Happy New Year! 2014 looks like it will be a good one!

2014 in the sandThe end of the year is a wonderful time to think about the past and what has been learned, and to think about where you are headed. I like this time of year, because I like new beginnings.

2013 Reflection

2013 was a challenging year in many regards. We chose to close TeamWILD. And that was sad and difficult and it made my heart hurt, since TeamWILD was a dream I nurtured for many years. I had high hopes for what it could be. It was a difficult but good decision to close our doors. I thank all of you for believing in us and for those of you who used TeamWILD programs, may you continue to use the information you learned.

During 2013, I, Mari, saw a Dark Night of the Soul and I survived largely because of the love and guidance of my wide circle of friends and my close family members. What I lived through was deep pain affiliated with having faced cancer a second time. I am grateful that I am making my way through. I am grateful for all I am learning about myself and what I am discovering about the value of deep meaningful connections.

In part, to heal from my pain, I got a pink lotus tattoo inked onto my chest. It turned out beautiful. It is my first tattoo, and it has transformed my relationship with what happened to me three years ago. Every time I see it, it gives me inspiration and hope. Now I understand why people get tattoos! Never thought I would understand, you see, another surprise learning! Special thanks to P.Ink, Personal Ink, the group that sponsored the tattoo journey.

And on to 2014! 

I love looking ahead! There is much possibility and potential ahead. Now that TeamWILD has closed, I have signed on with an agent and we are writing a new business and outreach plan for my speaking career. I am looking forward to what will emerge. The topics I speak about are diabetes and fitness, finding hope in the face of chronic health challenges, and creating engagement with those that have chronic health challenges. I love to tell the story of how I created the Red Rider Program and how I have worked with the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure to develop the program.

And that’s not all. I have another exciting announcement coming this Spring! I’ve been working on a new career opportunity and I’m almost ready to tell you all about it. Soon!

My type 2 friend Terena and I have made the decision to do a 100 mile bike ride. We have narrowed it down to one of 6 Tour de Cure rides. We will let you know as soon as we have decided which it will be. We will be starting our training in early February. Since both Terena and I live in Minnesota, we will be doing many of our early rides on our bike trainers!! Thankfully we are not easily bored, which is good for lots of inside trainer rides!

Mari & Terena Early Training!

Mari & Terena Early Training!

Happy New Year! May 2014 bring all your wishes true!

And if you’d like to purchase any of the remaining TeamWILD gear, now is the time to do so! The socks are are super great deal!

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Holiday Cheer Every Year!

Keeping your spirits up in the middle of shopping, freezing cold weather, lots of cooking, end of the year work wrap-up, well, it can get challenging. So, what do you do to keep your head on straight and your spirits afloat as the holiday season gets in full swing? Everyone handles things differently. I have gone through a lot in 2013, and I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

We’ve closed down TeamWILD, and that was a sad letting go. But as a friend reflected to me a few days ago, it unfolded the opportunity to redefine myself. It’s giving me the opportunity to explore other options and discover new avenues. I will tell the world my new plans at the end of January, and it’s rather exciting!

Here I am on my bike trainer!

Here I am on my bike trainer!

Another thing I do that helps immensely this time of year is ride my bike trainer and go for a walk outside everyday with my awesome dog Riley. I ride 4 or 5 days a week, for at least an hour each time. And for some reason, I don’t get bored. I consider myself lucky on that count! And Riley and I have braved -10 degrees Fahrenheit weather just to get our walk in. On cold days like that, he wears Muttlucks!

Riley & Mari out for a Walk!

Riley & Mari out for a Walk!

The other thing that helps me stay grounded and centered is I meditate every day. I close my eyes and sit for at least 20 minutes. I focus on the in and out breath. I feel my body and get in touch with the present moment. During my sits, I remind myself that the craziness of this season is optional. I can stay calm and focused. And amazingly, it works!


Happy Holidays!

And, if you are interested, we have some TeamWILD gear still available.

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It’s time for the Big Blue Test!

For the past five years, The Diabetes Hands Foundation has sponsored the Big Blue Test and it’s time again for us to test, exercise and test again! It’s so simple to do the Big Blue Test and by doing it and logging your experience (which takes about 10 seconds to do!) you will help people with diabetes get much needed supplies through the grants that are made possible by your participation!

And those of you who have been a part of TeamWILD, you like to exercise, so it’s easy to get involved!! All you need to do is test your blood sugar, then do some sort of exercise for 14 to 20 minutes and then test your blood sugar again. It’s really easy! And then go to The Big Blue Test website and log your experience. You can do the Big Blue Test every single day, multiple times a day if you want!

The goal is to get 20,000 Big Blue Tests logged before World Diabetes Day which is November 14, 2013. Thus we need everyone to get going on this amazing thing and since it’s pretty likely you already exercise, just combine a few blood tests and go to The Big Blue Test website and participate!

I’ve done a few Big Blue Tests already this photo-4year and I officially commit to doing one per day from today through November 14!! The photo above is me on the bike at the first ever Women’s Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association last weekend in Santa Barbara, California. It was an awesome event and I did a Big Blue Test!

Please join me!

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TeamWILD Closes Down

It’s official, as of today, October 4th, 2013, TeamWILD Athletics is closing down. Our time on the diabetes and fitness scene has ended. It has been an amazing five year journey and all of us on the staff of TeamWILD wish every athlete and person with diabetes well. We have loved traveling this journey with you.

It’s been a difficult process to decide to close down what we offer the world of diabetes and endurance athletics. What we have offered for the past five years is new and unusual education and coaching for people with diabetes to become successful endurance athletes. We offered integrated training programs. We integrated athletic coaching, diabetes management strategies for people on injected insulin and people not on injected insulin, sports nutrition education and mental skills coaching. We also offered a summer camp for five years for adults who wanted to learn face to face with athletic coaches and diabetes and nutrition experts.

We the staff of TeamWILD Athletics feel good about what we were able to offer the world of diabetes and fitness. And we are sorry that we are not able to keep offering our services any longer as an organization. We have enjoyed the journey very much and we hope that all of you athletes who have diabetes keep finding the resources and support you deserve to keep healthy and fit.

Many of us who have served you will continue to offer our coaching and motivation services through other organizations. If you want, please find us and we will be there for you.

Most of all, we wish all of you well as you stay well and stay fit with diabetes. See you out on the road!

To find us as we move forward in our service to you and to the world, here is where we can be found:

Mari Ruddy, http://mariruddy.com. You can email Mari at mari (dot) ruddy (at) gmail (dot) com. You can follow Mari on her Facebook page or her Linked In page.

Jennifer Smith, RD, LD, CDE, works with Gary Scheiner at Integrated Diabetes Services. You can find Jenny and Gary and their awesome services at http://www.integrateddiabetes.com

Marcey Robinson, MS, RD, CSSD, CDE, BC-ADM continues to work in Colorado at a wonderful athletic and wellness clinic. Her information is: AHCIEVE Health & Performance. 100 Elk Run Drive, Suite 101, Basalt, CO 81623 Phone: 970-927-0752  Fax: 970-927-8182 And her new website will be: www.achievehp.com (coming soon) Marcey’s New email is: marcey (at) achievehp.com

Sarah Worah, RD has been with TeamWILD for our entire journey. She is available to help athletes with diabetes on their athletic wellness journey. You can email her at sarah(at)explorefitness.com.

Coach Chris Navin, who taught our run programs also does triathlon programs. You can find Coach Chris in Chicago. Chris is a USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Coach. Chris is the Head Endurance Coach, Fitness Formula Clubs – USAT Certified Performance Center, TriMonster® Triathlon Training You can email Chris: cnavin(at)ffc.com  and to see his website: http://ffc.com/trimonster

Coach Jarrod Fritsch, offers Triathlon Training and Coaching and Run Training and Coaching. You can find him: Email:  jarrod(at)jardon.com.au Hi website is: www.MultiSportFitnessTips.com And you can find Jarrod on his Facebook page.

Our amazing Cycling Coach Nicole Freedman now works for the City of Boston as the Planner of Bicycling and she doesn’t run a private coaching practice anymore. You can follow her on their Facebook page.

Remember, we support you all as you continue your journey of health and wellness. Please stay in touch with us as you grow, develop and race!

As always, GO WILD!

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“Diabetes & Nutrition: Practical Tips for the Endurance Athlete” Free eBook Available NOW!

Marcey Robinson, MS, RD, CSSD, CDE, BC-ADM, Diabetes and Nutrition Coach here at TeamWILD Athletics, has written a wonderful collection of practical tips for the new and seasoned endurance athlete with diabetes. And starting now, this wonderful, easy to read and easy to understand ebook is available for you right here!

Click on the image and you will gain access. GO WILD!

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Congrats to TeamWILD Athlete Scott Johnson! Athlete Award Winner!

It was wonderful to learn that Scott Johnson won the Insulindependence Athlete Achievement Award for 2013!! Scott is a remarkable person, leader and member of the Diabetes On-line Community, and he tackles the challenge of living with type 1 diabetes like a hero and a clear voice for so many of us.

Scott made a great video about his athletic accomplishments, and I for one voted as many times as I could so that he would make it to the finals! I know many of you also voted for his inspirational video. What spoke to me was how he played basketball almost daily and how he trained for and successfully accomplished a 100 mile bike ride at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities in 2012.

Scott is a regular guy who lives a regular life. And he does this in an exemplary way, which is extraordinary!! I’m excited to say that when Scott decided to do the 100 mile ride at the Tour de Cure he got to use an 18 week TeamWILD cycling program to help him achieve the goal! Coach Nicole Freedman encouraged Scott to keep playing basketball as he gradually increased his cycling so he would be ready to ride 100 miles in one day.

All of Scott’s efforts resulted in him being chosen to win the Insulindependence Athletic Achievement Award, and it’s Scott’s regularness and his extraordinariness in combination that make him the perfect recipient of this awesome award!

Go Scott!!!

Scott and Mari at the 2013 Tour de Cure Twin Cities

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Rotate Your Running Shoes to Maximize Their Lifespan

After running for a few months, I found several runners out buying more running shoes. I’m a curious soul, so naturally I started asking around. After all, I was still recovering from the price tag of my first pair of running shoes. Buying a second (or third) pair was a crazy idea to me at the time.
 I probed further and found many runners purchase two (or more) of the exact same shoe and rotate the pairs throughout the week. Why I asked? Well, just like our legs need to recover from our workouts, so do our shoes. Allowing our shoes a couple of days off after a workout allows the foam to return to the springy protection we pay so much money for. Otherwise, we end up compressing the foam day after day without allowing the shoe’s foam to expand to full size. This will ultimately shorten the lifespan of your running shoes.

A second group of runners used shoe rotation with a couple of different running shoes rather than two pairs of the exact same shoe. Using two different shoes allowed their bodies a varied landing to avoid repetitive stress injuries. By using two different running shoes, the runner experiences varied support, which in turn will create a slightly varied muscle stress in addition to allowing the shoes to recover as well.

Either way you approach shoe rotation, using several pairs of shoes throughout your weekly workouts will help your running shoes live a long and happy life.

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Diabetes Nutrition and Exercise Transformation Are Within Your Grasp. Sign up for CampWILD.

Your life with diabetes exercise and nutrition will forever be transformed by coming to CampWILD2013. Don’t wait a moment longer. You, your health, your future depend on it.

CampWILD2013 Training Camp
CampWILD2013 Training Camp in Boulder, CO June 19 - 23, 2013. Price includes camp tuition and all meals Wednesday dinner through Sunday lunch. (Special diets accommodated) Price does not include transportation to the camp, lodging or bike shipping or rental. You will select one of three tracks: Cycling, Triathlon or Run/Walk after payment is made.
Price: $2,195.00
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Reverse Your Diabetes! Wait… What?

Can you reverse your diabetes? If you follow Dr. Gabriel Cousins, Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Dean Ornish, or even CNN or Fox News, then you might think you can.


What do you think?

Mari has been in a heated discussion on Facebook with some folks that believe reversing diabetes is possible. The usual prescription they offer is exercise and diet. The diet often presented is vegan, raw food only, or vegetarian at the very least. If you’re on TeamWILD’s email blast, then you heard Mari’s frustration (to put it mildly) with the issue.

(Note from Mari: Those who know me will know that I am a huge advocate of following a plant-based, gluten-free, vegetarian, no dairy diet. And of course, I believe in having a low-stress life with lots of daily exercise. I also believe in positive thinking and having a mental mindset of possibility. AND, even with all that behind me, blaming someone who HAS diabetes, for HAVING diabetes and suggesting that doing all the above, which IS an excellent starting point, should CURE or REVERSE diabetes just causes deep self hatred when it DOESN’T work!!! And Brian, who is writing this awesome blog, is right! I have some strong feelings about the use of the words CURE and REVERSE when applied to type 1 OR type 2 diabetes. I do want and hope and raise money for the scientists to find a REAL cure one day. And another note, I have lots of friends with type 2 and saying to them that diet and exercise is ENOUGH to call a cure drives me nuts.)

What do you think?

Personally, I’ve read Fuhrman’s book. I own Cousins movie and book. I’ve watched Dr. Hyman talk about his research regarding diabetes on PBS. I really want to believe it. Who wouldn’t? After wrestling with this disease for the past 13 years, I’m ready for a cure. I’m ready for a better option. And, I’m well aware that many of you have been managing your diabetes much longer than me.

Have you met anyone who has reversed their diabetes? Most of the doctors above are referring to reversing type 2 diabetes, but Dr. Cousins states that he has reversed a type 1 diabetic, which, of course, raises the question: what does it mean to reverse diabetes? Does not having to take oral meds or insulin make you no longer a diabetic? Or to put it more bluntly, if you no longer had to control your diabetes with oral meds or insulin, but did eat much differently would you still have diabetes or refer to yourself as a diabetic?

I would think you would. You’d still be a diabetic; just with a different treatment plan. Right? While reversing diabetes makes a sexy headline, I’m not sure there is a lot of truth in it. Not to mention the potential enormous helping of guilt you are heaping on those struggling with the disease. No amount of diet or exercise “adjustments” will remove your diabetes. Can these two things make managing your diabetes easier? You bet! But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have diabetes!

What do you think?

If you want to read the Facebook thread that started it all, head over here and read some of the varying opinions on reversing diabetes.

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Scratch Lab’s Allen Lim is Coming to CampWILD!!!

As if we weren’t excited enough about CampWILD, we have exciting news: Dr. Allen Lim is coming to speak to TeamWILD athletes!!

Personally, I can’t wait to hear Dr. Lim speak at CampWILD. His natural approach to fueling and hydration has encouraged me to get in my kitchen and cook more natural, healthy dishes. His cookbook, The Feed Zone Cookbook, is also close at hand in my kitchen.

We asked Dr. Lim to share a bit of his story with our WILD athletes. Check it out:

Originally born in the Philippines with parents and parts from China, Dr. Lim first immigrated to the United States as a small child with parents following the proverbial American Dream. That narrative has held tightly amidst the culturally dichotomies he’s experienced as both a child and adult. At the age of 6 while dressed in a Mexican poncho and sombrero for the annual Cinco de Mayo parade, Dr. Lim remembers being suckered punch right in the gut for not being Hispanic. It was a formative experience that taught Dr. Lim how to run, and run fast he did. But soon after learning to run, Dr. Lim became dissatisfied with the pace his little legs could carry him, falling in love, instead, with cycling for both it’s high speed and freedom. 

That childhood love affair led Dr. Lim to scheme a way of earning a college degree in cycling. After realizing that studying philosophy only transformed his suffering on the bicycle into a confused abject existential angst off the bike, Dr. Lim quickly switched to a B.S. in Physical Education from the University of California at Davis, rationalizing that the short shorts would at least help with his pervasive tan lines. By talking his way into graduate school after initially being rejected for poor grades and an even poorer attention span, Dr. Lim eventually demonstrated his true sense of delayed gratification by taking 10 years to earn his PhD through the Department of Integrative Physiology in the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It was a length of time only outdone by the length of his dissertations on subjects ranging from the pulmonary physiology of (young and attractive) female cyclists, load carrying in Eastern Nepal, and the use of a one of a kind rear hub power meter Dr. Lim helped to develop called the PowerTap. 

With that small bit of notoriety, Dr. Lim was then asked to work with the notorious Floyd Landis. Surprised and a little disgusted that Floyd had never seen the movie Star Wars, Dr. Lim attempted to show Floyd the movie. Bothered by the morality tale, Floyd walked out of the screening. At that point, Dr. Lim realized he took on more than he could handle and after being metaphorically suckered punch right in the gut by the pervasive culture of doping in professional cycling, Dr. Lim once again found himself running. Joining the very small TIAA-CREF cycling team as the director of sport science, Dr. Lim began testing athletes not for the presence of illegal drugs, but for biomarkers that might be indicative of doping – a project that has morphed into what is now known as the Biological Passport. By the 2009 Tour de France, Dr. Lim had helped riders like Bradley Wiggins and Christian VandeVelde achieve top ten places in the prestigious event while riding clean with the Garmin professional cycling team – an accomplishment that we now know is akin to hitting a 2 meter target from an X-wing fighter to blow up the Death Star all while being shot at by Darth Vader. Up until that point, Darth had managed to avoid the explosions, so when Lance Armstrong asked Dr. Lim if he would help him use the “force” instead of the implied “dark side” to win the Tour de France, Dr. Lim, sensing the little bit of good still in him agreed, optimistically hoping that if he could win Vader over that the Rebels might actually succeed. In the end, the Rebels with the help of the US Federal Government and US Anti Doping Agency finally blew the top off what can only be described in hindsight as a very dark time. 

A year or so before that explosion, Dr. Lim was fortunate to have the support and belief of amazing friends and family as he set out to begin a new chapter in his life. Deeply troubled by the epidemic of short cuts that affects all aspects of our environment, food, sport, business and lifestyle, Dr. Lim decided to start from scratch by building a small company appropriately called Skratch Labs that is driven to bring healthy and authentic alternatives to the chemical shit show that has become the world of sports nutrition. With a best selling cookbook called the Feed Zone and an all-natural sports drink, Dr. Lim is slowly and finally building something that he truly believes in and trusts. It’s the American Dream. 

I can’t wait! Dr. Lim will be speaking during CampWILD and Scratch Labs will be at the expo as well. If you’re not going to be able to make CampWILD, be sure to check out Scratch Labs. I can’t recommend their hydration mixes highly enough. He also has two books out right now. The Feed Zone Cookbook offers some fantastic recipes. Simple, quick, and healthy is the order of the day. Dr. Lim’s newest book, Feed Zone Portables, will change your thinking on fueling before, during, and after your runs. If you’re anything like me and have a budget category for all your processed, crammed-into-a-small-package “gooey stuff,” then Dr. Lim can save you a bunch of money and get fueling your body with much higher quality food. His portable recipes also taste amazing!!! I mean who doesn’t love sweet rice, blueberries, and chocolate all put together in a tasty package for your run or ride? Dr. Lim offers alternatives that are hard to ignore.

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