Fabiana with her niece, Giovanna
This week, we introduce you a WILD athlete who lights up the room everywhere she goes. I can’t capture her spirit in my words so I’ll let her introduce herself before we get to the interview questions.
My name is Fabiana Couto, I am 31 years old and I have had diabetes for almost 20 years now. I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have 3 siblings, an older sister and two younger brothers. I just became an aunt a month ago and I am experiencing the joy of having a beautiful niece called Giovanna. I have lived in San Francisco for the past two years and love the diversity, the culture, and the free San Franciscan spirits you can encounter in every corner of this city. I am an WILD athlete since 2011. I have participated in two programs: the WILDfit and am now finishing the Half Marathon Finisher. I also participated in CampWILD twice. It was a remarkable experience for me, a life changing journey. I enjoy reading, traveling and connecting with people, mainly the ones who, like me, have been living with diabetes. If you feel like reaching me out, please do so! (editor’s note: Fabi included her email address in this paragraph, but I’m not comfortable putting it out so publicly so please feel free to comment on this post and we will help you connect with her directly.)
How do you define “Athlete”?
I define an athlete the person who has the spirit of self-improvement, the one who is guided by the wish of health, wellness and happiness and makes every single action count to that purpose. Being an athlete for me is a state of mind, a desire of the soul and that is pretty much why I highly agree with TeamWILD when they say that all of us, who are part of its programs, are already athletes.
What inspires you?
What inspires me most is my quest for health and wellness, I want to be the best version of myself and that is pretty inspiring to me. I want to live a long and good life and what usually supports me in that journey is to see how many amazing people with diabetes have been living a great life by managing this condition by making exercise a way of life. That is what I envision to my future.
How do you move past obstacles to your fitness goals?
I sometimes hit a wall. Life can get really busy outside and then it affects me internally and I lose track of my priorities, such as my fitness goals. In those harder times I tend to reach for support, inside TeamWILD and outside it as well, with family and friends. Sometimes I ask for my friends to go for a run with me and support me until I regain my inspiration.
(On the other hand, the TeamWILD coaches do an amazing job helping us out with information and enthusiasm, such as Ginger Vieira, our mental coach skills, who gives us a boost of energy, positive thinking and having faith in ourselves throughout the programs I have done. Whenever I need I go back and watch their videos and it makes me remember why I am doing this. It is certainly a great resource to me.
How do you reward yourself?
I look more often to the mirror and give myself some credit for the minor to the major positive changes I can see happening in my body. I also usually, in my workout days off, do something fun and entertaining with friends. I also allow myself a treat once in a while for all the hard work I have been doing and I feel totally guiltless about it, which is a great feeling actually.
What is something about you that might surprise us?
I am from Brazil and, while I have been a couch potato for years and years, way before becoming a TeamWILD athlete, I would get out of the couch every Carnival season for a week and dance 7-8 hours a day with the “trio eletricos” in the streets, which are allegoric cars that plays samba and other Brazilian rhythms to the crowd.
WILD stands for We Inspire Life with Diabetes. How do you GO WILD in your life?
I GO WILD when I follow my instincts and passions. My Wild side brought me to the United States two years ago to experience a new culture, a new life, to learn and grow. My Wild side also made me change careers at 30 years old, even after I had established a comfortable path in my previous career in Sales and Marketing. My WILD side does not let me to settle down for less than true happiness and fulfillment.