I received an e-mail last week from a PR firm that is handling an account for CrossFit. You know, CrossFit, the company with the CEO that doesn’t seem to really know what causes diabetes. Guess what? No one does, even though it seems that CrossFit’s CEO, Mark Glassman thinks he does.
Anyway, the e-mail was in reference to a California ballot initiative that CrossFit is in favor of. Here’s the text of the e-mail:
It’s not that I don’t care about this ballot issue, because I do sort of, but that’s not what I’d really like to talk about if I were to interview Mr. Glassman. Would I really want to interview Mr. Glassman? The truth is, yes, I’d like to at least have a conversation with him. I’d like to have an honest discussion about the fitness, and diet, and how those things, or lack of those things, from a scientific perspective, do not necessarily cause or reverse diabetes.
So in reply, I sent this e-mail to the PR rep:
Erin, thank you so much for reaching out regarding this story. You may or may not be aware of this, but Mr. Glassman, CrossFit’s CEO, was especially critical of People With Diabetes in an incident earlier this year. People like me. I don’t think my blog or podcast would be a good place to discuss the ballot initiative mentioned in your e-mail, though I wish you well with it. But I would like to invite Mr. Glassman to my podcast, Diabetes By The Numbers, to talk about CrossFit and diabetes.
My goal is not to ambush Mr. Glassman, but rather have a brief (30 minutes or less) conversation about how a diabetes diagnosis cannot be traced scientifically back to diet or lack of exercise, and how a diabetes diagnosis often makes one an even tougher athlete than they were prior to diagnosis. In addition, I’d like to find some common ground where we can create a dialogue, through which CrossFit and People With Diabetes may connect and be partners for positive change, celebrating what we can do together, rather than just shouting at each other.
If you can’t arrange this, I understand. But considering the fact that I live with diabetes year round, the fact that I write a blog about diabetes, and host a podcast related to diabetes, I think you can understand why I would rather talk on this subject. Please let me know if Mr. Glassman would be available for an interview.
All the best
There are a few reasons why I responded this way. First, we often talk about seizing the opportunity to educate those who may not understand diabetes. If I’m going to be true to that, I’m going to at least ask for the interview.
Second, maybe, not likely but maybe, we can come to some sort of understanding, some sort of mutual respect or even a path by which we can both celebrate athletes who achieve their athletic goals despite diabetes.
Third, I admit… I like the challenge of an interview like this. I’m obviously not a professional, but I like to get out of my comfort zone once in a while with an interview subject. I know something like this wouldn’t be easy, and maybe it would be a disaster. But I’d like to try anyway.
If this ever amounts to anything, I’ll let you know. My guess is it won’t. But that’s not all bad either. Sometimes you just need to ask anyway.