First of all, I would like to start by thanking Sam for working so hard to give the diabetic community a resource like Game Plan T1D. As somebody so new to the condition its really inspiring to see so many of us achieving great things in different sports, and gives me confidence that my own much more humble goals are achievable.
I’m Marcus Pezzaioli and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, just 7 months ago, in April 2018. It’s been a massive adjustment, after 32 years previously of nothing more serious than the odd cold, but I’m trying to look on the bright side… it’s certainly made me start thinking a whole lot more about what I eat, and my health in general.
My baby son is only 1 week younger than my diabetes (so 2018 has been quite a crazy year…), and while I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been tough mentally, the desire to stay healthy as part of being a good dad has motivated me to take action, and deal with this challenge the best I can.
My Game Plan
After a lot of apprehension about how my blood sugars would react, I started experimenting with exercise, just going for the odd jog for a mile or so. In September I decided I needed to set a clear, definitive goal and running a 5k seemed perfect. (A short enough distance to be able to hit my goal quickly, but not so short to be completely underwhelming).
Rather arbitrarily I gave myself 6 weeks, with a vague idea of adding distance slowly, believing that if I managed 2.5 miles (with a 5k being 3 miles) the week beforehand, I would be able to do it. And you know what? It worked! Hopefully anyone who is feeling inspired by the impressive athletes who have appeared on Game Plan T1D, but has a little fear over getting started can look at me and think to themselves ‘You know what? If he can do it, so can I!’
I learned an awful lot about exercising with type 1 when preparing for my 5k and reading around the subject. I gave some advice, along with links to resources that had helped me, in this article: https://diabeticstokebloke.com/10-tips-that-helped-me-to-run-a-5k-with-type-1-diabetes/
If anybody out there is struggling with getting back into exercise with type 1 diabetes, or knows somebody who is, please reach out. I’ve been there, I know what is like.