I’ve got a Tour de Cure ride coming up this weekend. Naturally, my bike had not gotten much use over the past…2012. So it seemed prudent to dust off the spokes (and fill up the tires with air) and hop on the WOD for a few miles. A few turned in to fifteen, but it was a necessary, and welcome respite from the insanity that was my work day. It certainly helped decompress a bit and also distract me from the fact that Dayle is still in South Africa until Sunday.
Tangent: Who thought of that? That person is a genius!
Other than the occasional hill and stop sign waiting for traffic to pass, the ride was actually kind of boring. This isn’t a complaint, just an observation. I think this is a good thing because the only exciting things associated with riding a bike that I can think of at the moment involve an epic crash or accident. I can do with out those.
As I started to slow down during the last mile of my ride I was passed by a group of riders. This isn’t new to me, I’m not exactly Phil Southerland out there. But through my ear buds I could hear the last member of this group politely yell “Hey, Red Rider!” and extend his fist in a bump-expecting manner. Granted, the back of this jersey says “I RIDE WITH DIABETES!” so anyone with the gift of sight can connect the dots, but it was still nice to share a moment with a total stranger who, I hope, knew what I go through on a day-to-day basis.
Yes, I did reciprocate the fist bump. And I did explode it. He did not, but since he initiated said bump, I wasn’t going to hate.
For me, living with diabetes and advocating for awareness are always at odds. I’m not ashamed of my diabetes but I don’t go out of my way to show off my insulin pens or Dexcom receiver with the hopes that someone will ask me what I’m doing. That may make me a bad diabetes advocate, but I think it’s a little presumptuous to throw my diabetes in everyone’s faces expecting them to take an interest. If an opportunity to educate arises I don’t often shy away from those moments, but I think a little humility goes a long way with this whole advocacy thing.
But putting on this Red Rider jersey always gives me a huge sense of pride. Maybe it’s because I’m going to a diabetes related event, so it’s okay to be a little more show-offy about my diabetes. Maybe it’s because the statement “I RIDE WITH DIABETES!” has a lot of fine print along the lines of “Yes, I have diabetes. Yes, it sucks. No, it does not stop me from doing anything. I’m bigger, better and more badass than this disease.” It’s there on the jersey, you just have to look very, very close. I put this jersey on and I feel super human. Putting this jersey on makes me feel proud of my diabetes – which doesn’t happen often.
Simply put: It’s really, really cool.
Oh, then there’s this…
I’m still a ways away from my fundraising goal. If you’ve got a few dollars to spare.