First the list of 5 reasons to shave down. Then my story about the first time I shaved for a bike race. Then a video showing the best (fastest) technique for shaving legs and arms. Don’t miss the story in the video about the first person to ever shave my groin. Well worth watching the video just for that.
1. It’s Cooler! Here I am in southern Thailand, it’s hot as nuts. When I shave off my bear hair, I feel much cooler.
2. Less Problem with Treating Abrasions. If you are on the bike a lot, you probably have fallen. You’ve probably had the unpleasant experience of cleaning wounds, and sticking tape and bandaid type things all over your hairy skin. It doesn’t work well. Shaving makes you cleaner. Bacteria cannot adhere to hair that doesn’t exist.
3. Play the Role. You’re part of a subgroup of athletes that thinks he is something special. Play the role. Look at the top people on the planet in your sport. Do they shave? If yes, then you shave too. Or you’re not playing your part. When I shave everything off – I feel like I am one of the the elite players in my sport. I feel like a God. Who else would do this ridiculous thing to themselves?
4. Reveal Your Fitness and Weaknesses. This is a mental boost. After I shave, and I look at my legs – I’m amazed to see how cut and strong my legs are. It’s funny how much hair can hide that. So, when you can see it – you know you are getting where you need to be. On the other hand, if you’re not where you need to be – you can see that too. You no longer have the hair to hide your weakness – calves? – and you must work on your body to bring it up to speed. I like being able to see every ripple of muscle and veins in places I didn’t know they existed. It’s a great mental boost.
5. The Best Reason to Shave? The feeling. I explain more below, but, the feeling alone is worth the effort. It’s worth the stares, the gawks, the questions, the razor cuts. The feeling is one of invincibility. I feel like I’m God after I shave all the hair off my body. I feel clean, fast, and like a mutant!
I was 24 years old and living temporarily back where I grew up in Western Pennsylvania. There was a 23 mile bike race, my first long-distance race, coming up. It was summer, and hot. I had been studying all the bike magazines, triathlete info I could find. I had read through 10-12 books on the subject. I knew that most elite athletes shave their body of hair, and yet to me I wasn’t sure it made sense.
Then I did it.
The change in my mind was remarkable. It’s worth shaving your arms, legs, chest, neck, face, and even head – JUST for the FEELING YOU’LL GET. The feeling I’m talking about is one of speed… of ultra-efficiency as you glide through the wind on the bike, running, or whatever you’re doing.
If you’re like me, you have a rug of hair on your arms and legs – that’s my arm in the photo above. You’d never know it, until you shave, but the feeling of the wind on the hairs of your body – is having an effect on you. It’s making you FEEL the wind, which means you are aware of how fast you’re going. That means you’re aware that it is there and it’s having a negative effect on you because you feel like you have to conquer it – to push against it. When you go faster – you feel it more, so you’re more aware of the extra effort you’re putting out. It’s not good to be aware of that. The hair on your arms and legs is like a speedometer. It’s telling you how fast you are moving. This is not a GOOD thing, this is a profound negative. Especially when you are moving fast.
I first shaved down in my mother’s restroom. There was hair everywhere, I mean all over the place. I was bleeding from head to toe, and the sting of the water as I washed off made me wonder – what in the hell did I just do? I looked like a bald baby bird. When I put on pants, I felt the pants. It was a very weird feeling. I felt profoundly naked. I thought I’d made a big mistake.
Then I had my first bike ride without hair on my body.
HOLY WOW! I felt faster than a bullet. It is such an amazing thing, and has been every time I shave down – the feeling is pure unadulterated magic. It’s as if I was slipping through the air with zero resistance at all. It is a feeling I’d pay for, but thankfully we can all have it for the price of a few razors and a handful of liquid soap.
If you’ve never taken the time to shave off all the hair on your body (the hair that shows), do it today and then go take a fast bike ride or run somewhere – whatever it is you do. You WILL notice a difference – whether it is completely mental or not – doesn’t matter. What matters is – you will feel faster, more efficient, like you are slicing through the air like a supersonic jet. It’s the perfect feeling, and the perfect reason to shave it off.
Swimmers – you must shave. The feeling of gliding through the water like a fish is the ultimate. You’ll understand when you do it. Most of you already know. Bikers – same. The feeling is especially strong if you previously had a lot of hair – like a llama. You’ll immediately feel the lack of the feeling of wind as you ride, and it’s intoxicating. Not feeling the wind on your skin makes you feel so fast. Mark my words. Runners – you can also get the feeling, but it won’t be as good as while swimming or biking. Still, well worth the time it takes to shave yourself down.
It’s shaving day for me today, so I did a video on it: