This was going to be my Wordless Wednesday post but it’s D Blog Check day (thanks Chris) so I’m jumping ahead. I learned to ski when I was 8 years old. My college boyfriend got really into snowboarding and we ran around with a snowboarding crowd in the winters during my early 20s (I made a brief switch to snowboarding, broke my coccyx bone, and decided I would remain a skier). In my early 30s, I skied inconsistently at best. As far as I can tell, the last time I’d skied was 2008 and I broke my foot in 2009 (unrelated to skiing, tripping in high heels getting in a cab and rushing to the airport… and then wearing high heel platform boots for 2 days before I got an x-ray… woof). Although I’d talked about skiing again, I haven’t made it happen until this winter.
For the rest of this story, you need to know the following… no matter what my weight, I have a butt. You know that strange photo of Kim Kardashian where she is balancing a glass of champagne on her derriere? You know, the photo that was supposed to break the internet? If not, you may be too highbrow to be reading this blog (or you don’t have interwebs or live under a rock). I’m fairly certain I could do that Kardashian maneuver AND also balance my pump, Dexcom receiver, my cellphone and a couple bottles of insulin simultaneously on my butt. Yep, baby got back.
So, “back” to skiing and a big butt. I have new ski pants this year that are snug in the waist. Great. They also swish a lot when I walk so I could never sneak attack anyone. On Sunday I skied. I clipped my pump to the back of my pants, with the pump itself on the inside of my waistband. It seemed firm between Smartwool long undies and my new, loud swishing pants. I skied my heart out. I am shocked I got right back into skiing in the past month as though I’d never left and maybe, as I’m in better shape than I think I was 7 years ago, I kinda killed it.
As the day progressed, I felt my pump pop off my pants twice as I got off the gondola. I blame my butt. I sat down, the pump got pushed upwards by my Kardashian-esque booty. When I stood to get off the gondola, my pump had been pushed above the waistband. Once, it slid down the back of my pants. Once I felt it loose inside my jacket against my back. Not cool, but my jacket unzips from the bottom so poles stuck in snow, mittens off, glove liners off, pump re-clipped, velcro on pants tightened, layers adjusted, coat re-zipped, glove liners on, mittens on, poles around wrists. Whew. Ski.
Second to the last run of the day, I was flying (well as fast as I could go before my rental skis started shaking because I technically needed high performance skis and believe me, I LOVE typing that. one more time, I needed the performance package). As I soared down the mountain singing in my head and strategically shifting my weight and the edges of the skis, I saw something in my shadow. Something sticking out of the side of my jacket. Oh, just my lift ticket. Ummmm no, the lift tickets don’t clip onto a zipper anymore. The lift ticket is now a keycard you put in your pocket and they scan you with a zapper in the lift lines (this fascinated me as once scanned, the zapper operator would say your name and chit chat. Lovely). As soon as I realized that strange shadow waving in the breeze was not my lift ticket, I started hitting the breaks. We’re not talking hockey stop, I hit the breaks in a pie wedge, like a beginner, and the shadow whacked me in the back of the leg. I scooted to the side. I stopped. I tried and missed grabbing whatever was in the shadow with my pouffy mittens. I had already tossed my poles to the ground. I tossed the mittens there too. I reached again and grabbed my swinging pump. Whew. I just stood there thinking that this was NOT the ideal situation. I then smiled. I’m fine. I caught it. This wasn’t a calamity. I snapped a photo because based on my maturity, I started giggling to myself that my shadow could be the source of many a dirty joke. Diabetes is so effing annoying sometimes, but I was absolutely fine. A little freaked out, but fine. I was better than fine, I was skiing my heart out.
So I skied down the rest of the way and thought about what I’d do. If I’d lost my pump, that would be a horrendously expensive problem, but I could have taken the gondola down to the lodge as I had insulin and emergency syringes in my purse which I’d put in a locker. If I’d never found my pump, I had a back-up old Ping in my purse too. I have a photo of my pump settings on my phone. Inconvenient and expensive for sure, but I’d live and that’s the thing…
I recently had a conversation about the concept that you can never go back. I’m not sure I believe that. After all these years, I returned to a sport I once loved as a child. Oh sure I hated the cold, and carrying all that gear, but the art of skiing was always me in my zone. My Dad would say he could hear me humming and singing as I skied past him as a kid. I was always making up my own songs with the theme of “You can do it” (I was a creative, cuckoo little kid). What if instead of not being able to go back, you take all that stuff you learned, stuff that’s supposedly behind you, you smush it into a ball and you toss it ahead of you?
I think it’s true of diabetes too. You learn all this stuff, you screw up, you learn, you try again, and you don’t leave it behind. You use it all to lead you. You can let it beat you down and God knows I understand diabetes fear, but its also your motivation. Sometimes your pump needs to smack you in the ass to make you slow down and then, you pull on your mittens and race ahead.