The previous post sought to explain a little bit how our tendency to train naked came about. “It’s all about your body and what it can do…” and all that. And, for guys who take pride in working out to get that body in the first place, wanting to show it off – shirtless at the very least – is obvious.
I was therefore amused by a piece in a newspaper (British one, inevitably) about nudism in France. The leading European nation for promoting nudism and nudist vacations, apparently. Contrast the prudery in the US (guys even swim in tee shirts here) – no, never mind: let’s not go down that route for the time being.
Four million people take naked vacations in France every year. Germans, with their Frei Korper Kultur, top the bill, followed by the Dutch (famed for their naked mixed-sex swimming pools) and then the Brits.
The charter for the main resort demands that holidaymakers “respect nudity whenever the weather permits” and stipulates that “personal cleanliness is compulsory”. I’m with him 100% on that one – who wants to sit on a gym bench that has what we euphemistically call ‘skid marks’?
‘Weather permitting’, for their spokesman, appears to be 21C (70F) or above. We’re cool (sorry, ‘kewl’) shirtless at much lower temperature than that – but once in a gym training weights or acrobatics, the sweat starts to emerge and, even if the air temperature is much colder, the body temperature screams out for shirtlessness or less.
The same spokesman is keen to differentiate between ‘naturists’ and ‘nudists’. “Nudists go naked only to avoid a tan line and rarely picked up any litter (sic!). Naturists, on the other hand, are ecologically minded folk who prefer family holidays…”
Not sure we truly fit either, then, although as a family (gay mums, gay dads, straight kids), we have all grown up together (!) with a ‘minimalist’ view on clothing. Nakedness for sport appears to be category that the spokesman, M. Leclerc, has overlooked. Yet I recall posting a picture of a group of naked French guys in a gym, preparing for volleyball I think it was, as if it was perfectly natural to play sport that way. As it is – or was in ancient Greek times anyway. That’s ‘gymnastics’ for you – “the naked art”. It didn’t mean gymnastics as we know it today – that was athletics, discus, javelin, wrestling – but it is an excuse now to present some gymnastics pictures for your enjoyment…
Read all about it!