I’ve been back on the workout bandwagon for a while now. I’m still finding some time to get on my spin bike at home, and I’ve been getting to the gym so I can run on the track instead of going outside when it’s 20 degrees.
But I’m no different from other People With Diabetes when it comes to working out and fears of hypoglycemia. To combat that, I don’t think of it as managing my diabetes as much as I think of it as managing my insulin. If I can manage my insulin properly, I can avoid the lowest of lows. It seems like I can’t avoid having any lows. I’m not that good at it. But remembering that I might need to tweak basal rates or bolus amounts due to workouts, and doing that properly, is really key. Just about everyone knows that.
Still, working out more often, and the worries of hypoglycemia, coupled with the fact that adding this to my schedule more often, well… it seems like there’s this double-edged sword: Volunteer for something that, in the past, has helped lead to serious hypos; or let the fear create inaction, which is never going to be something that will help me live a good, long life.
Add in knee surgery last year, and worries about how I would come back from that, plus the fact that I really hate how I look right now, and it just seems like a good excuse to either get going or sit right back down and have a drink.
While thinking of all this over the weekend, I came to the realization that there are actually some universal truths that apply to both management of our diabetes and working out. Remembering these truths has helped me embrace working out again, which I have not done for some time due to the reasons stated above.
It’s really hard to get started.
And the older you get, the harder it is to get started. The sooner you get over that, the better you will do. Trust yourself that you will, you can, get started again.
When you’re not on your game on a given day, you feel guilty.
Every day I’m not at the gym, I want to be at the gym. Which means if I don’t go, I feel bad for not going. After every day where I (try to) ignore my diabetes, I feel like I’ve done a disservice to myself and those who care about me. But we live with this disease all the time, right? We need a break (such as it is) once in a while. Which brings me to:
Yesterday is only a benchmark. The future is unwritten.
I’ve written variations of that line a number of times. This past week was when I first realized that it applies to working out as well as living with diabetes. Regardless of what yesterday tells us, there are many chapters left to life, provided we’re still game enough to author them.
Surprises can come at you pretty fast.
Since I started seriously working out again, I’ve had lows in the middle of the night that I didn’t expect, and I’ve had an injury to a toe that I was completely unaware of until my run was over. It helps me to keep in mind that the best planning includes planning for the unexpected. It’s gonna happen.
We are stronger over time than we seem to be an any one moment.
Our lives are not defined by one single day. At least I hope not. With diabetes or with working out, it’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, you’re worn out, and it’s so easy to just say I’m Done. When we don’t do that, well, that’s where champions are made. And People With Diabetes are better at not giving up than any other group of people I’ve ever known.
Maybe the real universal truth is that remaining active is actually part of managing our diabetes. That makes sense, but how often do we think of it that way? I know I don’t… or haven’t… until lately.
Have any other universal truths you’d like to add to the list?