Exercise to me has always been something I’ve enjoyed—for both the physical benefits and mental aspects, whether it’s a walk in the park, or a track work out, I just feel good. With type 1 diabetes, exercise can pose a challenge in planning and executing because of timing of the insulin and food intake with burning the food we ingest. But, with the right tools and decisions, athletes around the world compete living well with type 1 diabetes at the Olympic level.
CrossFit, because of the high intensity and short duration workouts, including both cardio and weight lifting programs, personally allows me to worry less about the fluctuation in blood sugars and has taught me about fueling to perform better. However, today I was tagged in a social media post about the controversial statements made by CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman, which connected the intake of sugar and its impact on our society developing type 2 diabetes.
My issue here is not that this statement was made, but that there is clearly a lack of understanding when it comes to differentiating between the two, and not much of a positive response came out of the CrossFit corporate world. I also get that some people are more sensitive to the type 1 vs type 2 thing than others, but at the end of the day isn’t it all about raising awareness?
I love the sport of CrossFit because it keeps me active and focused and my workouts are already planned out for me each day, but I don’t appreciate the unapologetic social media responses and ignorance I see across the world wide web today. My call to action for society is to just think before you speak and educate yourself before you assume anything. It’s often once a week my blood sugar is low and I’m shoving a glucose tab in my mouth before a sprint or 100 “double unders” and I might be up 2 or 3 times in the middle of night battling the other end of the spectrum with an extreme high blood sugar. It sucks.
My overall moral to this rant and chant is that although us type 1s are uber-cautious about this topic, it is up to us to take a stand and teach those around what affects us and what doesn’t. Whether it’s the CrossFit community, politicians, our teachers, and nurses, or a stranger on the street, diabetes is silent and we’re the ones who need to make it loud.