Join Isabel Romero as she shares her journey in health, fitness and mental wellness. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration to others by helping all her readers achieve their personal best.
The sounds that resonate in every Crossfitters mind, in their dreams, in their nightmares. That along with 30,000 other thoughts are what speak in Diabetic/Crossfitter’s mind. How about a Diabetic/Crossfitter/Gastroperesiser (just recently earned that title)/Health Coach/Juice Plus Sales Coordinator/Volunteer/Mom of three/ oh wait…Mom of three very challenging children/Wife/Friend/Sister/Daughter/Advocate for anyone who crosses my path…..Mix this in a bowl with ADHD and you have one busy mind. But let’s just think for a minute about the Diabetic Mind. We’ll get to the others in future posts.
There is an intricate balance for a T1 (Type One Diabetic) between food, exercise and insulin. Even in this day and age of medical and technological advances, there is no perfect formula. There never was an Einstein of Diabetes who solved a complex equation of ratios. Our blood sugars are different every minute of every day and EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING changes them. And we don’t only get high “sugar” because we ate a big piece of chocolate cake or because we were too lazy to exercise. No, we can get high because we didn’t sleep well, we are sick, we have our period, it’s a full moon…you name it, our numbers are changing. This is precisely why, Diabetes is such a debilitating disease. You can’t control diabetes unless you can control every aspect of your life. And I hate to break it to you Type A’s (me…me), but that AINT gonna happen.
Prior to every workout, I need insulin, but not too much. Too little, I’m dehydrated and tired, too much and I have to stop my workout or potentially pass out. No Bueno. I also need food. Not too much because I could go high, or like most of us high intensity athletes, I’ll vomit. And even if I’m at a great number pre WOD (Workout Of the Day), that funny thing, cortisol, will send me sky rocking like I’m in fight mode at the UFC. I actually enjoy the fight mode of cortisol minus the high blood sugars and the inflammation. Following this high from hormones, potentially I could come crashing down. But, we’re not really sure when or how much. IT IS NOT A PERFECT SCIENCE.
Yesterday is an example of the imperfection of diabetes. I woke up low at 50. Consumed a bowl of cereal with almond milk. A quick chug of orange juice, three backpacks, three lunches, three kids, I hope they’re all in the car, and we’re off for the day. I drop my kids at school and I speed over to my favorite Chiro, Dr.Lipman. He is helping me heal my stomach from gastroparesis as well as other mom/T1/Crossfitter induced aches and pains. Finally, I make it on my way to Crossfit and I start to sweat-profusely. Dammit, I am low again!!! Luckily I have that apple I threw in the car last week for the kids that has been rolling around on my back floor. I grab it at the light and quickly consume it, choking down the grains of sand, dirt and who knows what.
I run into Crossfit. All non T1s are studying the Workout and setting up their weights, calmly chatting about life, love and the pursuit of the Crossfit Open. Why can’t I have random talk? Why is my focus constantly interrupted by the shear fear that I could die at any moment. I shut the voices up. Give myself an internal visual smack in the face and start the warmup.
See, my passion to live is greater than my fear of dying. Every single moment of a T1’s life, the option to live is within her reach. We could just stop. Stop taking insulin. Take too much insulin. Stop eating well. Stop exercising. All of these paths could lead to the end. This is our reality. We workout because we want to live to the fullest. We eat well because we want to live the longest we can. We never give up on our insane mathematical equations of insulin and carbs because we don’t want to go blind or lose our limbs. See T1’s are Living Life to The Fullest, Just by living. So when you see my passion. When you see me push others. It comes from that fire I had to decide to ignite when I decided to live with my diabetes.
And when you see me staring off into space, it’s not because I am not thinking. It’s only because I am thinking about everything. First and Foremost: How the Hell am I getting through this WOD? And somehow, because of my Faith and perseverance, I usually do.
Live life to the Fullest. You never know where it’s going to take you.