Diabetes Athlete - Gear

Let’s talk gear… .

Just like when you go into the backcountry for a multi-day adventure or across town to transport adorable teenage water polo players, you need to make sure your systems to survive get attention.


Exercise is easy.
Diabetes is easy.
Diabetes and exercise is easy.
Let’s break this down…

Now the ankle impact injury from my motorcycle crash last weekend, not so much, but my body is making amends.

To keep all the players playing I make sure I have adequate resources available to keep it going as smoothly as possible with diabetes and exercise. I’ve had to run into a convenience store a few times during a run and pull the T1D card for a quick sugar source… humans are lovely when help is requested.

I taught my kids early, if you find yourself in a situation alone, find a Mom and ask her to help you. I’ve seen both my kids offer up this role with their peers, confidence to find help - excellent life skill, teach them now!

My journey with diabetes and exercise began the day I was diagnosed, March 1990. I learned loads early, as I don’t let diabetes limit me. This is a good thing because I am still working through internal limiting beliefs, working on that one always.

That time, (no, not at band camp) back in the late 90s, when I climbed Mt. Rainier early season and consumed a thousand PowerGels treating low glucose events on our way to basecamp only to overcompensate on summit day by too much insulin depletion (highly cautious to have low glucose) and dealt with altitude & hyperglycemia shitty-ness, well I learned.

Since I’m sitting here absorbing glorious views of the Pacific while it’s sunny and 75 in Santa Barbara - everything I’ve come across has worked out delightfully!

I use a hybrid closed loop system to deliver, manage and adjust my insulin needs, mostly. I carry what I call my d-phone. This is just the controller for my system, it doesn’t take pictures.


Or anything other than d-info, hence why I call it my d-phone. (It’s a clinical trial device and I am excited it will be available to others soon!)

The two medical devices on my tummy are the guts to that system. One is an insulin pump and one gives glucose info to the pump to make dosing decisions. What decisions it is making is then uploaded to the phone when it’s near me. Both these tummy things are consumables, meaning they are replaced regularly, one every 10 days and the other every 3. That’s if they last their full duration, which is most of the time!

Perhaps not a given for everyone but the insulin pump contains insulin. I don’t call it medication, I call it insulin or hormone replacement therapy. I’m not sick, the way I define sick. My kids are familiar with this way of thinking. My daughter came home from junior guards last week and wanted to put on the glucose device to match a T1D girl in her group. To be clear, I do have hard moments just like others but I’m aware that is me, not the diabetes, not the weather nor my soon-to-be ex-husband. My hard moments are me. Again, I attempt to use my diabetes as a platform to demonstrate this to my kids, nothing (and no one) determines your happiness nor sadness but YOU!

As a T1D having a quick, desirable, consistent, measurable, non-perishable, not-too much glucose in a serving item is WAY more impactful than the years I looked forward to lows so I could “justify” eating anything sugary I wanted. Here’s why… trust.
I’ll say it again, trust.

The physiological response during a low glucose event is YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! The body’s systems begin to shut down to keep glucose available for the brain. By having a consistent, don’t think about it, it’s just done dose saves cognitive depletion at a time it’s just not a good idea to ask more.

Currently, I use Honey Stinger Pink Lemonade chews for my glucose dose. They are the longest lasting glucose dose I use. Still not sick of them after perhaps 7-8 years! It’s way more glucose in one package than I use but I know how far 1-3 chews will get me. For me it works. A package gets tossed into every backpack, suitcase, purse, car, my ski pants and carried in my hand for a run.

I know what they taste like, how many chews do what how quickly and when to take more. At more than one time, they have been my best friend in the moment!

I fully trust my glucose dose.

Today’s run had a very Lazy Sunday feel. I’m nursing a motorcycle impact ankle injury and doing trails early with besties didn’t feel like a good idea. I decided to head out midday sunny-style and hit the beach. Once out, the light breeze combined with the timing of some enjoyable music begged for me to continue past my normal left turn up onto the bluffs. I glanced at glucose trends, adjusted the system accordingly for exercise and continue an extra 4 miles, totaled out at 10. I stopped and did my crow pose on top of the bluffs for a Bob Moses song (goal-work) and tossed in a mediation minute (goal-work) at one other stop. It was the most perfect Sunday drive I could have imagined!

Diabetes is easy.
Exercise is easy.
Diabetes and exercise is easy.

If it isn’t this way for you and you (or anyone you love) desire it to be easy, please reach out!

Over 30 years as a diabetic athlete (or athlete living with diabetes)
Over 20 years supporting people in their wellness
As a credentialed health and wellness coach I’m here to get you to where you want to be!

And don’t forget the right gear to thrive but know if you do forget just know it will all work out!

happy Sunday…

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