Diversifying Exercise (and a Larry Bird)

I’ve been clawing my way out of an exercise funk that started around the first of the year. It’s been a terrible fight so far, and full of speed bumps.

About eight weeks ago I started getting back to the YMCA for basketball. About six weeks ago I twisted my ankle while playing. The worst sprain in a long time. For the record, these injuries usually need a minimum of six weeks to heal, but like an idiot I started playing ball again in just a week and a half.

All was well though a little sore and tender, until about three weeks ago when I twisted the same ankle again.

I was SO frustrated. Partially at myself for rushing my injury, and partially at another disruption in my exercise — just as I was starting to get my wind back.

Cringing in pain and laying on the gym floor I started thinking about diversifying my exercise. I decided that I needed to find some backup exercises to mix in with the basketball, and to lean on when I couldn’t play ball.

I did the cycling thing last spring, and it went very well. I never felt better than when I was doing my bike training and playing basketball. But there were some challenges here. Spring hasn’t sprung here yet, so no outside cycling (I’m not that hardcore), and I sold the trainer that I used last year when we moved recently (I very recently found myself another dirt cheap spin bike I can use indoors).

photoI’ve also been inspired by a bunch of people to try running. With a lot of travel on my schedule this year, I figured it would be a good option. So I ordered some crazy colored shoes (hat-tip to Brian). They arrived on April 10th. April 11th it snowed. A lot.

It started to warm up, the snow melted, then BAM! Another snowstorm the following week, then another tease of warm weather, and yet another dump of snow. It has been the craziest “spring” I can remember.

All of this means that I’ve been too chicken to brave the elements and go outside to start running.

I made it back to the gym for basketball this week, again probably rushing my ankle injury, but I’m armed with some better shoes and an ankle brace. I feel like I’m starting to get my wind back again, and my legs aren’t complete jelly on the court anymore.

I couldn’t play ball today, but as fate would have it I picked up an awesome treadmill that was being orphaned by a relative. I managed to move it out, load it up AND move it into my place all by myself (“Hercules! Hercules!“).

After my entire family played on it broke it in, I strapped on my new kicks and jumped on for my first run of the decade.

I did really well in my opinion. I had the timer on the treadmill counting down from 40-minutes. I was shooting for a 10-minute warmup walk followed by 15-minutes of running, 5-minutes of walking, then an attempt at another 10-minutes of running.

Everything went great until I had 8-minutes left. I didn’t feel like I could push through. I thought I might be low, but couldn’t tell. I did the smart thing. I stopped and tested my blood sugar.

33 mg/dl.

After thinking of Kerri and her love for all things 33, I got scared. I wolfed down pretty much anything and everything I could find. I was a bit freaked out.

Yep, spooning it right out of the jar.
Yep, spooning it right out of the jar.

Once I had my wits about me I wondered what my Dexcom had to say.

My Dexcom is anti-exercise
My Dexcom is anti-exercise

I have never been able to rely on my CGM (any brand, any model) during exercise. Doesn’t matter if I’m cycling, playing basketball, or apparently running, it’s woefully late to the party and often times wildly inaccurate (trends and numbers).

In fact, most days it takes a couple of hours after I’m done playing basketball for it to sync up with my actual blood sugars.

Why is that? I don’t understand?

I sure could have used a “heads-up” tonight. 33 mg/dl while exercising doesn’t leave much room between being fine and being dead…

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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