Have you ever been in the middle of a long run, or a great solo ride or some other great endeavour and felt selfish?
This thought dawned on me in the middle of a long run this past weekend. It’s not the first time the thought has reared its ugly head. I don’t know why I thought of it on this particular run, but I did. Maybe it’s how much time I already spend on “myself” – even half-baked diabetes management takes time. I don’t ask anyone to shoulder this disease, but my wife is a very active participant in sharing my lifestyle. Still, while we’ve changed our lifestyle it still feels like we’re all doing it for me. It feels selfish. We weigh every food item, portion it out, spend time to plan meals (while balancing macronutrients) and the list goes on. On top of that, I spend a lot of my mental time thinking about my blood glucose, why is it trending a certain way, what can I do better, what am I doing right. So, long story short – I feel like I/we spend a lot of time on me because of diabetes.
So on top of that I add on long bike ride (3+ hours), a 20k+ run, whatever. Something that takes time to plan and execute. Something that takes time away from my family. It starts to feel like I’m being selfish. I have to remind myself that this is mental trickery – that diabetes management does not put me in some kind of “debt”. It’s just part of who I am, it’s part of my normal, and that I should not feel like I’m being selfish when I’m out trying to improve myself and train, but still, the thought creeps into my head.
The irony of these thoughts is that I am notorius for not taking rest days. I crave the endorphins and I love what it’s done for my blood sugar management. I struggle to allow myself rest days – but I do, because they feel good and your body needs time to recover. Maybe this adds to my selfishness – because I know how much I crave activity. And maybe it’s good that I am mindful of how I spend my time, and make sure that it is well spent.
Then to bring everything full circle, I check my CGMS, put my head down and keep on running, keep on pedalling, and keep on living. And I remember I have a wonderful family that supports me as I put in these long hours. Diabetes takes time – that’s the truth, and we don’t have to feel selfish about the time it takes to get it right.