This week I am thrilled to introduce my friend and teammate, Scott Johnson. We met in 2009, shortly after I finished a cold and rainy Tour de Cure. Somehow, I convinced him to join my team, the Pancremaniacs, in 2010. We’ve been riding together ever since and I’m super excited that we’re training together, with the help of TeamWILD, for the Twin Cities Tour de Cure’s first full century (100 miles).
Scott has lived with type 1 diabetes since April of 1980. He started blogging late in 2004, one of the first 5 diabetes bloggers, and the first male type 1 diabetes blogger. He has watched the diabetes online community explode and become one of the largest and most active online patient communities. He summarizes his approach like this: “I bring an honest and open account of my life with diabetes. I work hard to stay involved, and contribute as much as I can back to the community that has changed my life in such a beneficial way.”
How do you define “Athlete”?
I think the word “Athlete” scares some people, maybe painting a picture of the athletes we’re seeing on TV. But for me, an athlete is anyone that moves regularly – and more importantly, someone who uses the time they’re not moving to improve on the time they are moving. Does that make sense? (Yes! There’s so much more to athletic performance than the sport training – sleep, nutrition, hydration, diabetes…) In the end, I’m counting on TeamWILD to help me see myself as an athlete, and educate me on what things I can do when I’m not moving that will benefit my overall health and performance when I do move.
What inspires you?
For the most part, people inspire me. Especially in the diabetes online community. There are so many examples of people doing incredible things, on top of managing their diabetes (which is a full time job in itself).
working out with TeamWILD's mental skills coach Ginger Vieira
How do you move past obstacles to your fitness goals?
I’m incredibly blessed in that I found an exercise that I very much enjoy. I have fun playing basketball, and that is why I play. It’s a lucky side benefit that it happens to be great exercise. Because I enjoy it, I was willing to invest the time figuring out how to manage my blood sugars to keep them from getting in my way while I play.
How do you reward yourself?
Is it too corny to say that everyday I get to play basketball is a reward in itself? (Not corny at all. A lot of our coaches have said similar things about the sport(s) they love.)
What is something about you that might surprise us?
I tried my very first salad a couple of weeks ago…and I liked it. I had a salad with baby spinach leaves, some sliced almonds, some bacos, and a bit of honeymustard dressing. I’ve made it at home a few times since, and still like it! This is a HUGE step for me. I have totally weird eating habits. I don’t eat meat (but am trying to learn), don’t enjoy many veggies, nor many fruits. So what does that leave? Carbohydrates. It is heck on my blood sugar management and, I’ve recently learned, probably the main reason I’m carrying extra weight around my middle. So, I’m working hard to try new things and expand my food horizons.
How do you GO WILD in your life?
One of the main ways I like to think I’m inspiring life with diabetes is simply telling my story. We all have a story to tell, and we are actively changing the way diabetes is perceived AND what people find when they search for “diabetes” on the Internet.
I’m also super excited to announce that I am training with TeamWILD for the 100 mile route for the 2012 Minneapolis Tour de Cure. My lifetime distance record on a bike is 45 miles, so I’m simultaneously super excited and terrified about this challenge. While I’m very excited about training to accomplish this epic challenge, I think I’m even more excited to learn about bodies in motion with diabetes. Every little bit of knowledge I can add to my toolbox will help me for many healthy years with diabetes.
Go Red Rider!!!