Diabetes Blog Week Catch-up: Work It Out!

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of exercise.

Oh, sure. When I was in middle school I played every sport like all the other kids in my small town school. It was almost a requirement to play. Like, if you didn’t play, there might not be a team kind of requirement. In the fall there was volleyball, in the winter basketball, in the spring, track team (of which I was the manager, never a runner) and soccer, and in the summer there was softball. There was always dance team and dance lessons. In seventh and eighth grade, I was at school for twelve solid hours every day – six am to six pm. And I was, as most people are at fourteen, in the best shape of my life.

Had we not moved to the thriving metropolis of Springfield, Missouri the summer before I entered high school, I probably never would have quit playing sports. I only kept playing softball, with a few seasons of indoor soccer and off season swimming with my best friend, the star of the swim team, mixed in there occasionally. I kept dancing in the form of high school theater productions. But other than that, exercise wasn’t a regular part of my routine. Once I got into college my physical activity dropped off almost completely. Honestly, when it came to diabetes, it never bothered me. Maybe it was my own form of disease denial. Maybe it was because I was never told how much working out can actually improve your blood sugar. Or maybe it was because I just wasn’t thinking about how much being overweight was adding to my risk of a heart attack – a risk already increased by having type 1 diabetes.

Unfortunately, the past five years of little to no physical activity have really had their toll on my mind and body. Working out just plain hurts. Exercise is a hard thing to make regular because most days I just don’t want to do it.

If only I could dance the night away daily with my best friend in a pink and purple dress...and yes, we are both completely sober in this picture.

I’ve written tons of blog entries about different activities I’ve tried to start: Wii games, bicycling, walking, anything to get me up and moving. But when it comes down to it, it takes less than three days for me to give up on any sort of exercise routine.

I know the benefits. I know the eventual outcome. It’s a mind game. And the heavier I get the more I just don’t want to do it. But listen. You and I both know that exercise is a part of diabetes care that just cannot be removed if we want to live long, healthy lives with this disease. It. Just. Can’t. Not for diabetics and not for non-diabetics. It is essential to health. Which is why, every week or so, I get back on my bike, or I turn on the Wii, or I start walking.

Walking is easy sometimes...taking pictures along the way is fun!

Maybe it’s only one or two days a week. But hey, it’s better than nothing. Because somehow, some way, I will beat my demons, whether they be chronic illness or simply my brain playing tricks on me. Because life is that important. Reaching my goals is that important to me. Being the best person I can be, diabetes or not, is that important to me!

So, good morning, bicycle. Nice to meet you. Again.

Photos for your viewing pleasure (belonging to me or the people who took them of me, of course):

Skiing is one of my favorite activites. I wish I lived somewhere where I could do it more often. And that it wasn't so expensive.

I really do love hiking. The payoff is amazing. It's just convincing myself to get out and do it that's the problem!

Here I am at age 14 - my first year of high school softball.

Me all dolled up for Seussical - senior year musical. I loved dancing and singing on stage - and it really is a work out!

Another theater picture - Music Man - Junior Year

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