Donate to Climb for the Cure!


Help me raise money for diabetes research! For every foot of Mount Rainier, donate one-thousandth of a cent! ($14.41). To donate, click on the link above or send me an email at After expedition costs, all funds will be allocated to the American Diabetes Association. If you represent a private or a public sponsor, or if you are also wishing to make a donation, send me an email with the subject line SPONSORSHIP. Your help will get me to the top of Mt Rainier! Thank you, and wish me luck with my journey!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pumped; literally!

Since my last post, I have put my outdoor-adventure throttle into overdrive. Nearly every weekend, I am climbing at some local crag. During the week, I am cycling miles and miles. And soon, I will be kayaking! I'm hoping to also lead climb by the end of the summer.

Most appropriately, I've gotten a job at REI, Inc. (Recreational Equipment, Inc., for those of you who do not have the pleasure of living near one). I'd like to take a moment to rave about the company. They are unique in their upholding of values and community consciousness, and they take care of both customers and employees like every company does in Heaven and your dreams. I'll be getting healthcare in less than a month! Needless to say, I am thrilled to be a part of REI, and I hope to grow with the company for a long time.

As my life has been transforming in a way that combines work with play, I've realized a few profound truths about myself and I've reformed a few goals.

Firstly, I've experienced so many wonderful and new things since getting started with my training: I've conquered a distaste for heights (I love eeeet!), I've met the love of my life and many wonderful friends, I've developed a new perspective on my diabetes, I've learned the importance of grounding oneself with the outdoors, I've had a blast climbing, and I've discovered what I'm made of and what I'm here for!

Whew! Those are just a few of some of the things that I've enjoyed. All the hard work pays off, every time, all the time. In fact, the harder I work, the better I feel and the more fun I have! I couldn't be happier!

All of these new experiences and discoveries have brought me to re-evaluate my identity. I've always had big goals and big plans, and I feel lost without them, as anyone would. But I've wholeheartedly abandoned my previous ambitions of fame, fortune etc. for more meaningful goals of self-discovery, teaching others, and powering past my previously self-held perceived limitations.

I suppose, in summation, that's what life is all about! This experience has led me to develop the keenest and cleanest sense of self-identity and purpose I have ever had. I'm fully motivated to take the potential that I see and mold it into a great thing for myself, and others!

My diabetes, my climbing, and my passion for social change all combine in my desire to be a professional athlete with a social consciousness and a propensity for mobilization. I want to use my passion and my abilities to better the world around me, and I intend on further developing these ideas.

I hope that if you read my blog, you take away this one truth: that you can make lemonade out of lemons, as my aunt likes to say. So you have diabetes-- or epilepsy, or obsessive compulsive disorder, or ADHD, or you are overweight, or undermotivated, or anything else! It's not a limitation or an obstacle if you see it as, rather, a purpose.

Identify what you believe holds you back about yourself. When you've established a clear picture of what it is, then you can turn it around into a reason for being. This is what makes you uniquely strong and it gives you an edge - appreciate it! People who don't have such struggles won't get nearly as far!

You can't climb Everest without climbing Everest.

On that note, I'm going to go camping all weekend before I start working full-time, and i'll be doing some awesome climbing with my best buds. Sounds like a great time, and I can't wait! I'll be posting all kinds of cool pictures! Like this one (I didn't take it):

A climber on the crux of "Pure Fun," on Old Rag Mountain.

(Omnipod Update: it's amazing! I love it love it LOVE it and it's rocking my world. I'm PUMPED!)

Until next post, happy blood sugars! And get out there!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Omnipod! Omnipod! Omnipod!

Did I say Omnipod?!

After a year and a half of longing, I am finally using the Omnipod!

Different from most pumps in its tubeless insulin delivery, I am able to completely forget it's there! I feel, for the first time since my diagnosis, that I'm not a diabetic.

I usually prefer to wear it on my lower back, on my love handle. As I progress in my training, I'm losing a lot of fat, which makes it difficult to find adequate placement sites. No worries, though, as I have lovely ladyfat still, and the pod is happily placed there.

The pod!

My stomach is my least favorite place so far, as I've noticed it seems a little more vulnerable to tearing off. Funny story behind that discovery: In a port-a-potty on a recent outdoor climbing trip, I was in such a hurry to get the heck out, that I very nearly ripped my pod off my stomach by pulling up my pants so fast. Oops!

Other than that, my pods haven't given me any trouble. In fact, I am absolutely in love with the system. Most especially, my blood sugar is easier to control, and I'm mostly within target range for the first time ever!

Wearing the Omnipod is very simply, the best thing I've ever done for my blood sugar.

I've also been doing a lot of outdoor climbing trips, checking out Carderock, MD, Great Falls, VA, and Sugarloaf Mountain. My favorite climbs so far are over on the VA side of Great Falls, mostly located in the section, "Aid Box."

Climbing outside allows me to really challenge myself with problem-solving for a dynamically demanding experience. I feel that I'm thinking just as hard as I am working physically, which makes for a truly satisfying experience.

The boyfriend, about to leap into Mather Gorge, Great Falls, VA.

Next time, I'll be posting more pics from climbing outside, and hopefully, lots of more good news about happy blood sugars!