In November, I had the privilege of running in and completing the New York City Marathon – an event and distance I never thought I’d attempt at this point in my life. One of the things I learned over the summer and fall from six months of three early-morning runs a week and a long run each weekend was that my 30 years of service to this industry have been and will continue to be a lot like training for and running a marathon.
A marathon is more than just one long day. For me, it was a six-month process I dedicated myself to. Unexpected obstacles – from training injuries to scheduling problems – leapt out everywhere along the journey. But I learned to expect the unexpected, make mid-course adjustments, figure things out as I went and simply keep moving toward my goal, all while staying true to my core mission.
Turns out that a training plan is just as appropriate for effectively advocating for our scientifically supported position that sunburn prevention is not achieved by sun-avoidance, and – for those who wish to incorporate non-burning sun into their lives – professional tanning facilities can be part of the solution.
Succeeding in that journey continues to be a marathon – not a sprint. It’s a process, and I continue to be dedicated to it.
In July, I was named executive director of American Suntanning Association, adding administrative duties to my already-established role as ASA director of scientific affairs. Since 2012, I have worked with the ASA Board of Directors to develop and execute legislative outreach in all 50 states, as well as ASA’s interactions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
I’ve worked with my counterparts worldwide to forge winning strategies for our most serious challenges. And we’re still moving forward. Staying ahead of attempts to over-regulate professional indoor tanning facilities at the state and federal levels will continue to be ASA’s top priorities in 2023. And, more than ever, ASA’s promotion and defense of the market with policymakers is founded in constructive dialogue that positions tanning professionals as part of the solution in real-world sun care.
In both 2021 and 2022, we won everywhere we faced challenges. And we’ve won hundreds of these battles since 2013. We are equipping ourselves to win the long run – not just any sprint along the way.
Many of these issues involved proposed under-18 or even under-21 age restrictions for usage of a professional sunbed facility. In many cases, ASA convinced would-be bill sponsors not to even introduce bills after seeing the science that does not support that approach. That’s how you win the long game.
Want to join us on this long run? The most profound thing I learned in running a marathon is that the team of people helping and supporting you along the way is truly what makes it all possible.
That’s why our sun care marathon team needs you. The best way to keep legislation from getting any traction is to re-dedicate your tanning business to professional practices, sunburn prevention and to be worthy of the path that is being blazed for the tanning market of tomorrow. And get involved with ASA – we need your support.
To join ASA today, visit AmericanSuntanning.org/register.
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