Tan Lines

9 Jul

I have a hard time defining myself as an “anal” person. I have no problem with dishes in the sink. My clean laundry could sit on the floor in a laundry basket for a week. And I usually have at least one pile on my desk that contains among other things, some books, old bills, my library card … wait, probably not my library card, I have no idea where that is… I’m what my husband and I describe as “messy,” I’m not dirty, there is a distinction. It also often looks like I have no system. I know what’s in that pile on my desk, for the most part, but it’s not an official “system,” at least not to an outsider. But while that laundry could hang out on the floor for months, there are some things that I am down right nutty about. One of them is tan lines. At least, it used to be.

Alex and I travel a lot, we’ve been to a few tropical locales throughout our relationship, and when we’re at home in Philly we will often “go down the shore” for a beach day here and there. When I’m in the sun, I am fanatical about having an “even” tan. Which is humorous, because in all honesty, I don’t really tan… but what tan I do get I want to be even gosh darn it! I only use lotion sunscreen, because I don’t trust that the sprays will have an even application. I carefully lay out to avoid shadows. Alex gets yelled at if he lies too close to me, or playfully pokes at me. I fear those photos you see where the person has a handprint tan line on them.

Found via Google Image Search

Found via Google Image Search

This year, I’ve noticed a change. I’ve been running outside constantly, and though I’ve stuck to early mornings or later in the evening, I’m tanning. And I’ve got tan lines. My back looks like someone put a big letter Y on it from my sports bra. My legs are tan, but only from mid-thigh down. Something has changed in my mind, because I’m not freaking out about my tan lines like I once did. In fact, I’m proud of them! A friend of mine recently did a triathlon, and yesterday he showed me his race number “imprinted” on his arm in tan line, and he said “it’s like a badge of honor!” I wanted to cheer, because he was right! My tan lines are proof that I’m getting out there, and that running has become part of who I am, it’s literally engrained on my skin.


4 Responses to “Tan Lines”

  1. Sam July 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    lol. I have minor tan lines from running, but I try to wear SPF as much as possible, so I end up not getting super tan no matter how much I run. Do you have the awkward diamond tan line in the crook of your elbows from holding your arms at a right angle when running? I usually have it for most of the year. It looks pretty weird, lol.

    • Jessica Main July 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Oddly enough I don’t have the elbow crook tan, but I’ll keep an eye out for it! I’m going to have my husband start spraying me down with some sports sunscreen before I bop out the door just to keep the skin damage to a minimum, but so far I’ve just been risking it.

      • Sam July 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        That’s so weird! Me and my running group all have it. You must hold your arms looser than we do! 😛

  2. awesomeashild July 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    That’s awesome 🙂 I always look like a zebra mid summer 🙂 Stripes everywhere! Nothing beats sock tan lines!!! Keep it up 🙂

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