Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Tank Top

When I originally packed for the race I may have over packed. My pack that was supposed to be 50 pounds or less? It weighed nearly 59! So, the night before I left the country, I had to re-pack and leave a few things behind. Such as the one tank top I'd planned to bring.
Thus, I left the country without a tank top. This was no problem (at all!) for the first 3 weeks of the World Race. My team was living at the top of a mountain on the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia. It was rather chilly there.
Then came week 4. We traveled to Medellin, Colombia, for the week and suddenly we had been transported from winter to summer! I really, really regretted my decision to leave behind my tank-top. Less than a day went by before I decided that I really, really needed to add a tank-top to my rather limited wardrobe. Only one issue, I didn't want to buy a tank because I didn't want to add any extra weight to my pack. (I'd worked hard to get it down to 47lbs!) So, I decided one of my shirts was destined to lose its sleeves that day: this one.

This blue paisley number is one of the shirts I whipped up the week before I left home. I found the fabric, a woven polyester that wouldn't wrinkle, at the Mennonite fabric store, and the pattern, Simplicity 2593, at a thrift store. While I liked both the fabric and the pattern separately, I really wasn't a fan of the resulting garment. Thus, when I needed to cut up a shirt, this one was a no-brainier. (Don't ask me why this shirt stayed in my pack and the original tank top did not. I was sleep deprived when I made the decision)

The sleeves got chopped off, the arm holes got hemmed, and I had a tank top! 

Losing the sleeves elevated this shirt from my least-worn to most-worn top. Suddenly it was perfect for things like hiking in Peru,

Exploring Madrid during a 24 hour layover,

And fabric shopping in Ghana! Or anything in Ghana, really. It was hot there!

This tank top got worn at least twice a week for the two months I was in Ghana. Wearing it I held babies,

Caught goats,

And washed my hair in the rain!

With as much wear as this shirt has received, how did I ever think I could do the race without a tank top??

Note to future self: always, always, pack a tank top. Or, at least a shirt that can lose its sleeves!

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