Well...I usually don't share a lot of personal stuff on this blog...but I have to share my experience last night! To many of you it may not seem like a big deal, but if someone you know or love lives with diabetes, you will understand. There's an awesome team of professional cyclists called Team Type 1. All of the team members have Type 1 diabetes. You can read all about them here. Last summer one of the team members spoke at the diabetes camp my son attended. He was inspiring to listen to and their team is such a good role model for young people with type 1. Last night, our local bike shop invited one of the team members, Justin Morris, to visit the store, meet and greet, and go on a bike ride. So, I thought...we should do go...meet the cyclist, have him visit with my son a bit, and do the bike ride. (Let me also say that we have several nice bike trails in our area, so I thought a quick ride on one of the trails was in the plan.)
We met Justin...who was super, super nice and friendly...took time to talk to my son about his diabetes and what he likes about school, etc....it was fabulous! (He's from Australia, so I was just enchanted just listening to him!) Then we all headed out for the bike ride....I figured something was up when everyone else showed up in real biking gear..you know, the shorts, shirts, specialized shoes...umm...I had on shorts and t-shirt...but I am no stranger to a good bike ride. Typically I can hop on the trail and go six miles, no problem. But this group was serious about their bike ride...I heard the words 15-20 miles being thrown around and I almost backed out! But my son wanted to go, and I felt I had committed somewhat, so I buckled on my helmet and hopped on my bike. Within the first mile I felt I was totally out of my league...my son seemed to be keeping up just fine, but I was at the end of the pack. Then, Justin, the professional cyclist, no less, drops back and pedals along with me at my turtle pace...and asked me questions about my son and how he's handling diabetes and how he seems like such a "fine young man." It made all of the pain and burn I was feeling in my thighs totally worth it!!
After 9 miles (no water breaks either, people!) the leader stopped and asked who wanted to keep going and who wanted to head back to the bike store. So I said, though I appreciated them having us tag along, that my son and I would head back to the store....Justin Morris agreed and he came back with us....I was so impressed! The rest of the group wanted to complete at least 15 miles. My son was the only "kid" (he's 14) there, so it was very heartwarming to have this professional cyclist take the time to be with him and talk with him...what an inspiration to young people dealing with type 1. I took a picture with my phone of the two of them... not the best quality picture, but it captured the moment.....and he gave my son a water bottle with the Team Type 1 logo on it.
I know it may not seem like a big summer adventure, but to me it was. Anything I can do to help my son realize that diabetes does not have to run his life and he can do anything he puts his mind to, is totally worth it. So, if this is the highlight of my summer, I am perfectly fine with that!
Thanks for sticking with me if you read this whole post! I have a long list of "to do's" from pinterest I want to get started on....have been taking a break from school things for a bit...it is summer, after all!