I got in pretty bad fight with my sister a while back about whether or not it was okay if I call myself an athlete or not. We’ve worked it out since then, but the argument boiled down to whether or not I, as someone who didn’t win any races, or even come close to finishing in the top 1000, could really call myself an athlete.
All I really seemed to have going for me is that with passion I study athletics and performance in the diabetic body like I was going for a PhD in the subject. Oh, and I trained with focus and discipline, engaged with expert coaches and showed up at lots of start lines and pretty much always found the finish line of those events.
It turns out that yes, I am an athlete. And that the main thing about being an athlete is thinking and acting like one, and that results are really not that crucial to the use of the term athlete. Because of my grappling with this topic, I wanted others in similar circumstances, living life with diabetes, to see if they too could be athletes. Thus TeamWILD was born.
It’s this blog by TeamWILD Athlete Karen Graffeo, founder of Diabetes Blog Week and writer at Bitter Sweet Diabetes, wrote just yesterday about her experience becoming an athlete with diabetes using the WILDfit program that makes me glad I stuck to my guns with my sister all those years back.
Karen, all of the coaches, staff and your fellow athletes, especially me, are incredibly proud of you. You are an athlete. And you’re right, if it was easy, everyone would do it. You ARE doing it. And, GO WILD!