Diabetes and driving: what I've learned about stereotypes

The ability to drive is a lot like your pancreas, it turns out. You don’t miss it until it’s gone and then suddenly you’re lost without it. I recently discovered that having diabetes can put a major cramp on the ability to maintain a drivers license in some states–when my license was suspended for not mailing in a yearly doctors note certifying “compliance”. Here’s where it gets tricky. The state in which I have my license is Utah. The state where I get my healthcare is Massachusetts.

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AdventureRx Type 1 meetup in NY!

Want to join us for an AdventureRx Type 1 meetup in the New York area? I’ll be upstate on April 23-24th at the Mohonk Preserve which is about 90 minutes north of New York City. For the sake of simplicity, I am asking anyone interested to RSVP via this Facebook event so that we can keep all the communication and updates in one place! This is a really special place to me because it’s where I grew up–I learned to climb at the Mohonk Preserve as an adult–and years prior, I did my first hike there with my family when I was about 3 years old! There is a lot to enjoy here and I am excited to share this experience with you.

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Hiking Observation Point in Zion

I’ve been meaning to hike Observation Point in Zion for several years–but it was only this week that I followed through when we were visited by a fellow type 1 climber, Andres and his friends from San Diego. They were visiting us in Utah for spring break and were looking to get some spectacular views of Zion National Park along with some hiking–and we initially thought of doing Angels Landing but opted against it because it’s insanely crowded and honestly, it’s far from the best view of the park.

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1000 feet of climbing before lunch! (video)

Red Rock Nevada was a great stop on our journey–because where else can you knock off 1000 feet of climbing before lunch on just about any given day? This was a short stop for us–three days or so–but that was enough for me to start off fighting a low blood sugar on the first day of climbing and dialing in my insulin and diet to match my energy output. By day 3 I felt like I hit a great stride and this really has improved my confidence about what I can do, despite having to deal with diabetes.

Stay tuned for more videos coming up about my journey with diet and tips about adapting type 1 diabetes to being more active. Being empowered to push our limits is an incredible tool to take back our health and the more I can do to encourage and facilitate that, the better!

If you enjoyed this video make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as we keep on the move!

Ok. So here’s where I’d like to hear from you. Have you ever felt like some good has come from a challenging moment with your diabetes? Drop a comment and let’s chat!

Or if you’d rather discuss in private: steve@livingvertical.org

The best day ever

(Make sure to read part 1 of this post, “How a low blood sugar forced me to face my fear” before you read about the best day ever!)

As Rob and I spent the remainder of Day 1 hiking around Red Rock canyon and scouting possible climbs for the next two days I remarked to him that this occasion we shared was probably my proudest–and yet my most esoteric achievement ever. At the crossroads of a difficult diabetes moment and a committing climbing moment lies an instance of victory that only a handful of people in the world will fully understand. The result of it all–which I think many more people will understand–is empowerment. Feeling like I can. I can bring my diabetes there (wherever that is).

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How a low blood sugar forced me to face my fear

I had my best day ever  just a short while ago and I owe it all to a low blood sugar. It all started a few days ago, after our type 1 meetup in Joshua Tree as I spent several days climbing with Rob in Las Vegas (you may remember him from Project365 and our many adventures together). He asked me, “Dude, do you want to link up a bunch of moderate routes over the next few days? I only have a couple days off, so we would have to get up early every day and just crush ourselves and see how much we can climb in 3 days.”

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Here's what you missed in Joshua Tree

Our time in Joshua Tree started with my trying to figure out how to scale down my basal insulin dose because I was going low all the time. In fact, I didn’t take any rapid insulin for the first three days we were in Joshua Tree–although I eventually acclimated and had to start up again. Still, it was a nice break and a great way to get back to being active after being back east. I love being able to take low carb meals without worrying about rapid insulin peaks–and that’s just one reason I am such a big proponent of being active outside. The sustained nature of hiking and climbing always seems to make my basal insulin work a lot better.

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Type 1 diabetes meetup in Joshua Tree

Our first type 1 diabetes meetup is in the books for 2016. It’s always a learning process trying to do something new–especially when it involves coordinating activities for a group of people. Part of this process has meant really distilling the purpose of these events and getting a clearer idea in my own mind of what I want these meetups to provide–the service that they can be to the diabetes community at large. There is a need for independence and freedom within the diabetes community. The outdoors are a place where we can tap into those ideals as a group and disengage from the narrative of disease, sickness and limitation that is so pervasive.

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Ketogenic climbing | low carb athletes with T1D

I am considering doing a video series in the near future for low carb athletes with T1D about my dietary approach, trial and error and adapting the ketogenic diet to give greater blood glucose stability and athletic performance. I still feel like this is all in the “test phase” because the results I have had are not extensive. That said, I will be sharing developments as they occur in hopes of pushing the limits of what we are able to do with our diabetes.

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Losing control, gaining influence

Somewhere between pride and despair lies acceptance. I could only hear the sound of wind whistling past my ears as I stepped delicately around the airy corner; about 1500 feet of nothingness separated me from the ground. The fact that I was actually able to stand on the sloping, sandy ledge beneath my feet seemed to defy what I’d come to learn about physics. ‘Here goes literally everything‘ I thought for the 1,336th time since starting to climb “Cowboy Ridge that morning. I shifted my weight forward to test the only viable handhold that would grant me access to the ledge above. I tried to weight the hold gradually because I didn’t want to ricochet off into the void if it popped. I pulled back a handful of sand as the rock disintegrated in my hand.

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