Is it time for the diabetes community to rally a new type of support for activity, exercise and sports that raises awareness and fosters camaraderie in our community? Historically there has been at least one such organization since 1985 when IDAA (International Diabetic Athletes Association) was formed. It changed its name to DESA (Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association) in the mid-nineties to broaden its appeal and scope. This grassroots group, composed mainly of T1’s, held annual conferences nationally and internationally and brought together those of us who believe in the commitment of being physically active as a dynamic component of our diabetes management and care. IDAA/DESA became the hallmark of diabetes and exercise. Members flourished with the sustenance of the conferences and the publication of The DESA Challenge newsletter. DESA closed its doors in 2000.
Patience is (hopefully) a standard issue virtue when it comes to living with diabetes. This means not getting stressed when bg numbers take a roller coaster ride or go way out of the red and yellow lines of your Dexcom targets. It means being reasonable with yourself if you miss your everyday workout or training.
Can you see diabetes in a mirror? What does it look like? Is what we see in the mirror a reflection of reality or our interpretation of reality? Well I can tell you thirty-eight stories about female diabetic movers and shakers who chose to see the realities of living with diabetes in their mirrors and decided to go on ahead and live their dreams in tandem with their diabetes.
From aerobic dance to ballet, ballroom, hip-hop, tango, tribal and Zumba, dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and socialization going back to prehistoric times. Archeology traces dance from as early as the 9,000 year old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC. Dance is a natural rythmic movement of joy. Dance can be a great motovation to move and be active - in other words - to exercise. It is something that can be done on the most basic level of moving to the rhythym of a favorite tune. It can be as complex as clasical ballet or Argentine tango.
Weather is the local topic of conversation. Because of the weather, going for a walk or run or riding a bike to dance class lose their thrill. I look around and suddenly think of Missy Foy. Missy is that fleet footed wonder who runs 50-mile trails placing in the ranks of the nation’s fastest long distance and ultra-marathon runners. She was the first PWD to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.
Do you need an extra dose of MoTo Move for the New Year? A nudge perhaps? I’ll tell you a little story about someone who motivates me to move. It’s my friend Becky Rosenheck. Becky, who lives in Florida, called me in New York when she decided to throw herself a birthday party. She asked me to help with it.
As the expression goes - "you've come a long way baby" - the "you" here is diabetes which has indeed come a long, long way from the time back in 1552 BC Egypt when a physician imprinted on papyrus a condition of frequent urination. The Chinese, Indians and Persians also had their say about this condition. The ancient Greeks and Romans gave it a name - diabetes, from the Greek meaning to siphon or pass through and the Latin word mellitus, for honeyed or sweet. The name diabetes mellitus has withstood the test of time, although there was a period in the 17th century when diabetes mellitus was commonly called "pissing evil". The cures during those ancient times were - well let's not even go there - except to say that most of them were brutal and barbaric.