweaty activity, and when the mercury climbs you want to be wearing as little as possible. So, if the PECO building is flashing a temperature above 90, I will give you guys a pass. I'm even a little jealous.
Eighty-nine degrees and below, fellas, and I'm telling you, cover it up.
And this isn’t just for me. It's for you, too.
I mean, why are we running on Kelly Drive in the first place? To get healthy. Right. Okay, so what’s our second reason? To look good. Maybe even to attract a potential mate?
No? That's not why you are out there (insert eye-roll). Fine. You get a pass, too.
But, if you happen to think, as you are coordinating your running shorts with your wristbands, how nice it would be to run into a cute girl who can keep your pace, keep reading.
While I recognize I don't represent women everywhere, I did conduct a quick survey and found that unless you look like Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, we will not be impressed when your sweaty self comes lumbering towards us. Instead, we may be repulsed.
However, if I see a perfectly normally shaped man headed towards me, even if he is a little round in the belly, I can find him very attractive and start wondering about all the other sweaty things we can do together.
But, when I see a guy naked from the waist up, nine times out of ten I'm thinking only one thing: Where the eff is your shirt?
Take, for example, Peyton Manning.
I have loved Peyton Manning for most of my adult life. However, I had never seen him shirtless. Not until he was on SNL a few years back. He did this sketch (I warn you, it isn’t funny), and if I didn't already love him I wouldn't be capable of getting past his frozen chicken breast like chest (really, he’s a professional athlete?). No amount of pass completions or clever MasterCard commercials could have erased that image from my retinas.
Need something closer to home. You got it.
I was recently out on Kelly Drive (in capri pants and a tank top even though the Runner’s World app suggested I wear the shortest shorts I could find and a sports bra) when I passed an acquaintance running sans shirt. Now, because I’m single for life, I wasn’t attracted to this guy before this run-in. Still, I knew he was single and had considered his potential for any one of my wonderful friends. And, if it came down to describing him, I would’ve said: tall with a pretty decent body. After all, he was always talking about all the races and working out he did; I figured it was fair to assume his body was nice.
Oh, would I have been wrong. His skin was so pale it was practically translucent. It was like that scene in the first X-men movie when the senator is walking out of the ocean all jellyfish-like. I didn’t know if I should avert my eyes or find him sunscreen. Either way, he quickly moved from potential hottie for one of my friends to how do I tell her about his six chest hairs.
And while you might not think being on my hot list is an honor, being hooked up with one of my friends certainly is. Reason number 7 you should always wear a shirt -- the first six being skin cancer.
Oh, and lest you think I'm being sexist, I don't want to see you Ryan Gosling look-a-likes without your shirts either. But that is mostly because I find it distracting. And when I'm distracted I fall.
Or run into light posts.