Friday, July 21, 2017

Staying as Cool as a Cucumber

This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Russell Athletic and DadNCharge. All opinions expressed are my own. 

As a dad, I've put myself into compromising situations. I've made a fool of myself on numerous occasions for a laugh, stood out in a crowd when I was supposed to be in the background, and generally acted, mostly because of my size, like a bull in a china shop.

You could liken my dad style to Chris Farley in awkward situations; facing adversity by telling a joke or trying to slip into the shadows like an overgrown ninja with zero stealth. In the same way your out of state license plate excuses you from bad driving choices in visiting states, I stay cool in tough situations because I own them. I'm a dad and I make no apologies for my behavior.

I used to look at my dad and wonder, why does he always wear dress socks and loafers? Why does he still rock the same jeans from the 1990s? What motivates a man to hike his belt up to such heights that he needs inches added to his inseam?  My dad is not worried about his style. Take it or leave it, his look is unapologetically him.

I think that we all say to ourselves at some point: When I'm a dad, I'm going to be cool. I'm going to listen to the latest music, be on top of the fashion trends, and not become the dad that shows up with pens in his front pocket of his polo shirt. I'm going to be the dad that every kid's friends are going to sit back and admire because they are so cool.

What we should be saying instead is that we are going to be unapologetically cool in our own ways. The way I look at it, I need to be me and if kids like me, they do because of me not because of what I wear. Of course, it does help when your T-shirt game is strong and you stay cool because you're on top of the latest thing. Ask any high schooler who has travelled with me, my mixed CD's are legendary, mostly because no one puts music on CDs anymore.

I recently spent one week in South Dakota on a mission trip with twenty-three high school kids headed to Pine Ridge Reservation to do construction projects while the thermometers reached the century marks. On the way there, we flew to Denver and then spent six hours driving through four states to arrive in South Dakota. We discovered at the car rental place that the minivans didn't have DVD players. So much for my plan to wow them with movies from my childhood.

One hour into the drive and all of the kids in my van were asleep. It felt like I had young kids back in the car again. When they woke up, they asked how close we were. "Just five more hours to go kids!" I said with much enthusiasm. How would we pass the time and why was I starting to sweat already?

As with any road trip with kids, you have to think on your feet. Having had experience on long car rides I began a game of Grandma's Attic as an icebreaker, a round of Rainbow Cars, and finished strong with That's My Cow. I successfully kept six teenagers occupied without technology, now that is keeping your cool!

In South Dakota, the temperatures for the week were 100 degrees and we worked mostly outside. Our site had two young trees and not a whole lot of shade. Inside, out of the glaring sunshine and into the stifling stuffiness, I hung drywall with a crew which I advised on taping and mudding and provided encouragement for those who had little to no experience with manual labor.  Through all of this, there was lots of crouching, bending over and sweat. Lots and lots of sweat. This is what being a Dadlete is all about to me; being a team player for the greater good.

While summertime is the best time to go swimming, what you don't want is for that swimming to be happening in your cargo shorts. I sure wish I had my Russell Athletic FreshForce underwear with me on that trip because FreshForce performance underwear isn't our dad's whitey-tighty underwear of old.

Available at your local Wal-Mart, this underwear is soft, supportive, and features Intellifresh which guards against moisture causing bacteria that usually cause odor. Russell Athletic FreshForce underwear uses moisture wicking material to keep you cool and collected in the hottest of situations. There's nothing that gives you confidence more than being fly and fresh.  Head to Wal-Mart and scoop up a pair and follow Russell Athletic for all your activewear needs.

Dads, own your look and be unapologetically you and stay fresh with Russell FreshForce during the dog days of summer. Whether you are grilling up hot dogs in the excessive heat, hitting tennis balls at the club, or trying to show the next generation how to do The Sprinkler, you too can stay cool even if your own kids don't think so.

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