A few months ago, as I prepped to attend a wedding, I noticed that something was simply not cooperating with my shirt tuck. I’m a lively nuptials dancer, one who likes to jump, kick, lunge, and maybe—just maybe—do the worm, if the bar is that open. But on this day, I had a problem.
My dress shirt was from a former life, a former body. And in that body of days gone by, there was no belly. This day, everytime I raised my arms, my already-tight shirt tuck began to resemble a wrinkled Big Buford, one of the messier burgers at Checkers.
Frantic, I tried tucking my shirt into my underwear. No dice. I also attempted to simply never breathe again, but eventually that also failed. I investigated how quickly I could get shirt stays—those suspenders that run from the bottom of your shirt to the top of your socks—via Amazon Prime, but it wasn’t happening. And then, I finally came up with a more long-term plan: turning my life around, by way of dieting and exercising.
Following the wedding, I spent week after week thinking about that option—dieting and exercising—simply to keep my shirt tuck clean, and by the end of July, I’d had enough thinking. On August 1, I made a change and started my new diet. Then today, August 2, at around 8 a.m., I decided it was time to go on that first big run of the late summer. Step 1 toward that dream Nor’easter body.
As I laced up that first sneaker, however, a commercial made its way into my life. And in those 36 seconds, I learned a lot about myself, my future, my past, my present, my highs, my lows, my successes, my failures, my trials and my tribulations.
Mizzen+Main, the performance clothing company that sponsored the commercial, made a splash in the golf world this past April when Phil Mickelson began wearing its button-down shirts in tournaments. On Thursday, Phil Mickelson made a splash in the Rembert world by showing me—hey, you don’t have to work out to keep a clean shirt tuck, you just gotta dress like me, baby.
I got all of that from just the first shot.
What a moment this still is, milliseconds before a Fisher-Price Hot Chip song comes in, melting my goddamn face off.
My dude Phil is dancing, but he’s also brave. Look at him, standing on a driving range, while golf balls fly at him.
AND HIS SHIRT STILL LOOKS AMAZING.
Phil does a lot of dancing in this spot, but—just like in golf—you really can’t appreciate the intricacies of his athleticism unless you slow it down.
This is Lefty at quarter-speed. Pro tip: You’re going to want to TURN THIS UP.
What we’re seeing here is a world-class athlete, stepping into another world and remaining world-class. “Legend in two games like I’m Pee Wee Kirkland”?
Nah, more like Phil Mickelson.
There’s another moment that really brought it home for me, but it’s not the moment you think.
When I saw Phil do this move, I was obviously impressed.
Six golf balls dodged: Yes. Fantastic. But then I slowed it down.
Lefty’s little belly is allowed to shake, but his shirt continues to stay in place, without a single wrinkle.
He’s a true inspiration. And because of his heroism, I wrote him a song.
Sometimes I Dream
That He Is Me
You’ve Got To See That’s How I Dream To Be
I Dream I Move
I Dream I Groove
If I Could Be Like Mick
Thank you, Phil Mickelson, for stopping me before I laced both shoes up and went on that run. Self-care isn’t measured in miles run, after all—it’s measured by dancing like no one’s watching, on a techno-soundtracked driving range, while people try to kill you with golf balls.
Rembert Browne is a writer living in New York.