I am participating in the MS Megaswim this weekend. I have no true association with the condition Multiple Sclerosis . My connection to the event is quite a selfish one; I absolutely adore swimming as a sport and as a form of recreation. Throw me fully clothed into a pool or the ocean, even in the middle of winter and I’ll just giggle and swim! All parties win here, so I’m happy to say that!
I have been doing group exercise two to three times per week since August last year. More recently, in preparation for the MegaSwim, I have also been swim training. I have lost weight, my sensitivity to insulin has increased, my HbA1c has decreased and I am fit. I feel absolutely awesome. All of these great results have happened because I have devoted my mind and my body to enjoying exercise again. I have put diabetes in it’s place and not let it get in the way. One thing I had to admit to myself before getting back into regular exercise was that I had “pulled the diabetes card”, (among many others) in the past to get out of exercise. Don’t ask me why. I just did. And it never served me. So I simply decided to serve myself in positive ways and reap the benefits. No blood sugar level was too high or two low to get in the way of exercising; it just meant a different approach to diabetes management. Some days I have found myself sculling an entire bottle of Lucozade during warm-ups. Other days I reduced my basal rate by less and for a different amount of time leading into a session to safely persuade a high blood sugar level back into normal range. That, and several finger pricks during training saw me through. I never accepted “no” as an answer from my diabetes when I asked it if it was safe to exercise or not. In fact, I don’t really ask it such a closed question anymore. I consult with my diabetes. I ask it what my blood sugar level is, and I take actions accordingly.
Now I think I’ve shared enough of my internal dialogue about diabetes and exercise… yes, my mind is an interesting place to wander through 😉
I have been able to reach this level of knowledge and experience through exercising with other people living with diabetes. Thanks to a brilliant diabetes support group, HypoActive I also have the chance to participate in physically challenging events like the MegaSwim with people living with diabetes. This marks the fifth year I have done the MegaSwim with HypoActive and I am super pumped about it!
Please support my efforts in the following ways:
If you have been touched by MS, please donate to MS Australia via my MegaSwim campaign here .
If you live with diabetes in any way, please be online to support me during my shift between the hours of 1am and 7am AEDT Saturday 22 February. (Facebook or Twitter is where I’ll virtually be.) I imagine there will be times where my diabetes doesn’t play nice, I get tired, my fingers turn into prunes or I get a swim cap headache and your words of support will help to pull me through. Better still, if you live in Melbourne please join our support crew and count some laps anytime over the 24 hours that the event is running. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll put you in touch with our team captain.
Many thanks in advance for your support. I’m going to splash away,