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Coolibar Athletes Sevve Stember

An Athlete Prepares for Summer

By Sevve Stember

As summer approaches, my mind shifts from snow sports (specifically nordic skiing) to climbing, trail running, and biking.

But that’s putting it all too simply. The changing of the seasons is always really meaningful, a natural opportunity to reflect on growth. In my professional, personal, and athletic life, I am always pushing myself to find and see growth within myself. Just as the trees stop growing during the winter as the snow flies, there are also periods where I see less growth than I’d like to. I think this is a fact of life that we all have to deal with.  However, spring brings us a yearly reminder that we are all capable of fantastic and beautiful feats.

I use the desire to always be my better self to fuel my seasonal and annual athletic pursuits. Below are some of the ways I prepare to do so this summer.

Goal Setting

I keep a journal/training log of my daily workouts. This allows me to hold myself accountable for getting outside or working out. The training log also allows me to compare my weekly, monthly, and yearly accomplishments to prior years. In doing so, I can push myself to log more hours on skis, climb harder routes, compare to what I’ve done in the past. It’s a really fun way of tracking my progress towards a goal. In my training log, there’s also a section that I dedicate to setting goals. I often set monthly, seasonal and yearly goals. Goal setting is a super-powerful method of motivating yourself and improving your own personal bests. Once the goals have been set, identify three action steps that will help you make progress towards your goals.

Injury Prevention

I recently went to the world-famous bouldering venue in Bishop, CA.

This was my first trip to Bishop and I was stoked out of my mind! I eagerly threw myself at boulder problem after boulder problem, and unfortunately I did not warm up properly. On the ultra-classic problem “Suspended in Silence”, you start off with an all points off dyno (a climbing move where you jump into the air). On my first attempt, I stuck the move. The next move involves a heel hook while using a crappy left hand hold. Unbeknownst to me, the left hand hold had recently broken, making the problem much harder than advertised. Refusing to believe that I couldn’t complete the problem, I torqued harder and harder on my heel hook. The result was – you guessed it – a loud “pop!” in my hamstring.

In the following days, I had trouble walking and was really sore. Fortunately, I’ve recovered quickly, but it was a good reminder that as summer approaches we must remember that easing back into our spring and summer activities is required to normalize our body/muscles to new stimuli. Take time to stretch, warm up properly, and ease back into your normal workout routines.

Sun Protection

Summer weather literally means more direct sun rays hitting the Earth, and therefore your skin. To account for this seasonal change, I always carry chapstick in my climbing pack. Additionally, being really fair skinned, I always wear a hat Cooilbar Athlete - Climbingoutdoors; it helps keep harmful rays off my skin.  Another strategy that I use is to always wear long sleeve shirts, when temperature dictates. When warmer, I always make sure to at least wear a short sleeve shirt. But I’ve found that the latest UPF 50+ fabrics don’t rely on density for their sun protection and can actually keep you cool even directly in the sun.  It’s just not worth exposing my bare back to the sun, no matter how hot it may be. Lastly, a supply of UVA/UVB sunscreen in my car and climbing pack is an essential that I never leave without.

It is so exciting to be on the threshold of another training, running and climbing season in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve got some big goals for the year:  climb 5.13a, boulder V8 and V9, climb the Red Dihedral in Yosemite National Park, and trail run 20+ miles per week. To reach these goals, it’s going to take discipline, prudence, and using the right gear.

In the coming weeks, I’d encourage everyone to sit down and ask yourself “What do I want from this summer?  What is something I’ve always wanted to accomplish, but not hard the time/energy/etc. for?”  Once you’ve answered these questions, apply some of the strategies outlined above and see your own personal progress becoming a reality. But most of all, just get outside, smile, and have fun!

 

Climber and multiple-sport athlete Sevve StemberSevve Stember is a climbing expert and multiple-sport athlete who has established climbing routes in the Andes, the Sierra Nevadas and several other mountain ranges. A former park ranger, Sevve also pursues camping, soccer and cross country skiing. Sevve is a 6th-grade science teacher at Cole Middle School in Denver, Colorado. He lives there with his wife, Andrea, also an accomplished cross country skier. His previous posts for Coolibar include “Why Climbing Matters.”

 

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Contests Inside Coolibar School sun safety Wear Sun Protection

Meet our 2013 School Sun Hat Contest Winners

Each year, Coolibar provides hats to five lucky classrooms across the US as part of our initiative to promote sun safety in schools. Our winners this year include a school nurse, a preschool teacher and lots of lucky students.

Let’s meet our 2013 winners…

 

 

Dawn from Monte Vista Elementary – Las Cruces, NM

Monte Vista Elementary – Las Cruces, New Mexico

Being a school nurse, Dawn knows the importance of sun safety. Monte Vista is located in an extremely hot part of New Mexico and the playground has very little shade. After winning the contest, Dawn was able to distribute hats to the entire kindergarten class to kick off the new school year, and her sun safety program. She teaches classes on sun safety and reminds her students to wear sunscreen and a hat. Dawn loved the hats so much, she purchased more through the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. Monte Vista students will definitely be protected this year. Way to go!

Kerri from Bramlett Elementary – Oxford, MS

Bramlett Elementary – Oxford, Mississippi

Kerri is a preschool teacher at Bramlett Elementary and knows it’s important for students to practice sun safety at recess, so she entered the contest. Her personal concern about sun exposure has escalated over the years, as she lost her friend to melanoma at the age of 30. In addition, her sister-in-law in Australia shared that kids there aren’t allowed to play outside at recess unless they wear a hat. Kerri hopes this becomes a trend in the US. Her class now wears their hat every day!

Dylan from Ogden Elementary – Wilmington, NC

Ogden Elementary – Wilmington, North Carolina

Dylan entered hoping he’d win for his 4th grade class. He grew up learning about sun safety; his mom is a naturopathic physician specializing in children’s health. Dylan lives in a beach community and is always outdoors, so sun protective clothing and hats are a natural (chemical free) way to protect him from the sun (and it keeps his mom happy)! Dylan handed the hats out during the school’s end-of-year class party.

 

Kaili from La Esparanza CDC – Albuquerque, NM

Kaili entered the contest because her school recently moved to a new location where there are not enough shade structures for the kids while playing at recess. Less than 1 percent of the class brings a sun hat to school, so winning Coolibar hats was very exciting! Kaili handed out the hats to her preschool class, and also provided them a lesson on sun protection.

Allison & Ethan from Fort Belvoir Elementary – Fort Belvoir, VA

The policy at Allison and Ethan’s school doesn’t allow teachers to apply sun block to students. But everyone can wear sun hats, so the brother and sister duo entered for their class. Many students at Fort Belvoir Elementary have families in the Air Force, so while sun protection is on their minds, family budgets are tight. The students are outside at recess every day, not protected from the sun. Allison & Ethan hope the hats will raise awareness among the kids and they will share with their parents. They handed the hats out at field day, when it gets really hot.

Congratulations to all of our 2013 School Sun Hat Contest winners!

Want to win hats for YOUR class? Our 2014 School Sun Hat Contest form is now available!  Enter here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3L56M7Q

 

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