Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Hall of Fame Worthy Speech.

Disclosure: Even though I’ve lived in Baltimore for almost 18 years, and in Columbus, Georgia for a couple of years back in the 80’s, I was born in, grew up in, and lived many years in Cincinnati, where I became, and remain, a HUGE fan of my hometown Reds. So I tuned in to MLB Network Sunday afternoon in anticipation of watching the Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech of Barry Larkin, who will likely be the last Reds player inducted in my lifetime (Dave Parker? Dave Concepcion? Anyone? Bueller?).

Before Larkin’s speech was the speech from Vicki Santo, widow of Ron Santo, who was also inducted this year. His induction comes mere months after losing a long battle with diabetes at the age of 71. He’s not the first baseball player with Diabetes inducted into the Hall of Fame (the great Jackie Robinson comes to mind). But Vicki’s speech, honoring her husband, and his life with diabetes, was an inspiring wake-up call to all of us. It reminds us that the work for a cure goes on, and that great things can be accomplished in spite of what diabetes does to our lives. She reminds us that Ron Santo helped raise over $65 million for JDRF, and that when you walk, ride, or give to a Victoria Cumbow, a Moira McCarthy, or a Jeff Mather who is Riding for a Cure, you are helping to find a cure too. And she reminds me that I have a long way to go in the advocacy department.

The link to the full video is below, courtesy of MLB Network. A few snippets that resonated with me:

“Ron said that playing the game was easy… that only the diabetes made the game hard”.

“He embraced his gift and his hardship equally– believing that one would not have mattered without the other. He believed in his journey and he believed in his cause. His journey has led him here to Cooperstown. And his cause is finding a cure”.

“…in his legacy let it be known that here is a man who attained the highest honor his sport can give, while playing with an insidious disease”.

The speech starts at about the 1:55 mark in the video. If you can, please take the time to listen. And let this speech inspire you to make a bigger difference.

Baseball Hall of Fame | Ron Santo is inducted into the Hall Of Fame – Video | Multimedia.


Diabetes, Exercise, Nutrition, and Getting Older.

So now I’ve finished two events this year: a 100 mile bike ride in early June, and a recently completed 5k run. There are a few thoughts I’d like to get down while they’re fresh in my mind. Things that are different between this year and just a few years ago.

First, the good news. My diabetes has been managed fairly well this year. Notice I didn’t say that I managed my diabetes well. It’s really been a wonderful team effort. The Great Spousal Unit has been both supportive and insightful. Asking the right questions at the right time, and not letting me get away with those half-hearted “I’m okay” answers when I’m really not. A D conversation with her can be difficult, but I always feel better after.

If I can take any credit here, it’s for bringing my endocrinologist in on my training and efforts to continue competing. She’s the reason I was finally able to train and compete while wearing my pump. The results haven’t always been spectacular (see here), but it wasn’t the diabetes that caused my problems.

Second: I need to re-learn nutrition. I’m ashamed at the absolute lack of knowledge I have about nutrition at this point in my life. About what kind of foods will serve me well in training and competition. Granted, I could stand to lose a few pounds. But first, I have to get smart about what I’m putting into my body all the time. Not just on race day. I haven’t seen a dietician since I was diagnosed 21 years ago. That was in the days of diabetic food exchanges. It worked like this: Inject the same amount of insulin every day. Eat the same amount of protein, carbs, veg, dairy, and fat every day. Hope for the same BG result every day. Hey kids– my diet needs an upgrade. Version 2.0. ASAP.

Third: I’m getting older. And yes, it sucks. In just the last year I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that my body can’t recover as fast as it once did. Where I used to be able to work out day after day, now I need a day (or two) to recover after a hard workout. Now, I find myself asking: When will just finishing be enough? When do I cross over from being a competitor to being a participant? I want to be competitor. I need to be a competitor, for as long as possible.

Well, I don’t have all the answers yet. Who does? But I believe in the notion that the real honor is in trying. In the effort. Despite age. Despite diabetes. Champions are made not by overcoming every obstacle, but in recognizing that they’re there and trying anyway.

Dog Days of Summer.

I’ve been looking back at my posts in the last few weeks, and it seems that since Diabetes Blog Week the posts have been less frequent. Writers block? Not likely. Not in this kind of forum anyway. I mean, who among us doesn’t like to talk about themselves?

More likely, the culprit is the fact that summer is the busiest time of year for me.

Certainly work is busiest during the summer. It’s the busiest time of year in the group I work in. So much so that getting time off in June, July, or August is nearly impossible. And since the company I work for has downsized in the past couple of years, they really are relying on me this year. And my company has a strict no-posting-to-social-media-of-any-kind-during-the-workday policy. That already limits the amount of time I can spend writing and commenting. Add in extra tasks and staying late to meet deadlines, and my blog time is limited even more.

Another reason is the athletic events that I enter each year. Many of those are during the summer, and that means extra time at the gym. Good for my body, but it doesn’t add to the blogosphere.

Also (and this is the really good part), I was in a class the last few weeks. It’s one of the classes held by the theater that Maureen and I subscribe to each year. It’s an Improv class, taught by one of the theater’s resident actors, and he’s one of our favorites. I can’t tell you how much I stepped outside of my comfort zone in this class. When I wrote earlier about depression and whatever it was I was feeling at the end of last year/beginning of this year, this part was step two in my process of feeling better.

Know what? I really loved this class. I can’t say I’m gifted at improv, but I like the idea of trying something new, focusing on something different. And my classmates were great. Everyone was extremely supportive of everyone else in the class. The time flew by, and we couldn’t wait until the next session. Kind of like the weekly DSMA Chat.

So you can see why I’ve been so busy. Just for the record, I have no intention of giving up the writing, at least for now. Even without a blog, I would still write all the time.

Besides, I’m not nearly as busy as my fellow DOC bloggers who have kids. I have no idea how they do it. I admire them. And I’m a bit jealous too. But that’s a different subject. And I’m too busy to write about that right now.

5K – Finally, a fun event.

Sunday was the day for the annual Pikesville 5K run. It’s a very low key event, featuring hundreds of runners, most of whom live within a 15 minute drive of the course. We live about 5 minutes away, and I have to say: it’s nice to sleep in your own home the night before, wake up about an hour and a half before the start, and still have plenty of time to get ready.

So how did I do?

Race-wise, about as well as expected. Better even, considering I hadn’t trained very hard for this one. And this is a tough course. It’s almost entirely downhill for the first half; and since it’s an out-and-back course, it means the second half was almost entirely uphill. My time was 27:42 (did I mention I’m a slow runner?), 150th out of 541 runners. Sixteenth out of 47 in my age group. As I’ve said before, my goals in something like this are the same: 1) Finish the race, 2) Finish better than half the field, 3) Finish better than half the field in my age group. Based on that criteria, I did pretty well.

How ’bout BG-wise? Well, um…. not so good.

My morning reading was 68. That’s too low for me before vigorous exercise, so I had to eat something before the race, which I hate to do. But I got myself up to 152 before the race. I set a temp basal (0.55 units) for an hour. But then I definitely over-carbed at the post-race spread. A bagel, an apple, and some orange juice. Without bolusing. I paid for that later when I shot up to 323(!). So I had to go low with the carb count at lunch, and with a well thought out bolus, and I was back at 90 before dinner. What is it that I’ve read about? The Glucocoaster? Yeah, I was on that.

But the nicest part of the event, and of the day, is that Maureen and Rachel were able to be there to cheer me on. Also, I was able to run with several friends who also run every year. It’s a low-pressure, high-fun get together that makes me feel good. And I have to admit that I think I needed that right now. I’d share some more photos, but no one got a photo of me actually running in the race. So I only have this to share with you:

With our friends Jill & Iris after the race. Feels like a reunion coming to this event every year.

Hope your week is great!

Like These Links

It’s Ladie’s day here at LTL… three posts from some inspiring and interesting writers:
Scully at Canadian D-gal has one of the many, and one of the most interesting takes on her experience at Friends for Life last week:
Cara at Every Day Every Hour Every Minute has one of those great D-Meetup stories:
AmyT at Diabetes Mine talks about mixed emotions… yeah, me too:
Enjoy the weekend!

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