Dave Smashes the Triathalon! – Guest blog

Guest blog – thanks to Dave who has type 1 diabetes for sharing this wonderful story! 

Today I had one of those diabetes milestone moments, I completed a triathlon. For a long time, decades, I always wondered if I would be up to a triathlon. There is the BG issues, the food intake and prep issues, there is the non-stop nature of the event and then there is the fear, fear of having a go.

This morning I balanced my BS readings, I kept them a little higher to ready myself for a sudden drop whilst racing; starting BS reading was 12.5. Next thing, two sugar snakes in my gob moments before starting and a couple of marshmallows in my transition area for when I returned from my swim.

After filling myself with water and peering a couple of times, I told the race admin I had Type One and gave them my race number, “One” and got ready (there was nothing on any form to say I had diabetes!). I handed my insulin pump to my wife for safe keeping and now it was up to the exercise to be the control and me to keep tabs on that.

Then heading down to the beach, wettie on, hat and goggles’ primed, the gun went off and we were racing. I now remembered how hard swimming faster than usual is – I felt sick from the cold shock of the water than anything else, this is Tassie. However, pushing through I noticed I was not last in the pack. Returning to the transition area after the swim, I eat my quick 2x marshmallows, have a sip of water and get on my bike and run to the stat of that leg. I am feeling it – because of my lack of fitness and not my diabetes dudes.

After ten km’s of peddling non stop I feel like a whale, slowly cruising but not really getting anywhere. I think I need to do some cycling… The cycle did give me time if I needed to throw down some sugar but I did not feel I needed to.

At the end of that transition I am drinking as much water as I can and I feel all right. I ditch my bike and put on my hat and run to the road to do a few more km’s, this time with my feet. I fell off a cliff climbing last year and busted a few bones in my left foot so this is the first serious running I have done since that thing happened, so I was tentative to be honest. I am not a flash runner and I was soon only looking at the butts of other competitors. It went on and on and on and when I reached the final turn for the finish my wife and kids and friends were there cheering me on and I felt absolutely AWESOME! I completed the course minutes later and became a, triathlete. Very cool.

I am 40, I have two kids, a busy job, live in suburbia and have all the drama as any other middle class Aussie has. I am always aware of my diabetes and need to attend to that too. I am a diabetic of 37 years and have been on a pump for six months, I know that I have to be careful but I also know what is achievable. This triathlon was more about that than any other thing. It reminded me that even as I get older I can still do great things. Friends, things are often presented as impossible, specialist make you feel like you are not capable and family and friends often misinterpret diabetes for other every day occurrences. But I hope you never see things as impossible and look to new challenges as really possible!. During the triathlon I had a ball. Sure I am sore, but want you to know, you can do these things if you are prepared to have a go.

I control my diabetes and remain the winner. Have a good one.

P.S – My BS reading as 7.6 after the race.