Are You Sick?

August 7th, 2012 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Do you consider yourself sick?  Does anyone else?

The plain and simple fact: I don’t consider myself sick, and I won’t put up with anyone who considers me sick because I have type one diabetes.

It’s just not my bag.

I don’t feel like I run or work out to prove anything to anyone aside from myself.  And that doesn’t have much to do with my disease—it has more to do with my weight in my early 20s and my (for lack of a better term) transformation through the years.  My drive has become a major part of who I am.

But you bet—if I’m in front of my bootcampers, I’m for sure going to do more pushups on my toes than I would do if I were in my living room!  :P 

On the whole, I simply do not see what treating myself as if I am sick will get me.  I try not to push myself over the edge, and have learned to listen to my body and give it a rest when it needs one… but that’s just being smart.  It isn’t because I have diabetes. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we all have things.  Every single person on the planet.

But it’s the people who are out there despite whatever things they’ve got going on that I think truly are a testament to the human spirit and what people are really capable of—if one is daring enough to try.  Facing the world as an Olympic hopeful or seasoned veteran? Running with one real leg and one artificial?  Paralympians?  Check these athletes OUT. 

Everyone has something.  Looking at these faces of these athletes, they are focused and determined and calculating what they need to do to succeed.  It isn’t about feeling less than someone else.  It isn’t about being sad or small or diminished.  It’s about accomplishing their goals.

Who doesn’t want that?

It is perhaps why I can’t stand doctors’ waiting rooms.  I sit there and am surrounded by others who appear and act sick and mopey and sad because they have diabetes.  I don’t feel like I belong in that category and don’t want to be associated with them.

Again, it’s just not my bag.

Sitting Volleyball MatchDoes that mean a week of highs doesn’t affect me?  Of course not.  I feel like crap just like anyone would.  I just don’t let it seep into everything I want to get done.  I don’t use my blood sugar levels as an excuse or permission to always go easy on myself.  (Although I have used a low to skip a race about a year ago…I had been low enough that running for two hours would have been detrimental to my performance and my health for several additional days or weeks.  Not worth it.)

When I’ve had a bad low, or several in a row, I’m exhausted.  Yet it doesn’t stop me very much. 

I see people every day who don’t have diabetes and who give themselves rationales and excuses all the time, from sleeping poorly to eating something that didn’t agree with them.  I wonder how they would react if they were diagnosed with diabetes, or if they had something that severely limited their ability to move without help, and they or their family started to see them as less than healthy.

WinnersAnd then I turn to another extreme, in particular the Paralympians, and think: thank God.  They can truly teach us all that being a champion has little to do with our physical things, and everything to do with something bigger and deeper.

What fantastic athletes, every single one of them.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply