Our first AdventureRx meetup: recap, video and a radical vision for the future

If you haven’t checked out our YouTube channel here’s a good chance to do so–because I shot and edited this video to share a little bit of the experience of the adventures had at our first official AdventureRx meetup! As we move forward with life on the road I anticipate a lot more of our experience being shared through a visual medium–and honestly I love making videos. It’s possible to really cover a lot more ground in a shorter period of time than with writing. My next video is going to detail the taping method that I used to consistently get 3+ weeks out of my CGM sensors that withstands all kinds of exercise including off-width climbing!

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How climbing makes us insignificant

This week if you’re subscribed to the Adventure Rx podcast you will be hearing an incredible story about my friend Antonio–a fellow type 1 and a climber. We met through instagram and after listening to the podcast he decided to reach out to me to discuss the ups and downs of his life. I don’t mean just blood sugar fluctuations but more specifically his time in the military, experience with gang life and growing up in Brooklyn in the hardcore music scene. I read his first email at 1 AM a few months back and I became emotional reading his story. It wasn’t the type of story I’d ever seen anywhere else. It was gritty. Raw. Honest. Not the kind of story that would appear in a sanitized publication. It was a powerful reminder of why we started this project and I think it will move you too if you listen.

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Social media addiction: a slow death of the human spirit

Do you know where I am right now? Neither do I. That’s because I am writing this to you from the past–or at least it’s the past where I am now and ostensibly that would leave you reading this in the future and I can’t predict precisely where I’ll be when this post goes live. I promise that I didn’t intend for this to be the lead off post for Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s just that I’m dealing with a problem that I legitimately need to examine. It may be a problem you’re familiar with too: my life is dominated by a social media addiction and it’s time to talk about it.

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When is a photograph more than 'just a picture'?

Photography has been a surprising pursuit for me in that I never really tried to get into it, studied it on its own or sought to become a photographer–if anything it became an add-on to the travel and climbing that I began doing in my 20s. I didn’t (and still don’t) shoot for the sake of creating images. I shoot to become more integrated into my experience in a way that will better survive the ravages of time. I shoot to tell stories and to recreate feelings for myself and others that allow the joy, fear and perspective to be shared. This is one of the vestigial benefits of adventure; it encourages us to integrate and develop other skills whose need we would otherwise overlook in more mundane environments. Everything is connected.

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Here's why I'm excited by a mediocre day out climbing!

It’s been a while since I’ve actually done any climbing on “real” rock. This could be attributed to a variety of factors: distance from climbing, a nagging shoulder injury or a lack of time. The reality is that all of those played a role in keeping me grounded over the last several months and while it was hard for me be patient, it did give me the incentive to explore how I could leverage a more optimized diet and more accessible forms of outdoor exploration (read: running) to put me in a better place once I felt ready to get back after it.

This hiatus left a significant gap in my dietary analysis–knowing that my eating strategy works for running and hiking doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for climbing and if I can’t climb while on a diet, it’s a good bet that I won’t stick with it. I love the way the ketogenic diet worked for my blood sugar control but it felt like I might have my dreams shattered once I started putting it through its paces in the climbing arena.

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Why I chose better health over better health insurance

It was nearly a year ago that I made the decision to put LivingVertical on the back burner in order to accept a position at the T1D Exchange in Boston as the Special Projects Manager of the Glu community. It was both exciting and emotional. I was pioneering into the exciting, new territory of the office-world, having proper health insurance and being part of a team. It felt great having the security of knowing that I’d be given direction, answers, support and a consistent means of income–something that I’d never truly had as an adult. It wasn’t without some sacrifice though–LivingVertical represented years of personal investment, struggle and triumph–and recognizing that it was necessary to turn the page and step away from so much of my identity was agonizing at the time.

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A new take on Type 1 diabetes and Halloween: announcing the first Adventure Rx Meetup!

Spoiler alert: this isn’t a candy-carb-count blog. It’s an invitation to a free Outdoor Adventure Meetup at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky! If you’re interested in getting outside and climbing, hiking and/or camping with a small group of like minded Type 1 folks, you would be welcome! Read on for details and more!

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5 mistakes to avoid on a Ketogenic diet

I promise that this is the next to last blog post about dietary stuff for a while. I just wanted to conclude this series with some pointers on things to avoid if you should find yourself curious about implementing a dietary shift, away from carbs and towards fat as an energy source. There is, of course, plenty of information available courtesy of my good friend Mr. Google, but I want to highlight the pitfalls I experienced in hopes that you can learn or be entertained by my failures–or possibly even both. I’d like to remind you that I am not a doctor or dietician. The following statements have not been approved by anyone other than myself, and likely reflect significant gaps in objective factuality!

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The ketogenic diet and type 1 diabetes: what I eat

I recently began writing about my journey with food as I attempted to optimize my type 1 diabetes management in relationship to athletic performance. This podcast episode can provide some additional perspective about how I arrived at the ketogenic diet for type 1 diabetes. It started with a low-fat plant-based diet and I have recently changed my approach (dramatically) to a Ketogenic diet (low-carb, high-fat). The results have been remarkable and I feel like this dietary approach is a worthwhile consideration for anyone who is in a position to optimize their diabetes management–or who just wants better energy with no “crashes” throughout the day.

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Introducing: A forum for diabetes and adventure (survey results!)

Last week I put up a survey on the blog and Facebook. It was a really unique opportunity to hear back from the thousands of visitors to LivingVertical.org and the social media community. I always feel like it’s a tricky proposition to put up that kind of a survey–asking people what they like or don’t like–asking what we do well and what we could or should be doing instead. This endeavor has always been really personal to me and believe it or not, I notice when people unlike the Facebook page or unsubscribe from email subscriptions, so putting out a series of questions like this always leaves me feeling a little bit vulnerable–but it’s worth it!

The two clearest points that came through were:

  1. You want to connect with and interact with other people with diabetes based on common interests and being active outdoors.
  2. You want more information about being active outdoors with type 1.

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