Have A Little Faith…

Thich Nhat Hanh was once quoted as saying: “There is a misconception that Buddhism is a religion, and that you worship Buddha. Buddhism is a practice, like yoga. You can be a Christian and practice Buddhism. I met a Catholic priest who lives in a Buddhist monastery in France. He told me that Buddhism makes me a better Christian.”

Religion is a very fluid thing in the modern world. In recent decades, the newer generations have moved further and further from organized religion. Some of this is simply the way of the times; where science and an evidence-based society have moved away from the theological and the unknown. More and more answers that were once provided by religion have been “updated” by science, and faith often takes to the wayside.

I had a rare opportunity this morning as I attended Sunday mass with my mother. As a die hard Catholic, she trained in a convent with the eventual goal of becoming a nun. As I sit here typing this, it dawns on me that I’m quite grateful she chose not to pursue that particular vocation.

As my eyes took in the grand hall of the majestic structure I was seated in, it dawned on me that I had very clear memories of being in church during my childhood. The seats were usually full to the point that there were some services that we had to step out from. But there was probably about 30% to 40% of the seating space occupied, leaving the place feel reasonably empty, which is unfortunate.

While I was listening to the sermon, it dawned on me that Catholic mass is, in effect, like an extremely old form of blogging. Seriously! Think about it for a moment: you have a person who has studied a specific topic or subject for quite a number of years. He then selects excerpts of subject matter, sometimes at random, sometimes not, and provides the pertinent information to a specified audience of interested listeners. Sound familiar? that’s pretty much what blogging is, for the most part.

One part of the sermon that peaked my interest was the fact that the priest was covering subject matter related to death and what comes after, a subject I’ve covered myself in previous blog posts and in other discussion-based forums. The similarities between what the catholic faith believes and what I’ve written about were many, and it brought me to the realization that more often than most of us choose to believe, most mainstream religions will have more similarities than difference in their core beliefs.

There is enough room in this world for everyone’s belief system. At the end of the day, sometimes having faith just means you’re faithful. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sitting in a specified building and following along out of a specific manuscript; our beliefs can be just that: OUR BELIEFS. But whatever those beliefs may be, remember to be tolerant of others’ perspectives, especially at times when they may conflict with yours. The true test of genuine faith is trusting that even though not everyone will believe your point of view or share your theological views, we ultimately all come from the same place. ☯

The Cost Of Making Life Work

Life is not an easy journey. There are risks, dangers and pitfalls that accompany you along this journey and tragedy awaits at every corner. Some people manage to live a life of relative ease, while others seem to have a bit more difficulty. Sometimes, the sacrifices required in order to live a peaceful life require a cost that most people are not willing and/or able to pay.

And then there’s me… I had a pretty difficult childhood, considering both my brother and I spent most of it in various hospitals. My family had fairly limited means, since we had to travel to children’s hospitals in Montreal for my brother fairly often. Despite this, I never found myself wanting for anything. We always had food on the table and a place to live, and this was ultimately what was important.

I’m currently on a journey of self-discovery and reinventing myself. It’s a difficult journey, and the sacrifices have been great. Even more so today… But if I can succeed, I will guarantee some security for my family. I had the opportunity to sit with Sensei last night. He made a cogent argument by pointing out that even though it causes us suffering, the situations we face in life are laid before us for a reason. Even if we don’t always believe or acknowledge that reason doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Today, I am faced with just such a situation. I’m not accustomed to dealing with scenarios that I can’t solve in some fashion. This leaves me feeling as though control is spiralling out of my hands and makes me anxious. Despite how unhappy this makes me, I also recognize that it’s a learning opportunity. I need to learn to unclench. Not only do I not have to be in total control all time, I honestly can’t be.

This is an important lesson for all of us. As much as we’d like to maintain control over everything in our environment, there will always be things that happen that are outside our control. This means that there’s no point or advantage to pining over it or allowing it to cloud our judgement. Even the worst of situations eventually find a resolution. As the old saying goes: This too, shall pass. ☯

“But I Don’t Wanna Train With A White Belt…”

Some of the masters in Japan used to have a saying: “Black belts don’t sweat.” Not only is this an incredibly inaccurate statement, it’s an ignorant one as well. Reaching black belt level is genuinely only the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of one’s in-depth training in the martial arts. My Sensei used to say that passing your black belt test was a way to finally and formally ask your Sensei to teach you karate. That perspective always stuck with me.

But the sweating perspective is one that has been circulated and that I’ve heard on occasion during my time in Japan. What I have found over the years, both in Japan and in Canada, is that advanced students will often have a stigma against students of a lower rank. Especially white belts.

Some schools have an established standard in which green or blue belts will take time to provide introductory instructions to new students and white belts. This is reasonable, since black belts and the head instructor are likely to be smaller in number than lower ranked students. So for the most part, it’s a matter of structuring. Which is fine.

The problem begins when one holds any sort of stigma against lower ranked belts simply for the sake of their inexperience. I’ve seen some advanced belts who have made their feelings clear, “my forms and techniques are way too advanced to be spending time with a white belt…” Terrible, terrible…

I’m reminded of a story that originated out of a school related to my style, in the United States. They put on a seminar and were teaching a variety of techniques and weapons and students could partner up or work alone and learn a little bit from every station. At one point, an older gentleman (I wouldn’t begin to guess at his age) came into the dojo wearing a white belt. He began stretching and warming up, and I noticed a number of younger students chuckling among themselves and making jokes. It seemed the majority of students were of the opinion that the man was too old to be starting karate and that his presence at the afternoon’s class was a waste of time.

We paired off for some light sparring at one point and a green belt was left with the old white belt as a partner. It was almost like one of those scenarios where you get chosen last during a dodgeball game… You could tell the green belt felt pretty confident about his odds and squared off with a smirk in his face.

I won’t bore you with the play-by-play of how the match went, but I will tell you this: the old white belted man kicked the living s&*t out of the green belt and made him yield! We came to find out that the old man was actually a master from Okinawa who had attended the seminar. He had a personal philosophy against the ranking system and chose not to wear a black belt. The look on the green belt’s face was priceless.

The lesson here is that there is always a lesson. That is to say, no matter what rank one holds, you can always learn from someone higher. You can always learn from someone lower. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned have come from training with lower ranked belts. Especially since their lack of experience often provides an unpredictability that we often don’t get, through structured martial arts. In the real world, things won’t always be structured and will rarely be rehearsed. So take the lessons where and when you can get them, and don’t be afraid to give up some of your time to teach when needed. In fact, the martial arts ladder requires it. You only get what you’re willing to give. And don’t forget that at one time or another, you WERE a white belt…

I’ve taken a break from writing about my strange odyssey for the next couple of days, since I’m essentially enjoying some down time and have nothing pertaining to the journey happening until next week. But rest assured I’ll keep you all updated once things get back into the swing of it! ☯

A Strange Odyssey, Day 5…

Today, I chose to exercise a personal demon… I visited my old high school. Although I generally don’t talk about it a great deal, I was badly bullied during my school years. I mean the kind of bullying that goes beyond the current, modern-day snowflake definition that everyone wears slogans on their shirts and take to social media about.

I often lived in a lonely shadow, hurriedly sneaking out of school at the end of the day to avoid contact with anyone who may try to hurt me. One of the worst incidents I ever had, involved three guys taking their turns beating on me. The VERY worst incident involved a case where I had another student stab me in the forearm with a pocket knife…

High school and school in general, never held any affection for me. Although I’ve always been a student of all knowledge, there was no love lost when I finally received my diploma and walked away. In fact, I very nearly declined to attend my own graduation and I certainly didn’t attend my prom. The painful memories and dislike I felt went as far as having me refuse to attend my 20-year high school reunion.

One of the perks of being home… Access to the ocean!

I think the subject of bullying has been covered often enough in recent years that I don’t need to climb up onto my soapbox, and I certainly don’t need to explain the reasons why bullying is bad. Suffice it to say that once my martial arts skills progressed significantly, the bullying magically stopped. Imagine that.

All jokes aside, I took a step towards personal healing today as I stepped into that long-hated institution and walked the very halls that were the place of my subjugation. I walked straight to the administration office and introduced myself to the secretary. A very kind woman, she invited me to walk through the main area and look at the graduation mosaics, which would certainly yield a photo of me from twenty three years ago!

I would have loved taking a few photographs, but I thought I would avoid the complications of a random adult male snapping photos inside a high school’s hallways! It did spark an idea, though. I asked the secretary if she knew who I could contact in regards to obtaining a copy of my graduation yearbook. I never got one; in fact, I’ve never even seen it.

The good news is that she believed that there would be spares in the school library and that any extras could certainly be sold. She took my name and contact number and promised to look into it and get back to me. I left the school property with a renewed sense of healing as though I had found a way to bridge a gap that has existed in my personal timeline for the past two decades.

I’ve always said that it’s an important thing to remember where you came from. This helps guide you to where you may be going and your development as the person you’re meant to become. I have a lot of bad memories from my school years; some medically-related, some bullying-related. And some of this has made it difficult for me to recall the good times I actually had through school.

And although I hadn’t planned on being home in northern New Brunswick, the unexpected change in travel plans may have yielded something positive. Even if life doesn’t care about your plan, it doesn’t mean it intends something bad. Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective. ☯

A Strange Odyssey, Day 4…

They say you can’t go home again, but there’s definitely something to be said for doing that exact thing. I woke up this morning and checked out of my hotel. With the sudden changes in my plan and an additional stop added to my week, I decided there was nothing to be gained by staying at a hotel. I decided to hit the open road and go visit my parents on the north shore of New Brunswick.

My morning was an uneventful few hours of coffee and reading, followed by my last appointment in Fredericton. The appointment went well (I caused a few laughs, as usual) and I hit the open road as soon as it was done. After three days of having a rental vehicle, I finally figured out how to sync my cell phone with it so that I could listen to music, place phone calls through the car’s speaker system and use the talk-to-text function.

Lush, forested hills and appalachian mountains, coupled with curving highways

I stopped at a gas station in a city called Miramichi and got some caffeine. then I carried on to Bathurst, where I was able to stop in and have a brief chat with one of my oldest friends. My karate instructor’s son, actually.

I got back on the road and made it to Dalhousie just shortly after 6:00 pm local time and met up with my parents. My father, ever the charmer, took one look at me and bellowed “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?” Now, just to be clear, despite being confined to a wheelchair, my father is a very large, very intimidating man.

His second major complaint was that I didn’t bring his grandson with me! What can i say? You can’t please everyone. My mother and I stepped out and enjoyed supper out coupled with conversation. Now, as I sit in a local coffee shop (because they have internet) I’m taking it all in and wondering how I got here.

The mountainy side of Dalhousie (yes, my vehicle was parked when I took the photo)

Last week i was planing and prepping for a five-day stint in Fredericton before flying back to Saskatchewan. Now, I’m sitting in my home town having coffee and letting the childhood memories flood in. It’s a nice and unexpected turn of events to be able to see my parents. but I still can’t wait to get home to my family.

It would take a lot to flood this town!

I’ll be home for a few days until my next appointment. Following that, I’ll be making my way back to Fredericton for the last leg of my journey and the return home to my family. I’ll keep you all posted on the shenanigans I get into while here. ☯

A Strange Odyssey, Day 3…

Today was a good day. I actually managed to get a full night’s sleep last night, which is more than I can say for the previous three nights. I should also mentioned that I’ve gotten through the entirety of the work day without slamming my head into anything, so… there’s that.

But it has been a genuinely good day. I met some interesting and fascinating people and got a glimpse into a potential future path. I nearly had a heart attack, considering I left and went on to other things without bringing my prized fedora (yes, that’s right! I wear a fedora! What of it?) I had to make my way back to retrieve it.

The Odyssey is far from over. In fact, it has been extended. It seems there will be another stop on the journey; one that was unexpected until yesterday. But as much as it pains me to be far from my family for several days longer, I will have the opportunity to pay a visit to my parents.

In the meantime, I’ve been able to enjoy the City of Fredericton and get a small taste of back home. For example, I had the pleasure of enjoying an Alpine beer during supper last night. I haven’t been able to find Alpine anywhere in Saskatchewan for the past ten years. It’s a little thing, but it was nice to experience it.

That’s it! Not exactly a long or comprehensive post. What can I say? They can’t all be winners. I managed to get through the day without getting hurt or hurting anyone else. I didn’t have anything weird happen to me and I didn’t glare at anyone on the highway. Granted, the day ain’t over yet! Hey, I’ve even managed to get my blood sugars under control! I guess we’ll see what the rest of the week will bring. ☯

A Strange Odyssey, Day 2…

I’ve always heard that things start to slow down as a person reaches my age. Considering how much of myself I put into everything, I never really believed it until today. But, man…

I suffered through yet another near sleepless night. The person in the room next door decided to be a total jack ass and try to open the adjoining door between our rooms. This resulted in my eyes popping open and vaulting out of my bed like a maniac. It was difficult to return to slumber after that.

I woke with my alarm at 5:30, wondering why the hell my alarm was going off at 5:30! When my senses cleared and I remembered where I was, I hopped out of bed and started my day.

The first half of my morning was pretty standard; administrative testing in multiple choice form. Although still a touch on the stressful side, it wasn’t anything I haven’t done many times before. The hard part would come later as I would have to run a physical assessment.

I chose to skip lunch, as eating would have had me running the test on a full stomach. This means that although I wasn’t feeling full or bloated when I got to the physical test, I was certainly hungry, which isn’t much better.

When my turn came to run, I took the starting line. I felt confident. After all, this was also a test I’ve done many times before. That confidence may have proved to be exaggerated. The first three out of six laps were easily doable and I was able to maintain a decent pace.

Right around the midway point of the fourth lap, the muscles in my legs turned lactic and I started to struggle. By lap five, my lungs turned to liquid fire and my legs and body decided to start ignoring the signals I was sending them to keep going. I forced myself through the final lap and moved on to the resistance aspect of the assessment, which included a number of semi-circles using a specialized weight machine. All of this had to be done within a specific number of minutes. As I had been warned I was nearing the time limit, I gave myself a final push and completed the last two semi-circles.

on the last semi-circle, the sole of my left running shoe dragged on the floor for about a half inch. That’s all it took. My weakened legs buckled and I went down. Then I drove all 210 pounds of my bulk head-first into the brick wall and crumpled to the floor unceremoniously.

Next thing I know, I have the instructors and several of the candidates standing over me. My face was numb, the left side of my skull was throbbing and I was seeing stars. My only concern was whether or not I had passed the test. Evidently, I made it but with only seven seconds to spare. I knew I had a hard head…

I took a couple of minutes to collect myself and finished the remainder of the test, which was an untimed portion. Once I knew I had passed, I stumbled back to my hotel and grabbed a shower and passed out for an hour. I think it may be time to get some food. This was day 2 of my strange odyssey. I have to make it through a full week. I wonder what the following days will bring…☯

A Strange Odyssey, Day 1…

Life doesn’t care about your plan. I’ve written about that on several occasions. In fact, I’ve always come to think of life as being a story that is unique to me. We all know how everyone’s story begins and ends. But it’s the chapters in between that allow us some control on the rudder as we sail through life.

This morning, I woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off. That usually drives me crazy but considering I woke up at 2:30 this morning, it was welcome as I didn’t want to wake my wife. I especially didn’t want to wake my son and cause havoc in the household right before I left.

Although I had gone to bed early enough to allow for almost seven hours of sleep, I barely got more than two. The prospect and anxiety of my trip weighed heavily on me and kept sleep from taking over. I kissed my wife goodbye and looked in on my son, who was blissfully snoring away (lucky little jerk).

I stepped out of my house and into the morning chill. Although it can hardly be called winter, it was only 4 degrees Celsius this morning. I could see some mild frost on the roof of a vehicle parked at the curb. The taxi I had pre-ordered pulled up to the curb and I hopped in.

I was dropped off at the Regina International Airport and made my way up to the security gate. I made it through without issue and boarded a plane that would usher me towards the next chapter of my life. The odyssey had begun…

The morning sun starting to rise over the Prairie horizon

The first leg of my flight went without issue. Better than usual, in fact, as I had the benefit of having a vacant seat next to me. This meant that I could sprawl and not deal with the awkward, uncomfortable pressing of my body against someone else’s for two and half hours.

I landed in Toronto around 10 o’clock local time. I had just over an hour to spare before making my connecting flight. I grabbed an overpriced burger from one of the food court eateries and stuffed my face with ravenous enthusiasm. Lack of sleep, stress and anxiety tends to work up an appetite.

The second leg of my flight left on time and also went without issue. Unbelievably, I was once again the only occupant in my two-seat row. Was it possible that for the first time in a couple of years, my luck was turning positive? Would this luck hold out over the week to come?

I landed at my destination and picked up my rental car. I had arrived. I checked into my hotel and now I sit before my keyboard with hope and grim determination for the challenges to come during the week.

New Brunswick’s Provincial Capital

I’m in Fredericton for the next five days. I’m trying hard to understand how I got here or what incorrect choices I may have made that led me here. But at the end of the day, I acknowledge that no matter what my plan may have been, life doesn’t care. It throws whatever curve balls it may choose.

I’m therefore going to face this week’s challenges the same way I’ve faced every other obstacle in my life: with a hand on my heart and a fist towards the target. When the dust clears, I’m certain things will be better. I’ll keep y’all posted! ☯

No Pain, No Gain! Some Pain, Though…

Everyone wants to seem like they’re tough. Most training regiments encourage the aspect of “push through the pain” and many will follow this credo a little too literally. Almost to the point where some people will cause serious injury or even aggravate existing ones in order to continue training.

The most common injury that we deal with in the martial arts (besides the occasional bloody nose or bruise) is pulled muscles (sometimes referred to as a “strained muscle”). This is what happens when any given muscle is overused, overstretched or torn. For the most part, these injuries are minor and will subside after a few days, provided the practitioner takes appropriate steps to help the injury heal. In some extreme cases however, the injury can become aggravated and require medical attention.

According to a post published by Harvard Health Publishing, doctors often classify pulled muscles under three categories:

  • Grade I Strain: In this mild strain, only a few muscle fibres are stretched or torn. Although the injured muscle is tender and painful, it has normal strength;
  • Grade II Strain: This is a moderate strain, with a greater number of injured fibres and more severe muscle pain and tenderness. There is also mild swelling, noticeable loss of strength and sometimes a bruise;
  • Grade III Strain: This strain tears the muscle all the way through, sometimes causing a “pop” sensation as the muscle rips into two separate pieces or shears away from its tendon. Grade III strains are serious injuries that cause complete loss of muscle function, as well as considerable pain, swelling, tenderness and discolouration. Because Grade III strains usually cause a sharp break in the normal outline of the muscle, there may be an obvious “dent” or “gap” under the skin where the ripped pieces of muscle have come apart.

Pretty gross, right? I’ll admit to having dealt with Grade I and II strains, but I’ve never had a Grade III. The article goes on to explain that if you are suffering from a Grade I or Grade II strain, you should follow the RICE acronym:

  • Rest the injured muscle (and take a temporary break from sports activities);
  • Ice the injured area to reduce swelling;
  • Compress the muscle with an elastic bandage;
  • Elevate the injured area.

Some further recommendations may include taking some over-the-counter pain medications such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Here’s the article if you want to read the whole thing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/muscle-strain-a-to-z

Although the RICE acronym is accurate, there are a few points to bear in mind. First, although it is important to rest the injured muscle, you have to be cautious not to rest it for TOO long. Otherwise, it’ll heal up stiff and with reduced flexibility and movement. Light, mild stretches should be done as soon as the pain subsides in order to ensure the continued full use of the muscle. Icing to reduce swelling is important, but the average medical practitioner recommends icing for no longer than fifteen minutes at a time to prevent tissue damage.

Another detail that many people tend to forget about is that swelling is not only a normal part of a pulled muscle, but a necessary one. So while it’s okay to help REDUCE swelling, trying to eliminate it isn’t recommended. The big takeaway, and the hardest one for us old school martial artists, is to rest up and give the muscle time to heal. you aren’t doing yourself any favours by pushing the injury and aggravating it.

There’s plenty you can do to prevent pulled muscles. Start by ensuring you take the time to stretch and warm up properly prior to any workout. Increase the intensity of your workouts gradually and try not to stay static in the same position for prolonged periods of time. This tends to reduce flexibility and proper blood circulation, all of which can contribute to possible muscle strains. Think about times where you’ve worked at a desk for eight hours at a time; you should be getting up and stretching at least once every hour.

If anything unusual is noticed about the pulled muscled, be sure to seek treatment from your medical practitioner. And by “unusual”, I mean things like severe bruising, numbness, a “pop” sound at the time of the incident, complete loss of use of the affected muscle group or even if your symptoms don’t clear up after a few weeks.

Although it depends on how severe your pulled muscle may be, you might be able to return to full use after a few weeks at minimum, provided you take care of it. Severe strains may require months to heal and possibly even surgery.

Being “tough” and pushing through it definitely isn’t worth the potential possibility of aggravating an injury to the point where you’d require surgery. There’s no shame in taking a break and letting an injury heal. Your body will thank you for it. And depending on what sport you’re training at, there’s nothing saying you can’t continue a light training regiment, taking close care of the pulled muscle. ☯

On The Road Again…🎶

One of the biggest things people tend to overlook when referring to Diabetes is the amount of planning that goes into everything we do. It’s not so much that we can’t do any particular thing; in fact, we can do anything a non-Diabetic person can do (and in some cases, more).

But depending on the activity, we sometimes have to take a few added steps and pre-plan how things will go down. When you have Type 1 Diabetes, you often need to expect the unexpected. Im reminded of a trip I took with a friend in my early 20’s. We spent three days travelling down the Restigouche river by canoe. It was loads of fun. We started at the crack of dawn with a warm campfire and makeshift breakfast before hitting the river and spending all day paddling down the river. It was fantastic exercise, mixed with the excitement of being in the great outdoors. I had brought some glucose tablets, but on my second day down the river I hit a low that pretty had me eat through them all. I was fine, but had I suffered another low I would have been up s$%t creek, pun fully intended.

This is a perfect example of why proper planning can go a long way towards ensuring one’s safety while travelling. Long trips are one of the activities where this aspect is SO important. My family and I have driven across the country with our family vehicle twice in recent years. During those trips, I learned a great deal and I’m going to be sharing them with you. Here are my top ten things to consider when travelling long distance:

  1. Plan your route before you depart. You would think that this one is common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people just hit the open road without considering the actual trip; they only look at the destination. you may know where you want to end up, but it’s important to plan a route that will bring you through populated centres and give you an opportunity to stop for the night and have access to rest stops and food;
  2. Tell someone your plan. Even if you’re not travelling alone, you can never predict what may happen on the open road. Be sure to let someone know where you’re going and by what route. Whether it’s family, friends, neighbours… whatever. This ensures that in the event of an emergency, someone knows where you’re going and how you’re getting there. This is similar to some sports like spelunking or sailing that require you to log a travel plan;
  3. Don’t travel alone. The previous point brings up my next one. Whenever possible, try not to travel by yourself. I know that speaking for myself, I always believe I can take care of myself and control my blood sugar levels. But it honestly only takes one incident to be deadly on the road;
  4. Take frequent breaks. Whether it’s to use the washroom or grab coffee, getting out to stretch your legs and crack your back will help to prevent unnecessary fatigue. This is a good recommendation for anyone;
  5. Test your blood often. When you’re taking those breaks, test your blood glucose levels. As I’ve written before, EVERYTHING affects your blood sugar levels. This means that fatigue, exhaustion, stress on the road, excitement on the road… All of it can adversely affect one’s blood glucose levels, making it important to test often;
  6. Eat properly and regularly. We tend to eat like trash pails when we travel. With fast food restaurants and truck stops readily available on most popular travel routes, burgers and chips can end up being a staple of long road trips. I probably shouldn’t have to explain why high-fat, high-carb foot is a bad idea when you’re sitting in a vehicle for hours on end;
  7. Bring supplies. This sounds redundant, but brings plenty of snacks with fast-acting carbs in case you get a low while on the road. Extra insulin and supplies are a must as well. Bring whatever supplies and sugared goods that you may require if you were to be stranded for an overnight. Better to have it than not need it. Where have I heard that before…?
  8. Get a good night’s rest. Look, I get it… We all get excited at the prospect of travelling and being on vacation (or whatever your reason for travelling may be). But your body requires all the same things it needs when you aren’t travelling. Make sure you have somewhere safe to stop and get your 8 hours. Your body and blood sugar levels will thank you;
  9. Pack an emergency kit. There are lots of sites online that can provide you with a simple list of emergency items you should be keeping in your vehicle. The Government of Canada’s “Get prepared” webpage has a decent list of basic items that should be in your vehicle on long-distance trips. That list can be found here: https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/kts/cr-kt-en.aspx
  10. Perform a pre-drive checklist. Do a walk around of your vehicle before hitting the road and that you have everything required while travelling. Know the laws of the Provinces you’ll be travelling through. Remember, you’re responsible for the proper condition of your vehicle and obeying all laws in every jurisdiction you travel through. Bring phone chargers and battery packs.

Some of these seem rather obvious, but even the most organized person occasionally needs a reminder. Road trips can be fun and you shouldn’t let Diabetes stand in your way of travelling. You simply need to ensure you’re properly prepared. ☯