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Coolibar Athlete Marion Lepert

I have a passion for windsurfing. My father got me started when I was eight years old (2004), and I have been hooked ever since. I learned in a small lagoon in Foster City, California. After three years of practice, I started racing with the local San Francisco Bay racing fleet. I loved the thrill of racing and the speed and tactics that accompany it, so I kept with it. Soon enough, thanks to the support and advice of the local SF racers and my family, I was ready to compete at the national and international level. 

Now, I have raced for almost six years and have traveled across the world to do so. My first major accomplishment was in 2009 when I became the US Junior Girl National Champion in Slalom and Formula windsurfing. I then trained harder and continued to travel to international events to learn from the top sailors. In 2011, I finished in the top 5 in three world championships, including first place at the Women’s Formula Worlds, and second place at the Junior Windsurfing Worlds. I consider myself very fortunate to race internationally, and my dream is now to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.

I currently enjoy windsurfing 2-3 times a week, and while I am very happy to be able to do so, I am concerned about my exposure to the sun. I became especially aware of this danger in 2010, when a member of my immediate family was diagnosed with melanoma. Since then, I have changed my mindset about being under the sun. I now understand that being exposed to the sun without protection is harmful to my skin, even when I do not sunburn, and this is why I consider sun protection a must whenever I go outdoors. While wearing sunscreen has been an option for me, Coolibar products are more effective and less burdensome because they allow me to avoid the hassle of trying to reapply sunscreen while I am wet and salty. And with UPF 50+ protection, I know I am safe from the sun when I have fun windsurfing!

In addition to windsurfing, I love running on local trails, volunteering with my school garden, baking chocolate desserts, spending time with my family and cuddling with my cat.

Marion Windsurfing
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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 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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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Style Expert Bridgette Raes on Summer Trends in UPF 50+

Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets. Now, Bridgette brings her expertise to the Coolibar Blog to show us how to prepare our wardrobe for warmer weather in a trend setting way.

The warm weather is here!  It’s time to get out and enjoy the sun.  Getting enough sunshine is important for your health and wellbeing, but too much sun can be very dangerous.  With Skin Cancer Awareness month this May, I thought it was important to write a blog that showed you how you can safely enjoy the sun this summer….while still looking fabulous.     

I decided to take some of Coolibar’s more popular pieces, all that have UPF 50+ and 98% UV Protection to show you just how easy it can be this summer to look good and care for your skin at the same time.

For this first look, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Harbor Hoodie in a classic navy and white stripe and paired it with some trendy red cropped pants.  Colored pants are so popular for summer and the overall look, worn with a pair of metallic wedges and an easy tote offers a timeless nautical style that is perfect for summer, be it for boating, going to the beach, the park or attending a barbecue with friends.  

 

Bright colored tunics and color blocking are two big trends right now. To address both, I took Coolibar’s ZnO Bayside Tunic and paired it with white Bermuda shorts and a pair of bright green sandals.  For more protection, I added Coolibar’s very versatile Sun Hat.  This is a great look that can be worn for just about anything you may be doing out and about this summer from a day out sightseeing to a casual dinner out with your mate.

 

For the beach, Coolibar’s Print Ruche Swim Shirt in this trendy zebra print is so exciting.  Not only can the chlorine and salt-water resistant swim shirt be cinched up and worn in the water, but it can also be worn as a tunic-length cover-up.  For additional sun protection (and style) can throw on Coolibar’s Packable Wide Brim Hat and a pair of their fabulous sunglasses.  Yellow is  one of the “it” colors for summer.  I went with a trendier yellow for that extra punch.  Lastly, a black straw bag and you can take from the beach to the street with this two-for-one piece.

 

In the summer, most of us get outside to exercise.  Often when working out we don’t think about how the sun could be damaging our skin.   There is a way to look stylish and be sun protected while getting your heart rate up.  Coolibar’s Swim Bike Run Jacket that has stylish contrast piping gives you a high performance jacket that can also be worn in the water.  Paired with their swim active capris and one of their fabulous hats, I threw in some additional pink accessories to inspire you to get out and get moving…while protecting yourself. 

 

Lastly, a tank top and capri jeans.  Who doesn’t have this look in their wardrobe for summer?  It is important to point out that if you’re looking to protect yourself from the sun this summer it does not mean that you have to get rid of your entire wardrobe.  Coolibar offers great ways to add protection to your existing style.  Every woman owns at least one cardigan in her wardrobe.  It’s a great piece to grab when you get chilly.  I love Coolibar’s ZnO Sun Wrap, particularly in their olive fatigue, which works so well with the most popular color of the summer season, orange!!!!  Worn with a pair of sandals, and one of Coolibar’s protective sun hats, you’ll be styling and saving your skin at the same time.

Shop Coolibar UPF 50+ Trends

Listen to Bridgette Raes on her radio talk show “Where Are You Going In That?” as she talks about Melanoma Month, the Melanoma Research Foundation and Coolibar.

Listen to internet radio with BridgetteRaes on Blog Talk Radio

 

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Educate Others Events Expert Rx

Coolibar Communicates the Importance of Sun Protection to Oncology Nurses

Limiting ultraviolet radiation exposure along with other changes in a person’s lifestyle such as quitting smoking, being physically active, and eating a better diet may reduce the risk of developing most types of cancer. But what about those who are in mid-battle of fighting off cancer, in any form? Sun protection is not only important for cancer prevention, but those in cancer treatment especially. The need to limit sun exposure is not always at top-of-mind when someone is going through cancer treatment, so both health care providers and patients need to be SunAWARE.

Today, approximately 12 million people alive in the United States have had some type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Some of these people are cancer-free; others still have the disease. Skin can become extremely sensitive during certain types of cancer treatment. Oftentimes drugs used in cancer treatment may make skin more sensitive to the sun.

While patients should always seek professional advice, using broad-spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin every day can help ease skin irritation and prevent skin damage from the sun’s ultra violet radiation. UVA has the ability to travel through most home and car windows unless they’ve been specifically treated to block UVA. When spending time outdoors, patients should wear a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Sun protective clothing that provides cooling sun relief is widely available today and can be found through a simple internet search. To stay comfortable outdoors, look for technical fabrics that offer a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating (UPF 50+ is the highest rating available), wick moisture and feel soft to the touch.

In order to help spread the message about the importance of sun protection Coolibar will be visiting the Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress in New Orleans, LA May 3 – May 6, 2012. Coolibar hopes to help oncology nurses recognize the need to communicate the importance of sun protection to patients to help ease skin conditions, provide comfort, and prevent skin cancer occurrences.

Oncology Nurses: Stop by booth number 918 to see Coolibar.

Annual ONS Congress

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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Wellness Warriors

Seeing Beyond my Vitiligo

Karl Dunbar can still recall the first day white spots began to appear on his skin.

“I was in seventh grade and my vitiligo started to appear on my right hand (on my thumb) and over my right eye,” says Dunbar. “At first, I tried to hide it by wearing gloves.” During high school and his early college years, his vitiligo became more apparent. “If you said anything about my skin we had to fight,” says Dunbar.

Vitiligo is a chronic disease that causes a loss of pigment in areas of the skin. People of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds can develop the disease. Vitiligo does not cause physical symptoms and is not contagious, but it can have a significant impact both psychologically and socially.

“When I was younger I used to wonder how I would look if I didn’t have it,” he says.

Now the defensive line coach for the New York Jets (former defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings) Dunbar sees he is defined by what he does, not by his appearance. “There’s not a whole bunch of us [people living with vitiligo] doing this,’’ he says. “I just hope that everything that I do, I get judged by what I do — not by how I look.”

Dunbar’s coaching record proves that he has not let his appearance hold him back. Dunbar is credited with having built one of the most stout run defenses in the league over the past several years. The Vikings lead the league in rush defense from 2006–2008 and ranked second in 2009. He also coached perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings ranked in the Top 10 in total defense from 2008–2010.

On top of being a coach in the National Football League, Dunbar also thinks of himself as a wellness coach and hopes to raise awareness for vitiligo and help the general public understand more about the disease.

“If vitiligo starts at a young age, it can be damaging to a young person’s self-esteem,” says Dunbar. “Over time, I’ve grown to deal with the people’s view on vitiligo and things they don’t understand. By getting this out [the message about what vitiligo is] I hope to help kids dealing with this skin condition not go into a shell, but thrive in their social growth.”

“It’s the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,” says Dunbar.

Coolibar sun protective clothing has the great fortune to be working with Karl Dunbar to help him spread the word about vitiligo and the importance of sun protection. “Those with vitiligo need to take caution in the sun because skin burns quicker and easier,” says Dunbar. Sun protection products such as UPF 50+ clothing, which Karl wears during training season and games, can prevent over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays that can lead to health problems down the road. Everyone of every ethnic background should use sun protection, including clothing, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, as a part of healthy living.

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