Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sun Baby

Have I mentioned lately that it's hot here in sunny So Cal? I did? Well, it bears repeating again. It's hot. Damn hot. I realize that some like it hot, but I am having trouble finding any joy in hell itself.

You know how people who live where it snows a lot just hit their limit of snow? Like, so many years pass and they're done. Finished. Must move where it doesn't snow. Well, I've hit my limit of heat, of sun. After almost 30 years in this insanity (and I grew up in a desert, so it got hot, yo), I have hit my limit. Check. Got all the vitamin D I need. I don't need it to get above 75 ever again. Done.

I always wear sunscreen, because I grew up swimming and in the age of skin cancer and I want to take care of myself. But on days like this, I always feel like it's never enough, like maybe I should have slathered on 4 more layers or so of SPF 30. At this rate, I'll still end up with skin cancer and die an ugly death (ugly because my face will be marred by melanoma). I'm not making fun here, it's scary. And also ridiculous.

On one of the last flights I took, the flight attendant looked like a goddamn saddlebag. I could tell she was pretty at some point, with her nice smile and very coiffed, blonde hair and Tiffany charm bracelet. But I could not get past her unnaturally brown, leathery skin. *shiver*

I do not ever want to look like that.

So I slather on the Coppertone and hope for the best. Like I said, I was raised swimming. My mom was a pool manager my whole life, a swim instructor, and both my parents were life guard instructors. I was in the pool before I was walking. It's one of the best things of my childhood. I was a natural fish and took my first jump off the high dive (with help) at 2.

So it's no surprise that I spent most of my life in the sun. In the water under the sun. I'm sure some cancer is brewing under my skin by this point.

But I do still love to swim. If there were a decent indoor pool in my town, I'd go there instead, but they're uncommon in a place that gets so much sunshine. And the local pool where I like to swim laps opens in a week for lap time. I cannot wait. I won't get the full summer's use (moving to Oregon at some point soon), but I'll go after work as many days as I can.

There are two forms of exercise that I have always and will always love: dance and swimming. I like to run, but this is a recent development in the last 2 years. But dancing and swimming are my great loves and for two completely different reasons.

I dance because it's an escape. When you dance, you cannot think about anything but the steps. Your brain has to be completely focused. And once you learn the steps and muscle memory kicks in, you're thinking about the music and technique and presentation and a million other things. Whatever thoughts you had before cannot exist when you're dancing.

I swim because I can think and swim at the same time. Swimming is a completely natural process. I kick and a stroke and my body glides through the water with very little effort from my brain. So if I want to think things through and get my head straight, I swim.

But there is of course how glorious my body feels doing both of these things. Glorious.

8 comments mean you love me:

martinruns1 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Being form the midwest I have a mixture of both sun and snow, but nothing like the heat that you experiance in So Cali. I have been debating wth myself on whether or not I would like it in Cali,Winters in the midwest can be brutal and as much as I hate the extreme cold and the snow I tihnk I would really miss it cooling me off plus I love wearing beanies all the time even in summer. As for swimming I can't swim to save my life ha and I had some experainces when I was younger in a pool that tramatized me for life, but it is good that one of us at least knows how to swim. I love running and have been a runner all my life. Like dance is an escape for you that is what running is for me. I love what you said about dance and why it is an escape for oyu, thats how I am with my running. I am so focused that my mind clears and I feel better after i run then I did before, plus did you know running slows the aging process of the brain? While I can swim , running does help me get my head on strait and my body does feel glorious after a run. anyway sorry for the long post but thank you again for sharing your thoughts :)

Skye Blue said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Praying that your cancer predictions are wrong and that the heat subsides in SoCal soon. Thousands of miles away in Toronto and there have already been a few days when it's so humid I would kill for a swim. Clearly this summer is going to be crazy hot, virtually everywhere.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

crazy hot indeed. thanks for reading!

mylittlebecky said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i love to swim. love. it. some texas days i have dreams of snow forever but i don't think i could hack it. i know what you mean about the sun thought because hoo boy have i had some burns. yowza. i need northern cali. that's my natural habitat. ugh. texas. ugh.

we hate you. love, us said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm totally with you, dancing is by far my favorite form of exercise. My parents enrolled me in dance classes when I was 3 and I was a dancing queen ever since. Dancing takes your mind to another, wonderful place and my worries totally go away. I love it so much that I'm known to have dance parties in my house by myself :)

-Betty

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Dancing queen! yeah, I find the best way to destress is to dance alone in your house. I do it. sometimes just in my underwear in the dark. works like a charm. :)

i used to drink perfume said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I hear ya sister, the heat is not my friend. I've always wanted to live somewhere with seasons, and it wasn't until I did that I realized that heat sucks. It drains you. It makes you sweat in awkward places. It makes you justify eating ice cream all day and then you become fat (or maybe that's just me). Anyway, head north my dear!

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

same thing for me. ice cream is the ONLY food that sounds good when it's hot. and that is not, in fact, good for my ass. *hugs*

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