Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Happening

In the last two years, the following things have happened:

I have started dyeing my hair and I eagerly look forward to each appointment at the salon because I can actually see fistfuls of grey appear between appointments.

I have started paying attending to the face cream I buy. I need to make sure that it had as high an SPF as I can find but I have also started looking for words like ‘anti-aging’, ‘overnight recovery’, ‘wrinkle-fighting’ etc.

I am shorter than I used to be. Not by a lot but by enough that I would much prefer that my doctor asks to check my weight rather than my height. It makes me sad that I have already reached my peak height and am heading down the other side.

I am now considered a senior golfer at the golf course.

On the other hand I have gone from being the oldest in my age category to the youngest which will be fun this summer when I'm doing triathlons. 

I have stopped wearing shimmery eye shadow and now gravitate towards matte because it seems more fitting for people "my age". 

Of course, when I'm out with my sister I usually wear some crazy combination of colours and we prance around like glamour girls.

I have come to realize that warm-ups and cool-downs are actually an important part of any workout. In fact when I hop on the training for a cycling workout and the guy on the video says to warm up at 80rpm, it takes me the entire length of the 10-minute warm-up to warm up enough to be able to cycle 80rpm.

I wear contacts when I am outside in the sunshine which allows me to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes. 
I need the contacts to see far. I can see just fine close up without my glasses. Turns out that, when I wear contacts, everything close up becomes blurred. To the point of not being able to read small print or be able to tell if there are air bubbles in my insulin tubing.

I have to dress up more often than I used to which makes me feel like I'm acting more mature than I actually am sometimes. I've learned that wearing fun socks helps that. Anyone with x-ray vision can see that, under my fancy dress boots, I am wearing socks with sushi pieces all over them, knee-high bright pink socks with black moustaches or crazy striped ones. It's fun and makes me feel a little more me. 

I love playing Scrabble as well as doing sudoku and other puzzles. I used to do them purely for fun. Now I do them mostly for fun but also to keep my brain active because that's what we are supposed to do to keep sharp in our dotage. 

I add spinach to my breakfast shake to make sure I am getting enough vegetables in my diet. 

I read Macleans. I watch Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes. I am currently reading a handbook on golf rules. 

I say things like "that's totally awesome" and then secretly wonder if anyone else says that kind of stuff anymore. 

When I look online for shoes or sandals, I always click on the "orthotic" option because there is no point in buying shoes if my orthotics can't fit into them. Right? 


Omigod it's happening isn't it?

I am turning into my forty year old self. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Zip

Oh hi there! 

My name is Zip

I am a fitbit.

I'm a super-duper pedometer. As in I track your steps and keep track of how far you've walked in a day. I also sync with your iPhone or iPad and keep track of your progress. 

Oh, and I'm a wicked shade of green and just look really cool. 

I'm currently sitting in an warehouse somewhere but that is about to change.

A nice lady, well I assume she's nice anyway, just ordered me. Her name is Céline. That sounds like the name of a nice person I think. If all goes well, I should be packed, shipped and delivered by next Tuesday.

Rumour has it that this Céline lady is planning to spend a lot of time golfing this summer. As in three or four games a week!?! Rumour also has it that she's a bit of a fitness freak and prefers to walk most of the courses she plays.

She apparently keeps track of her other activities (running, cycling and swimming) and decided that it would be fun to also track how far she walks and how many steps she takes during a golf game. And I'm guessing, since she is apparently a new golfer, she will be walking A LOT!

An hour of research, some reading of reviews, a few clicks of the mouse and voilà! I'm about to have a new home.

Give us a day or two to get settled and then I promise to be back with a review of how it's going. She might take a bit of getting used to as I figure out her quirks but I have every confidence that we'll get along fine.

Hopefully she comes with a manual...?

Stay tuned for more updates from Zip and Céline on their golfing adventures.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Personal Support Team

I ran 18k on Saturday morning.

In shorts!!!

Afterwards, I stretched in the sunshine on the back deck and watched a robin hopping around in the garden looking for nest-building supplies.

It really does not get any better than that.

Oh wait, it does.

I ran 18k on Saturday morning.

I headed off to the country roads. I saw the ditches and rivers swollen with spring runoff. I saw the red buds on the trees and the tiny flowers blooming underneath. I heard the birds singing with the same happiness I felt as my body remembered the joy of running in the sunshine.

For the first hour, I was completely alone. Alone in my thoughts with only the sound of my feet to keep me company.

And then exactly halfway through my 18k run, a familiar black car approached and slowed to a stop a few feet ahead of me.

Doug, my support team and my cheerleader, had arrived. With my water and my Nuun. With my glucometer, salt tablets, edisks and snacks. With a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

"How's it going baby? You look good. Feeling ok?"

If that doesn't sound good an hour from home, I don't know what does.

He was there at 9k for my big pit stop and blood sugar check. He was there at 12k and again at 15k for a quick water break.

And with a wave and a last few words of encouragement, he was off, leaving me alone for the last 3k home.

I have run 18k alone many times. I could have run 18k alone this time too. I know what I need to bring with me to be self-sufficient and I am happy to do it.

Every once in a while though, it sure feels nice to be taken care of.

Especially by someone with such a nice smile!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Outcomes for Diabetes Conference

Last Friday was a pretty amazing day.

It was the day when I spoke to a room full of diabetes educators at the Options for Diabetes Conference in Kingston.

I've been preparing for it for a few months. I developed my presentation and I practiced it over and over again - usually in the car as I drove to appointments. I would practice, realize that a slide I had created needed to be moved or changed, practice again, and tweak again.

My goal?

To inspire people by telling them how, with a slow and steady plan, I went from not being a runner to becoming a half marathoner. How I went from not being able to swim 50m to swimming over 3km, 3 times per week. How I went from never having been to a race before to becoming a half-marathon finisher and a triathlete.

More importantly though, I wanted to paint a picture of what it is like to live with diabetes. And how, after we leave our appointments with our diabetes support team, we go back home again. Home to live our life with diabetes without their support. For months and months on end.

I painted that picture and then I talked about how important it is for people with diabetes to find other people like them. I introduced them to the DOC and I stressed what a crucial role it plays. It does not replace our medical support team but it does help fill in the time we spend dealing with diabetes on our own.

Finally, I talked about how important it is for them, as our medical support team, to get to know us as people. By learning a bit more about who we are and what is important to us, they will be better able to support us the way we need and want to be supported. I talked about One Page Profiles, showed them mine and talked about how much of a difference they can make.

Do you know what happened?

They liked it.

They listened.

They asked a ton of questions.

They caught up to me in the halls afterwards and asked more questions.

They asked if they could email me, if I would like to speak at other events, and if I would be willing to help them learn how to better get to know the people they support. I was even asked if I would be willing to help with one page profiles for a sports camp for kids with type 1 that happens at York University.

And I said yes to every single request. How could I not?

I wanted to make a difference that day and I want to make a difference every day.

In less than an hour I helped get a room full of people jazzed about how they can get better at helping people like me.

In less than half a day I met people who seemed to really want me to help them do it.

Who knows how far this will go but I like to think that, somehow, my little talk in Kingston may make a difference.

Friday, April 11, 2014

What I Will Talk About

This morning, around the time this blog is posted, I will be getting dressed in my hotel room in Kingston.

I will then be heading down to the restaurant for breakfast and caffeine.

I will then be heading into a conference room to hook up my laptop and, for the tenth time, make sure that the slideshow and the sound are working properly.

At 8am, people will start trickling in with their coffees in hand and, at 8:30am, I will be introduced to the crowd.

And then floor will be mine for an hour as I speak to a room full of diabetes professionals.

I will talk about myself and paint a picture to show that I am much much more than a diabetes label.

I will talk about how I was diagnosed and what the word "Type 1" meant to my 28-year old self.

I will talk about the journey that I have been on since my diabetes diagnosis and that, no matter how challenging diabetes can be, it always seems to have a role to play in making my life better.

I will talk about how, any goal, no matter how crazy it may seem at the start, is manageable when broken down into bite-sized pieces.

But more importantly, I will talk about the Diabetes Online Community. I will talk about how I discovered it. I will talk about how it, and you, made such a difference both in my daily life as well as in how I manage fitness and health. I will talk about how important the DOC is as a way to provide support and encouragement to people in the time between our six-month appointments. When we are dealing with all of the diabetes stuff on our own. When we don't always have people in our lives who understand.

I will talk about how taking even a few extra minutes to get to know who a patient is can make a world of difference in terms of how care is provided.

I will encourage them to explore the DOC and encourage them to talk to the people they support about it.

And hopefully, by 9:30am, I will have made a bit of difference in the world.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

All the News That's Fit to Print

In sporting news....

This Sunday morning our cycling group may, I repeat may, be riding OUTSIDE. For the first time since October. It will be crisp and we will need to wear many layers of clothing but, for the first time in six months, I won't be on the trainer in the spider-filled basement. Not to mention the post-ride chocolate milk and cycling banter. Yay!!

On Wednesday morning at the pool there was a head-on collision. As in one swimmer pulled out to pass another swimmer and crashed head on into a swimmer in the oncoming lane. I was the swimmer in the incoming lane. It only took five minutes for the shaking to stop after having been shocked so badly and it only took four hours for my headache to subside. The fear of random crashes in the pool may take a little longer to go away...

On Wednesday evening I bet, well actually Doug bet for me, $10. Five dollars that Angel Cabrera will win the Masters and five dollars that Jason Dufner will. If either do I plan to retire on my winnings.

Since I last changed Dexter I have run 22km, swum 6km and cycled for 90 minutes and he is still firmly attached. I can normally get one swim or two runs out of him before he starts to become unglued. I'm not sure what's up with this one but I think he has a crush on me.

On Tuesday evenings, starting as soon as it gets warm, I will be golfing with a group of three other women. Two of them I do not know. The one I do know assured me that I'd fit in just fine. She said she's only been golfing for 15 years and isn't that good. Oh dear.

On Tuesday last week I received an email with a photo advertising this year's Aktiv Open Water Swim Series. The one I swam in twice last summer. Take a look at the poster and see if you recognize anyone...

On Sunday last weekend I ran 16k. Afterwards my stomach was kinda unhappy and would not settle despite chocolate milk, an apple with some almond butter and a comforting lunch of oatmeal. A running friend of mine had told me earlier that she read about someone who drank pickle juice for electrolytes on runs. We laughed about gross that sounded but, on a whim, I decided to eat a pickle. Guess whose stomach settled immediately? 

On Friday last week in the locker room I was chatting with my swimming friends after our workout. They were talking about how lazy they were. These are the people who were at the pool at 5:30am and had just finished a tough 90-minute workout. Lazy?!?

And that, my friends, is all the news that's fit to print.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Things That I'm Happy About This Week

Things I am happy about this week

  • that I have had Dexter on for seven days and he doesn't even need sticky reinforcement yet. 
  • that I drove for an hour yesterday and the sun shone the entire time
  • that my presentation for Friday is all set and ready to go
  • that Doug and I tried homemade nachos, complete with homemade pico de gallo, and it was delicious

  • that I haven't seen one snowflake this week. Not one!
  • that the Parti Québécois was soundly thumped in the provincial election and that the discriminatory ideas they had will not come to pass. Go Québec for voting for inclusion rather than exclusion!
  • that the sun doesn't set until almost 8pm now
  • that I finished the book I was reading called the Sixth Extinction. It was quite interesting and made me long for my science days
  • that, after searching in three different Winners, I found my favourite shampoo at a really good price and bought one of those big huge bottles
  • that we are all stocked up for the easter egg hunt we are running at a family Easter event
  • that I've only snuck three (ok four) chocolate eggs from the Easter egg hunt stash (don't tell Doug)
  • That Game of Thrones Season Four has started. We don't actually get HBO but just knowing it's on makes me happy.
  • That it's Wednesday today but, since I have the next two days off, it's kinda like Friday.
  • That I have a four-day weekend this week AND next weekend
  • That the Masters is on this weekend and, if the weather holds, our own golf course might just open too
  • That we're watching Season Two of West Wing and I really like it 
  • That my red bathing suit seems to be holding up nicely so far
  • That I make lists like this sometimes and they remind me how many things there are to be happy about.