Tomorrow at 4:30 pm I fly out from Washington DC to the land where the beer flows like wine, to a little place called Aspen. I am incredibly excited for this trip; about 20 of my classmates and I are headed out for a week of skiing and drinking to celebrate the finish of our third semester at Darden. This is also the first opportunity I'll have to go on an extended ski trip in nearly two years; I went from skiing around 20 days a year to hitting the slopes just 4 times in the past two years! And hey if the snow doesn't work out maybe I can find a countess who will pay off my student loans in exchange for being her pool boy.
One of the things I'm most excited about is the view from the top of the mountain. One of the things I absolutely love about skiing is looking out onto the world from a snow covered mountain. There are no industrial sounds, the wind drowns out the voices around me and one can see for miles. The serenity of being surrounded by nature balanced by the development you can see in the towns at the mountain's edge is one of the most beautiful sights I can think of. There is something so peaceful about that view and for whatever reason it helps put everything into perspective.
There are two huge challenges when it comes to skiing and managing blood sugars (I was eventually going to have a point to this post). The first is ensuring that my meter doesn't get too cold so I'm still able to test. Last year during my two days of skiing I attempted to use my Freestyle and that worked disastrously. My sensor became too cold and stopped reporting to the receiver; I was unaware of how finicky the Navigator was at this point so for the rest of the day I had to ski without knowing what my blood sugars were. The second challenge is understanding how much nutrition to take in to have stable blood sugars. Nutrition needs vary widely due to what trails are open, how deep the snow is and how fast the lifts are moving. If I really have to push through snow to get my board moving my quads will need more glucose to fire; similarly if the terrain is pretty technical my muscles will need a lot more energy than if it's a long easy slope. For the most part I'll know what trails will be open before I hit the mountain, but knowing how fast the lifts will move is a total wild card. If the lifts are moving super quick I can get in 30 runs; if they are moving really slowly I can be limited to 10 runs – obviously the more exercise the more glucose needed.
At some point today I'll finish my paper on tax credits for renewable energy and then it's off to have some fun, run some hills in Aspen while surrounded by some great friends. I think we'll all have some sadness though as we all know, only one semester left until its back to the real world.