Tonight I am doing the MS 24 Hour MegaSwim . If you check out the website, you will see that it is a 24 hour-long team swim marathon. As an adult… with children… and too many commitments to poke a stick at, I don’t enter these sorts of events lightly. But I will always be confident in my ability to prepare and perform at this one.
And do you want to know why?
Because I’m swimming with 14 other people with type 1 diabetes, that’s why!
I am swimming with the HypoActive Stingrays, which has been organised through a diabetes peer support group I belong to, HypoActive . It is a real pleasure to be part of this support group. They run a very tight ship, coordinating teams to participate in large-scale events like The Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay and Run for the Kids . I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of experiential knowledge I have gained through being active with this group. I have a lot to be thankful for in being able to access such fabulous support.
The actual event is raising money for people living with Multiple Sclerosis in Australia. MS Australia is a fabulous organisation which continues to pump money into the research arena to improve the lives of those affected. Their ultimate goal is similar to one I’m all too familiar with; “the cure”. There is just as much passion, advocacy and support offered in their community. The only difference between theirs and ours is the condition that is being focussed on.
There are a number of reasons I’m always keen to get involved in the MegaSwim. Firstly, I’m sure I was a mermaid in a former life. I absolutely love the water. I can swim lap after lap chasing that black line on the bottom of the pool without ever getting bored. Frolicking in the ocean is where I feel my most free; letting the waves push me around while I try to swim out to float on the unbroken waves. Secondly, it gives me a chance to develop some insight into how other communities, like MS Australia support people living with a chronic illness other than diabetes. It is also a truly humbling reality check; enough said. Lastly, I get to prove to myself that living with type 1 diabetes can be more of an enabler than an inhibitor in keeping active and participating in events like this one. I never considered entering the MegaSwim until I discovered HypoActive and the Stingrays. I feel safe doing it with the team by my side.
So think of me when I hit the pool deck at 10pm AEDT Friday night. I’m on shift with two other swimmers until 6am AEDT Saturday morning, at which point I will be looking for a massive coffee and cooked breakfast! I will be tweeting a random selection of information throughout the event, using #MegaSwim as the hashtag. And being #BlueFriday I will be wearing my blue Speedos, but I won’t be tweeting a picture of that!
If you would like to offer your support, please join me poolside to count laps and hold my insulin pump, or sponsor me. The details can be found here.
Many thanks and splash splash to all!