Insights into my personal life.

This blog includes the personal details of my experiences as a recently diagnosed Type I diabetic and the impact of that diagnosis on my endurance athletic pursuits.

Please understand that I consider myself to be a work in progress. I am willing to share both my successes and failures, so please do not take my words to be professional dietary or medical advice. This is a blog, this is only a blog. I research my choices carefully, and take my health very seriously. The choices I make are my own, I am doing the best with the resources and support that I have. If you have questions or concerns feel free to comment, but please be constructive and understand that this is my life. I value it dearly.

My goal is to live a happy, healthy and active life where I can balance my internal drive to push my physical limits and the challenge of safely maintaining stability despite the challenges of Type I diabetes.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stay-cation. Sort of.

I've been spending this week in FdL with my father.  He's suffering from Parkinson's Disease and has a lot of limitations.  Normally I wouldn't use the word suffering, but it is what it is.  He can barely feed himself, he can barely dress himself, can't get out of a chair when he wants to.  It's strange for the man that could fix anything and everything to be in this state.  I even feel bad confessing these things.  Maybe it goes back to the schoolyard "my dad is better than your dad" stuff.  Who knows, but it's hard on me.  (Like it isn't on him).  

I feel bad admitting that it's hard on me.  I can't imagine how hard it is for him.  But, and a big but, he has always been the most humble man I've ever known.  I can't recall a single time where he's been 'Proud' or bragged about anything.  Sure, he was successful, but damn if you'd know.  He has the gift of relating to people.  He worked sales and dealt with anyone for maintenance men to well, more or less anyone who he could find to talk to.  He has a gift for casual conversation - which was often frustrating if our family was in a hurry to get anywhere (especially on vacations).   

Now I know he must be frustrated.  He strains to move soup from bowl to mouth.  Drinking without a straw is impossible, putting on socks?  Shit, that's tough!  But I just walked into his room and he was busy making his bed.  Perfectly folded over sheet.  Comforter, well, I helped him with that.  Huge patience.   I'd like to think I'd have the grace to deal with it.  But I don't know that I do, or would.

So onto cheerier topics, look at this cool spider I found:

So I like to get away from things at times.  Running or riding (and sometimes I've been rumored to swim) provide chances for me to clear my mind of the troubles of the world.  I love to explore and just see random shit.  Here's some more... granted this is from a ride this spring in Monroe:

So today I went out for a nice mind clearing ride.  I love Autumn.  Sure it was cold, but a great change of pace from this summer's relentless heat.  I dressed like I was XC skiing.  Bib tights over my shorts, wool socks, full neoprene booties, and my favorite iP Amphib jacket, oh and my dryfit toque under my helmet (Canada eh!)

My ride headed in a similar direction of my last exploratory ride of FdL.  Of course I start up hill (that's where the best views are).  View of Lake Winnebago below:

So, it was a beautiful day.  Hella windy.  I might be the only person who likes wind.  It motivates me and I had time today to think about why... Tell me I can't do something - - - well, screw you I can.  That's how I think about wind.  People always think that wind is picking on them, they don't realize it's windy to everyone.  Wind happens (just like shit).  Deal with it.

So I rode into the wind.  There were also some hills.  Here's a photo of one:

What's better than a ride?  Crockpot soup after a cold one!  Been feeding my old man very well this week.  Nothing but the best for the man who made me who I am.

Much love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My life - In rides.

Similar to those who create autobiographies of "my life in pictures"; I was thinking about some of the wonderful rides I have been on in my life - and how if I put them together, I would likely be able to tell an interesting history of my life.

I had a lot of time to think on my ride today.  I am currently taking a week off of work to spend time with my father in Fond du Lac.  My mother is currently traveling with my sister Kari to Park City, UT.  My mom doesn't get to travel very often anymore so it's a fun opportunity for her.  Although she's not on a complete vacation - Kari just had twins, so I'm sure there is some childcare work in there - but that's what Grandma's are for.

With that I find myself in Fond du Lac.  My parents have lived here (two different houses) for probably 10 years.  It never felt like home to me so I've never really taken any time getting to know the place.   But now that I have a week here I decided to bring a bike.

A little recent history here.  It's the triathlon off season for me.  I injured my left ankle early this year and my running had been very limited.  I've built myself a run training program which was intended to address this.  My goal was to hit the trails and build back into ultrarunner mode.  Well as soon I got all the details figured out, something stupid happened to me.  I sprained my ankle.  Again!  This time playing goalkeeper; which was a compromise in hopes of preventing such injuries.  Oh well.

Well it wasn't the same ankle and it isn't as bad this time.  I'm 3 days post injury and can walk around fairly well.  And I can comfortably ride my bike - depending on the shoes.  I have some commuter bike shoes that are stretchy and account for my sausage shaped foot quite nicely - these shoes are for my commuter bike (which is spd-platform).  So I decided to ride my commuter.

A little history on my commuter.  It's sweet.  It's an 80's Apollo Gran Tour.  Got it 2nd hand in Vancouver in like new condition.  It's a road bike, chromoly frame, downtube shifters, 6 spd freewheel.  I've added a classy looking pair of full wrap fenders, a rear grocery basket (which I'm hoping to replace with something custom made and nice)  Functional bike, but still something that I can work out on.

So that was my steed for the day.  Low tech, humble.  Felt like the good old days when I just got into riding.  There is definitely an exhilaration to heading into unknown territory alone.  Now to the route itself.

Headed east into a headwind.  Nothing too special, but the scenery was nice.  Fall colors are at peak.  Eventually I worked my way into the Kettle Moraine Forest towards the town of Glen Beulah.  I turned back to the west and found some amazing smooth roads, nice rolling hills, and a nice tailwind.  I reach a point where I was just relaxed and happy to be on a bike.  Passed through the town of Mt. Calvary.  That lead to later research in the difference between "calvary" and "cavalry" - totally different thing (thank you wikipedia).  Strange what can be learned as a result of a ride.

Other than random thoughts, there were no thoughts of training, no discomfort in my ankle, no worries about life.  Just me in the moment.  I wish others could find this state of mind - I can't really describe it - but I need it.