I’m not brave.
… and man do I hate admitting that. But I’m not. I’ve known this for a long time but I realized it again two weeks ago when I was at the Connected in Motion/Beyond Type 1 SoCal Slipstream event. There were people there who will pick up and run 10 miles without giving it too much thought. Or pack up a giant backpack and traipse off into the wilderness for a week or two at a time, with only the items on their back to sustain them. I’m so impressed with those people. The idea of this scares the hell out of me and for the most part, it’s diabetes that keeps me from feeling comfortable.
Or at least some mashed up version of my own natural anxieties plus the diabetes-induced ones.
I’ll play out the Worst Case Scenario and then fret myself into a corner thinking about necessary supplies, safety concerns, etc. I worry about having enough glucose tabs. I think constantly about insulin. I have a steady stream of battery life panic in the background of my mind because of my Dexcom. Yes, I am fine with standing up in front of 3,000 and giving a talk, but that situation aside, pretty much everything else unnerves me just enough.
I talked about this at Slipstream, how I’m regularly nervous about things but trying to have more moments that push me outside of my comfort zone. “I like the idea of doing more epic shit,” I said, pulling a phrase from the guy who spoke the night before about biking across the United States with Bike Beyond.
Last week, I was in Iceland and I tried to do things that scared me. I climbed up a mountain in pursuit of a hot spring river, took a long walk along the beach to find plane wreckage, and went snowmobiling on a glacier. I was not comfortable the whole time. We did miles worth of hikes. Our bodies were wrecked and sore by the close of each day.
Yes, fear came along for the ride but I tried to squelch it by being prepared. I brought way more glucose tabs than I needed. I had a spare insulin pen on me at all times. I snuck a battery pack into my bag so I could maintain a phone charge. I played out all the scary scenarios so I could feel ready for them and I let myself enjoy the moments because there were some awesome moments for sure.
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This hike was hard, diabetes-wise. We went up to Reykjadalur valley to go in the hot springs river and BGs were rotten for the first hour of the hike. Held steady in the 70’s but ate a ton of snacks (didn’t help that we did another 4+ mile hike earlier in the day). Basal IQ helped and so did bananas and fruit snacks. Once we got there, numbers settled down and evened out but I was thankful for solid planning and that the way back was mostly downhill. #travelbetes
This stuff was way outside of my comfort zone. But I still did it. And while I’m still – and potentially forever – a nervous human being, I did do some epic shit.