If you haven’t checked out our YouTube channel here’s a good chance to do so–because I shot and edited this video to share a little bit of the experience of the adventures had at our first official AdventureRx meetup! As we move forward with life on the road I anticipate a lot more of our experience being shared through a visual medium–and honestly I love making videos. It’s possible to really cover a lot more ground in a shorter period of time than with writing. My next video is going to detail the taping method that I used to consistently get 3+ weeks out of my CGM sensors that withstands all kinds of exercise including off-width climbing!

In the AdventureRx podcast (episode 35, coming up this week) I will be playing some tape from our last night at camp together as we all sat around the campfire and I got to hear firsthand perspectives of what this type of community means to those in attendance. While I sat in my car on the drive out and watched the many miles between Massachusetts and Kentucky tick past, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had overreached–maybe I’d be the only one there, or maybe it would be a total wash–worse yet, maybe people would show up with high expectations and be disappointed. That stood out as the worst option as I kept mulling it over.

I won’t attempt to speak for anyone who attended but I will say that it was a wonderful experience for me to connect with fellow type 1s in the outdoors. Everyone who came out really wanted to be there–and there was something for everyone. I think that some folks expected it to be more intimidating or “extreme” for lack of a better term–and were surprised to find that the whole weekend was really quite approachable and adaptable. Nevertheless, I was really happy to get some quality time on the rock and really devote time to just enjoying the time out climbing. That simplicity really scratched an itch that I’ve had with all of the competing tasks associated with constantly creating content for our various channels. It felt good to deliberately leave my phone and camera behind and devote my focus to the people and the climbing.

Of course I found my new friends able and willing to help out with capturing video, which is largely how the above work of fine art came into existence–team effort for sure! I know that I would have been at a significant disadvantage trying to capture all of those videos and photos on my own, so I want to offer my thanks to Andrew, Brian and Jessie (I hope I am not forgetting anyone). This of course got me thinking about a couple of things on the ride home.

I realized that, as I mentioned in the opening, I wanted to really start sharing my stories from life on the road through the YouTube channel. Project365 was a documentary film effort–and I learned a lot from that task. Namely that I don’t want to do that much editing in one stretch (9 months approximately) ever again unless there are many, many dollars coming my way. I also realized that I miss editing shorter videos and visual story telling–and that variety in my creative outlets is important to keep things fresh. What’s the point in having lots of channels if you can’t communicate through different mediums?

That last realization was a kind of an epiphany for me.

When Project365 came about as an idea, it was just about the project. It was about the content–the film. I just wanted to tell my story and move on, but when I looked for a platform to share my story and my admittedly somewhat contrarian views of life with diabetes I found that I didn’t seem to belong anywhere. Creating content is different than creating a platform. I wound up doing both, sort of by accident and now LivingVertical is this platform that has room for others whose ideas for adventurous projects and stories need a home. Could we grow to include multiple voices and create a home for type 1 diabetes adventure and media where those who march to the beat of their own drum are the norm?

It sure could.

I share this with you because it’s what’s been rattling around in my brain of late–it’s less of an announcement and more of a vision of the future. I think it’s a very actionable vision and I have already been reaching out to others who have stories, projects and have adventure (along with exogenous insulin!) in their blood–and there are many more of us out there than I ever would have guessed a few years back. I know that it’s a real need–it’s just going to take legwork to make it a real thing. The good news is that scrappiness will sustain legwork over the long haul, and that’s something we have in spades!

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Love this? Hate it? Let me know in the comments or via email! (steve@livingvertical.org)

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.