Do you “Feel the Burn?”

I just got back from Hawaii and haven’t been in such a long time that I’d forgotten how beautiful the beaches are, how the weather is perfect every day, that the water is warm enough to surf without a wetsuit, or snorkel in your boardshorts, and just how intense the sun is. Everyone at Swimco knows that when I come back from a hot vacation, I rant about sunscreen. So here it comes!

I love Aloe Up. I wake up every morning and apply waterproof 30 SPF to my arms, upper thighs, face, bald spot, neck and shoulders. That’s what I call…

The Plan.

Throw on a shirt, shorts, and a hat and I’m ready to hit the beach. I get my activities out of the way in the morning before it’s too hot. So if I’m surfing, snorkeling or paddling, I bring a rashguard for basic sun protection. Then after drying off, I put on another generous coat of sunscreen on my tummy and I find someone to lube my back. By 11am, I’m in a lawn chair reading a trashy novel, catching rays before the 2pm scorch hits. After that, I’m under an umbrella counting the minutes to happy hour; which sometimes starts at 5pm, and sometimes starts at 3pm. (it’s 5:00 somewhere…).

The Plan worked like a charm for two days. We had a fantastic beach, great chairs, awesome people watching… And then I got a little cocky, sitting in my square leg trunks, fully exposed to the sun for a little too long. Then I heard those three dreaded words from Lori. You’re looking red, honey. (I know that’s four, she’s so adorable I can’t include the endearment every time) So like in any five step program, I go through the stages:

1) DENIAL – No it’s not bad. It doesn’t feel bad. It’s a deep tan. It’ll become a tan tomorrow.

2) ANGER – There’s no way I got burned. You should have told me earlier. It’s your fault.

3) BARGAINING – I’m putting a shirt on and it will be okay. I’ll jump in the pool and that will cool it off. I’ll have a beer, hydration will help.

4) DEPRESSION – NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, this always happens. I hate this.

5) ACCEPTANCE – HOLY S***, I’m fried (standing in front of the mirror). I’m an idiot. I think I missed a spot with the sunscreen between my navel and my neck. Good thing I did my arms in the morning, I love that the Aloe products last all day.

You know the routine after that. You jump in the shower, then jump out screaming. Towel off, gingerly. Then you get out the After Sun. I used the Sun Bum product on this trip and it went on nicely, like hand lotion, and it was quite soothing. I really like the Aloe Up goopy stuff too but I know some people don’t.

Part of my Plan was a plan to fail; that’s why I had the After Sun product. I don’t have to go into all of the details, you’ve all experienced it. You get a lousy night’s sleep because the sheets hurt to touch, you get up in the morning and all you see is the white outline of where the sunscreen worked, or your swimsuit covered. And it hurts. There is no way you go without a shirt or a cover up today, or maybe even the next few days. You can’t hydrate enough on day two to make it stop hurting. I can go on and on, all the way up to the second day you get home from your trip and your tan is peeling off and you’re itching and scratching like a brown bear in blackberry bush.

Now picture that same scenario for the guy in the chair beside me who has NO Plan. No sunscreen, no shirt, no hat, no sense and he is fried head to toe. You see it up and down the beach with all types of people. You don’t have to endure the pain, the shame, or the wasted sun time when you have a friend at Swimco. The next time you’re heading off to a sunny destination, do yourself a favour and grab some sun protection. You’ll need sunscreen, a great hat, and sun shirts to enjoy those best times of your life; without turning RED.

Dave Bacon

Fully recovered from “The Burn”

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  • Diane Louie

    I wish I could say something funny and/or inspiring. But I can’t. So, dude, say, what were you thinking? Happy healings are taking place as we speak. Thanks for your honesty. And next time, listen to Lori!

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