Sometimes planning just doesn’t work out. After finishing the Ruka Triple World Cup in Kuusamo Finland on Sunday, I spent all of Monday in Rovaenemi to let myself recover and make sure that my blood sugar stabilized before flying today. I woke up with my glucose at a perfect 110 and ate breakfast. It stayed constant at 120 through check-in, security, takeoff and landing in Helsinki. Then it plummeted as I walked to my connecting flight to Norway. I was left sweating and jittery for about 10 minutes before I could get enough glucose into myself to climb out of the hole.
I know from experience and from medical texts that low blood sugar episodes are extremely stressful to the body and it was the last thing I wanted to happen. I traveled separately from the US Ski Team today specifically to avoid this occurrence. It is another blow to my confidence coming off of a lackluster weekend. With the 15k classic being held on the World Cup in Lillehammer this Saturday, I have been striving to attain the world class form that has eluded me thus far this season. At gate B23 of the Helsinki airport, I sat with my head in my hands, shivering from my clinging sweat soaked T-shirt. I couldn’t help but wonder what I am doing. Is striving to win a World Cup race a realistic endeavor for me? My diabetes opens up so many pathways for my fitness to be buried under fatigue and frustration. It would be so easy for me to say that I have had enough and that my body and mind is tired of calculating the short term consequences of diabetic episodes with training and racing stress loads. But then I think of my work at summer camps for kids with diabetes. How can I tell a child suffering from diabetes not to give up on themselves and their dreams if I compromise my own goals? I will not give up because of this disease. I preach that you should never give up what you love to do because of adversity. And mark my words, I love ski racing.