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Phoenix

Testing the Sweat-Proof Tee

A few weeks ago, I was watching a video on Real Men Real Style (I’m interested in having more masculine options for work clothes), and I learned about the Thompson Tee. They claim their patent technology “stops 100% of underarm sweat.” This sounded too good to be true. I sweat constantly, even when doing mundane things like eating a warm meal and walking my basset hound.

I reached out to Thompson Tee and asked to test their shirt. They sent me the shirt of my choice to put through the ringer of my life and share how it did. I selected the men’s slim fit v-neck undershirt in black, size small. The fabric is super soft and you can tell by the seams in the shirt and how the shirt fits that there is padding through the armpit. It was super comfortable to wear, but I had to see how it would hold up in sweaty situations.

Photo by Jay Chatzkel Photography
Used with permission

Test #1 – Modeling
People who aren’t involved in modeling or photography may not know that modeling makes you sweat, between the lights and having to hold awkward poses. This shoot was my first time doing male modeling. I wore a chest binder, my Thompson Tee, and a dress shirt and tie for most of the shoot. Towards the end, I did a few shots in just my Thompson tee and slacks. I was pleased that at the end of the night, there was no sweat on my dress shirt.

Test #2 – Phoenix Driving
In case you didn’t know, it gets hot in Phoenix. During the day, our cars turn into ovens under the sun. When I first get in my car on a warm day, I often blast the A/C, or risk sweating buckets. I tested my Thompson Tee while wearing it with a dress shirt, and driving around with a friend visiting from out of town. After I dropped him off, I even turned off the A/C just see how the shirt would hold up while I was baking. Even after driving on a sunny day in Phoenix in a closed car with no A/C for 10 minutes, my dress shirt was still dry, even though I was definitely not dry inside my Thompson Tee.

Photo by Leslie Easton Photography
Used with permission

Test #3 – Mid-day Love Rally
The ultimate Thompson Tee test was Improv AZ’s Love and Complements Rally – standing at an sunny intersection (without shade) while holding a happy sign for 45 minutes in at least 95-degree heat. I could feel sweat sliding down my skin inside the shirt, but on the outside, I was completely dry. I even had friends touch my armpit to verify it. (They said I didn’t smell either – and these aren’t people who would be shy about that.)

Does the Thompson Tee work for containing armpit sweat? Yes.

Is it comfortable? Very. (And their sizing chart made it easy to discern which size I wear)

Thanks Thompson Tee for sending me a shirt and letting me test it out. It has definitely become part of my wardrobe (and that’s saying something given that I’m a minimalist).

I Wish I had a more Walkable City

 

One of the things I love doing during The Undeniable Tour was taking walks. I often spent my first evening in a new city getting my bearings by walking around the neighborhood. In many cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle) I could easily find a grocery store, drug store, coffee shops, things to do, and plenty of people watching within a mile of my hostel. I loved it. I barely drove when I was in the cities because it was more convenient and more fun to walk. My friend to relocated to Seattle from Gilbert, AZ said they gave up their car because they could walk to most of the places they needed to go. For everything else, there’s public transportation, taxis, Uber, and rental cars.

Phoenix Arizona Downtown Night Aerial Photo from Helicopter by Jerry Ferguson from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Phoenix Arizona Downtown Night Aerial Photo from Helicopter by Jerry Ferguson from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I didn’t have any plans last Friday night and I decided I wanted to get out and take a walk around 7 p.m. And then I thought about what’s in my neighborhood within walking distance and there really isn’t much, so I loaded up Rosie the basset hound and we drove a few miles to Tempe to walk along Mill Ave. She loved all the new smells and letting everyone love on her. (My apologies to the staff at The Handlebar. I let her walk into the bar when a group of patrons near the door was excited to see her.) I enjoyed getting out to relax in the warm night air.

It’s ironic that Phoenix, a desert city, is so spread out. You would think that the hot weather would inspire builders and people to want to stay close to work and day-to-day conveniences. With a walkability score of 38 (out of 100), that is definitely not the case. (Phoenix’s bikeability score is 52.) The walk scores for my home and work zip codes aren’t that much better, at 49 and 54 respectively. I looked up Tempe since I lived near the Phoenix/Tempe border and they fared better with a walk score of 50 and a bike score of 75.

I think there is hope for Phoenix. It appears that more people are moving closer to the city and there seems to be a higher demand for conveniences within walking distance and effective public transportation. I’m lucky than I’m not as dependent on my car as others since I lived right next to a bus stop and I’m close to two light rail stations, one of which that has a park and ride. I’m starting to consider what I would have to do to be able to bike to work, especially on the days when I don’t see clients and I’m just working in my office. I friends gave me some recommendations about the best way to transport my laptop with me.

One of the things that’s missing from many neighborhoods is having grocery stores, drug stores, and similar conveniences close to home. Even downtown Phoenix and many places along the light rail lack these essential businesses. Our transit system is doing a great job at getting us to major venues and town, but they’re not necessarily getting us to where we need to go on an everyday basis.

For now, I will have to drive most of the times that I need to go somewhere but I hope that will shift and Phoenix will become a place where transit lines and bike-friendly routes will become the most desirable locations for day-to-day conveniences.

New Adventure – New Bike

As part of my goal of being more active this summer, I bought a bike last week.  Debbie at Tempe Bicycle was wonderful with me.  When I walked into the shop and she asked what kind of bike I was looking for, I said, “Simple.”  I haven’t owned a bike in about fifteen years.  I just wanted something that I could easily ride to the store, the farmer’s market, the library, and along the canal.

Critical Mass SF July
Image by judemat via Flickr

We started with a “cruiser” bike.  It was cute, but riding it made me feel like Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz.  The handlebars were too wide set for my petite frame.  When I walked into the store, I didn’t think the brake style mattered, but I soon realized that hand brakes were a necessity.

The next bike I tried was a 21-speed mountain bike.  When she first showed it to me, I thought, “What do I need 21  speeds for?”  It was a good bike, but too fancy for me needs.

Then Debbie’s eyes lit up and said, “I’ve got the bike for you” and she rolled out another mountain bike.  It reminded me of Say Yes to the Dress when the consultant has an epiphany about what dress would be perfect for her bride.  It was a white 7-speed Haro Heartland bike, with a wide cushy seat for my bony butt.  I took it for a ride around the parking lot and I was in heaven.  When I came back into the shop Debbie asked what I thought, and I said, “I never thought I’d fall in love with a white bike.”  For some reason, I predicted my bike would be purple.

Tempe Bicycle and Debbie made sure I had everything I needed in terms of a good lock, wiring my seat to my frame so it can’t be easily stolen, a cord to lock my front tire to the back tire, and a good helmet.  I know drivers in Phoenix don’t see runners and rollerbladers.  I don’t expect them to notice me on my bike.

I’ve been on two bike rides so far – one to the store and one to church – almost 20 miles in all.  I’ve noticed that riding makes me feel like I’m more connected to my community and neighborhood.  Instead of being in my enclosed, music-filled car, I get to see, feel, hear, and smell my surroundings.  I notice the little things like whether a property owner keeps their vegetation cut back so it’s not encroaching on the sidewalk (note to owners: please trim your plants), what A-frame signs are in my path announcing yard sales, and what streets have a designated bike lane (thank you 15th Ave.).

I hope my bike becomes a primary mode of transportation for me.  Besides making me feel like I’m doing something good for myself physically, I’ve experienced an unexpected sensation of freedom when I’m riding.  I feel like it’s my break from the rat race and a respite from my cell phone and laptop.

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