Anything but a retreat from diabetes

Connected in Motion is an organization that runs community-based events for people living with T1D that focus on taking diabetes out of the clinic and as they say, breathe fresh air into diabetes education. Sounds like a dream right? I thought so too, so in July I travelled to the middle of Vancouver Island, BC to participate in their Western Slipstream. I felt so motivated by the experience that I travelled to Catalina Island in California to participate in their Southern California Slipstream. They were both incredible experiences and no matter your activity level or years living with T1D, I highly recommend everything that they do.

Given my last post about working in a stroke lab with diabetic models of diabetes, I thought it important to branch into the T1D community. Avoidance is my diabetes vice and it is easy to do that when the people around you don’t understand diabetes and know what to look for.

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At the Western Slipstream, the group was about 15 and came from Las Vegas to Edmonton. Aged 18 and up, all activity/outdoors comfort levels were represented, and the facility we stayed at was BEAUTIFUL. We spent our time as the large group canoeing, swimming, hiking, and having sat down sessions that were facilitated by the CIM organizers. We took part in the classic slipstream activity, Hot Topics, where large pieces of paper are spread around with subject headings and people can contribute questions, answers, or notes throughout the weekend. Some of the great topics included travel, exercise, the birds and the bees/pregnancy, and money stuff. Hearing peoples’ tips and tricks were both hilarious and inspiring.

Hearing that others are actively managing their diabetes is incredibly motivating because it feels like a call to action.20171028_115343[1443]

At the SoCal Slipstream, the organization was very similar but I found my experience to be incredibly different. That is part of the beauty of slipstreams, they change so much every time because the people who participate are such a key part of the experience. The location at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island was stunning, and unlike the Western Slipstream, there were 60 T1Ders! It was so wonderful getting to know the people that came and the diversity of ages, home location, and years with T1D was astounding. This doesn’t even begin to encompass the diversity of activity levels in this group!

The SoCal Slipstream had groups that trekked with CIM on the North Coast Trail over the summer, groups that cycled across the USA with Beyond Type 1, and other really incredible athletes. I was so inspired to continue my pursuit of the great outdoors! One of my major roadblocks with regards to diabetes has been imposing on other peoples’ experiences. I’ll definitely write a whole post about it in the future, but hearing these individuals speak to their experiences adventuring with other T1Ds, alone, or with 5.5ers was a great lil’ kick in the butt to spend more time out there!

Sometimes seeing my endocrinologist is adequate motivation to keep me on my management game, but sometimes it’s not. When I feel drained, finding people who inspire me and who I can connect with is the best tool.

Also apparently I never take photos of or with the people at the Slipstreams. Guess I’ll just have to see them all again!

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