There was a time when I would drive down the street and notice people walking or jogging and think things like:
- Hmm..that is what I need to be doing.
- Are they crazy? Can’t they feel how hot it is outside?
- She has a nice shape. I wish I had a butt like that. Know why she has a nice butt? Because she is running Anjannette, and you are sitting on yours and driving.
- It’s good that I don’t run every day. I mean, what if I injured one of my knees and then the Rockettes suddenly change their height requirement and upped their age limit? I would never forgive myself.
But thanks to melanoma, now when I drive down the street and notice people walking or jogging, I think things like:
- Um, do they know that between 10am and 4pm is the worst time to be out in the sun?
- OMG! Her entire back is exposed to the sun. I wonder if she put on sunscreen.
- I KNOW they don’t have their kids walking around in this hot sun!
- That’s it! I am going to buy a ton of sunscreen and just start passing it out on the streets. This is craziness!
So yes, I basically went from butt coveter to sunscreen enforcer in a matter of months. Melanoma will do that to you. (Although, after I think about the sunscreen, there are occasions when there’s still some butt envy going on. If you have any great butt exercises, send them to me!)
That’s what being diagnosed with melanoma, and I imagine other diseases, does to you. It changes your entire way of thinking. Your focus is altered. The lady working at Publix, who annoys you when she talks over the loud speaker, is now the lady who has a pink bubble on her forehead and you wonder whether you should ask if she’s had it checked. The playground down the street is no longer a place that makes you smile at the kids having fun. Instead, you shake your head in disbelief that anyone would have a playground without a cover in Florida. Part of me is thankful that I am so much more conscientious about the sun and other people’s safety, but another part of me curses the day I ever learned about it, and far more, the day I was diagnosed.
As with anything in life, you have to take the good and the bad. If someone had found a way around that by now, I am certain it would have been discovered by one of my former teenage students and he/she would have shared it with their favorite teacher.
Until that day, I am doing my best to take a bad situation and make it better. One of the ways I am trying to do that is to show you the world through my UV protected sun glasses. This way, when you are walking/running down the street, other people can drive by and make all the judgments they want. Whether they are evaluating their own exercise habits, debating if you have a nicer tush than them, or wondering if you have done all you can to protect yourself from increasing your risk for skin cancer, you will know you have the last one under control.
Check out these Action Steps for Sun Safety from EPA.gov
Each one is explained in detail on their page. You can download their SunWise action steps.
- · Do Not Burn
- · Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
- · Generously Apply Sunscreen
- · Wear Protective Clothing
- · Seek Shade
- · Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
- · Check the UV Index
- · Get Vitamin D Safely
Until next time, practice safe sun (and send me all your great glute exercises ;0)