A striking thought came to me at Darden Days this past weekend. Darden Days is the University of Virginia's admitted MBA student "sell weekend," so I was around about 300 of my future classmates for the first time. Several of the future students know me as the guy who is training for an Ironman (we have an on-line triathlon group) but few know the reasons behind why I signed up for Lake Placid. As I held my hands under a desk to test before our mock case and hurriedly gobbled up 1/2 a clif bar to treat a low I realized; I'm not always forthcoming about my disease.
It isn't that I hide my disease (obviously; I blog about it and let the JDRF write an article about me) but when I introduce myself to others I don't let Type 1 diabetes define me. Two future classmates are quickly becoming close friends of mine, I've hung out with each twice in NYC and spent the majority of the weekend with them at UVA. Neither knew that I had Type 1 and as fate would have it, Rob's older brother has juvenile diabetes (a future classmate who knows how to recognize lows is a god send). Jacki had originally thought that my pump was a cell phone and Rob hadn't a clue until he saw me test in our hotel room late Friday night.
Those that know me as a Triathlete asked if I "win my age groups," or "if this will be my first Ironman." To those that don't know the motivation behind my triathlon training I'm simply a guy chasing glory or athletic challenges. When I expose the reasons behind this crazy dream the attitude of the conversation changes to one of inspiration from pure athletic pursuits. It was a great feeling to have 3 people whom I let know my motivation for the Ironman pause and say something to the effect of "that's really cool." I guess more than anything this past weekend let me realize that diabetes will never define who I am but will push me to make sure it never does.