Seeing It Through…

If you have uncontrolled Diabetes, having the motivation to see something through can be pretty difficult. I have unfortunate memories of my behaviour through my late teens and 20’s where my erratic blood sugars often caused mood swings and a deep apathy for life that went way beyond the point of being lazy. It was hard, because my lack of energy and motivation would usually result in me just wanting to “sit and relax,” or get some “rest.” This was usually code for simply not having any motivation. Honestly, I often wonder how I was able to make my way through the martial arts ranks.

The lack of energy and motivation is what usually hit me hardest. I like to think that things are much better for me these days, and I use my motivation in ways that continue to grow my fitness and increase my control over Diabetes. And sometimes I like to try new things. You may have heard me mention that, once in a while. During the first week of January, I joined a fitness challenge through my RunKeeper app that involved logging 50 kilometres of distance within the calendar month. One would think that this shouldn’t BE an issue, since I usually log more than that in one cycling session. But it’s kind of difficult to cycle on snow, and walking roughly involves three times as much time as cycling.

I started by taking time to walk a few kilometres during the daylight hours. This was made all the more difficult by the fact that Nathan was remote schooling when I started this, and he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him join. When he started going back to school in person, I would see him off on the bus then take my walk immediately after that. It would be a touch on the colder side, since the sun wouldn’t be up at this point. But I would usually manage to get three or four kilometres logged within an hour of walking, which was a good pace and started growing my monthly total to bring me closer to the 50 kilometres I needed.

Sometimes, it was actually nice to get out of the house and have a walk. On clear, sunny days I could listen to music or simply be alone with my thoughts while getting fresh air and some mild modicum of exercise. I started to see some of the advantage behind walking every day. On other days, it felt tedious and very much like an obligation. This is where I started to run into trouble, towards the end. With only 8 kilometres left to log, I lost motivation and started avoiding walks. It’s not like I was even actively trying to avoid it, I simply didn’t;t have the energy. Inclement weather and the recent snow storm with power outages certainly didn’t help.

Ultimately, I reached the minimum I needed. I believe I even went beyond the 50 kilometres I originally set out to log. Completing this 50 kilometres also enters my name in a draw for a potential prize of cross training sneakers that I would never afford on my own (or wouldn’t PAY for, normally) so there was some outside motivation involved, as well. But the experience was good and my wife and I have discussed making walks a family thing, now that the fitness challenge is done. This simply goes to show that you can start working on your fitness with something as easy as taking a walk. The motivation be sometimes need to be found first. But all it takes is getting off the couch and doing it. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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