They picked me! They picked me! Ohmygawd, they picked me!
Okay folks, I have had this news bottled up inside me, desperately wanting to burst free for over a month now. I have so greatly wanted to share it, but two factors kept me from all out spilling the beans. First, I thought I would wait until it was officially announced, and second, silly me decided to take a two-part, condensed organic chemistry course over the summer, which is taking ALL my time. But with my second to last exam completed as of Friday, and my brain far too mushy to delve straight into finals mode, and procrastinating from finishing the two lab reports due this week, now is the perfect opportunity to gush. Are you ready for it? Like, really ready? Okay……..
Twin Cities in Motion and Medtronic Philanthropy chose me – ME – to represent at this year’s Medtronic Twin Cities 10 mile race as a Global Hero!!!
A Global FREAKING Hero!!!
That means: fully covered airfare for Big Ring and I to Minneapolis in October, hotel covered, race entry covered, (if Big Ring was a runner, he, too, would have been granted a race entry), meals, networking and more – all covered!!! Oh yeah, and a watermelon sized ego with the new label Global FREAKING Hero!!!
Every year, since 2006, Medtronic has selected a group of runners from around the world, sporting various medical devices, to run this race. For those of you who don’t know, Medtronic is one of the major insulin pump distributors in North America, among other things.
I first heard about this program when I was on maternity leave two and half years ago and thought, wow, what an incredible opportunity. I’m a runner, I have diabetes, I have an insulin pump, I’m perfect. It took three tries for the judging committee to realize my perfection, mind you, but given recent events, this year is surely the most perfect year of all.
I’ve never really considered myself a hero, and most definitely not a global one. I have diabetes, that’s it. I’ve lived more of my life with diabetes than without, that’s it. I’ve run marathons with diabetes, hiked mountains with diabetes, dragon-boated lakes with diabetes, that’s it. I’ve traveled the world with diabetes, climbed up and down the Eiffel Tower steps with diabetes, dipped my toes in the Mediterranean with diabetes, cycled the Belgian cobbles with diabetes, that’s it. I’ve been pregnant with diabetes, given birth with diabetes, parented with diabetes, that’s it. I’ve had a successful career with diabetes, and have gone back to school in pursuit of a new career with diabetes to help others with diabetes, that’s it.
But the thing is, many of those things my parents were told I would not be able to do because of diabetes.
And while I am so incredibly proud that I have done all that, and intend to do way more, life with Dear Diabetes isn’t like life without. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this disease hasn’t required incredible amounts of preparation and monitoring to make the above possible. And even with the scrutiny I put myself through daily to ensure tip-top control, it’s not always possible. The disease sometimes wins.
Like that time I climbed down the Eiffel Tower steps at about 11 p.m. at night…
The sky was black dark but for the tower’s glowing yellow lights. My legs were becoming shaky and my vision was skipping a few steps. At first I thought I was just tired, but soon realized that nope, it was Dear Diabetes reminding me she was there.
Yet still, she does not define me and she never will. I will continue to push the boundaries of my body with diabetes. I will continue to explore the greatness of this world with diabetes. I will continue to push pass the diabetes naysayers and their annoyingly pitiful eyes. I will do whatever I possibly can to show one of the most important boys of my life that superheroes can have diabetes too.
So yeah, I am kind of a big deal – a Global Hero big deal!
* I’ll be running the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 mile on Oct. 4 with 24 other totally awesome, and I am sure super inspiring too, Global Heroes. This is the 10th anniversary of the Global Heroes program. Stay tuned for more updates!