The Mission at TeamWILD: We Inspire Life with Diabetes, is to empower people with diabetes to take charge of their health by teaching how to be an athlete first, and a person with diabetes second.
We believe that being an athlete shifts our mental mindset to one of optimal performance of the body, rather than being in a mindset of disease and fear. High caliber athletes pay attention to nutrition, to stress, to sleep, and to exercise. High performing athletes even write it all down and consult with coaches and trainers.
At TeamWILD, we have found that people with diabetes who make the mental shift to thinking of themselves as athletes first, with diabetes second, take exquisite care of themselves and gain profound confidence that transfers immediately to other areas of life.
TeamWILD was founded because we believe people with diabetes need each other and deserve expert coaches and expert diabetes education to best be able to take charge of their health and have the courage and confidence to push their exercise and athletic limits. Almost all of us at TeamWILD ourselves have diabetes and we know what it takes to handle this challenging condition and stay fit and healthy.
Mari Ruddy, the Director of TeamWILD, has lived with type 1 diabetes for 30 years and is a two time breast cancer survivor, founded TeamWILD in 2008 after searching high and low for resources for women with diabetes who wanted to exercise safely and with expert guidance.
Mari is also the Founder of the Red Rider Recognition Program that celebrates cyclists at the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure. Mari founded TeamWILD after realizing that most of the cyclists at the Tour were men with diabetes. She wanted to support women with diabetes getting out there and getting fit. TeamWILD continues to do this, and now also supports men!
During the summer of 2011, Mari and the TeamWILD staff decided to rename the organization to include men. The resources, education and training TeamWILD offers people with diabetes needs to be widely available. WILD (which originally stood for Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes) now stands for We Inspire Life with Diabetes!
The first year of TeamWILD, there were 20 women on the team and all of them did a 70.3 Triathlon. The second year, the number doubled and we had 3 teams: something for every athletic (or non-athletic!) ability. In 2011 we had over 75 women on the teams.
Make it a WILD day! And, a WILD life!