Diathlete Gavin Griffiths in Minneapolis!

Gavin Griffiths I’m very excited to welcome Gavin Griffiths to Minneapolis!

Gavin is an ultra-marathoner who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 8.

He’s making our great city an important part of an amazing adventure he’s on – the “Diathlete USA Tour 2014!

Based in London, Gavin makes a habit of doing big things in the name of diabetes advocacy. As this post publishes, he’ll be in New York running SEVEN back-to-back marathons in support of diabetes awareness…  that’s right, one marathon each day between September 7th – September 13th. Amazing!

Come Meet Gavin!

On Monday, September 15th, Gavin will be appearing at the JDRF MinnDakotas local office to give a talk about “Taking Control and Achieving Your Goals!”

I can’t wait – hope to see you there!

Gavin at JDRF

Ninjabetic Weekend – Saturday – The Walk

After a crazy California evening, and a few hours of sleep, the Simmons family and I were on the road headed to the Team Ninjabetic 2010 JDRF Walk for a Cure!

Team Ninjabetic was the largest family team, and even beat the corporate sponsor (Coca-Cola/Coke Zero) by over 20 walkers.  We represented big time.  We all had awesome Ninjabetic t-shirts, generously donated by Pelagic.  It was really something special to see so many Ninjabetic t-shirts overtaking the area.

The weather was hot, and the terrain was rough.  Almost desert-like in some areas.  There were at least two signs advertising a water station, but no water or volunteers to be found.  It didn’t take long for me to get supremely sunburned.  I swear the sun shines brighter in California.

I love this picture of the team.  George is in the middle, completely surrounded by everyone that came to support him (and by extension, all of us living with type 1 diabetes).

A Ninjariffic VLOG Post!

George’s vacation here absolutely FLEW by.  But we did a lot of fun things.  I know that we’ll both be posting a bit about all of the fun stuff over the next few days, so I don’t want to let the all of the cats out of the bag at the same time.

We put together a really quick and corny VLOG post that we wanted to share.  I think George has some sort of attack at the end, but I didn’t have a clue what was going on (what else is new?)…

The Wonder of Stories

I attended a nearby “pump users” group meeting last night.  This is an awesome group that usually meets monthly.  There is often a certain topic they cover, and sometimes there is a speaker, but they also do “round table” type discussions.  I would like to make it to more meetings, but it’s about a 40 minute drive for me, right in the middle of rush-hour traffic.  All that traffic, along with a relatively early start time, make it difficult for me to attend most of the time.

But last night, as I sat there listening to all of the great discussion I was humbled by all of the diabetes experience in the room. Each and every person in the room taught me new things about living life with diabetes.  It was really something special.

You know what the most incredible thing is?  It is not really that special!  By that  I mean each and every person living with diabetes has a story to tell.  Diabetes is the sort of thing that affects each of us differently, yet in similar ways (if that makes any sense).

If you are reading this, YOU have a story to tell.  I hope that someday I am lucky enough to listen to it (or read it, or watch it, or even just soak it in).

What do you mean it’s closed?

Is it bad blogging etiquette to post something on Thanksgiving?  Maybe so, but given why I need to post this today, I think you’ll forgive me.

ymcaToday, Thanksgiving, is the first weekday that I’ve NOT worked out since October 19, 2009.  Today would be the 29th weekday straight of either lifting weights or playing basketball.

Because the gym is closed, I’ll reluctantly take a (well earned) day off and enjoy time with my family.  Ok, that’s a lie.  I’m pleased as punch that I don’t need to go exercise today (even though leg day is my favorite).

It all started with a conversation with @gingervieira on twitter one Friday night. Within a few hours it evolved into an actual list of exercises to do the following Monday.

We need to pause here so I can tell you a bit more about who Ginger is. Taken right from her blogger profile:

T1 diabetic for 10+ years. Writer. Powerlifting for almost 2 years. Set 7 world records in the World Powerlifting Association and won overall best lifter on May 2, 2009. Won VT State Bench Press competition in July 2009.

Holy shit, right?  I met Ginger at the Roche Social Media Summit this summer.  We didn’t have much time to chat there, but I think her “awesomeness” was very apparent to me.  She’s a humble, genuine, funny, and super intelligent young lady.  And no, I’m not just trying to get out of doing more single stiff leg deadlifts (and yes, they are every bit as hard as they sound).

I’m no idiot.  When someone like Ginger starts sharing personal fitness training plans, I almost HAVE to listen, right?  People pay good money for this stuff!  And here I am getting it for a byte or two of bandwidth and some thumb typing on my iPhone.

So I’ve been working myself very hard for the past 28 weekdays straight.  In many ways that seems like forever.  Especially when I’m pulling up at the gym for another day.  It feels like I should be seeing some visible results by now.  But I’m not.  It feels like I should be losing some weight by now.  But I’m not.

When I stepped onto the scale and had actually gained weight, it was crushing.  I had been working so hard for so long – how can this be?!  There are a million and one reasons I’m not losing weight.  I don’t want to get into them right now.  Stepping on the scale was a serious mind screw.  With even a slice of positive feedback, I can boost my motivation and keep going with something that is hard.  But when doing something that is hard AND being faced with negative, motivation-sabotaging news, it gets twice as hard.

It made me ask myself why I was doing all of this.  Why am I physically hurting myself on purpose three times per week (basketball 2x/week is total fun, so that doesn’t count)?  I thought about that first day.  I thought about how much better I felt mentally, and how much more I was able to accomplish.  That is why I’m doing it.

The visible results and weight loss will happen over time.  It’s only been 28 days!  That’s nothing when you think about it.  Nothing.  In those 28 days I’ve only exercised my biceps (for example) five times.  I’d be crazy to expect giant guns after five days.  Thinking about it this way helped me be more realistic about the visible results.

The weight is a sensitive subject for me.  At first I thought “I am not getting my ass on another scale for six months”.  If I was doing this for the mental health of it, why do I even care about the weight?  But after thinking about it (well, sulking about it might be more accurate) I need to keep an eye on the weight.  It is another piece of information that can help me make better decisions.  It’s a hard piece of information to swallow at times though.

Balancing insulin use is important for me in this area too.  Not only does it directly impact blood sugar, but it is a powerful fat storage hormone that also inhibits the ability to burn fat.  It gets complicated quickly trying to keep blood sugars in range (when high or low my muscles are not getting what they need to build) while minimizing insulin use.  I’m not ready to take on all of that complication quite yet, but it is on my radar and gaining import every day.

When it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, I do feel better physically.  I feel strong, and I don’t hurt in places that used to hurt.  That feels good.  That along with the mental health benefits that I saw immediately will be enough to keep me going for some time.  The visible results will come with time.  If I were looking strictly for that, I would have been done with all of this right after stepping on the scale.

As Ginger once said, it is all annoyingly character building.  So true.

Thank you Ginger.  And a big “thank you” to all of you out there rooting for me – it is often a big boost right when I need it!

Making Time Fly

There are two sure-fire ways to make time fly by.

  1. Raising kids
  2. Diabetes meet-ups

Raising kids make years seem like days, and diabetes meet-ups make hours seem like minutes.

Saturday I got together with a small group of local members here at Diabetes Daily.  It was a lot of fun (as it always is), and we had some really insightful conversations (as we always do).

I always learn so much from being able to sit down with other people and visit.  This is especially true when I’m visiting with other people who deal with diabetes.  We are all made up of different experiences that shape who we are, and listening to those stories, opinions, and expectations, really teaches me a lot.  I love it.  Every time.

Picture of Dean, Scott, Martin, and Bea


Dean, Scott (me), Martin, & Bea, with Jennifer wanting to stay behind the camera (thank you all for coming and sharing your morning with me).

Another Great Get Together!

Sometimes it seems like us locals here in Minnesota need a visitor from out of town to spark a get together.  Last time it was Sara, this time it was Allison — yes, the Allison!

A few months back Allison told me that she would be in town with her boyfriend Erik for a wedding.  Turns out that Erik has a lot of family around here, which worked out great to help get Allison here for some partying with us local bloggers.  While there were a few that couldn’t make the meeting, we still gathered a very respectable group!

I picked Allison up in my little VW Golf, which served us well. The parking spot we found at the Mall of America was a little short spot, almost custom made for my Golf.  If I were driving any other vehicle, we would not have been able to park there.

We met up with the group, made introductions, and fell into comfortable conversations right away.  We talked about Heather’s recent “Tour De Cure” (a.k.a. “Ride in the Rain”) ride , and I even let her convince me to ride with them next year (30 miles?).  Allison has a ride coming up too, so it was fun to talk biking for a while.

We talked about Amber’s upcoming schooling and how she’s coping with night shifts. We talked about carb counting versus exchanges, and how we were all trained. Bob, an old friend of Allison’s, talked about his “love” for NPH (he hates the stuff!).

As we were sitting in the food court, chatting and laughing away, this guy walks behind us blowing on some sort of kids flute – loudly!  As he walked by I turned to look.  A tall skinny guy with longish curly blonde hair.  His outfit?  Tight white spandex, long sleeves and long “leggings”, with a pair of running shorts on over the top of them.  And a shower cap.

Apparently stuff like this is “normal” in New York, because nobody said anything!  I just HAD to say something.  It was almost as weird as the lady who attacked G-Money in Disneyland. At least there was no blood involved here.

And as usual, the time went by way to quickly, and it was time for Allison and Erik to get to the airport. Erik couldn’t make the the meet-up, but we all got to meet him and talk
for a couple minutes at the end when he came to pick Allison up.  He seems like a really nice guy — it’s too bad he couldn’t hang out with us earlier.  It is always too bad that these things have to come to an end.  I had a lot of fun, and look forward to the next one!

Picture of a MN DOC Meetup

Allison, Scott, Sandy, Bob, Heather, Amber

Coffee or Tea? Molly or me? I choose DIXIE!!!

I got together with a small group of Diabetes Daily members again last weekend.  It was awesome.  missitaly, deanusa, Molly & Dixie, and myself all enjoyed some warm beverages, easy conversation, and lots of laughs.

For those that are not familiar with Molly, she has the best CGM that anyone could ask for.  Dixie (she’s a heartbreaker)!  Dixie is a highly trained service dog that helps Molly by detecting unsafe blood sugar levels and trends (high or low).  I met Dixie when Sara was in town, and could tell that she was a little uncomfortable about something.  So Molly and I both started checking our blood sugars!  Turned out that Dean was running a little low.  As soon as he downed an OJ, Dixie calmed right down and took a little nap.  It was very, very cool to watch her highly sensitive spidey senses in action.

Picture of Scott, Molly (with Dixie), and Dean

The other thing that was so cool, and happens every time, was the instant bonding and friendship.

Thanks you guys – it was a wonderful way to kick off a beautiful (above 0 degrees) Minnesota Saturday!

I Love Meetups

I was scanning through blog posts on Tuesday night, and saw that Lili was in town for a day or two!  I quickly commented to her blog post and asked if she wanted to get together.

I didn’t know if she would get my comment (we all know how things get when traveling), or if her days were already full of activities and obligations.  But heck, it couldn’t hurt to ask right?

Thankfully we were able to touch base on the last day of 2008 and made plans for a morning coffee before they left for the airport the next day.

We welcomed 2009 by sipping tea and chatting away like old friends.  Lili was just as much fun to talk with as I had hoped, and her husband was a really great guy too.  It was easy company, and before I knew it two and a half hours were gone and they had to head to the airport.

Picture of Scott & Lili

Lili – I’m so glad we were able to make plans on such short notice, and I had a great time visiting with you and your hubby.  Let’s do it again if you ever come through my way, and I’ll be sure to let you know if I’m in your neck of the woods.

I have also recently gotten together with a group of folks from Diabetes Daily, and we’re planning another meeting in a couple of weeks (January 17th, providing the weather cooperates).  If you’re interested in joining us (all are welcome), take a look at this Diabetes Daily Meetup thread for details.

Second Annual MN Blogger Meet Up Report

Thank you Sara for clarifying the title.   Has it really already been (over) a year since the last meeting?  Holy cow.

I swear I would meet up with all of you every other week if I could.  It is such comfortable company, fun and laughter, and complete understanding.  This meeting was no exception.

I had an opportunity to meet with Drea from Drea and her ever trusty CGMS!

Drea was here (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) for a big annual event we have – the Twin Cities Marathon.  She was sponsored by the Medtronic Global Heroes program.  Might I mention that she was the only representative from Canada in the program?  I know there was some controversy around that program this year, but that’s another story.

When I found out she would be nearby (from her blog post), I commented that if she were comfortable with such a thing, we should try to meet and visit.  Sure enough, it worked out!  I’m very glad it did.

Drea is a very fun person to hang out with, and even though I was very tired and worn down from a lot of recent travel, we visited for over three hours (I could not believe it!).  The time flew by as if it were 15 minutes.

We discovered a common favorite, um, “treatment” for late night low blood sugars (cereal).  To my relief I am not the only person in the world who gets stuck in the milk/cereal/milk cycle.  You know – when you finish your cereal, but there’s still milk in the bowl, so you pour more cereal, then there’s not enough milk in the bowl…  We also both share a “bolus when low” mentality – to offset the damn cereal we just over treated with.

Picture of Drea and Scott

Drea – it was a lot of fun visiting with you.  You are a pleasure to hang out with, your bright smile and cheery demeanor put me at ease very quickly.  And I didn’t even give you any “about/aboot” or “eh” Canadian funny business.  🙂