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The Olympic athlete is an icon of superior physical, mental, spiritual fitness, and discipline. Kris Freeman, 2010 U.S. Olympic cross-country skier, best exemplifies this type of athletic persona. Exercise and type 1 diabetes is a balancing act for the Olympic and non-Olympic athlete that can never be perfected. The feat is challenging for any athlete, let alone an individual with type 1 diabetes.
Long endurance sports such as cross-country skiing, distance cycling, and marathon running can deplete the muscle stores of glucose that may take up to 18-24 hours for the body to replace. If the muscles lose the glucose stores the energy is gone and the race is over (also called hitting the wall). Kris Freeman has trained intensely through trial and error using multiple variables to best determine any situation he may confront and how to balance his diabetes management to pursue the best outcome.
My hat is off to Kris and the many other Olympic and non-Olympic athletes that have pursued how to balance exercise and type 1 diabetes. I have two posters in my office that say:
Thank you, Kris Freeman, for demonstrating these attributes, and for your example to all people and especially those with diabetes; that anything is possible with planning, knowledge and perseverance.
Have a good week,
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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Thanks for a very uplifting story. I love what you said about perseverance and getting up again.....and yet again. That's what life is all about, with or without a disease. I hope a lot of people read this blog and are encouraged. Thanks!
"Hitting the wall" describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Endurance sports deplete these stores of glycogen causing a sudden fatique or loss of energy.
"If the muscles lose the glucose stores the energy is gone and the race is over (also called hitting the wall" This does not make sense what are you trying to say
Hats off to Kris Freeman. A few years ago, I chaperoned a cross-country skiing trip for my son's high school. Two of the skiers (and I) had insulin pumps. They were very adept at managing their insulin requirements during 6-8 hour days of intense exercise. I also learned NOT to wear the pump tubing on the outside of my clothing - it freezes.
i thought "hitting the wall" had to do with a build-up of lactic acid . . . i guess i was taught incorrectly.
So I'm curious re the trick to maintaining a rigorous athletic lifesyle on Insulin. I am a 57 yearold , lean muscular woman who enjoys long distance bicycling, Multipitch rock climbing , moutaineering, ice climbing, back packing and trailrunning. I am confronted by a recent failure of multiple oral meds to control my sugars and will likely need insulin. I'm a bit nervous re hypoglycemia -- any thoughts?
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