OK, so maybe it’s not a trend. But I couldn’t help but sit up and take notice when the New York Times’ running newsletter showed up in my email inbox this week with the intriguing title “Naked Came the Runners”.
I’ve always believed that one of the many positive benefits of running is the minimal investment required. (Financial investment, that is, not physical investment.) Compared to nearly every other sport, all you need is a pair of running shoes. Well, you also need to get up off the sofa, put on your running shoes, open the door, and then put one foot in front of the other, but that’s it. No need for expensive gear. Who needs a sporting goods store?
The truth is, of course, that once you get hooked, there are endless opportunities to drop scads of cash at any number of welcoming sporting goods stores to make your runs that much more comfortable – and stylish. There’s gear for cold weather, to help you stay warm, but not too warm. There’s gear for hot weather, to help you keep from overheating. There’s always something new that you can be convinced you can’t do without. There are sports watches to tell you how far you’ve gone, how fast you’ve gone, and where are you; they can map your every move and keep track of your heart rate. There are specially designed belts to hold your phone and ID, to clip your music onto, and hold your power gels. There are specially designed holders for your ever-so-important supply of water, the runner’s elixir. And that’s all before you you realize that several pairs of running shoes would be better than one. Not to mention planning for the races you’ll undoubtedly enter. Once you start down that path, you’ll need to add an extra room onto your house in order to store all your race t-shirts and finisher’s medals.
Fortunately, it now turns out that there’s a way to avoid most of this consumerism – clothes optional running! The NY Times August newsletter author, Jen Miller, opened my eyes to the benefits of naked running as I read about her experience at the recent Bouncing Buns Clothes Optional 5K, held at the Sunny Rest (nudist) Resort in Pennsylvania. This may be one of the few running newsletters that even non-runners would find entertaining!
Answers to some questions that may come to mind:
- Yes, sports bras were allowed as a clothing exception for anyone who would otherwise experience considerable pain from the bouncing.
- Yes, running shoes were allowed, as were hats.
- No, men wore no “supports”. Apparently, a natural protection mechanism kicks in. You learn something new every day! 🙂
- Yes, they maintained social distancing and, yes, they had to wear masks when they checked in and when they were near other people. No clothes, but masks, please!
- Yes, everyone felt a sense of freedom and would do it again. A good time was had by all.
- No, it is not legal to run naked except in places where it’s allowed, like a nudist camp for example.
So, what do you think? Time to try something new?! Add a naked run to your bucket list?!!