Losing control, gaining influence

Somewhere between pride and despair lies acceptance. I could only hear the sound of wind whistling past my ears as I stepped delicately around the airy corner; about 1500 feet of nothingness separated me from the ground. The fact that I was actually able to stand on the sloping, sandy ledge beneath my feet seemed to defy what I'd come to learn about physics. 'Here goes literally everything' I thought for the 1,336th time since starting to climb "Cowboy Ridge" that morning. I shifted my weight forward to test the only viable handhold that would grant me access to the ledge above. I tried to weight the hold gradually because I didn't want to ricochet off into the void if it popped. I pulled back a handful of sand as the rock disintegrated in my hand.

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Climbing Cowboy Ridge in Zion National Park

I've spent a lot of time in Zion National Park over the last few years and it's no secret that the climbing here is outside my comfort zone. Maybe that's why I keep coming back--because there are "easy" climbs like Cowboy Ridge that have mocked me from afar. It's a 5.7 filled with route-finding, loose rock and lots of elevation gain. It's a long day and it's far from civilized comforts should poor planning or blood sugar fluctuations interfere. It's not the dark side of the moon, but it's more involved than lowering down off a single pitch climb and 'calling it a day'. Maybe this is part of getting back into the swing of things, but I've been more intimidated by this "loose end" than I'd like to admit, so I decided to tie it off ASAP.

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Can you Spare a Rose on Valentines Day?

I make it a point not to publicly advocate for a lot of fundraising efforts--even on my own behalf--but the Spare a Rose campaign is worth an exception. I believe that it's really important to empower people with diabetes and show a proactive approach to this condition--and more importantly, to show that we have a choice in the way we approach its daily challenges--because many of us do. The elephant in the room is the obvious fact that not everyone enjoys that type of access to care and medicine.

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Zion climbing and hiking

Zion climbing and hiking is always fun--even when it's not. But let me clarify that statement because there are two types of fun. That's right, I wasn't just making a pun about my type 1 diabetes. Type 1 fun is enjoyable in the moment. It feels fun. Type 2 fun on the other hand just doesn't. One of my favorite quotes (I believe attributed to either John Long or Jim Bridwell) is "It doesn't have to be fun to be fun". Type 2 fun is more enjoyable when it's over and you've survived. Or healed. Or cleaned your soiled underwear. The beauty is that there is a choice to have fun which circumstances can't take away. Seems like this might apply to Type 1, too.

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What's it like in a tiny home?

I've had more than a few people ask 'what's it like in a tiny home'--or more specifically for a virtual tour of sorts. We moved into the trailer recently and the progress is slow but steady--and what better time to invite you in for a look. In this video I think you will get a sense (thanks to the ultra-wide angle GoPro lens) for how small the interior of the trailer is. Nevertheless I promised a tour and that's what you'll get!

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Diabetes and depression

Why would diabetes and depression possibly be an issue worth bringing up at this point? My blood sugar has been stellar of late, my climbing has been improving and I'm doing exactly what I set out to do in places that inspire me. It might seem that these positive factors would cancel out the possibility of feeling depressed--which is why Stefanie asked me, when I told her how I was feeling, 'Ok, so what is it that you're upset about?' That's a pretty natural question and I'd wonder the same thing if someone came to me feeling down--but the connection between diabetes and depression is less obvious (and I'd argue more difficult to explain, although I will give it a shot here!)

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Make time for adventure

My 17th "diaversary" or anniversary of my type 1 diabetes diagnosis (January 16th, 1999) is an occasion that I enjoy recognizing. I like to think that I am "outliving" this condition because if it "gets me" in the end, I will be able to guarantee that I was, at the least, not easy prey. It's been a constant reminder that I must make time for adventure --because time is limited. Morbid, perhaps, but that's a thought that goes through my head literally every day at multiple points. That's probably why in recent years my two biggest adventures have kicked off around this time in the winter when sane people are sipping coffee and planning summer vacations.Read more


Joshua Tree type 1 meetup: March 2016

By now I hope my mission to share the health benefits of adventure in the outdoors is resoundingly clear, but in case it's not, I'd like you to come to our Joshua Tree type 1 meetup. It will be happening March 4-6th in Joshua Tree National Park. It's free to join and there's plenty of fun outdoors to entertain people of all age groups--from the most adventure tolerant to the risk averse. If an unincorporated gathering of adventurous people with diabetes sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, read on!

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How does the keto diet work on the road?

In the last few posts I've been focused on the challenges (read: chaos) of getting adapted to living in a tiny home (trailer). That process is far from complete and while we are waiting I thought I would touch on a question I've been getting from a few people regarding the keto diet that I am using to control my type 1 diabetes and improve my climbing. Having to manage blood sugar can complicate even the simplest tasks and I can honestly say that dealing with the stress of this move would be impossible for me to tolerate if I had to devote more of my focus to erratic blood sugar swings. I've written a lot about how the keto diet has worked for me (including failures and challenges) but in this post I want to focus on how living on the road has impacted my ability to eat a low-carb high-fat diet.

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Organizing our tiny home: a new challenge

I know that posting a blog this near a weekend is a mortal sin in some circles but I have decided to take my chances because things are happening in a way that doesn't necessarily conform to traditional publishing schedules. After arriving in Utah with plans to be here for about a month, our first order of business is organizing our tiny home. I have to be honest and say that it's been punishing emotionally. It's more than just having fewer things--but this part of the process is about completely reshaping the way we see space. A friend commented on an Instagram post recently: "I envy your lack of things, but I'm not sure if I feel the same way about your lack of space".

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