It is Diabetes Blog Week. Karen at Bitter Sweet Diabetes wrote (in 2012?), “If you don’t have a blog but have thought about starting one, now is the perfect time”, so I did (which was my first post). For more information on Diabetes Blog Week please check this out. And thanks Karen for putting this all together.
Here’s today’s topic:
In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…” that participants found wonderfully empowering. So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could? Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of? Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life? (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)
There are a few positive aspects of my life with diabetes… friends I’ve made and the incredible people I’ve met because of T1D would be at the top of the list, but currently, right this very second, I can only answer this by sharing a little more of my on-going JDRF Ride cycling progress.
I can cross “NEVER EVER wearing and entire outfit made of Spandex while walking through, and waiting in Penn Station” off my list of things I would never ever do. Yep, nailed that one.
I have also learned you need a Bike Permit to take a bike on the Long Island Rail Road (life is full of surprises). The permit is $5 and doesn’t expire. It looks like a train ticket. I’m sure I’ll never lose that one. Yep. Lost.
Long Island is shockingly hilly. An early morning in those hills is far chillier than one would expect. Getting lost is not the fun adventure you would like to believe it will be.
70% basal rate reduction worked pretty well but I should have started it a bit earlier. I had a GU because the Dexcom arrow was starting to drop, I stayed steady the rest of the ride. Woot.
A week later, I learned the following: trying to cross the street during the 5 Boro NYC Ride (when you are NOT in the ride but ARE on your bike) is damn near impossible.
Next, I learned that repeatedly bouncing off the railing of the “OMG-why-the-heck-is-this-SO-narrow” ramp up to the George Washington Bridge is similar to being a ball in a pinball machine. It is quickly becoming my signature move. Watch out people. No really, watch-out.
Are you ready for the big part??… I rode 60 miles in one ride!! Holy smokes! The hills were challenging, I went through a LOT of water, and my bgs ran a smidge high until about the 30 mile mark, but I rode 60 MILES. Nyack, New York is so beautiful. Just amazing. If someone told me that someday I would ride a bike from the lower half of Manhattan, up and over the George Washington Bridge, up through New Jersey, back over the New York state line, under the Tapanzee Bridge and up to Nyack, New York, I would have laughed so hard I would have peed my pants. I might be the slowest and the sweatiest, but I did it. I still need to improve my pacing (it is currently not so hot) and keep increasing my endurance (also still weak). And in even stranger news, I happened to have a meeting right over the Tapanzee Bridge 4 days later and pointed out where I had been on my ride. They asked where I started. When I answered with, “My apartment”, no one could believe it (I include myself in “no one”). It was SO far away!!!
And here’s the deal. I have thought about doing a JDRF Ride in the past. After almost 2 years of the back and forth of getting into one of the Artificial Pancreas clinical trials, I publicly stated (at a conference) that I would do the Ride if I got into the trial. I received the email that I was officially a candidate while still at the conference. I was/am a chatterbox. I told everyone about being on the candidate list. There was no way I was getting out of this Ride!
So here I am 2 and a half months from a 100 mile ride in Vermont (OMG x1000). I think of the many T1D athletes who I admire. My childhood hero, NHL great Bobby Clarke, Olympic swimmer Gary Hall, Jr, and professional snowboarder Sean Busby. I admire them in a way I simply couldn’t imagine before now (and believe me, I already admired them tremendously). I never thought someone with T1D couldn’t do a ridiculous amount of cycling, BUT I certainly didn’t think that I would ever be inspired enough to try (you read the part about all the Spandex right?). And now, I am inspired… and I continue to try.