Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dream Big and Take Action

This was published a few years ago but the encouragement still applies and the the dreams are still larger than life.
published in "The Challenge" put out by DESA (Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association)
"Dream Big and Take Action"

I made a commitment several years ago, because of my diabetes and the incredible life that I have been able to lead, that in spite of this disease and a busy schedule I would dedicate time to the diabetes community. The decision has reaped abundant rewards.
I am what you would describe as "outdoorsy" and "adventurous". I love physical activity. Trail running, mountain biking, cycling, climbing, bouldering, bungee jumping, sky diving, and slacklining are some of the pursuits I enjoy. No shock to anyone's system that my degree is in Exercise Science. Many of the listed activities are part of a diabetes outdoor group I started in Boise, Idaho called "No Limits". Our mission is to promote, educate, and inspire an active, healthy lifestyle for all people with diabetes.
I had been a card carrying member of the "you have diabetes" club for about 30 years and I finally decided it was time to take action. It was high time, after having Type 1 diabetes for a long time and having been assisted by others who had diabetes, that I stepped forward to assist those who could use a little extra help or encouragement in dealing with this sometimes difficult disease. No Limits has been an excellent venue for my background in diabetes, my passion to lend a hand and to my slightly crazy lifestyle.
We organized a No Limits skydive event fund raiser called "Dive for Diabetes". The event was a soaring (pun intended) success and surpassed our wildest expectations. We put our lofty hopes on having 60 jumpers and ended up with 134. We were 3 tandem jumpers from a Guinness Book of World Records. It appears to be the biggest skydive event in Idaho history. The day was jammed with activities for everyone.
Although, I missed out on seeing all those bodies falling to terra firma and catching the huge smiles, I managed my own smile as I was in West Chester, Pennsylvania attending the DESA (Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association) North American Conference to receive a DESA Athletic Achievement Award honorable menion.
The conference also triumphed in flying colors. Spending time around other athletes with diabetes and learning how they were using their talents to assist others and to hear about their goals and dreams helped reaffirm my desire to be of service in the diabetes world. I went home with many new, interesting and extreme ideas for athletic events/activities to organize on behalf of diabetes awareness.
On a personal note, I am still dreaming big. Really big. One of the dreams is to do a 50 State Bicycle Tour for diabetes.
I just returned from a 500 mile ride from Arizona to Idaho. The B-BAD (Border to Border Against Diabetes) Tour was a great warm-up and promoted diabetes awareness and No Limits.
Afterwards we presented our trek at the ADA Salt Lake City Diabetes Expo.
My dream (shared with my friends at Over The Edge Bungee-OTE) of doing a bungee jump off the highest suspension bridge in the world just came true. The Royal Gorge Bridge (1,053 feet above the Arkansas River) in Canon City, Colorado is rarely jumped and OTE was asked to be the sole bungee company on the bridge for the Go Fast Games. It was an unbelieveable experience.
Embracing the challenge that diabetes presents by striving for those dreams and by volunteering your time toward a local diabetes group, local hospital, health club, medical clinic, etc. can be an experience of a life time.

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