canoe · fitness · swimming

The great cover up of 2021

I’ve been worried about the sun and skin cancer for awhile now and I’ve written on the blog a fair bit about it. See here and here and here, for example. But I’ve also struggled with the push to have women dress more modestly, especially the idea that older women, and larger women, should just cover up our bodies and hide.

I’m a fan of bikinis and bike shorts and here on the blog I’ve worried about swim dresses and running skirts. But this year I hit a turning point. Another friend had a skin cancer scare. It’s also been a hotter than usual summer with blazing sun a lot of the time. There’s only so much sunscreen an active, outdoorsy person can wear.

I’ve decided I don’t care why people think I’m wearing them. I’m not ashamed of my body. I’m not trying to hide it from view. I just would like not die any earlier than I have to. Even aside from death, skin cancer isn’t much fun.

I broke down and bought two super, lightweight (very cool) outdoor active shirts and long pants for paddling. I’m wearing them in the pictures above on our recent family canoe trip. They also helped with the mosquito issue. Bonus!

I also bought a swim skirt and long sleeved rash guard shirt (spf 50) for hanging about in and around the outdoor swimming pool. They’re actually great for swimming in and for hanging around the pool having super soaker battles with a 7 year old.

I’m calling both purchases a success.

I’m also getting a mammogram on my birthday so I’m doing my bit for cancer prevention this month.

Sam and her new swimming duds

3 thoughts on “The great cover up of 2021

  1. Love it! I’d also love to know where the swimsuit skirt came from because it’s AWESOME!

  2. So with you here. I just bought a new sunhat for hiking, a new long sleeve shirt (since my old one was too grotty, even for the trail), fingerless sun gloves and hiking knickers (instead of my usual running skirt). I want more sun coverage when I’m out for a long time! Sunsleeves may be next for running. As with you, it’s about self care and love, not the the opposite!

  3. Yesss! I’m with you. My husband has had a number of basal carcinomas removed, and one melanoma. He’d always been pretty good with sunscreen (at least the last 25 years or so) but he sweats a LOT and living in the South, combined with genetics, clothing has just made more and more sense. (and then there’s the whole sunscreen/chemical/cancer thing, but I digress) Covering up is easier than sunscreen for sure, though with the heat when running, it’s a risk/reward balancing act. Long sleeves and pants no matter how light might send him into heat distress. Glad that sun protective clothing has become much more available (for daily wear and activities) and attractive than some of the early options we got back in the early 2000s for a hiking trip to Arizona. That said, we still have what we bought for that trip, and we use it almost daily for our walks outside (woo hoo Sun Precautions – $$ but worth it, IMHO best protection) even though my two white tops and light beige drawstring pants (all unisex, that’s all there was then) have some stains from use while gardening, scrapes, hiking, etc. I’m also very pale (like my husband), so I appreciate the ease of slipping something on and not needing to reapply. I do want to add to my collection though. I’d love any product recommendations you have (Sam and any reader) – I’m in the US but would buy from anywhere if shipping is not horribly expensive.

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