Diabetic Fitness,  Diabetic Life

Deciding to Succeed: 4 Decisions To Take Your Type 1 Diabetes Goals To The Finish Line

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This post, Deciding to Succeed: 4 Decisions To Take Your Type 1 Diabetes Goals To The Finish Line, began to write itself in my head while staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool. It occurred to me that there are many similarities between the decision to finish a workout and the decision to care for my Type 1 Diabetes.

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What Day Is It?

It’s Wednesday again. It seems to come around every week at this time. Wednesday means swim day. Wednesday means it is time to do the one workout I dread every week but is also means that I will feel like I can take on the world before 6:00am.

I was never on a swim team and I never trained in any way other than YMCA swim lessons as a kid. Still, I know the benefits of swimming and I know that my joints and back are very happy to be in the water. For that reason I have committed to getting in the pool at least once a week.

Every Tuesday night I set my bag in the living room and honestly dread the workout I will be waking up to complete. The alarm goes off at 4:40am and for a brief second I think it might be Tuesday but I quickly realize this is a fun game my mind is playing. Instead, it is once again Wednesday and it is time to get wet.

Reasons To Stay Out Of The Pool

Why do I dread swim workouts? Here’s a few of my favorite reasons

With so very many reasons/excuses to stay in bed and stay dry, why on earth would I drag myself to that pool and take the plunge?

There is one, single, solitary reason I get in that pool every Wednesday…the last lap.

The last lap shifts in my mindset from focusing on the huge task ahead to focusing on the huge task I just completed. There is confidence in that last lap that I allow myself to soak up and hang onto throughout the day.

While the last lap feels so good and leaves me craving it each week, it is the tiny decisions made throughout the whole workout that are the biggest successes.

Decision #1: Decide To Show Up

As some of you have read in my previous post, “Talking To Myself At 4:40am”, there is a lot of internal chatter going on immediately after my alarm goes off. There is no quieting the voices in my head and the convincing arguments they make to stay in bed.

There are no tricks to getting up early to workout. It stinks, its hard and it doesn’t get easier but, it is important to me, my health and my sanity. The only way to get out of that bed is to make the decision to do it. Every morning I make the same conscience decision to show up despite what my head is telling me.

Decision #2: Get In The Pool

Swimming pools for lap swimming are not kept at a “relaxing resort” temperature. Lap pools are cold. Standing on the edge with a small amount of that “curled up in bed” warmth still on your skin makes you question your sanity.

In my opinion there is only one fool proof way to get in the pool…just get in. Don’t think, don’t go slow, just get your butt in the pool.

Decision #3: Survive The First 10 Minutes

Like clockwork my body revolts through the first ten minutes of swimming. The first length is always effortless but after lap two my body reminds me that I was created with feet and not fins.

It would be so very easy to claim that today is just not the day and my mind races through excuses for why I feel so tired or sore. During this first ten minutes my mind never fails to try to convince me to cut my workout short.

Finally, minute 11 arrives but I rarely ever notice it. By the time minute 11 shows up my mind has wandered miles and my motions have become mechanical and rhythmic.

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Decision #4: Make It Worth It

During those grueling first ten minutes I compile a list of reasons I should cut my workout short. 25 minutes in and still feeling strong a decision needs to be made. Finish my typical 45-50 minute swim or call it quits. Thanks to conquering the first three decisions, making this fourth decision is fairly simple.

I showed up, got in the pool and survived the hardest mental and physical part of this workout, I am worth the effort it takes to finish this thing and get that final reward, the last lap.

Deciding to get to the last lap is truly the biggest accomplishment of my swim workouts. There is no skipping steps and there is no easy way out. Only through embracing each challenge as it comes am I able to touch the wall for the final time and know that I conquered another Wednesday swim.

Swimming In The Diabetes Pool

Today’s swim got me thinking about these decisions and how they coincide with life as a Type 1 Diabetic. I recently posted a picture on my Facebook page (@sweetbasal) stating that Type 1 Diabetic’s, on average, make over 180 extra decisions a day. So, yes, if we appear distracted there may be a reason.

That being said, it would be so very easy for me or any Type 1 Diabetic to make excuses and allow this disease to control us instead of making one decision at a time to reach our goal.

We all have unique goals based on where we are on this Type 1 Diabetes journey. Perhaps you are a new diabetic learning in hyper speed or someone trying to bring their A1c down a few points. Maybe you are considering or just starting to use an insulin pump or maybe you are pregnant with twins (been there!).

Whatever the goal, there is only one person who can take the steps to reach that goal…YOU.

READ: Step Out And Unleash Your Superpower

Decide To Show Up

There is also only one way to start…decide to show up. Thinking about a goal and talking about it will not take anyone any closer to reaching that goal. We all need to make the conscience decision to show up at the starting line and take the first step.

That may mean fighting off excuses, influences and fears but you will truly never know what you are capable of unless you try.

Jump In

Once you have made the decision to start you have to be ready to take the plunge and just get your butt in the pool. Throw yourself at your goal and immerse yourself in the mindset that you are doing this and you are not making excuses. Surround yourself with positive support, research, learn, and acknowledge your small victories.

Word of Warning: Obstacles Ahead

While the first few steps may feel so easy and carefree, know that struggles and obstacles will find you. It’s time to make the choice, are you going to fight past the ugly part in the beginning or are you going to back down? No one can make you stick with it, only you can make the choice to get to the other side.

Anyone here remember your first day of school or your first day playing a new sport as a kid? Horrible right? How about your first day at a new job or the first week after you brought your baby home? The early moments of most life experiences is messy, stressful and confusing. You made it through this stage before and you will survive this too.

Get To Your Last Lap

Lastly, you’ve put in the effort you stayed committed. You are worth the effort it takes to see it through to the end. Stay the course, work hard, keep learning, and commit to not cutting your goal short.

There will always be a new goal, a new challenge but as you reach that last lap remember to let yourself be consumed by your success. Let the victory seep into your core and let it play in your inner monolouge on repeat.

I Love Writing About Goals. Check Out These Posts For More Inspiration To Go Get Your Finish Line! Go After Your Goals Like A Kid In A Toy Store, The Blog That Almost Didn’t Happen: See The Risk And Do It Anyway

Confession Time: After my workout, despite showering, my skin hangs onto the chlorine smell throughout the day. Truth be told, I love catching that smell on my hands throughout the day as a reminder of what I accomplished that morning.

It’s OK to feel pride and confidence with each success, in fact I encourage it!

Type 1 Diabetes and the challenges it brings never takes a break. There are no days off and this makes it very easy to feel overwhelmed. In these moments it is important to remember to take each new challenge one decision at a time. Decide to start and decide to finish. You are capable of reaching the last lap of your goal and each success will propel you towards your next goal.

Have you subscribed to Sweet Basal? Click the subscribe button on this page and new posts will be sent directly to your email. (I promise no junk mail, just posts). Also don’t forget to follow along on Facebook @sweetbasal and most importantly please keep sharing these posts! Thanks a bunch for reading!

Diabetic Mama of Twins fueled by my family, working out, eating, dog walking, getting lost in the woods and insulin. Writing to share the journey this Type 1 diagnosis has taken me on since 2007.

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