Sunday, October 23, 2011

Step Out Walk For Diabetes

Today was the 5-mile Step Out Walk for diabetes. It went really well. I trained so much for the event, but I never feel quite ready the day before I do any of these walks. Still, once we got to South Street Seaport, I was ready to go and I maintained that energy all through the walk. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I loved taking in the view as we marched over th Brooklyn Bridge.

I've done walks for suicide prevention, the March Of Dimes, leukemia, autism, but this time, I was doing a walk for something that affects me so I had even more motivation to complete it. Plus, this was the most I've walked since I had my ankle surgery, so I felt as if I were beating two health issues.

Over 3000 people participated, which was great, especially since so much money was raised for the American Diabetes Association. There were people of every type there: kids, babies, elderly, even two guys who did the entire walk on stilts! The atmosphere was festive at Pier 17 and everyone was dancing as a live band played.

Still, there were reminders of how deadly diabetes can be and that hit home for me. There were several teams walking in honor of a loved one who'd died from the disease. There was one guy who was blind and had obviously lost his sight from diabetes. There were several people in wheelchairs or who were limping because diabetes had robbed them of their ability to walk. Scary stuff. I admired these people for going ahead with a major walk and at the same time was thankful that I'm in decent health -- for now, anyway.

I really need to keep my health intact now; that's the trick. Between the diabetes and my thyroid issues, I feel like I'm juggling six balls in the air, but my blood sugar, liver, vision, legs and heart are all in good shape (knock on wood). Walking today in the bright sunshine reinfornced for me how fortunate I am to be healthy when just months ago, I was steps away from being in the hospital.

That said, I'm already thinking about the future and what I'm going to do to stay well and stay steps ahead of my disease. Eating is going very well. I'm still enjoying a lot of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Today' menu was a little odd because I had three power bars during the walk, but that was necessary to give me energy. The rest of the time, though, I've been staying away from treats and have been having yogurt for dessert.

I'd also like to continue walking. I have a bad habit of doing a big walk and then slacking off, but I won't do that this time. I'm already looking into the next walk and am planning ahead for the spring. We have a big wedding coming up in Nigeria, believe it or not, so I want to be in good shape for traveling to such an exotic place.

But today was a great way to get going! I'm proud of the work I've done since getting diagnosed, and was happy to celebrate in such a positive environment.

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