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Skin Diaries

World-Renowned Golf Instructor Teaches Sun Safety

By David Leadbetter

As a professional golf coach, I am very focused on the health and fitness component of a player’s performance. The game has so many positive health benefits but like anything where you are outside for long periods of time, sun awareness and protection are vitally important.

I was born in England but moved to Southern Africa when I was a young boy, so we grew up playing lots of sports and activities outdoors with lots of sun. Back then in the 60’s and 70’s skin cancer wasn’t really ever spoken about, and sunscreen may have been applied but mainly to the nose and ears to prevent peeling. Hats weren’t always worn either. We never had the level of knowledge about protecting ourselves as we do today. 

I became more acutely aware when my father was diagnosed with Melanoma, no doubt as a result of overexposure to the sun. Sadly, he passed away from it and as a result I have become very conscious and proactive in protecting myself and my family from the negative effects of the sun and going for regular checkups to the dermatologist.  Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States but not only is skin cancer preventable, it’s highly treatable when detected early.  

I was introduced initially to Coolibar through my wife Kelly, who grew up in sunny Arizona. Our dermatologist recommended I wear Coolibar’s sun sleeves to protect my arms since I’m outside for long periods of time. My wife Kelly had been a Coolibar customer for a while and selected some pieces for me. I especially liked the fashionable Erodym shirt with long sleeves and after that was sold. I have been wearing the products for a while now and really enjoy the style, comfort and performance of the products.

Over the years, awareness of sun protection has increased substantially and particularly within the golf industry but I think there is still a long way to go.   My trademark has always been wearing a straw hat  and sunglasses. I never leave home without them, plus SPF lip balm and a high quality SPF sunscreen.

I am really excited to be an ambassador for Coolibar and work with the team on developing new products and raising the awareness for sun protection.

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Skin Diaries

‘Shadow Jumper’ with Rare Disorder

By: Cayla Marie

At age 13, I was diagnosed with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP). Ever heard of it? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I have yet to stumble upon someone who knows this invisible disorder. In fact, it took my mother 13 years of dedicated searching to find a doctor who understood what was happening.

According to the American Porphyria Foundation, Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) is a rare inherited metabolic disorder characterized by a deficiency of the enzyme ferrochelatase (FECH). Due to abnormally low levels of this enzyme, excessive amounts of protoporphyrin accumulate in the bone marrow, blood plasma, and red blood cells. The major symptom of this disorder is hypersensitivity of the skin to sunlight and some types of artificial light, such as fluorescent lights (photosensitivity). After exposure to light, the skin may become itchy and painful. Affected individuals may also experience a burning sensation on their skin. The hands, arms, and face are the most affected areas. Some people with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria may also have complications related to liver and gallbladder function.

Imagine going to the beach as a kid and all you wanted to do was scream and cry because it hurt so much to be outside that you couldn’t stand it. Tears welled up in your eyes as you fought to hide your hands in the sand because it was the only relief, just to find that the scratch of the sand on your skin intensified the pain. As a result, you shook the sand off your hands and ran to the water, only to find the impact of the air on your skin after submerging in the cool water was unbearable. The pain onset rapidly and was excruciating, but no one else could see it but you – it was invisible.

Do you look crazy? Probably. It doesn’t surprise me that some doctors would think of a mental health issue and recommend therapy. To make it even crazier, my sister had the same feelings! At least someone didn’t think I was crazy.

My mom was determined to understand what was wrong. We went to every doctor under the sun (no pun intended!) without any luck until 2003, when we finally stumbled upon a dermatologist who thought our case was intriguing. After countless appointments, we were diagnosed.

Once we finally figured out what it was, we were able to take a deep breath and think about life a little differently. I became a ‘shadow jumper,’ running from shadow to shadow to avoid the painful reaction to the sun. Staying inside just seemed easier. I remember trying out for the soccer team in middle school and just bawling my eyes out in the locker room because I couldn’t stay out long enough to make the team.

I was determined to live a normal life in high school. I played soccer, I was in band, and I ran track. I covered myself from head to toe to make it happen. I lived through constant comments and misunderstandings (not easy for a teenage girl), hiding under trees when I could, and only stripped down to my uniform strictly for game-time. What the others didn’t see was me running my hands along the cool metal bar under the seat of the desk during class the next day, desperate for something to calm down the intensity of the pain on my hands. They didn’t see me struggle to shower after practice while even cool water felt like 117 degrees on my face.

It wasn’t until college that I finally started finding my way. I discovered the value of forming relationships with those who appreciate you as an individual and don’t care about how you look. I even found the BEST sport on the face of the planet for those who are sun-sensitive – caving! There is nothing more fun than crawling around in the mud and exploring the dark places of the world with great friends. I found that outdoor enthusiasts were the most gentle, caring people in the world. While it may seem counterintuitive based on my natural resistance to the sun, all I wanted to do was be outside with my new friends.

Hats, masks, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and umbrellas become a part of everyday life. I finally understood that it didn’t matter what I looked like (though I was excited to find the skin-colored gloves). I could, and should, enjoy myself outside just like everyone else (with the right coverage, of course) and that’s all I really wanted to do. I found my way, embraced my disorder, and confidently became the vampire I am today!

After finishing my undergraduate degree at Penn State, I moved to the Pacific Northwest – the rainiest, cloudiest area of the country and I started to go outside more often. I married my incredible husband who will gladly be my shade in every situation. He is also totally fine getting caught in the rain with me, which is great!

After 30 years of making my way through the shadows, I caught wind of some medical research on my disorder. Scientists have come up with an implant called Scenesse that reduces the painful impact of sun exposure for those with EPP.  I was approved in August for my first dose, and I can’t even describe the emotions I experienced when I received that email.  For the first time in my life, I went outside to water my garden without having to put on my ‘porphyria suit’. I drove to the grocery store and walked from my car to the door without putting on several layers of additional clothing to go outside. It was incredible! The convenience of it all still baffles me! While I only seem to get about 15 minutes of outdoor time before the pain kicks in, I am filled with joy and gratitude for those minutes that many take for granted. I will cherish each of those convenient moments. Medical innovations are truly miracles and I appreciate those who investigated the life-changing impact for someone who can’t go in the sun.

Regardless of my porphyria, the wilderness is where I feel most at home (kind of ironic). In April of 2022, I will be setting out on a trek to hike the Pacific Crest Trail – a 2,650-mile journey from Mexico to Canada. The thru-hike is notoriously challenging both physically and mentally, but I am ready for the adventure! It will be interesting to see how long I can make it in the daylight, or if I switch to night hiking. Whether I make it 100 miles, 1,000 miles, or all the way to Canada, I will be proud of the progress I’ve made getting outdoors as an individual with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP).

Follow along @cdank13 Instagram to learn more about the experiences of a porphyria warrior.

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Skin Diaries

Pro Golfer Inspired by Grandfather’s Melanoma Diagnosis

By: Kaitlin Milligan

Growing up, I always wanted to be outside whether it was sports-related or even just cooking out with the family. Every chance I got; I was out under the sun. More often than not, you could find me at the course perfecting my golf game.

Golf has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve been playing ever since I could walk and competitively since I was seven. Every weekend I had tournaments and every day after school I had practices. It wasn’t until I went to college at the University of Oklahoma that I started to realize just how much time I spent outside, especially with golf. 

Around the time I left home for college in 2018, my grandfather was diagnosed with melanoma. The doctor found a spot on his nose and explained that it had to be removed right away. My grandfather was always the person that never had anything wrong with them, which is why his diagnosis shocked my family. He was beyond tough, fought hard, and in the end, he beat cancer. His journey truly showed me how important it was to take care of yourself.

My entire family is now consciously aware of the way our skin changes and how fragile we all are when it comes to the sun. We’re constantly looking for new spots and are scheduling check-ups with our dermatologist. With this constant vigilance, my grandfather recently had more bumps on his nose checked out and found that they were pre-cancerous. Since he identified these spots early on, all he had to do was get them removed. He continues to be an exemplary model of how to take care of your skin, especially on the golf course. I don’t think I ever saw him wear a hat or put sunscreen on before cancer but now he is religious about it.

It’s because of him, I started wearing sun-protective long sleeves on the course, applying sunscreen to any skin I have exposed, and I’m working on trying to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes (that one is a work in progress). In 2021, I began my professional golfing career, which meant that I could finally pick the clothes that I wanted to wear. I was explaining to a family friend what I was looking for in a clothing brand—my primary need being sun protection—and he introduced me to Coolibar.

It made me very happy knowing I was protected in the sun while also feeling stylish and sporty on the golf course. I can now practice as long as I want in the Arizona sun and be certain I am covered. I think there is a general belief that skin cancer is treatable, and we often downplay the effects and the need for protection. That’s why I want to promote sun safety to other golfers, especially the younger generations, and educate them on why it is extremely important to protect their skin.

My grandfather’s experience helped me gain a desire to want to help others become more proactive with their sun-safety, in hopes that they will never have to hear the words, “you have cancer”, like my grandfather did.

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Live Wisely

6 Easy New Year’s Resolutions You Must Try this Year

New year, new you. It’s a phrase we are all very familiar with and tell ourselves every 12 months. In a recent study, they found that approximately 80% of resolutions fail by February.

The secret to successful resolutions is keeping them realistic and attainable in a way that you feel progress from the start. Go for the win by focusing on things that give you emotional satisfaction as well as outward results. So, here are 6 little things you can easily do to feel good and realign goals you’ve been carrying for the last few days, weeks or perhaps even years. But, this year is different because it is YOUR year.

1. Get Outside

Almost every year, it seems like people sign up for a new spin class or a personal trainer at their local gym. They dedicate themselves to it for two months and burn out. Don’t worry about joining a club, just get outside. It can be as simple as going on a 30-minute walk before you start your day to going on a quick bike ride around the neighborhood in the afternoon. The fresh air will recharge you! Don’t sacrifice your skin though. Keep sun-safe and cool in a hat and UPF 50+ clothes made for fitness, like those that have cooling technology built in.

2. Sign Up for a Lesson or Class

Never too old to learn a few new tricks! An always popular choice is taking up golf or tennis. Just make sure to cover up for all that added sun exposure! Other ideas could be learning a new language or picking up a new computer skill. You’ll never regret owning an abundance of diverse skills later in life.

3. Rekindle Important Relationships

Life gets crazy. It’s inevitable. But NEVER lose sight of, or become too busy for, your friends and family. Make one phone call a week with a distant friend; simply inviting family over once a month for dinner (delivered if you’re not into cooking); that’s all it takes. once a week, to simply inviting family over once a month for dinner, that’s all it takes, and it goes a very long way. At the end of the day, the relationships we have are more valuable than anything imaginable.

4. Take Care of Your Skin

This is one we are really challenging you to this upcoming year. How often are you consciously thinking about the amount of sun exposure you are receiving every day? Whether you are in the car or at work, there are so many sneaky ways that we are exposing ourselves to UV rays! A good habit to start as soon as possible is applying a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 daily. Afraid of needing to reapply or having an oily feel to your skin? Choose UPF 50+ clothing that blocks out 98% of UV rays and never washes out!

5. Indulge Once a Week

A classic resolution, like dieting, can be extremely tricky, hence the reason it is a reoccurring challenge. One of the secrets is balance and easing into it. Start by dedicating 5 days a week of healthier food choices and then rewarding yourself with a cheat meal. If you become too obsessed with it right away you will become miserable, and nobody wants to associate food with misery. If you are struggling with figuring out where to start, here’s a great beginners guide to understanding food.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

Be good to yourself. Do nice things for yourself. Reward yourself for all your hard work. We can get so caught up in our jobs or daily chores and forget to take care of ourselves. Need a spa day? Have it. You’ve been looking at that new bike for a while? Get it. That tropical vacation you’ve had your eye on? Book it. Try and do one thing completely for yourself at least once a week.

New Year’s is an end and a beginning. It allows you to turn the page and focus on the new goals you’ve just created for yourself. But remember, all of this depends on you and how ready you are to commit. Make the most of 2020. We are all rooting for you!

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Live Wisely

Hawaii Bans Most Sunscreens. How Do I Cover Up?

It’s no secret that the coral reefs of the world are diminishing. From climate change to overfishing, one of Earth’s strongest ecosystems is being destroyed by countless factors. And just to make matters worse, a recently discovered threat may top the list – sunscreen.

For decades, research has proven the vitalness behind basic sunscreen usage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. With that statistic alone, there’s no denying the importance, but what environmental cost are we willing to pay?

Should I Not Use Sunscreen Anymore?

To clarify a bit, not all sunscreens are harmful. The two active ingredients in question, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are the main perpetrators and have been linked directly to increased bleaching, genetic damage to the reefs and it’s marine organisms and ultimately irreversible death to the coral. In fact, Hawaii, one of the world’s most popular tourist areas known for its coral reefs, signed the country’s first bill banning sunscreens containing the two destructive chemicals starting January 1st, 2021. The island’s ground-breaking decision even influenced the Western Pacific nation of Palau to take action and many others are expected to join the movement.

So How Am I to Cover Up?

The bills don’t take effect for a couple years but transitioning now will greatly benefit the coral reefs. Although oxybenzone and octinoxate are two of the most common active ingredients found in sunscreens, there are other ingredients that are dermatologist recommended and considered environmentally safe by researchers.

Dr. Monica Scheel, a board-certified dermatologist in Kona, stated that, “Your best sun protection ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.” Also, remember when searching to look for products that are “non-nano”, such as Badger, Coola and MDSolarSciences, because nanoparticles can be consumed by the corals and ultimately cause death.

Along with seeking shade whenever possible and limiting sun exposure, choosing UPF 50+ clothing is also a highly recommended move. Dr. Henry W. Lim, the president of the American Academy of Dermatology, considers UPF 50+ clothing just as effective as sunscreen.

For the environmental specialists, it’s simple. Craig Downs, the executive director of the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory that has studied the damage caused by sunscreen on the coral reefs, said, “For women in a bikini, 85% of her body will be covered in sunscreen. She can reduce that by 50% just by wearing a sun shirt.”

Obviously, sunscreen isn’t the only detrimental force attacking the coral reefs of the world, but it is one of the most controllable. That reasoning alone should be more than enough to encourage us all to reevaluate our approach to protecting ourselves in the sun. Together, we can protect the coral reefs.

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Skin Diaries This is Brave

This is Brave: Judy Cloud

Most of my life, I would not have associated the word ‘passionate’ with skin cancer, but here I am, passionate about skin cancer. Sounds odd, I agree. How did that happen, you ask?  The answer is this:  I have had skin cancer for over twenty years, and it won’t go away. I have had numerous surgeries to remove cancerous areas. Each day I am looking in the mirror, checking for new areas. And each time I find a suspicious place on my skin, it causes anxiety.

The truth is, skin cancer can largely be avoided by practicing good sun habits – protect your skin from over-exposure to the sun, use sunscreen, wear hats and sun protective clothing, avoid being in the sun during its strongest hours, and above all, do not use tanning beds. Yes, there can be a genetic factor to skin cancer, but largely, it can be prevented. And this is why I am passionate about raising skin cancer awareness. When I was growing up, there wasn’t much, if any, information about the dangers of overexposure to the sun. Kids played outside all day long. Sunscreen, if we had it, was SPF 2 or 4. Sunburns were common for fair-skinned people like me. Then along came tanning beds, which were introduced to us as being much safer than the sun (and which we now know is not at all true). Now we have more access to information. Now we see the results of generations of people who had over-exposure to the sun and went to tanning beds. Now we know better, and now we can do better. I don’t want others to have to go through what I’m going through, and helping to raise awareness about skin cancer is high on my priority list.

I must admit, being an advocate for skin cancer awareness at times puts me out of my comfort zone. I’m not used to having my life, complete with photos of my surgical wounds and healing process, ‘out there’ for all to see. But I need to be brave and continue to tell my story. And you as well, dear hearts. Be brave. If you are battling skin cancer, keep fighting. Keep telling your story. Keep raising awareness. And if you are someone who isn’t practicing the best sun habits, be brave. It’s okay to not have the ‘perfect’ summer tan. It’s okay to not go along with the crowd in thinking that you have to have a tan to fit in. One story at a time, one person at a time, we can raise awareness, passionately and bravely.

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Experts Say Live Wisely

10 Ways to Safely Enjoy the Sun

Between soccer games, outdoor concerts, travel and everyday moments, we are experiencing life outside more than ever. So, how can we develop a healthy relationship with the sun and stay safe? Experts recommend you start with these top 10 steps for protecting your family and preventing sun damage:

1. WEAR A WIDE-BRIMMED HAT WHENEVER POSSIBLE

One of the most common places for skin cancer is on the human scalp. A wide-brimmed (3-inch or greater) hat covers places where it is difficult to apply sunscreen, such as the tops of the ears and the back of the neck.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

2. WEAR UV-BLOCKING SUNGLASSES

Ocular melanoma is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults. Always wear high-quality UV-protective sunglasses whenever outdoors. Good sunglasses should block 100% of the sun’s UV spectrum – Ocular Melanoma Foundation

3. PROTECT YOUR SKIN WITH TRUSTED, TRIED AND TRUE UPF 50+ CLOTHING

Clothing is the best means of sun protection. Choose garments with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) label of 50 or higher to block 98% of all UV rays. A standard white cotton T-shirt will have a UPF of 5-7.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

4. DON’T GET BURNED!

What we call sunlight is technically ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays). In addition to cosmetic concerns like premature aging, wrinkling, leathery skin and unattractive sun spots (90% of which are caused by UV rays), UV rays alter our molecular structure and cause deep damage and skin cancer. In other words—don’t get burned! – American Cancer Society

5. WEAR GLOVES OR SUNSCREEN ON YOUR HANDS YEAR-ROUND

The backs of your hands, like your face, get sun exposure every day. The result: thinning, crinkled skin, dark spots, and skin cancers. Wear gloves or sunscreen year-round.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

6. ALWAYS WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES WHEN OUTDOORS

The heat can tempt you to shed clothes, sacrificing sun safety for comfort.  UPF clothing is made of lightweight, high-tech fabrics specially treated to be “breathable” and “sweat-wicking”. – Skin Cancer Foundation

7. WHETHER YOU’RE ON A PLANE, TRAIN, CAR OR BOAT, COVER UP

By law, most front windshields in cars are treated to filter out most UVA rays, but side and rear windows generally aren’t. If you’re flying to your vacation and love the window seat, know that UVA rays come through airplane windows. To be safe, wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing anytime you’re traveling. Skin Cancer Foundation

8. DIVERSIFY YOUR SUN-PROTECTION ROUTINE

Because exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, everyone should protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen of SPF 30+ on exposed areas. American Academy of Dermatology

9. PROTECT YOURSELF ON OVERCAST DAYS

NEW: Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. This is why people often end up with serious sunburns on overcast days if they’ve spent time outside with no sun protection. –Skin Cancer Foundation

10. SHARE YOUR SUN-SAFE HABITS WITH OTHERS, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN

One blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of cancer. Protect them with lightweight and breathable sun-protective clothing, ideally long-sleeves and long pants in bright colors. Cover eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses and scalps and necks with broad-brimmed hats with brims 4” around or greater. – Skin Cancer Foundation

 

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Sun Tips (Attachment)

 

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Wellness Warriors

What’s Your Ultimate Resort Destination?

Canyon Ranch Tucson - Guest Room

With the launch of our new Resort Collection, we’ve pondered the whole concept of the “resort experience.” Our new collection of colors and prints can help show what we decided. You’ll love the look right away. Once you slip into it, you’ll find it’s also about being comfortable – for wherever you go, whatever you’re doing and whenever you’re doing it.

Traveling to an actual resort is optional, but desirable. In fact, while we were dreaming up our Resort Collection, we dreamed up some of our favorite resort destinations. See if you agree!

Canyon Ranch,Tucson, Arizona

Canyon Ranch Tucson
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

A unique and original blend of upscale comfort and deep well-being. This place has evolved with the times – once a cattle ranch, then a classic guest ranch, now a fitness spa resort in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Actually, it’s an all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa. That sounds impressive, and it is; Canyon ranch has been a driving force as the entire concept of a “health resort” has taken off.

Suggested look: Ocean Glimmer Antigua Tunic

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California

Cal a Vie Resort
Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

For all of its hundreds – yes, hundreds – of spa treatments, fitness activities and mind-body-spirit classes, we can’t help but notice how simple and elemental this California health spa resort is. Particularly impressive is that the resort balances this active and/or meditative experience with a passion for fresh, local cuisine. And just for good measure, there’s golf at the resort’s Vista Valley Country Club.

Suggested look: Banded Fitness Tee with Swim Capris

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

Law
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Everything you could ask for in a wellness retreat: a lake (in this case, Austin Lake) for Paddle Fit, Aqua Zumba or just a mild boat cruise; the Lakehouse Spa with two pools, steam rooms and a café; luxury guest and garden rooms; five course meals and more. Bonus: all of this is surrounded by the incomparable Texas Hill Country.

Suggested look: ZnO Sun Wrap outfit

 

Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

If you’re thinking about visiting a spa on an island, you’ll find that here. But around it you’ll also discover a world-class resort, and all that that implies: a tiered pool complex including a splash park, a fully-equipped fitness center (think LCD TV screens) and a championship golf course for starters. The resort also provides a variety of ways to explore the island, for you and your whole family.  

Suggested look: Sport Polo with Zip Off Sun Visor

Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico

La Casa Dorada Resort Los Cabos
Courtesy of la Casa Dorada Resort

This is a truly impressive getaway that you’ll have almost as much fun telling people about as you will on the actual trip. A highlight is the saltwater spa – if you can tear yourself away from the pools, the four restaurants, the luxurious accommodations and the best swimmable beach in Cabo. This is for the whole family, too – pets included.

Suggested look: Convertible Swim Shirt outfit

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Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Asks: What Does Yoga Mean to You?

Coolibar - Yoga

We’ve been thinking about yoga a lot lately. We can’t help it. When you’re promoting sun protection, health, happiness and peace of mind, yoga just naturally comes up.

Do you practice yoga? If you do, what does it mean to “practice yoga?”

At one extreme are the hardcore enthusiasts.  You may have heard that yoga can relieve stress, improve digestion, balance the metabolism and strengthen the immune system. These folks will tell you yoga is about cleansing the bioemotional self, toning the endocrinal system, coordinating the musculoskeletal structure, creating a union between our physical and emotional beings.  It decreases cortisol and adrenalin, which co-opt the production of vital hormones! It promotes and balances neurotransmitters, and inverted postures re-balance the pituitary and thyroid glands!

Corresponding to this knowledge is a full range of classes. There’s hot yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga, and the list goes on.

Other people, as we’ve read, just like wearing the clothes. This is okay too; we know that not everyone wearing a North Face jacket is an experienced High Alps mountain climber either. And when you’re trying to attain a fully integrated mind and body, total comfort certainly helps.

At Coolibar we think our understanding of yoga is pretty balanced between the neurobiologists and those who just look the part.

“I just needed a form of physical activity that I didn’t dread,” says Heather Olson, Wholesale Operations Manager at Coolibar. She says she’s been practicing yoga for about two years, drawn to it by a background in dance with its balance and flexibility. “It’s a way to get a workout – and have fun.”

Coolibar Yoga
Kelly Johnson in Coolibar Banded Fitness Tee, Active Swim Tights

Kelly Johnson, Coolibar Customer Service Manager, thinks so too. “It’s a slower pace of exercise,” she says. “I’m not the type of person who likes to go to the gym and pump weights and run on the treadmill. I like the mediation aspect, too, to calm my mind, re-center and relax.”

About that last part: yoga can be especially practical if you’re living what we might refer to as a full life.

“I get stressed out easily,” Kelly says. “And I have a five-year-old. So yoga is my alone time.”

What kind of yogi (that would be, “one who practices yoga”) are you? Tell us about it!

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Coolibar Athletes Jim Webster

The Spirit of Competition Includes Sun Safety

Jim Webster "Web"

Coolibar continues highlighting our Sponsored Athletes for 2014. Here, long range marksman Jim Webster talks about striving for excellence and staying safe at the same time.

By Jim Webster

If I were to wager, I’d bet most of you have probably heard the phrase, “you have to burn before you tan”.  That was a favorite quote around my house.  We heard it every year from relatives when the family would go to VA Beach during the summer.

Vacation was always the last two weeks in August; right before school started when the sun absolutely baked the sand every day. You left for the beach first thing in the morning and didn’t come home until dinner. Umbrellas – not a chance. If you got too hot you just jumped in the water. That’s just the way it was 35 years ago.  And bake we did, then peel, then eventually the pink would turn brown by the time we were ready to head back to NY.

I am fortunate that my father’s side of the family is from the St. Kitts, a small island in the Caribbean about 200 miles southeast of San Juan.  This heritage means I tan quite easily, and over the years I have spent more than my share of time in the sun. So far I have been lucky. I will turn 49 this summer and have only had one spot on my arm that needed to be checked. It turned out to be nothing.

But that wasn’t the case for a friend of mine. Crockett, as he was known, was 50 years old in October of ‘99 when the doctor examined what he thought was a mole on his shoulder. It proved to be melanoma, and a short time later my friend lost his fight with skin cancer.

Jim Webster - Long Range Shooting

Long-range shooting competitions are one of my passions.  Events are held in wide-open areas.  They have to be for safety purposes. Picture an area that is 10 football fields long by five football fields wide.

Shooting begins early in the morning and runs until evening (e.g. similar to the days at the beach), and the only shade is what you find under the brim of your hat. Take in too much sun during the day and not only will your performance suffer, you could find yourself in a fight where the odds are not in your favor.

In my mind, what makes me an athlete it is what makes us all athletes: a willingness to push ourselves through whatever adversity life presents. Whether it is parenting, being a good friend, or success in work or competition, inherently we all want to do well. It feels good to perform well, and even better to win. Being able to harness this drive separates an average performance from an exceptional one.

Am I different than most? I don’t view it that way.  I am fortunate to have a supportive family and good friends. I do everything I can to make each day and each experience the best possible.

The bottom line: I enjoy spending time outside with my family and traveling to competitions. I enjoy the beach, and can’t wait to go back.  Simply stated, I don’t want to miss out on any of those opportunities. If being smart about my exposure to UV makes those things possible, then it is worth my time and effort. Coolibar makes is easy with comfortable active wear for every sport.

Have fun and stay safe,

WEB

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