It’s no secret that community is a big part of living successfully with type 1 diabetes. Given that fact, it’s kind of surprising that it can often be almost as hard to come by as good health insurance. In this day and age it’s hard to imagine that people don’t think to reach out online and lurk in the forums and groups that exist–but if I had a nickel for every time I met someone with type 1 who said, ‘Wow this is the first time I’ve ever actually hung out with another person with diabetes’ I would be able to pay my web hosting fees without asking you to buy one of my photographs! That’s part of the reason I started LivingVertical and that’s exactly the reason Blake and I created the LivingVertical forum (which you SHOULD join and participate in if you haven’t yet!

There is a lot of talk about technology and drugs in diabetes–and we certainly need those things but we need each other too! I know how big of an impact it has when someone emails me to share how LivingVertical has impacted them, or comments on a blog. It’s so powerful to feel that connection to other people who understand and share the same struggles that you have, even when that connection is virtual.

Now imagine that same feeling, but on steroids!

That’s what it’s like when you get to experience that in person. I have had that chance because I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and I have been able to identify groups of people with type 1 and meet up with them. Each time that happens, I think to myself, ‘This is really pretty simple to do–why couldn’t we create more of this‘? Maybe I am naive. In fact, I almost certainly am, but that won’t stop me from trying to use the time that I will have on the road in 2016 as an opportunity to rally the tribes in the outdoors for real-world connection. Meet-ups, if you will.

Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes thinking, ‘What, is he insane? We can’t all go out there and dangle from cliffs!’

Well, I respectfully disagree.

At least with the logic of that statement–but let’s pump the brakes for a minute and keep in mind that the outdoors have a lot of room for many different levels of activity and intensity. Think of it–we could have an outdoor adventure meetup where all we do is roast hotdogs around a campfire, walk around and take pictures and drink coffee! That would be amazing! I am stoked on getting people with diabetes into the outdoors to DO things together. I realize that’s a pretty broad statement and I am open to exploring it with your input.

I believe in simplicity. If we have a few people who are interested enough to take the time to get together, I believe we will literally change the world because these simple moments are where lives are changed. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Take the survey at the top of this page and let me know your thoughts. Share this post and get others in your community stoked about this. Adventure is a prescription that only we can write for ourselves and I am excited to see what we can create as a community!

LivingVertical thrives because of YOU. I (Steve) personally appreciate the fact that you are part of our growing community of active and adventurous people with diabetes. I will be offering diabetes coaching services beginning October 1st–and I have space for 5 people who are looking to improve their lifestyle, diabetes control, goal setting and adapt their management to unique, active pursuits. Email me for more info steve@livingvertical.org!