I’m Courtney Benefiel, an adrenaline craving, adventure seeking, picture taking, traveling, fun having, cycling blogger that has type 1 diabetes.
RideToRemedy is a collection of my thoughts about diabetes with a large amount of cycling, running, triathlons, photography and numerous other (crazy) things thrown in. If it has to do with diabetes and me, I write about it. But mostly RideToRemedy is about me breaking away from the chains of diabetes.
A Little History
I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1992 at the age of 11 during a time when the most often heard words were “you can’t”. As a person with diabetes I heard all about what I couldn’t eat and what I couldn’t do. It was damaging. I wanted to play sports but was told I couldn’t because my blood sugars couldn’t be controlled, 30 minutes of sports-like activity would cause hours of low blood sugars. A deep anger grew in me because of all the things I couldn’t do. I took that anger and spent the better part of 15 years thinking that if I couldn’t do what I wanted to do because of diabetes I wasn’t going to have anything to do with it. In those years I rebelled against diabetes in the worst possible ways. I’d skip blood checks and insulin shots. In fact, there was a year where I took time off from having diabetes completely and rarely took shots or tested my blood.
A Point To Prove
In 2007 a friend encouraged me to do a Tour de Cure for diabetes. For me it was a single ride to prove a point. I was riding to prove that I could control my diabetes and that it doesn’t control me. This was a very new and huge concept for me. I had to go from not taking care of myself to taking very good care of myself. When I started cycling I was on shots and it was difficult to prevent low blood sugars so I started working towards an insulin pump. To get an insulin pump I had to show that I was capable of 7-10 blood checks a day, that I was going to watch my carb intake, and that I was going to take insulin when I was supposed to. I received my insulin pump slightly before my first ride.
When I completed my first Tour de Cure in Long Beach, CA I had proven my point. I could control my diabetes. This control opened up a world of opportunities for me. My world changed from “I can’t” to “I can”.
Breaking The Chains of Diabetes
Upon completion of my first Tour de Cure I was craving my next ride. Cycling became a big part of me maintaining control of my diabetes. But it also became a big part of me feeling less like a person with diabetes and more of a normal person doing normal things. It’s something that I missed out on for 15 years and I don’t want others to miss out on it. There’s no reason why diabetes should restrict anyone at anytime from doing anything. It’s why I ride and it’s why I share my experiences here at RideToRemedy.
Riding In The Tour de Cure
When I finished my first Tour de Cure in Long Beach, CA I knew that I wanted to ride in one in every state. When I finished my first year, I had ridden in 3 different states and my objective changed. I want to ride in every Tour de Cure. I do this because I love sharing my story and I enjoy meeting other diabetics and hearing their stories. I also like that I’m contributing to finding a cure for diabetes. I’d love to meet you at YOUR local Tour de Cure!