Why, despite their diabetes, to individuals choose to laugh in the face of challenges and do the unthinkable?
Why do they climb mountains, ride bikes on death-defying terrain, undertake insane miles of running-riding-swimming in one outing, play professional sports, and push themselves beyond the limit of both exhaustion and imagination?
Yesterday, Jen Alexander set out to swim the Northumberland Straight, part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the eastern part of Canada; surrounded by Prince Edward Island. It was not enough to be the first documented person to awim The Straight in a single day-double crossing in 2007, it was not enough to be in the water for over 19 hours on that date; not for Jen Alexander; nope—-this attempt was to do it utilizing only one arm.
Seriously? Yes, seriously.
This one had me worried. I love Jen and her incredible spirit captivates your heart. This time I thought the envelope was being pushed too far. I was scared for her. When I read that she was safely in the boat with her crew after over 9 hours of incredible odds-breaking swimming, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Swimming, nine hours, insane.
When I speak to; or read about; Jen, or Jay, or Missy, or Tony, or Andy, or Charlie, or Jay, or Sebastian, or the so many others who attempt incredible bouts of physical endurance, the answer is almost always the same; to prove to myself, which also proves to many more out there, especially kids, that diabetes should stop them from nothing.
Jen once wrote, “Sometimes, I don’t know how the rest of the world survives without this music in its heart.” She was writing about the music to step dancing to which she also engages when not skimming her body across a body of water like a human pebble. Music in the heart is a good thing for all of us.
When you feel like diabetes is winning, for the day, the week, or the month; look up some of the attempts that these incredible people have done; just because they would not be stopped by diabetes.
Crazy? Well maybe a little. But it is only crazy to us; to those who do not know how to dream that big. We only wish we can. But know that we can all take some huge inspiration from their little bit of craziness (which we only wish we could dare to dream about) and know that if they do not let diabetes stop them in these monumental efforts; we can get through the day. You cannot do anything about diabetes coming into your life but you surely can do something about it once it arrives. The choice is yours.
So whether it is Jen in her swim, Missy running a million miles, Jay or Andy pushing an Ironman race, Tony riding a bicycle on an insane terrain, Charlie driving at over 200 miles per hour, or getting through just today in a world of diabetes; inspiration is all around us. Look for it, listen for it; it will become the music in your heart.
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