I’m not big on following instructions or doing what I’m told when it comes to…me. Truth has it, I’ve never really been. I prefer to do my own things in my own fashion. But, I now have a new found respect for coaches and mentors.
After pacing a calorie deficiet runner at Javelina Jundred and not being listened to, I now fully understand why our coaches and mentors tell us the things they tell us. It’s because they know what the heck they’re talking about. At times, I’ve seeked advice but then I usually don’t like what I hear and I ignore it. Me ignoring it and doing things my way usually gets me a lecture (my favorite are the 3 word lectures, usually consisting of the same word 3 times, for example: consistency consistency consistency) and me eventually saying “you were right” before I’ll do what I’m told. Not anymore.
If I want to consider myself a good athlete (good being relative, right now I’m a lazy athlete) I need to heed the advice that I seek (and maybe even sometimes the advice that is freely given to me). It’s usually important useful information. I do give myself the right to search out a second opinion if I don’t like what I hear, but if I get the same information twice, I’ll listen to it.
All that being said, I have this vague memory in the back of my head about how we have to be open to receiving the information we’re getting or we’re not going to do anything with it…I’m going to work on that, being more open to receiving what my coaches and mentors are telling me that way I can grow in what I’m doing…yeah, that’s some good stuff right there.
I know exactly the place I’ll start too. I’ll start with nutrition. Every athlete has their battle and mine is with my blood sugars. Due to the fear of low blood sugars the battle used to be not taking insulin in order to maintain a normal blood sugar. My blood sugar wouldn’t crash but as an athlete I’d hit a wall. I wasn’t able to break down the sugars in my body and that injured me. That was resolved at Diabetes Training Camp back in 2008 when Dr Matt set me straight. Insulin is important (who knew right *rolls eyes*). The next battle became not wanting to eat because I’d give me stomach aches when I was running or cycling. The result of that…hitting a wall. That was also mostly corrected at Diabetes Training Camp (great place to go if you’re an athlete and you have diabetes) as we worked on what did work in my system and what didn’t. Nowadays, I take in nutrition at regular intervals, but those intervals are still controlled by my blood sugars, they’re a measure of distance instead of time. I know I can go running and that at 3 miles I need to take in a CarbBoom no matter how long or not long it takes me to get those 3 miles. The same goes for me and cycling, 12 miles is my limit, go 12 miles and consume a CarbBoom. These factors are limiting. I know that they work in the straight forward I’m going for a run or a ride on a particular route realm. I know that my blood sugar won’t drop if I do exactly that. It’s the unknowns that send my blood sugars to the cellar. I need to work on transitioning to the realm of a real athlete where nutrition intake is a function of time. If I can figure out what I need to be consuming and how often to not only help me not bonk in the athletics realm but also help me not bonk in the blood sugar realm…well, that’d be a match made in heaven.
I’m fortunate that I have resources that are willing to work on this with me and help guide me in the right direction. I’m fortunate that they understand it’s not as easy (also relative) with me as your non pancreatic deprived athlete. I’m fortunate that I have resources that are pancreatically deprived like I am that are willing to walk me through stuff. It’s time I stop snubbing my resource fortune and I start taking what they’re telling me and experimenting to find out what works for me.