2XU Compression Sleeves

With all the climbing I’ve been doing, I’m suffering a bit from fatigued arms. I know from experience that compression clothing helps when you have tired legs, and so I figured it was time to see if they can help my upper body too.

On Saturday night, I tried on an Under Armour compression top, which had two issues: the sleeves were baggy (which gives us no compression) and the midriff made me look fat. Well, having a bit of flab around my waist makes me look fat. But it piqued my interest.

I went for a walk at lunchtime today and found the 2XU Performance Centre. (Between 2XU and Compressport, those two manufacturers seem to cover the market in Singapore. 2XU aren’t as expensive, but fall apart more often than Compressport, so they’re better for experimentation but possibly not for the long term.)

Bizarrely, 2XU sell sleeves individually, not as pairs. I must have looked very askance in the shop when they told me this, because without any prompting the shop assistant offered me a discount if I bought a pair. Which came in a box. Which really confused me when I think of it, because then why was there a whole line of single sleeves? For the extensive one-armed clientele who were totally invisible?

I got measured up, which was when I found I’m an XS for my arms (oh, skinny, tiny arms and enormous thighs – was I made from the spares in God’s parts bin?), paid, then took my sleeves back to the office, highly excited to be XS at least once in my life.

The sleeves don’t just pull on. There are extra bits of tensile material in different patches around them, so each sleeve is left or right specific (perhaps the cheaper single ones aren’t so primo) and instructions printed inside in black text on black fiber to tell you which arm is which, and which bit is for the outside of your arm and which part the inside. I put one on, and immediately a passing colleague pointed out that I was dressed like a Singaporean taxi driver.

Which upset me.

And then I realised I was bothered by other people’s opinions of what I look like, and that bothered me more than the opinion itself. Oh, what a kerfuffle. I took the sleeve off (it’s not really office-appropriate) and waited for an opportunity to wear it when climbing. Hopefully nobody there will compare me unfavourably to a transportation worker with questionable sartorial decision making skills.

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