Diabetes on the North Coast Trail
Everyone involved with Connected in Motion impresses me; their sense of adventure coupled with their ability to jam diabetes into those adventures is something I draw inspiration from. (Come on … go look at their social media feeds and tell me you don’t want to be part of something that explores this kind of landscape.) Their community is centered around empowering people with diabetes to explore, take responsibility, and get outside.
This week, 13 members of the Type 1 community are coming together to take on an epic adventure – completing the North Coast Trail – a 60km trek on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. They’ll travel by air, van, boat, and foot. On the trail they expect river crossings, beach trekking, miles of mud to their knees, ladders, and rope rappels (all while carrying 70L packs), bringing diabetes along on one of the most challenging backpacking treks.
Even though I’m not in a position to join an adventure team this year (adventures in parenting taking precedence at the moment), I am really excited to follow along with the crew as they travel this week. I’ve been watching the social media feeds with interest, like this one, with careful packing all planned out:
“Since 2008, I’ve used my background in anthropology and journalism to promote the idea that peer support and experiential education play vital roles in sustainable health systems and I’m honored to have this opportunity to help tell this CIM Adventure story,” said Blair Ryan, official photog of the 2017 adventure team. (Those are the contents of her pack in that photo up there.)
I think about what I bring to leave the house, just for a few hours, with diabetes. My purse always has glucose tabs, an insulin pen, snacks, a back up infusion set, and my glucose meter. This is simply to walk out of the house. Keeping those supplies close makes me feel safe. Packing a backpack with necessary life supplies and wandering off into the woods taps into some of my biggest diabetes-related fears (namely not being adequately prepared for trouble), making me admire the Connected in Motion adventure team even more.
They aren’t afraid of being caught off guard. In fact, they plan on it and plan for it.
“We’ll be thinking about where the best place for each of us to put our pump and CGM sites are before hitting the trail. We’ll avoid places where our packs will consistently rub (certain areas on our stomachs), or places that might get snagged when loading up a heavy pack (certain areas on the arms),” said Jen Hanson.
Join the Support Crew and Cheering Squad Facebook group to send the adventure team your encouragement, and to see where they are in their journey. You can also follow along with the adventure team on Instagram, twitter, Facebook, and through the Connected in Motion website.
Safe travels to all our fellow PWD! <3