This has been a long time coming friends! I struggled with the narrative on this because so much of my concentration has been on Project365 and getting that out and available to be screened and shared. The holidays for me have consisted of work–or what might seem like work if I didn’t love what I am doing. It’s not entirely conventional to have steel-cage death match days with ones computer over the holidays, but this time has actually helped give me some breathing room and I am really stoked to be able to share this edit with you before we head into 2014.

This short film is just about my personal experience climbing Kili this past year and it’s not necessarily representative of anyone elses. It was hard for me to write this narrative for the film because Kili is by far the most notable of all my ascents to date and it was a huge honor to be included in the expedition–however at the end of the day, I didn’t see fireworks or have that big culminating moment on the summit. It felt like a long walk up a steep hill, while sucking air through a straw. I struggled a lot feeling sick and my blood glucose was frequently uncooperative. I was out of my comfort zone and I didn’t feel like I was doing a great job of being a “good diabetic”.

I have talked at length of empowerment and “going beyond” diabetes, but when the rubber meets the road, it can really be a junk show–and the pretty timelapses and video clips cost a lot emotionally and physically to bring back. I keep coming back to the blue-collar ideals that I believe in regarding diabetes management–we have to learn how to accept the losses and dig deep enough to find a “win” buried in all the mess.

A dear friend once related to me a fable about three brothers who were each given a pile of horse dung. The first one was very offended and unhappy. The second was skeptical, but used the manure to plant and fertilize a rose garden. The third, rolled up his sleeves and got down to business digging frantically with his hands–and when questioned about this response he replied “I just KNOW there’s a horse in here somewhere!”

I think we all go through those phases and while I’d love to be transforming horse dung into beautiful roses, sometimes I’m having to settle for rolling up the sleeves and going for broke! It all comes down to how we choose to think and act on our circumstances. Please enjoy and feel free to share this short–it’s one more piece of the puzzle, one more vote for healthy empowered lives with diabetes.