This post is sponsored by Athleta.
The coastlines of Northern California have some of my favorite views in the west. I love the rocky terrain, the colorful wildflowers that pop out of the sand, and the beautiful spray of the ocean crashing against the often jagged cliffs that line its shores. Most of these beaches aren't the kind tourists flock to to spend a day lounging in the sun. These beaches, while they do get their fair share of sun, are windy and wild. Tourists come for the views more than anything else. And I come to play in the sand and the sun because I like to go where the people aren't. lol. At least when it comes to running around in my swimwear, doing yoga and climbing rocks, but there's a reason for that (other than my social anxiety).
Here's the thing. I have no problem with people wearing barely there bikinis. I have a few of them myself. But personally, if I'm going to be in my teeny tiny bikini, and doing yoga, I don't want to run the risk of flashing someone my intimate parts; especially small children at the beach or someone posting things on Instagram. The itty bitty bikinis are a favorite of mine for lounging poolside, or taking a dip, but these are not the kind of bikinis I feel comfortable wearing while doing the splits in in public. No judgment or shame on those who do; it's just not comfortable for me, personally. If I'm going to be taking a beach yoga class, climbing up rock formations on the shore, paddle boarding around SF, etc. I want my swimwear to keep me covered and comfortable, but still look cute. I want my swimwear to keep up with me the same way my athletic wear does! Enter Athleta.
Athleta swimwear, while more coverage than I'm used to wearing on my bum, still makes me feel like I look cute, but I know my bikini will be able to keep up with all my activities. I don't have to worry about jumping off a cliff and having my top fly off, or doing a back bend and having something slip out. And my suit is reversible! Two looks in one, ftw! The bikini I selected is pictured above. You can check it out here (top and bottom)! I also now don't feel the need to find more secluded beaches to do my yoga and tanning sessions for fear of accidental flashing, but I probably still will because...social anxiety.
But that brings me back to the cold beaches of the coast that tourists come to for the scenery but don't linger at, and I do love my solitude. I appreciate it even more now that I work a job that requires me to be constantly interacting with strangers via social media. It takes a while to acclimate and warm up when you're coming from much higher inland temps down to a windy seashore. I've realized that while I love the beauty of these beaches, staying for a while means packing several layers and usually doing a very vigorous vinyasa practice to get my blood pumping before I don't notice the cold anymore (meanwhile my friends back in Vermont are rolling their eyes at me as they hang out lakeside in the sun when it's 50 degrees out and act like that's summer...I'm used to California now, ok?! haha). Fortunately, Athleta's swimwear line includes the board shorts and rash guard I'm pictured in. The shorts have built in bikini briefs so you can wear the whole outfit as your swimwear if you wanted to, and I was definitely beyond thankful for long sleeves when the first gusts of ocean air were blowing over me.
My favorite thing about these beaches is definitely the views, but on the colder days, I also love the solitude. Noone is giving me funny looks as I gleefully chase my dog down the shore, or do some impromptu barefoot bouldering. Noone is pointing a camera at me as I point the camera at something else. And I don't have to worry about anything but listening to the sounds of the waves go in and out. I feel very lucky when I get moments to myself. Especially at Marshall's Beach (center photo) which is just outside of San Francisco. Just me, occasionally my pup, and my Athleta, ready to Suit Up and get out there.
You can find more about Athleta by clicking their name anywhere in this post or checking out these hashtags on social media: #suitup #powerofshe @athleta. Leggings in the bottom right photo are also from Athleta. Yay for coordinating with pieces I already own.
For more pictures of these beautiful beaches (and me doing yoga at them), check out my instagram @cherylfyoga.
I'm Cheryl. I moved to California from Vermont in 2015, gave up the path I'd spent years planning for, and started down a road to a happier, more fulfilling life. Goodbye suits and courtrooms, hello bare feet and yoga mats. After a few years, a couple of cross country moves, and a broken heart, I know I don't have all the answers, but I'm slowly starting to get the hang of things. :) I'm just taking things one day at a time, trying to figure out how to live my best life and help others do the same.