My friend and nemesis

Exercise. For a time, a few years ago, I trained and did a 30 mile Tour de Cure. I did this largely due to my daughter trying to help me find a workable exercise routine that my persnickety demands could live with. I also did it to support my compatriots in the struggle to live with type 1 diabetes while raising research money, hopefully, for a cure. Win-win. My daughter proudly led her dad to his best exercise routine in a long time. I accepted her gift with the understanding of how great this was for my health.

The training was great fun. My diabetes was in very good control, I brought my A1c down, I ate better, my blood pressure, cholesterol and cardio panel all improved. The list of benefits regular cycling brought goes on and on. Exercise is good!That doesn’t make it an easy commitment to make.

I continued to ride after the tour and really enjoyed cycling. I was riding about 10 miles a day, first thing after a calculated breakfast and snack packing! As time went by my family became more and more concerned about my safety and well-being out on the road. Not because of my diabetes, I maintained excellent control, but because of the incredible danger of riding through a tree-lined, hilly, suburban terrain. I persisted for several more weeks. I finally found something that really worked and was easy to do. Get up, get my bike and start to ride. Perfect. But the father of a friend of my daughter’s broke his neck in a cycling accident and that was when I stopped.

That was about a year ago and since then I couldn’t find something to take its place. I don’t enjoy the gym. I did it for a bit but, as often happens, the routine got old and I tapered off to a complete stop. It’s been that way ever since. I walk about 20 to 30 minutes a day and that’s it. Granted the walking I do is great and helps my sugar level off better post breakfast. It is still not enough for, what I have learned to be over the years, the minimal exercise needs that keep my sugar in control and my over-all health optimal.

What to do? Swim. I could swim. I like swimming and it is an excellent workout. Sold. Here’s the problem: I have to drive to the gym to use the pool and I take the bus to work. The gym is in the opposite direction of the bus stop that I can walk to from my house. My morning schedule is already tight and I also know from experience that morning is my time to exercise. So this is a challenging dilemma.

Now I am getting up an hour earlier to fit this into my schedule. I drive to the gym, swim for about a half hour and drive back home to shower and get ready for work. I have missed my usual bus every time I’ve tried this new routine. Tomorrow I will get up another 1/2 hr earlier and try again.

The good news is that I enjoy the swim which means I will try to continue. The bad news is I am a night person and rising earlier and earlier could make this schedule unsustainable. Right now I will try and get on an everyday swim schedule until I am sufficiently addicted to the need for the swim. Once I’m addicted to the swim I can relax a little and get a little extra sleep… but not too much for fear of falling back to the sloth-like state I was in before this new determination! I really want this to last.

Stay tuned…