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,

    ...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?
    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.

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

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