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.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Challenge!

First, I'd like to bring your attention to today being my beautiful wife's birthday.  "Happy Birthday"  Two words synonymous in our household with another two words.  "Birthday Challenge".  To give credit, I have adopted this concept from my undergraduate triathlon club team's self-proclaimed "spiritual advisor".

The idea is every year you celebrate your birthday with a success, usually along the lines of impressive physical feats of strength or endurance to a volume or distance related numerically to your age.  In the past we each have completed challenges such as our # of years old - repeats of the Wreck Beach Stairs.  23 For me (since I was doing them after work I ran out of daylight.  My bday is on the 23rd) on my 32nd birthday in Vancouver.  Kim then one upped me on her 27th, by doing 28 because it's really hard to count after 28 repeats of a 451 step staircase that linked a beautiful beach with view of sunsets, sea and distant mountains on Vancouver Island.  A nude beach.  Stange exotic people, vendors, recycle-bums, and college students.  Wreck Beach is on the University of British Columbia's campus.

I miss that place.  While Kim was studying for her PhD in Musicology (at task which continues into year 3 while she currently travels to Salzburg sponsored by a Fulbright grant).  She's a pretty amazing woman.  And we have a lot in common.  None of which we knew when we first fell in love.

We certainly didn't have much in common as far as hobbies when we met.  I was playing soccer, drinking beer, running and biking.  She was playing the organ and going to church with her family.  I was a sport playing kid.  She was obviously into music, school and church.  (hey, I like school!)

But now during year three of our marriage we have so much in common that its almost scary.  I'll spare everyone the details, just know that we are borderline the same person in many many ways - but not all.

Last week I took Vacation time to go see her.  It's been lonely to be apart for already 4 months.  81 days remain, if you count from her time zone.

This weekend she will be running the Vienna marathon.  She's trained for it, making due with what time she's had in Salzburg.  It's a beautiful city.  She took me for a run along her usual route.  Along the river, past the downtown, and of course, up a hill because that's where the best views are.  (more on that hill later).  View was great, even on a cloudy day.

The pace of life abroad is so much more relaxed.  Man did I need that.  Relax I did and relaxed I remain.  I need to remind myself that I am the same person here as I was there.  We have no reason to rush and stress out our bodies and minds.  There is very little to gain, and everything to lose.

We all relax in different ways.  I relaxed by going for a swim and beginning my Birthday Challenge early this week.  My birthday is not until June, but due to inclement weather I'm deeming this season Birthday Season.  Technically from April 11 - June 23, spanning the length of our birthdays.  During this period of time I have set my Birthday Challenge to be swimming a cumulative distance of 10,000 yard-meters of butterfly - with the challenge coming to a peak on my birthday with a 200m Butterfly Race.  Block Start and all.  I know I spam this event a few times during my youth - even then I found it a challenge, but I don't remember being half bad.

Now for a swimmer who has been training all four strokes and kept their swimming skills from their collegiate team experience, my challenge is a week's work, however for me it is a huge challenge.

For several reasons over the past 3 years I have not been taking any time to train my swimming.  There I admit it publicly - it feels good to get that off my chest.  Often it's the logistics of the availability of flexible pool time at an acceptable price - but primarily I have learned to avoid all swimming due to the chemically induced sinus stress or open water allergy exposure.  I had the worst year of allergies of my life last year.  Not much of a stretch to connect that issue with the autoimmune attack on my body which lead the way for rising blood sugar values in almost every cell in my body.

The current goal for my life with regards to managing my life on an insulin pump is to use as little insulin as possible.  All my instincts lead me to this conclusion.  I am currently using 7 or less total units of insulin per day - and I haven't even started heavy training volumes!  To explain further, while exercising my muscles can uptake glucose independent of the presence of insulin.  I can still eat carbs during works and not have to pull over and dose myself with a hormone that is a growth hormone.

I don't want my blog to become a place where I cite articles directly, but I know that multiple studies have found increased longevity with lower caloric intake diets. - the theory is based on the analogy the more rapidly dividing and faster grow the cells continue to remain, the more opportunity for replication mistakes and greater metabolic stress through oxidation and exposure to free-radicals.  Antioxidants quench these free-radicals in our bodies, thereby protecting us from the pesty particle.

Look around and you will see that we are all still growing.  It shouldn't be this way.  It really isn't that hard, there is just so much more bad information an bad products than good.  But there are plenty of good.  And plenty more that taste good.  Good?  Good.

That's all for now.  Plenty to write about, but life is too busy to rush.
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