In my many years as an actor, I have learned to observe. To take a step back and notice a nuance, a glance, a touch. People are such fascinating observations in their physical-being, and the human spirit is even more incredible to watch.
I was reading about a friend of mine who hiked over 100 miles recently. Chip is 57, obviously in good shape, but to take off on that type of journey is inspiring. He stated that he did not get as far as he wanted, and I am thinking, if 100 miles was not enough, how far did you really want to go? You could feel in Chip’s words the pride he had in accomplishing something that he did not know he could do. It was an amazing feat.
We hear of the incredible stories of Sebastien Sasseville who talks about running the equivalent of 180 marathons in 90 days straight across Canada by initializing his speech about arriving on the Summit of Mt. Everest, all hard enough but doing it while managing type 1 diabetes….incredible….right? (FYI the picture included today is Sebastien on Mt. Everest)
And how about all of those people who ride bikes over hundreds of miles for a cause; or attempt incredible human endurance events like my friend Sandy. Or my friend Sean who rides a snowboard in incredible feats of strength while managing T1 diabetes, and now doing it with lupus as well.
Many of these people are no different from you and I. Well, wait—Sebastien or Sean? No they are a different story but the others, the same as you and me. But they all just decided to do something to test their strength, and it was more the strength of their mind than their bodies. You can ‘get’ your body into shape; it’s your mind that makes the call to begin.
Whatever your ‘Mt. Everest is in your life’, you scale that mountain by beginning. I have come to know amazing people, people who have gone back to school in their 50s/60s, people who have re-started their life, people who began SOMETHING by saying the simple phrase, “I want to do this, I can do this.”
And make no mistake about it, letting your child with T1D go to their first sleep over can be just as big a hurdle as climbing Mt. Everest. Fear is fear is fear. But whatever it is, YOU are bigger than that fear. Take fear, change it to respect, and give your fear the respect it needs and you can move forward. We can deal with respect more than we can deal with fear. One step. One step. One step.
So let your child with T1D join the cross-country track team this year…….it feels good when you conquer something and look down from the summit……….try it.
I am a diabetes dad.
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