About Courtney

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!

3 Rookie Marks On About Courtney

  1. Courtney, your first paragraph states how I am after a couple of hours of riding. I am type 2 and it is a killer. I need to know what can be used to extend my riding. I drink water like a fish, I consume these jell packs for each 5 to 10 miles segments and then this past summer I did the Ney York Finger Lakes tour and made a total of about 100 miles. How can I feed my body? I can’t continually eat because my glucose will hit roof.

    I figure that between you and Mari, you two can help me.

    I am 62, retired, workout 3 to 4 times a week, am going to start taking spinning classes again. I am going to get back into running as well, and am a male.

    When riding, my wife is always beside me in case I hit the wall.

    Very respectfully,
    Wil

    ...said Wil Saunders on January 26th, 2009
  2. Hi, Courtney,
    Have you set a date for when you’re going to do the BIG Tour de Cure ride, the New England 7 day tour?
    http://www.newenglandclassic.org/
    I had no idea there was a Tour de Cure ride like that one. It doesn’t fit into my plans this year or next, but it would be cool someday.
    Jerry

    ...said Jerry Nairn on May 12th, 2010

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