Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Sara Snyder

My name is Sara Snyder and I’m a full-time artist, illustrator, part time craftswoman, environmental educator, avid nature photographer, blogger and outdoor adventurer. I run a nature photography project titled A Year in the Woods.

I was born August 10, 1985 on Long Island, NY and moved to Southern California in 2007 to pursue many of my greatest dreams exploring and living outdoors for long stretches of time where I find inspiration and combine both my work and play. Trekking long distances makes for the perfect opportunity to quench my creative and athletic urges and take my interests to a new level.

Currently, I am embarking on a 2,663 mile journey from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail from April to October 2012. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through 24 National Forests, seven National Parks, five California State Parks, five Bureau of Land Management Resource Areas as well as other public and private lands. I believe nature is the perfect canvas, teacher and healer, and with each new step through its primal retreat comes new wisdom and possibility; a chance to restore the spirit, mind, and body.

Each day I take parts of my adventures and capture perfect moments I feel I cannot possibly improve on. Though living by sun and moon is an amazing and liberating experience, with freedom typically comes responsibility. The sun, though our life giver, can be just as merciless as it is loving and I am currently on my second biopsy from the harsh California rays. Coolibar takes a huge burden off my shoulders when it comes to my sun protection worries, so thank you Coolibar for everything you do!

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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Tania Prymak

I have always loved sports of all kinds! My problem growing up was trying to play as many sports as I could; softball, soccer, skiing, swimming, track and field. Ultimately, I had to narrow it down to a sport I was really passionate about—skiing. I started ski racing when I was eight years old and in eighth grade attended Burke Mountain Academy, an elite ski academy in East Burke, VT. I trained on a daily basis, racing all over the country and internationally. I raced in alpine state championships, Junior Olympics and a variety of International Ski Federation races.

All of this travel led me to a ski resort in Oregon where elite US ski cross athletes were training on a ski cross course. Completely intrigued, I knew this was something I had to do. In the early winter season, after my high school graduation, I travelled back to Oregon to try the freestyle skiing event I saw. I was hooked instantly!

Even though I have only two seasons of ski cross racing under my belt, I have accomplished a lot. I am the 2011 USASA Woman’s National Ski Cross Champion and the USSA Revolution Tour Champion. I’m also the 2012 NorAm 4th place finisher in Copper Mountain, CO, the Hole Shot Tour 3rd place finisher and 1st place finisher at Killington Mountain, VT.

The highlight of 2012 was being named to the USA World Junior Team that travelled to Valmalenco, Italy in April 2012 for FIS Junior World Ski Championships. Competing against an international field of junior woman, I finished 16th overall, and best of all US women.

After attempting two World Cup races last winter, which was challenging, I learned I need to get serious about training. I hope to move out to Colorado for the upcoming winter season to concentrate on all aspects of training to compete and achieve solid results. This will help me reach my goal of qualifying for an Olympic spot in the future.

Skiing requires year-round training, most done outdoors. During the summer, road and mountain biking comprises much of my training and the sun can be brutal. During my high school alpine ski academy experience, I was hospitalized often and diagnosed with kidney disease. Unfortunately, I was on many strong medications that created other problems, one being skin problems. I have a severe allergy to Doxycycline, and sensitivity to the sun with other meds. I use Coolibar clothing during training and at races during sunny days to protect against burn.

When I’m not skiing, I’m attending school at the University of New Hampshire. I’m majoring in biomedical sciences with the intent of applying to veterinary or medical school. I am currently on leave while I complete EMT training to gain real hands-on experience and look forward to volunteering on an ambulance core and hopefully a ski patrol group. I also love to scuba and am a scuba-certified advanced and scientific research diver. I can ride a unicycle too! I love spending time with my family, friends and my crazy Jack Russell!

Tania Prymak Ski Cross
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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Peter Urban

I’ve been playing competitive tennis for almost 30 years, including Division I tennis for Fairfield University from 1985 to 1989. I’m a United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Central Massachusetts Indoor Tennis Association (CMITA) league tennis player with a  4.5 ranking. Went 10-3 during regular season in 2010 USTA tennis league at number one singles and finished 2012 CMITA tennis league at 4-1-1.

My current goal is to publish a book that describes how to watch the ball, “Gaze Control – How to Watch the Ball.” Growing up, everyone told me to watch the ball, but nobody ever explained how to do this. I have an outline of the book completed. Now I just need to finish it and add video!

I also enjoy the outdoors and make a point to be active. If I’m not playing tennis I am running and surfing. I’m also an avid skier, having skied extensively in the US, Canada and Europe.

Fall 2011, I had skin cancer removed from center of my back. My dermatologist claimed this location is typical with men. Fortunately it was curable. Now, I realize I need to be extra careful in the sun. However, sunscreen lotion is inadequate because it is difficult to apply to the back and sweat removes it. I would like to go outside without worrying if I missed a spot.  I also don’t want to worry about whether I applied the right amount of sunscreen, or if it is no longer protecting me. I use clothing for sun protection because it is faster to put a shirt on than to take 10 minutes to put on lotion. I hope my story will help others to see the value in using sun protective clothing.

Peter Playing Tennis
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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Elena King

I am a Class A Member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professional Division. Prior to founding my golf instruction company, ExperienceGolf, I spent five years as an instructor at the McGetrick Golf Academy.  After graduation from the University of Iowa, where I was a captain for three years, I continued on to play competitive professional golf for five years.

When Common Ground Golf Course opened in 2009 my company was asked to head-up golf instruction. The Common Ground Golf Course was designed to inspire and promote the game of golf at all levels. Because of my coaching approach and ExperienceGolf, my instruction equates to enjoyment for my students and myself. Lasting relationships have been formed. State and national championships have been celebrated. Career rounds have been toasted!

Blending my experience playing and coaching golf, I offer a comprehensive approach to the game including overall performance and player development. I coach players of all skill levels from beginners to touring professionals and tailor my approach to support each individual in discovering his or her specific goals. I am privileged to coach and mentor many of the top competitive junior players in Colorado.

My many years in the golf industry under the sun, I am adamant about protecting my skin from the sun. With Colorado having one of the highest percentages of skin cancer in the United States, I constantly remind my students to wear quality sunscreen and the importance of the sun protective clothing and hats.

CWGA Experience Day May 2012
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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Molly Baross

Hi, my name is Molly Baross and I am 64 years old. Yes, really! I am a Master’s synchronized swimmer. I learned the sport of “synchro” as a young girl at age 14 after swimming competitively. We practiced in an indoor pool and never had to worry about sun exposure. My team placed very high nationally in the USA. Of course, synchro was a small sport then and it was not included in college programs or the Olympics, so at age 20 I retired from the sport to pursue college, career, marriage and family.

Flash forward to after having a successful career and prospering family. I wanted exercise to help my slightly arthritic body and to keep me in shape. I joined a Masters synchro team. It was wonderful to be back in the water participating in a sport that I already had some awareness of and to get such great exercise. My team, The Unsyncables of La Mirada, competes nationally at least once a year against people in our own age group. Preparing for the competitions takes lots of practice, endurance and conditioning to be strong enough to hold your breath and do the complicated movements.

In competitions, I like to join either 4-8 other swimmers for a team routine. We choose the music, the movements and are coached to perform to our best abilities. Synchronized swimming is never perfect. There are always ways to perform better, and it takes many hours of practice to come close to acceptable. I also like to swim with a partner in the duet or sometimes with two other partners for a trio routine. If I feel brave enough or have enough time to practice, I will prepare a solo routine; however, solos are very scary!

Our efforts have paid off. In October 2011, nationally, my team placed 1st and my duet was 1st also. Two years ago in Sweden, where we competed in Fina Worlds synchronized swimming, my team placed 1st, our duet was 1st also and I placed 2nd in solo. At present, we are preparing to compete in Riccione, Italy at the Fina World’s Aquatic Championships, June 9-17, and in October, for the National Synchronized swimming Championships in Florida.

Having a tanned body isn’t the same now as it was when I was 17 years old. I don’t want to have freckles and spots on my face, arms and body. I use sunscreen all of the time and coat my face. I’m excited to try Coolibar so I can enjoy my time in the water and sun without suffering from the elements.

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Coolibar Athletes Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete John Barker

I began doing triathlons in 2007 as a way to get into better shape and became hooked on the sport. I’ve competed in one sprint and two Olympic distance triathlons. My plan is to eventually do an ironman.

In the fall of 2009, I began my training to do a half ironman in the summer of 2010 when I met Lee, a neighbor of my parents. It was Thanksgiving and he was going around to his neighbors delivering fruit baskets that they had put together at church. After talking with Lee for a little bit, I learned that he was dying from kidney disease and was waiting for an organ donation. Lee’s faith thru his ordeal was very inspiring to me, so I decided to be tested to see if I was a kidney donor match. We went through the transplant surgery on July 1, 2010, and it was a great success! I had some complications with pain from the surgery, so I put off training for triathlons for another year.

I am now back on track and will be competing in my first triathlon since the surgery on July 14, 2012. My training routine has become a part of my life, and competing in this local triathlon is my first step toward doing an ironman.

Ever since my wife Elizabeth began working for Coolibar [sun protection you wear] we have learned a lot about the dangers of being exposed to ultraviolet radiation. As a triathlete, I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I am appalled at how little concern there is among other triathletes to these dangers. As an athlete, I want help educate other athletes about the importance of sun protection.

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Chad Grigsby Coolibar Athletes Inside Coolibar Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Athlete Chad Grigsby

I love to fish! I have fished since I was six years old, and it gave me a passion for the outdoors. I started fishing local tournaments in Michigan when I was 17 and always had the goal of taking it to the next level. I had a job in advertising and sales for about 10 years and then finally decided to take the risk and try fishing full time in 2002. I have been extremely fortunate in being able to live my dream and fish for a living. I love what I do every single day and know how lucky I am to do it.

2012 marks my 10th year as a full-time pro on the FLW Tour – the top level of tournament bass fishing. I have 7 top ten finishes on the Tour and one win, which was in 2011 on Kentucky Lake. I have qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup (superbowl of bass fishing) four times. My goals at the beginning of every season are to be Angler of the Year, win a Tour event and qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup.

I spend more than 100 days a year on the water during practice and tournament days. Some days I spend 15 hours on the water with over 12 hours in the direct sun. It takes a product like Coolibar to protect me from harmful UV rays – I apply sunscreen every morning – but I don’t always think about re-applying, and I need to. Coolibar eliminates that necessity.

When I’m not fishing, I enjoy hunting, golfing, mountain biking and also spending time with my family and do-it-yourself home improvement projects.

Career Highlights:

Grigsby has six top-10 finishes, including a 2011 win at Kentucky Lake, on the Walmart FLW Tour and a runner-up finish at the Forrest Wood Cup in 2005…Grigsby began his professional fishing career in 2003 when he compted in his first full season on the FLW Tour.

2011: Grigsby earned his first FLW Tour win at Kentucky Lake by weighing his career-heaviest stringer (22-13) on the final day.

2010: Grigsby posted a runner-up effort on Fort Loudoun/Tellico lakes.

2009: Grigsby, who excels at sight fishing, began the FLW Series Eastern Division season with a 16th-place finish on Lake Okeechobee, which happens to be his favorite lake, and ended the year ranked 19th in the Angler of the Year standings.

2006: He registered three top-20 finishes on Tour with a ninth-place finish on Lake Okeechobee, a 17th-place effort on Beaver Lake and a 15th-place finish on Lake Champlain.

2005: In Tour competition, he finished the year ranked 26th in the AOY race and fell just short of securing a win on bass fishing’s biggest stage – the Forrest Wood Cup – when he finished second on Lake Hamilton. 2003: Grigsby posted three top-15 finishes in 2003 EverStart Series Southeast Division competition, including a season opening sixth-place finish on Lake Okeechobee, to end the year ranked seventh.

Personal:

Chad is married to Bridget and they have two daughters, Isabelle (4 years) and Avrey (2 years). When Chad isn’t competeing on Tour he loves to hunt and golf and he especially enjoys cooking for his family.

We are honored to have Chad as part of Team Coolibar and look forward to a sun AWARE fishing season. 

Chad casting
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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Melanoma Survivor Stan

During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar invites skin cancer survivors to share their stories with us in their own words. The ins and outs of treatment can be intense and not necessarily a fun thing to read; however hope, determination and drive to educate others play a major role in these individuals’ lives. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone. Prevention and early detection can be life saving! We hope you share these stories with your friends, family and colleagues. Be SunAWARE this month the all year round.

“My name is Stan Hankins, age 76, and I live in Albert Lea, Minnesota. I discovered a lump under my jaw in the fall of 2010. The tumor was surgically removed by a Mayo surgeon in Rochester, Minnesota, in December 2010. The pathology report showed metastatic melanoma that had spread from an unknown skin mole that was never found. I had never noticed a mole that looked suspicious nor had a doctor check any moles. In March of 2011 a new tumor was discovered in the same general area as the first one. It was removed along with 110 lymph nodes in my neck and cheek. The tumor and two of the lymph nodes in the tumor were again diagnosed as metastatic melanoma.

After healing of the surgical site, I underwent five radiation treatments. Each of the five treatments was equivalent to six regular radiation treatments, because melanoma is a beast. In June of 2011 a PET scan revealed tumors on the left lung. In July my doctor started me on Leukine where I self-injected the drug that has shown some success in melanoma patients. I did this until October when I had a CT scan that showed multiple tumors had developed in both lungs as well as on my liver and peritoneum. I had another surgery in October to obtain a biopsy of the lungs to determine that it was indeed metastatic melanoma. With melanoma in my vital organs, my prognosis was rather dire. I would probably live less than a year.

In November 2011 my doctor at Mayo suggested that I join a clinical trial that was just beginning. There are eleven patients on this clinical trial. The doctor had done a similar clinical trial six years ago, and two of the ten patients are alive and show no signs of melanoma. The trial is a 28-day cycle. I take a nausea pill and chemo pills before bedtime for 5 nights and then nothing for the next 23 days. The chemo drug boosts the immune system and does not destroy good body cells, and it does not make me sick at all.

After the second cycle in January 2012, I had a CT scan that showed many of the smaller tumors had disappeared, and the larger ones were reduced by 50 percent! After the fourth cycle in March, I had another CT scan that showed further reduction of the tumors, and my liver was clear of tumors. I have just completed six cycles, and I will have my next CT scan in May. My hope is that all of the tumors have disappeared. Six people of the eleven on this clinical trial have had positive results. My doctor is excited and I am. Our hope is that this is a breakthrough for melanoma treatment. I consider this a miracle. Throughout this journey, I have had prayer covering around the world. I have no symptoms, and I am feeling great.

I used to have no worries about the sun, and for many years I wore no shirt outside during the summer. Now I wear a hat and a long-sleeved shirt when I am outside. My advice would be to have moles checked out by a doctor on a regular basis, because I obviously had a mole that was the culprit and I never noticed it.”

Photo: The picture was taken in May 2011 when I finished radiation at Mayo.  They have patients ring the bell to celebrate the completion of treatment. I had five treatments that were equivalent to 30 treatments.

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Apply Sunscreen Educate Others Sunscreens and Lotions

FDA Sunscreen Label Changes Postponed

Sunscreen Label Changes

Consumer, beware of misleading sunscreen labels in your local drug stores this summer. Last Friday (May 11, 2012) the Food and Drug Administration announced it will no longer force sunscreen manufactures to change their labels to better inform consumers by June 18, 2012. Manufactures now have until December 2012, a six month extension, and smaller manufactures will have as long as December 2013. The decision to extend the deadline stemmed from a concern that sunscreen demand would outweigh supply of sunscreen if bottles had to be removed from shelves due to inaccurate labeling. This gives sunscreen manufactures more time to change over to the new guidelines without diminishing supply.

Over the summer, expect to see labels that state “waterproof”, “sweatproof” or “sunblock”, even though dermatologists claim them to be misleading. Board Certified Dermatologist Jamie Davis, M.D, says, “No sunscreen blocks 100% of ultraviolet radiation from the sun, so calling it sunblock provides a false sense of security to consumers. Also, the SPF rating on sunscreen only rates UVB (burning) rays, not UVA (aging) rays. Consumers will need to look for labels that state ‘broad spectrum’ on the bottle for UVA and UVB protection and at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 plus to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.” On new labels, only sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher that also pass a broad spectrum test will be able to claim “prevents skin cancer”. A mix of old and new labels will appear on the shelves throughout summer as some manufactures have already changed their labeling standards.

To protect skin, Dr. Davis recommends purchasing sunscreens that are SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum and water or sweat-resistant. Also look for active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Apply at least a shot glass full to exposed skin (not applying enough is a common mistake). Continue to reapply throughout the day. For the best protection, members of the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using sun protective clothing as the primary form of protection in the sun including a wide brim hat, sunglasses and clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Expert Rx Routinely Check Skin Videos

Free Skin Checks on Melanoma Monday + Tanning Mom Skit

Is your FREE SKIN CHECK scheduled? Today, the first Monday of May, is Melanoma Monday and dermatology offices across the country are offering free skin checks as a reminder to get your annual exam. A yearly skin check promotes good health and skin cancer prevention, today and all year long.

It is currently estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early skin cancer is highly treatable, and is often preventable.  Because the signs of skin cancer are visible on the surface, you just need to call your doctor when you see something unusual, growing, or changing on your skin.

You can search the website of the American Academy of Dermatology and their SPOT initiative to find a free screening near you.

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.  If you could reduce your risk of skin cancer by just seeking shade, wearing sun protective clothing and sunscreen, and avoiding tanning beds, wouldn’t you?

Ask your loved ones to commit to keeping their skin safe and getting a skin check.

Now, if we could just convince Tanning Mom that her bronzed skin is not good for her.  Watch the Tanning Mom skit from Saturday Night Live.

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