I’m reposting the following in its entirety from my daughter, Dani’s page over on the Team Diabetes website as she says far more eloquently than I could why she is planning to take part in a marathon (!!) next October in Munich. If you are able, please consider making a donation (it can be modest or massive, once only or ongoing… they make it pretty easy to contribute at whatever level you can) to help support her run. Here’s the link to her profile: Dani’s Marathon Page
‘That’s right, you heard me–I’m going for a [42.2km] run!’ (Dani’s Munich Marathon)
Training run to Tod Inlet with Toryn
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like to run. Like at all. I’ve spent most of my life avoiding running unless there was a soccer ball involved, and even then, the running was the annoying part that got in the way of making plays and scoring goals. But I have to say that I hate being diabetic more, so here we are.
I was diagnosed at age 5 on St. Patrick’s Day 1993 (fun fact, St. Paddy’s is my most vehemently hated holiday)! and by the time I was 10, a back of the envelope calculation would suggest I’d given myself nearly 11,000 needles of one sort of another to stay alive. The number per day is decreasing thanks to insulin pumps and bloodless glucose monitors, but I’m probably at nearly 30,000 pokes, and instead of daily injections and finger pokes, I have two different devices attached to my body at all times.
I’m lucky in that my body has held up to this physical challenge so far (and fingers crossed, will continue to do so!) but picture being 5 and being told that you needed to control this mysterious thing in your body (by not eating sugar, counting your exchanges/carbs, giving yourself shots, recognizing being high or low, making peace offerings to mystical sea spirits, etc., etc., etc.,) and that if you didn’t, you could lose a leg, or a kidney, or your life.
It’s a lot to put on any kid–continues to be a lot to put on an adult–and has left me with a serious phobia of anyone in the medical profession (which gets very inconvenient as my friends are growing up to become doctors and dentists!) and a pretty large amount of anxiety related to talking about being diabetic. Sooo…don’t expect to hear too much about that when I update. I imagine there will be a lot more complaining about the hill runs and intervals, and the chafing and the new shoes, and the blisters as Toryn and I take on the longest measured run we’ve ever done, by some magnitude.
We’ve committed to running the Munich Marathon in October 2019, and as part of our training, will be covering many hundreds of kilometres between now and then. Just as big a challenge will be meeting a commitment to raise $6,500 in support of Diabetes Canada, who have a little blurb, below.
We’ll be updating you as our training continues–we have a short 5k race in about three weeks I’ll try and remember to post about–and in the meantime, please consider donating to both move us closer to a cure and give me something positive to think about while I do all that running since–see point A–it’s not the first thing I’d love to be doing!
Thank you so much for your support, whether a financial contribution or a high five along the trail!
Team Diabetes is the national physical activity fundraising program for Diabetes Canada. Team members promote a healthy lifestyle while raising vital funds in support of the more than 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. The funds raised help Diabetes Canada deliver on its mission to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We invite you to learn more about Team Diabetes and the important work of Diabetes Canada at http://www.teamdiabetes.ca.
An introvert by nature, it’s not always easy to reach out and connect with other people (you can’t imagine the depth of horror I feel when informed we have a party to go to… Eek! Small talk! People I don’t know!) But, when it happens and I actually get over myself and meet people or spend time with those I already know- there are few things more soul-satisfying and positive than spending time with others. I recognize some aspect of my inner nature does not make it easy to take that first step and make an overture, start a conversation… but my mind (and my heart) also know just how healthy it is to nurture relationships of all kinds, with all sorts of people.
I’ve been working on this for a while, but since we’ve just started a new year, I’ve decided to make this a theme. In the lingo of my yoga classes, I am setting an intention for the year which, hopefully, will become a new habit, a better way of being for the future. Which all sounds a bit airy-fairy, I know. So I thought I’d share a bit of some of what I’m doing/planning to do over the coming year to help make this new reality happen.
Better Together: Creating Community in an Uncertain World could not be arriving at a more propitious time. My fourth in the Orca Footprints series, this non-fiction book for kids will come out early in April (here’s a link to the book’s page at Orca Book Publishers… which reminds me, I should update my books pages here on the author blog… maybe I should add ‘connect with a personal assistant’ to my list of ways to stay on top of my To-Do lists!). The theme of the book is all about making connections, about finding ways to create a sense of community and why people in groups are such a powerful force for good and facilitating change.
Writing the book was a terrific exercise for me. I began by looking at the most intimate bonds we form – parent and child, siblings, grandparents, best friends – families in all their many configurations. Of course, thinking about family made me very aware of how lucky I am to have a good one! Keeping in touch isn’t always easy with relatives spread out between Canada, Europe, Tokyo and Hawaii. It’s a good thing we all love to travel and are able to do so often enough that various branches of the extended family manage to get together fairly regularly. One day, we should host a massive family reunion somewhere in the middle and get every one together – the Germans, the Brits, the Italians, the Canadians, the Japanese, the Swedes… That would be a mighty fun event.
Anyway, that’s chapter one, which looks at those very first key relationships. Chapter two branches out into neighbourhoods and local community groups, bonding through the workplace, at school, at the local community garden (and, under less pleasant circumstances, the ways communities form when people are thrown together in places they don’t necessarily choose – leper colonies and prisons, for example).
The third chapter pulls the lens back a bit and has a look at how people group themselves according to religion, race, ethnicity, peer groups of various kinds – and, what can go wrong when a group defines itself in terms of those who are excluded or when two groups decide they have no common ground and must use aggression to decide who is stronger/better/more deserving. Because, of course, the basic human need to form tight bonds has a dark side when we focus more on the differences between groups than on the fundamental similarities common to all people, no matter where we live or what we believe in.
The final chapter takes another step back and focuses on global organizations and how they try to transcend borders, nationalities, religious affiliations, and cultural differences to try to work together to meet basic human needs for all. And, it turns out, in a world where it seems at times we are doomed to be unable to get along, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Acts of human kindness, generosity, consideration, gentleness, and cooperation based on a desire to help and nurture are abundant. And, they occur at all levels – from a simple gesture between siblings to UN missions costing millions of dollars and involving people around the globe.
When I sat down to write this post, I did a mind map, sprawling all my thoughts about community and making connections on a couple of pages in my new journal (I start a new one each January). The page is full – overflowing with thoughts and ideas. This post, which I thought was going to be a very general one reflecting all those ideas, wound up being only about one point on the page… which is a good thing, I guess, if I’m ever stuck for an idea for a post I can grab another one!
Note: If you are a children’s book reviewer, contact me and we’ll arrange to send you a digital reading copy…