Forward from Jen: Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t just affect those who have it, it affects that person’s whole family. With that in mind, I asked my wonderful husband, Marty, to share his perspective on life living with a diabetic spouse. The following are his thoughts on the subject. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.
Married to a T1 Athlete: Vol 1 by Martin Nat
Let’s face it, being married to a competitive athlete is no easy task. Nor is being married to a T1 diabetic any easier. Hell, some will even argue the notion of marriage by itself is hard enough the way it is. So what is it like when you combine all of these humbling assets into one? To answer that in one word or even a few sentences will not give its deserved justice. Let’s just say like the seasons, things change. They change a lot, they change hard, and they change often! Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes it snows in April. And its times like the latter when you need to make sure you’re on your game–prepared and ready to adapt.
No Two Workouts are the Same (nor should they be)
What’s more challenging than figuring out the right time of day to get your training in? Figuring out the right time of day to get your training in…together. This isn’t a matter of making sure you set your alarm clock to wake up a few hours early or even arranging your work day around finding time to get a few miles in. When that BG number reads it’s time to put in the work, that means it’s time to work…NO EXCEPTIONS. And when that number reads ‘sorry, you ain’t going anywhere for a while’, well, you have no choice but to obey. This could throw a wrench into any plans of a couple’s run or sweetheart swole sesh. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine. Of course it’s great to spend time with each other, especially doing something we’re both so passionate about. But it’s also good to utilize that time for yourself; your own body, your own thoughts, just you doing what not only makes you happy, but also doing something that yields positive results. Besides, it makes for a good coffee talk recap or wine talk recap later on.
Pockets = Underrated
In the infrequent event the two of us have the chance to train together, a simple word of advice: revamp your workout wardrobe to include pockets! Nothing makes you feel more useful than being the bearer of emergency snacks! Like a magician, you’ll be pulling gummies and testing strips from areas you’d never guess were possible. However, err on the side of caution when doing post workout laundry. There’s nothing worse than a half opened pack of GU that permanently found itself all over your favorite race shirt.
Be Prepared to Drop Some Knowledge Bombs
Chances are (at least I hope) there are a few photos of you and your T1 love floating around. And it’s only a matter of time before the elephant in the room gets addressed. Questions like ‘She runs marathons? How could she run that far without carbo loading?’ ‘What does she eat?’ and ‘How does she look that good? I thought diabetics were out of shape’ are just some of the common questions thrown around regularly. Take the time to educate someone when given the chance!
Don’t Knock It Til You Tried It. It’s Your Job & Duty to Taste Test… EVERYTHING!
It’s no new scientific breakthrough that how athletes fuel their bodies is a direct correlation to how they perform. Whether it’s a matter of habit, stubbornness, or combination of both, most athletes have their nutritional staples that they rely on to fuel them from pre work to post work out. With a T1 athlete at the helm, you are now suddenly approached with a whole new slew of recipe modifications and alternatives. Things like xanthan gum, swerve, and pizza crust made from ground chicken are just some of the things occupying my kitchen space where Eggo and Ben and Jerry once resided. Yes, nothing helps you recover better post 20 mile run than a pint of Americone Dream. At least, that’s what I used to tell myself. But when your wife has since transformed into a badass of a chef, the mere thought of a ‘real’ English muffin or ‘real’ pasta kinda turns my stomach. So much so, that I’m actually sitting here on a Sunday morning typing this while eating a muffin made from nothing other than cheese, garlic powder and almond flour, and it’s BANGIN! She’ll argue it’s a biscuit. But I’m calling it a muffin. I even felt like a five year old trying to sneak it out of the kitchen before she wakes up.
So although this disease is here for a while, we have an option. We have the option to let it control or be controlled. The competitor in my wife has not, and will not let this control her nor define who she is. If anything, it has made her stronger.
We Adapt. It’s what we do.
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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.