This won’t be the first time I say that meeting, talking with and learning the stories of adults living with diabetes provide me great support, hope and inspiration. The thing – the only thing – that gave me comfort when Caleb was first diagnosed was hearing about anyone leading a normal life with diabetes. We had just entered a world we knew nothing about and had great uncertainty. Knowing about anyone managing this disease while achieving their uncompromised goals is what got me through those early days.
Since then I’ve encountered more people than I can count who have continued to inspire me. Among them are athletes. Athletes touch me in a special way. It has everything to do with the difficulty I personally have with keeping Caleb’s blood sugar in range when he swims, plays baseball or just generally runs around outside like the free spirit he is.
The commitment, dedication, planning, determination and tenacity it takes to be an athlete with diabetes is something I cannot completely wrap my brain around. The enormity of that compared to Caleb going for a swim is too much for me to fully appreciate.
I am in awe of what these athletes accomplish.
I root for my friends Bradford and Gary. I look forward to hearing about their race successes and soak up their blog posts like a sponge. Other heroes: Phil Southerland, Kris Freeman, Jay Cutler, Brandon Morrow and now Cliff Scherb.
Cliff is currently in Hawaii preparing to compete in the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona – the Ironman of Ironmans. Cliff holds the Ironman title of second fastest type 1 diabetic with his success in Florida, but hopes to beat the world record for a type 1 diabetic in Kona of 9 hours and 50 minutes.
If you don’t know what an Ironman entails, read this excerpt from the Ford Ironman World Champion site:
How long are the distances in the Ford Ironman World Championship and what are the cutoff times?
The swim is 2.4 miles and the cutoff is 2 hrs. and 20 min., the bike is 112 miles and the cutoff time is 10 hrs and 30 min from the beginning of the race and the run is a full marathon which is 26.2 miles and the cutoff time is 17 hours from the beginning of the race.
I find managing type 1 diabetes through 30 minutes of uncompetetive swimming a complete struggle. Cliff is undertaking more than 9 hours of swimming, running and biking. Saying it’s remarkable doesn’t seem to give it proper justice; it’s so much more than that.
I first heard about Cliff about a year ago when this local news report aired:
Yep, he’s an OmniPodder. Not that he has to be to get my respect, but since Caleb also uses the OmniPod, it makes Cliff just a little more relatable. I remember being excited for Cliff then and thinking this report was well done. Both Cliff and Max Gomez did a nice job explaining type 1 diabetes and how difficult managing it and being a triathlete is. Bravo gentlemen!
I’ve read more about Cliff here. If you read nothing else of this article, scroll down to the final question and his response. Cliff has an amazing attitude.
So on October 9th we’ll be excited and watching to see if Cliff meets his goal. You can watch the live stream too – right here.
Cliff is yet another inspiration to help make our own personal journey with type 1 diabetes a little easier.
Thank you Cliff and best of luck!