As I arrived at camp on Tuesday afternoon I was greeted by members of the Team Novo Nordisk Development team and the Team Novo Nordisk Junior Team. Members of these teams were the "camp counselors" for the week. Each team member would be assigned camp attendees and would have to make sure that they were at meals, meetings and rides at the designated times. Members of the Team Novo Nordisk staff would also be at the camp for the week and these members make the camp!! Without the following people the camp would not be as great as it is. Everything that I talk about, these people made sure that happened and made the week so special for everyone that attended. Matt Vogel, Vice President of Marketing and Medical Affairs; Amber Medley, Program Director, Elite Athletes; Morgan Brown, Talent ID Program Manager; Olga Schmidt, Development Team Soigneur; Daniel Holt, Development Team General Manager; Thomas Brown, Development Team Assistant Sports Director; Gleb Groysman, Performance Coach; Nick Eremin, Development Team Mechanic; Thomas Raeymaekers, Junior Team Sport Director; Justine Lyons, RN/NP, Medical Team; and Charlotte Hayes, MMSC,MS,RD,CDE, Director of Research and Education. All of these members of the team have an extensive knowledge of cycling and life with diabetes. When I met all of these individuals and learned their history and jobs with the team I was beyond impressed. These people live and breathe cycling and diabetes, all of the campers are getting first hand experiences and knowledge when they share stories about life with diabetes and being on the bike.
Less than an hour after arriving at the University of Georgia campus I was introducing myself to members of the junior and development team. Some I had met before when I was covering races that they competed in while in New England last summer. Others I didn't know but somehow they knew me, "Wait you're the diabetic cyclist? I love your site!!" Talk about being star struck, I look up to these guys as cyclists living with diabetes and they like my blog, that made my week!! As the campers began to arrive the members of the junior and development team welcomed them with open arms. Campers were coming from all over the globe, England, Spain, Australia and Uzbekistan. That is what makes Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID Camp so great, you can be from Dallas, Toronto, Oslo, Tokyo, or Moscow, if you love cycling and are living with diabetes Team Novo Nordisk will welcome you to camp.
As the campers arrived you could see the fear and how nervous they were to be in a new place with people they had never met before. This is where the junior and development team members took over, watching team members talk and interact with the campers you would have never known they had never met. With a ratio of three campers to one Team Novo Nordisk member gave the camp a very intimate feeling. Once the campers filled out paper work and got checked in for camp it was time for the first of many meetings that would be held throughout the week. The first meeting officially welcomed the campers to the Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID camp.
The first meeting of camp was an introduction and explained what the campers would being doing for the week. This meeting was not sugar coated. Each attendee was there for a reason, they could ride a bike very very well, but being a member of Team Novo Nordisk is not just about what you can do on the bike. Self management when it came to diabetes was the main topic, it was very simple "the more you check your blood sugar the better”. That message stuck with me all week, if you want to be the best you better make sure that your blood sugar is in your target range. We all know of the symptoms that come with a blood sugar that is out of range, when you're out of range you can't be your best.
The staff and healthcare team for Team Novo Nordisk is one of the best in the world and all week they taught campers about the importance of diabetes management, working closely with your healthcare team, and knowing everything that you can about your body. The campers learned that they can't be at their best if they don't sleep at least nine and a half hours a day. They learned about portion sizes and what foods need to go in their body so that they can turn that into fuel while on the bike. These facts have stuck with me just two days removed from camp, I have returned home a new man when it comes to diabetes management, sleep and diet. At the age of 33 if I'm learning new things and taking them home with me then you better believe a teenager hoping to be a professional cyclist will take what they learned back home with them