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Coolibar Investigates – Adding Our Thoughts to This Morning’s Segment on GMA

We woke up to a little thrill this morning: sun protective clothing got the spotlight during a special segment on Good Morning America (ABC). This GMA Investigates piece makes a wonderful introduction for people who are just learning about the benefits of sun protective clothing.

In case you missed it, you can catch it here.

We at Coolibar believe this entire discussion is valuable for anyone who shops or will shop for sun protective clothing, and we’d like to add to it from our perspective.

GMA says: “Sun protective clothing has tightly woven fabric often treated with chemicals to help absorb UV rays.”

Coolibar adds: This can be true. But fabric technology has advanced far beyond spray-ons or other chemical treatments that will, eventually, wash out. Coolibar, for example, embeds tiny particles of common mineral ingredients used in sunscreen, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, into the fibers. These sun protective particles are permanent; they won’t wash or wear out.

Good Morning America - Coolibar

GMA says: “The darker the fabric and the tighter the weave, the higher the UPF.”

Coolibar adds: Also true. But the same advanced fabric technology drastically reduces the necessity for dark colors and tight weaves. Sun protective clothing does not need to be dark or heavy; instead, it’s lightweight, breathable (it actually keeps you cooler in the hot sun) and definitely fashionable.

GMA says:GMA Investigates tested five items all claiming to have a UPF between 50 and 100…All the clothing had around the UPF it claimed.”

Coolibar adds: We don’t discount these results, although current ASTM standards do not provide for a sun protective clothing manufacturer to label its clothing 100 UPF (some manufacturers claim 100 SPF). Instead, the highest possible rating is UPF 50+. We recently spoke with Dr. B. Lewis Slaten of International UV Testing Laboratories, an independent lab in Auburn, Alabama that tests UPF fabrics. Here is what he told us: “Well, 100 SPF is meaningless. The highest label is UPF 50. A 50 rating means that the material blocks 98 percent of UVA and UVB (the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays). Anything above that is inconsequential for most people.”

Again, it’s great to see sun protective clothing starting to pop up on conversations about health and skin care. Pass this along!

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Coolibar Athletes Mekia Earle

Deadlines! Even in Hawaii, Being a Mom, Teacher & Athlete Requires Planning (and Stamina)

Mekia Earle - Coolibar Sonsored Athlete 2014

Another Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete…

By Mekia Earle

I know that the parents out there will relate to my morning frenzy. Some may call it a routine, I suppose, but I prefer to call it “somewhat controlled chaos.”

As a teacher, I need to get to work by 7:15 am to prepare for the three hundred-plus other keiki (Hawaiian for children) in my life. This means that I am up by 5:45 am and am making the fruit and kale smoothie for the whole family by 6:00. And that’s the relaxing part. The craziness starts with my own two kids up a few minutes later, out of PJs, into clothes, breakfast, and out the door by 6:45. Deadlines!

Yes, my wonderful husband helps in this process, too.  He uses the double stroller and runs our son to day-care and then continues his trek taking our daughter to preschool.  He needs the exercise.

Because both kids will be outside playing in the tropical sun, my last two duties as morning mom are applying a thick layer of sunscreen to each and then sending them off running up the hill with two, make that three, kisses. My husband usually deserves one, too.

Then I head to school, but not before I also lather up with sunscreen as I, like my kids, will be outside for most of the day. My sunscreens of choice are Elta MD and Neutrogena – both highly recommended by the best dermatologist on the island.

Upon arrival at school, I set up the necessary equipment for the day’s lesson, which could range from gymnastic equipment to basketball hoops to obstacle courses. Teaching physical education is my dream job for many reasons.  I am lucky enough to play most of the day with eight- to ten-year-old girls, spreading the love of movement to the keiki. This is a built-in light workout; I don’t even have to make the time.

On my coffee breaks I get my heavier workout in.  I either hit the road running or do some kind of crossfit – a high-intensity workout in the school weight room.  These heavier workouts are my training for 10ks, which I hope I’ll feel ready for by summer.

As I tell my students, husband and children, it is very important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or even sooner after a very sweaty workout.

Also integral in sun protection is clothing. I prefer Coolibar fitness long sleeve shirts and have found that these are the best, most cost-effective and most comfortable way to keep cool and protected at the same time.

As you can tell, I wear multiple different hats in a day, literally and figuratively, and depending on the time of the day, I can be seen around the campus wearing anything from visors to large rim straw hats to Super Sport Hats. My all-time favorite hat would be the Ultra Sun Hat, which keeps my neck protected as well.

After school, I pick up the kids, although I hate to say, I drive. My muscles would revolt if I even considered doing the kid pick-up running. Once my family is all back home, the fun chaos starts all over (although it is much different than the morning chaos).

The only true deadline in the evenings is kid bedtime and depending on what book we are all reading together before bedtime, we can cheat a bit with that.

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Coolibar Athletes Jim Webster

A Scene from the Mountain

JIm Webster - Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete

Throughout June, Coolibar gives each of our 2014 Sponsored Athletes the spotlight. For a quick look at all of our 2014 athletes, go here.

By Jim Webster

Checking in from Beacon, New York: the 2014 competitive rifle season is just starting for me, but my training regimen, both strength and cardio, is year round.

One of my favorite places to train is Mt. Beacon. This hill rises 1,400 vertical feet from my frJim Webster - Trainingont door and was once home to one of the longest incline railways in world.  Steep and ever-changing terrain make it a perfect natural gym.

During the week before work, Molly and I will head to the park and do laps on the steps.  On the weekends we extend our hikes to the many trails that have formed over the years.  The photo is from the beginning of Mt. Beacon Park – these 200 steps are the warm-up.  When you stop for water you throw in a set of push-ups…not as a penalty, but to make the most of your break.

When I am not on the mountain, I study and instruct jujitsu at a local dojo.  The combination of these very active pursuits is a perfect balance for the calm that is required when I am behind the rifle.  The better my cardio, the more patient I am when attempting to score a center hit on the target that is more than half a mile away.

I really like the versatility of Coolibar’s line.  For example, the sun was not bearing down on me in the photo above; in fact the temperature was just over 40 degrees F.  Just the same, the UV is present. The combination of the Cool Fitness Shirt and Neck Gaiter added enough breathable warmth to remain comfortable and protected the entire workout.

Stay tuned for more scenes from the mountain.  Train hard and stay safe.

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Coolibar Athletes Stesha Carle

A Rower’s Day in SoCal

Stesha Carle, 2014 Cooilbar Athlete

All month, Coolibar will be introducing our 2014 Sponsored Athletes – or better, letting them introduce themselves. We’ll follow these people throughout the year as they continue pursuing extraordinary, sun safe activities outdoors. For a quick look at all of our 2014 athletes, go here.

By Stesha Carle

As a rower, I spend a lot of my time on the water training outdoors. I row for SoCal Scullers, a high performance rowing club for high school, masters and elite rowers. We are very fortunate to start each day with a training session under a beautiful Southern California sunrise in Huntington Harbour.

Our typical day includes a 12-mile row in the morning followed by boat washing and stretching.  During the weekdays, I head off to my part time job as project coordinator for Fastech – a company that engineers and builds gas stations. After logging in some hours at my desk, I head back for another workout session which is usually a combination of lifting weights, yoga, running, core, erging (rowing machine) or spinning.Stesha Carle - Rowing NSR2 May 2014

I also teach rowing machine classes for Roworx in Long Beach. And Sunday mornings I follow up my training session with personal training for Long Beach Rowing Association members.

Rowing has given me so many awesome experiences. I have traveled the world and competed in many major championship races. Most notably, I have won three silver medals at the Rowing World Championships! My next goal is to win gold at the 2016 Olympic Games!

I am incredibly inspired by all the Coolibar athletes who have put a priority on sun protection. It wasn’t until last year when my dad had surgery to remove melanoma from his cheek did I realize that the threat of skin cancer was very real. I am excited to be taking the right steps towards protecting my skin.  Coolibar clothing is perfect for rowing and outdoors sports because of its lightweight, flexible and sun protective qualities. I could not be more proud to represent this company.

Update: Stesha’s team placed second at the National Selection Regatta (NSR2), conducted at the Princeton National Rowing Center/Casperson Rowing Center in West Windsor, New Jersey. “The Long Sleeve Cool Fitness Shirt is my new favorite race warmup/cooldown piece of gear!”

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All Terrain® and Coolibar Team Up for Total Coverage

All Terrain Sun Protection Kit

Here’s an offer that’s only natural. Purchase $150 or more from Coolibar, and get a FREE All Terrain Family Sun Protection Kit! Just enter KIT14 at checkout.

This all-natural sun safety kit includes:

– 3-oz. “no slip, dry grip” All Terrain AquaSport Sunscreen SPF 30

– Convenient spray-on All Terrain AquaSport SunSpray SPF 30

– Minty fresh, oxybenzone-free.15-oz. All Terrain Lip Armor SPF 28

– A reusable hemp cosmetic bag

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use a broad spectrum SPF 15+ sunscreen every day. For extended outdoor activity, you should use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.

All Terrain makes UVA/UVB sunscreens that are extremely moisture resistant and great for sensitive skin with no eye sting. They are transparent (no white noses!) and water resistant to 80 minutes. They are also PABA-, oxybenzone- and paraben-free, a terrific alternative to chemical-based products.

It’s total coverage and unbeatable sun protection from All Terrain and Coolibar sun protective clothing! SHOP NOW!

NOTE: If you purchase $150 or more from Coolibar online, do NOT add the sun protection kit to your shopping bag. Simply enter KIT14 at checkout and it will be added for you as a FREE item! Limit one kit per $150+ 0rder. All Terrain Family Sun Protection Kit is also available for individual purchase at a $35 retail value.
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Apply Sunscreen Avoid UV & Seek Shade Educate Others Events Routinely Check Skin Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection

Today is Don’t Fry Day!

Dont Fry Day - National Council on Skin Care Prevention

Just before the outdoor summer festivities begin in earnest, a reminder: the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated today as Don’t Fry Day.  This annual, national campaign takes place every year on the Friday before Memorial Day to help people keep sun safety in mind.

Here are some of the ways the council recommends to keep yourself and your family healthy for the summer and for a lifetime.

 

  • Do not burn or tan
  • Seek shade
  • Wear sun protective clothing
  • Generously apply sunscreen
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand
  • Get vitamin D safely

The council also takes a page from Australia’s effort to prevent skin cancer and reminds you to Slip on a shirt, Slop on a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a wide-brimmed hat and Wrap on sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors.

It’s also important to visit your dermatologist at least once a year, and watch for new or changing moles and skin growths.

Enjoy your summer – and stay sun safe!

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Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Beyond Scared: A Spirited Mom Fights Back

Georgina Kerstin Thrill Ride - Coolibar Melanoma Survivor Series

As Melanoma Awareness Month continues, so does the Coolibar Melanoma Survivor Series. This week: Georgina Kerstin of Naperville, Illinois.

Georgina Kerstin first felt the itch on her right calf in late spring, 2006. The source was a mole just below the knee. At the time, she was a busy mother of two – maybe a little too busy, a “doer” mom with a lively spark that made her ambitions slightly bigger than her calendar. She did not get to the doctor for a biopsy until July.

“When the call came and I heard the words, ‘you have melanoma,’ I didn’t know what life had in store for me,” she says. “Until you hear those words, you don’t understand. My doctor proceeded to tell me she already scheduled an appointment with the ‘melanoma doc’ in Chicago.

“I was beyond scared.”

The first surgery was scheduled at the beginning of August. Georgina was diagnosed with early Stage III melanoma; microscopic metastasis was found in her sentinel lymph node. Two weeks after the first surgery came another, a right thigh dissection that removed 13 more lymph nodes.

“By the grace of God, all of those lymph nodes were clean,” Georgina says.

A Tough Decision

The doctor told her that her only option was to undergo high-dose interferon treatments for one year. Melanoma survivors Georgina Kerstin and familyknow that this treatment tends to me tough on the body, But for Georgina, it would afford a seven percent better chance against recurrence.

“That is not a large number to be sick while on treatment for one year,” Georgina says today. “I thought, okay, I can handle this, but this is a year.  Do I do this? Do I not do this? What if I don’t do it and the melanoma comes back? I’m gonna kick myself. What if I don’t do this and I end up dying?”

These were just the surface thoughts. The kids were 18 months and four and a half years old. Georgina’s job as a mother had just begun. Her schedule was very busy and active as a stay-at-home mom. Her husband struggled with the diagnosis as well – he had trouble with Georgina being sick at all. It was, to understate it greatly, a very difficult time.

The final choice: no interferon. “I just refused to let it beat me,” Georgina says. “This is my game, and I will win. You have an 18-month-old and a four-year-old and you have no other choice.”

A New Lifestyle

Instead, Georgina revamped her life – backward and forward. “This whole thing taught me how to be more in tune with my body,” she says. “I look back and go, ‘yeah, I had two young kids, I was run down, I was sleep deprived.’ And that’s how the melanoma had its way with my body. Because I was not taking care of myself.”

Yoga was “the best decision ever,” she says, to remain healthy in mind, body and spirit. She’s also lost 30 pounds, and kept it off.

The biggest change: her attitude about life and people. “I don’t have a filter anymore,” Georgina says. “I’ve learned about not having a problem with, if there’s a negative person in my life, to just cut them out. I am honest. I say the truth because I don’t have time for anything else.

“I am the bouncer from hell. This is my party, and this is my body, and melanoma is not welcome.”

Spokesperson for Sun Safety

True to form, Georgina pulls very few punches about melanoma and the rest of the world. “You can blame the media because of what they’re portraying – what we’re supposed to look like,” she says, “even though a lot of them get their spray tans. People say, ‘I have to get a tan, I have to fit a certain mold.’ And those of us who have had this battle, we’ve learned our lesson. Because in the ‘80s all I did was lay out and fry myself. And here I am.

“And I guess because of my life experience with the melanoma I’m like ‘whatever.’ I just do my own thing. I just want to have a nice peaceful life. I want to have balance and raise my kids to be good citizens. I want to live my life and enjoy it to the fullest.”

Thrill Ride - Melanoma Survivor Georgina KerstinGeorgina says her long-term goal is to educate friends, family and community on sun safety, and raise funds for research to further treatment options for melanoma patients. “I want to use my experience to show people how the sun rays are dangerous and melanoma is preventable with simple precautions,” she says. “I also have plans to have my own foundation someday, Mommies Against Melanoma, and would like to educate the children in our community on sun safety.

Georgina remains a spirited, busy mom – the spark is still there, but it’s balanced by a certain grace. Her children are nine and 12 years old now, and they are still her focus. She’s a volunteer at the local elementary school as the president of the Home and School Association.

She has also remained NED (no evidence of disease). In August, she will be eight years NED. “Until you hear those words I will still have anxiety,” she says. “You don’t count yourself eight years until it’s actually eight years. I don’t take anything for granted. I know what the disease is capable of doing.”

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Educate Others Events Success Stories Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection Wellness Warriors

Monopoly Man: A Survivor Lives On

Jerry Dalton - Cooibar Melanoma Survivor Series

Note: Throughout May, Coolibar highlights melanoma survivors to call awareness to the dangers of melanoma. This week: the terrifying, ongoing journey of Jerry Dalton.

We thought that we wouldn’t get to meet Jerry Dalton, the certified rescue diver. Or Dalton the outdoorsman, the avid fisherman, or the deceptively tough jokester who worked for the maximum-security George Beto Unit in the Texas prison system, the guy who “could always handle what was going on.”

But really, we did. We met Jerry Dalton: survivor.

And this tough jokester known as Monopoly Man (so named by prison inmates when his mustache grew back white and bushy like the character on the Parker Brothers game) is still very much alive.

In an early communication about his schedule he informed us that “I will be fishing. Or swimming, depends on my balance that day.” That turned out to be a reference to what can happen when you combine the effects of long-term melanoma treatment with the effects of standing in a small, tippy boat.

Nerve damage prevents Jerry from lifting his left arm above his head; “fortunately, I’m right handed,” he says. “It’s just not so fortunate when you fall.” He also reports that he is numb from his face all the way down into his chest. “So…just another thing. It’s a perfect place to get shot I guess.”

A Harrowing Journey

Dalton’s battle with melanoma began in September 1999, shortly after his doctor had removed a mole from his left ear. Jerry was driving to Laredo, Texas with Mary, a medical technologist who would soon be his wife (and who plays no small part in this story; she is still by his side today). “I hit my ear with my finger,” Jerry says. “And it bled and bled and it wouldn’t stop. My wife suggested I switch doctors.”Jerry and Mary Dalton 1

Day surgery seemed to correct the problem – “you couldn’t even tell (anything had happened) when it healed,” Jerry says – until the biopsy results returned.

“It came back melanoma,” said Dalton.

A doctor in Amarillo did not hesitate to refer Jerry to Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. There was further surgery there. This time, “they had cut from the top of my ear all the way to the bottom of my throat,” Jerry says, “and (they) removed 40 lymph nodes.”

The cancer appeared in three.

“I was scared,” Jerry says. “But I didn’t really understand it at that time.”

Then came the first of what would be 10 years of PET (positron emission tomography) scans, which create images to show the possible spread of cancer cells –  “At that point it was like ‘why aren’t I glowing now?’” says Jerry – and one year of grueling interferon treatments.

He remembers places, and events. His first transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke. A second, more severe TIA in Amarillo, and the doctors recommending he stop the treatments (“I REFUSED!” Jerry says). The day, during his first three-month PET scan, that doctors discovered an aortic aneurysm.

“I thought: oh, brother,” says Jerry. “I beat cancer, and now I’m gonna die of an aneurysm.” Open heart surgery in 2011, during which he received a mechanical heart valve “and a warranty card to boot.”

There were years of moving around and dealing with dwindling finances. Jerry went on disability in 2007; the couple lived in Clinton, Missouri and Palestine, Texas. Jerry and Mary bought several rental properties, selling all but two before the housing crunch. Mary moved to Lufkin and lived in a travel trailer for a while before they purchased their current home there (which “needs help…more than I do,” Jerry says).

This is an important part of the story: during this long period, Jerry was often stuck indoors. Sometimes, due to either the medical event or the treatment, he was unable to eat or talk. The outdoorsman was now wondering about the most basic activities.

“Who’s gonna mow the lawn?” Jerry remembers asking himself. “If I couldn’t do that, I’d have gone nuts.”

Surviving – and Living, Too

This is Jerry Dalton today: he speaks in a husky tone (one vocal cord is paralyzed). His vision is impaired from the strokes. He has a mechanicalJerry Dalton 2 heart valve. He used to weigh 240 pounds; now it’s more like 175. He’s accident-prone; the other day a piece of 2×6 lumber “fell out of my hand,” he says. “Now I have half a black eye…even my doctors look forward to seeing new bruises.”

Jerry Dalton is also cancer-free, and has been since 2011. “The best time was when they said, ‘you don’t need any more treatments. You are free to go,’” says Jerry.

What is most amazing is that he tells this story with a lightness of spirit that lets you know you’re speaking with Jerry the melanoma survivor and Jerry the adventurous rescue diver all at once.

“The biggest challenge for me was just doing the things that I want to do,” he says. “I’m still able to drive and do things like that. But it was all so rough on my body that anything strenuous, especially climbing stairs, has gotten crazy. And the hardest part was dealing with all that.”

Talking helps. Jerry has written a book, as yet unpublished, about his experiences. He reaches out to anyone who will listen about the dangers of melanoma and ways he’s discovered to effectively deal with a diagnosis.

For him, that has been a long-term effort to strike a balance. The former highly active life in and around the water must blend into his more recent existence, which for quite a while has included being afraid to step outside.

“I was so worried at the time to go out in the sun…we had to do something,” Jerry says. “After going through all this stuff with melanoma, and me not being able to go outside, I was scared to death. One of our first things was researching (protective) clothing.”

This was several years ago now, but the clothing remains – Jerry is never without a full-featured Coolibar hat, such as the Ultra Sport Hat, and a Coolibar UPF 50+ shirt. But the fear is subsiding. Jerry credits Coolibar clothing with providing a new freedom, the ability to live and play outside again without worrying about the sun’s UV rays and a recurrence of melanoma.

Mary DaltonA word about Mary: “There is no way I could have done all this without her,” Jerry says. In his mind he goes back in time to a car ride in 1999, and the diagnosis that immediately followed, and all that lay ahead.

“I said, “well, I don’t expect you to deal with this; I’ll just go back to my family,’” Jerry says. “And she said, ‘I don’t think so.’”

In late April, Jerry participated in the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash at Sam Rayburn Lake in the couple’s newly purchased (actually it’s 37 years old, and as yet has no sun canopy) bass boat. That was his first venture out into the sun and water in many, many years.

This is Jerry Dalton, true to form: “I fished Friday am, it was so rough & full of boats that made mine look like a baby boat. I fell Thursday evening while trying to sit on the upper seat. This hurt so much, that I did it again Friday. I was out-fished this year. (But) it won’t happen again!”

 

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Help Us Tell Hugh Jackman About Sun Protective Clothing!

Hugh Jackman - Sunscreen

At this point we are sure that you’ve seen the news about Hugh Jackman’s second skin cancer scare. On Instagram May 8, Hugh pleaded with his fans: PLEASE! PLEASE! WEAR SUNSCREEN!

We think this is a great message. But we believe that Coolibar sun protective clothing would be a fabulous solution as well! In case he doesn’t know, sun protective clothing is:

 

  • Easy to wear. You don’t have to reapply every two hours!
  • Suitable for water sports. We have several fabrics that are quick-drying and provide four-way stretch for activity in and out of the water.
  • Cool and comfortable. Lightweight, moisture-wicking material keeps you cool even in the hot sun.
  • Great-looking! Need we say more?

We think Mr. Jackman would look pretty good in a Coolibar sun hat, maybe a polo, not to mention an entire wardrobe of Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing. Do you think so, too? Tell him about sun protective clothing on:

Instagram: @TheHughJackman

Twitter: @RealHughJackman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HughJackman?fref=ts

 

 

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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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