From Abby: Yoga To Appreciate Your Dia-Friends.
Abby loaded this post into the queue, saying that she couldn't come up with a title for it. Which explains the crap title I subbed in, which is making me laugh but she'll probably hate it. Shhhh ... don't tell her. Abby's writing about diabetes and exercise, taking into account the days when she's the only PWD in the yoga studio, and when she's surrounded by her dia-friends.
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I'm kind of into Yoga these days. It's taken me about seven years to really find any form of physical activity I don't hate and have to force myself to do. I was always involved in sports growing up, so I had set times I had to be at practices and physical goals that were set by someone else. I took all sorts of dance classes (the most interesting was a super-scandalous-probably-shouldn't-have-been-performed tap number to a Chicago medley my senior year... we all make mistakes) and was a cheerleader from 7th grade to sophomore year of college. Needless to say, I don't have a competitive bone in my body. I'm an excuse maker and a giver-upper when it comes to pain or breathing heavily.
And frankly, I'm fine with that.
This passiveness does not make for a highly skilled athlete, however. Or even an avid gym goer. Give me a time or day and I can think of a brilliant excuse that even the worlds best lawyer couldn't defend as to why I can't go to the gym. I'm a pro. I probably should've gone into politics instead of nursing. Except I wouldn't have wanted to run for a position in office. [Editor's note: Run? Is that supposed to be an exercise joke there, Abby?]
Anywho... I found yoga in October while healing from a really stupid running "injury" (if you could even call it that) and got hooked. But I've already talked about this. I'll get to my point.
I convinced some Insulindependence friends to do yoga classes for our winter months here in Vermont (it's too damn cold here to be outside for more than a nanosecond without freezing your first layer of skin off). For our January, February, and March Dawn Phenomenon events we took yoga classes. These classes were a whole lot different than the normal practice I take - both in class style and atmosphere. They were more relaxed, and more filled with beeps and radio frequencies.
We all had Dexcoms at the upper edge of our mats, and quite a few tubes/bottles of glucose tabs were stacked next to the yoga blocks we used. There were awkward bumps due to devices under clothes other than mine, and at one point I pushed the button on my Dexcom and nobody looked at me. Nobody cared.
It was awesome.
I don't take any diabetes technology into my regular yoga practice with me. I cap off my infusion site and leave my G4 receiver with my pump in my purse (side note: I've done a lot of experimenting with my blood sugar and know this works for me. This is not medical advice. YDMV. Seriously). I forget about diabetes during these classes - which sometimes doesn't work out so well. But being in a class filled with diabetes was a different feeling all together. I knew that if I was low and had to step out nobody would question it. I knew that nobody was looking at me like an alien robot when they saw a giant plastic lump stuck to my arm. I also knew that if anyone else in the room needed help, they were in good company.
I don't know which is better - escaping diabetes life for 60 minutes three times a week, or those rare classes I took with my dia-friends. But I appreciate that I had the opportunity to share a form of exercise that I love with some of my very best pancreatically-challenged friends.
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YES. I love this. I love exercising on my own, and with my friends who don't have diabetes, but there's something really, really cool about getting your fitness on with people who absolutely understand what it's like. Strength, both core and emotional, in numbers.