Diabetics don’t belong in the mountains. Too far from medical care. Hospitals. Doctors. What if you have a hypo while you’re climbing and you fall?

When you tie in and begin climbing, you relinquish almost all of the talismans held up against ‘what-if’ scenarios and are forced to rely on yourself. Instinct. Decisions. Accountability.

Here’s the reality of the situation: Diabetes is what you make of it. If you make it into an anthropomorphised boogey-man then it will always be lurking, waiting to strike you down. If you make it an insurmountable challenge, it will put your success always just out of reach. If you choose to OWN your diabetes and make it work for you–it will. Its a powerful motivator for me.

As a climber, I don’t seek to cure gravity–I simply accept it and play by the rules. I do the same thing with my diabetes and the results have been excellent. I feel like there is an underlying concept at work here that I can help others grasp or at least re-evaluate, and THAT is why we are making “LivingVertical: Project 365

I feel like we can make this film and meet people where they are at. I don’t think everyone should or will become a climber. I do think that everyone can watch a film and follow our journey and be inspired to the point that they take something away from it that will help them be more proactive about their health–naturally. If what we are doing can help even one child with diabetes refuse to be defined by and limited by this condition then this will all have been worthwhile.

I have seen a lot of stuff online about research. A lot about potential cures. I’m glad that people are hopeful for the future–but what about NOW? What are we doing to overcome this condition while we wait?

I’ll come right out and say it: diabetes is a gift. Go ahead. Call me any name you want–but having this condition is day to day accountability and feedback about our health.  Most people pursue ease, comfort and convenience in their lives and as a result, no thought is given to their health until something goes wrong. Until hospitalization. Until doc puts them on medication. Until a relative dies at a young age.

We have the constant reminder that what we do with our bodies–what we fuel them with, how we maintain them–matters A LOT. If we can accept the rules of the game we can win. I don’t expect to ever cure gravity. But I know that if I play by the rules I will stand on some incredible summits and see beyond the buzz of daily life.


I know that there is room up here for you too.


Ok. So in other news, we at LivingVertical have been doing our part to raise some awareness of diabetes through our activities–we participated in the big blue test (if you haven’t yet you should too!) and shot some video of our afternoon out climbing to share with everyone–so watch this space to see how we have been “sticking it” to diabetes this month! Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite…


We have been blessed with unseasonably warm weather–being able to climb in shorts in November is pretty incredible! The leaves are hanging on a little longer too, as the weather has delayed their dormancy…



We decided to climb a route called Alphonse–one of my absolute favorite routes at the Gunks, NY. I have climbed it many many times and I always wanted to get some shots on this one from below the roof. If you rappel down from the top of the cliff, the triangular roof seen here in these photos holds you out, so you are effectively DANGLING in free space. It is a SICK perspective!!!


Trevor, came out with Stefanie and I to help us get that shot, dangling on rappel that I have been dreaming about for years. I look forward to showing you the video(s) that resulted–let me just say that it was absolutely worth waiting for this day–and to be able to make these films in recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month while participating in The Big Blue Test, well, that was just icing on the cake!


Keep watching our blog–lots more climbing and blue to share!