Blood sugar management is not as easy as these campers made it look. They checked and did whatever was necessary so that they could be successful on the bike. This was also the first time that I saw campers interacting, "What was your number?", "Do you like gels or bars while riding" "Do you like riding with a pump?" Just hours earlier all of the campers were sitting in their dorms looking at one another scared to talk. Now they were becoming friends and talking about what each other did while on the bike when it came to diabetes management. These conversations were the foundation of a friendship that will last a lifetime. As the ride continued campers would drop back to the team car grabbing more water bottles for themselves and the other campers. With temperatures close to 100 degrees, not having enough food or fluids could cause major problems. The heat made the budding friendships even stronger, you could see campers conversing while on the bike making sure each other were ok.
As the training ride ended, back at campus the importance of blood sugar management post ride was the topic. Knowing where your blood sugar was and what you needed food wise to recover was the teaching point. After another great meal at the dining hall it was off to Yoga for everyone at the camp. Personally I didn't know what to expect, would the campers take yoga seriously? Many were nervous as we rode over in the team vans, in the van I started to see true friendships forming as junior team members joked with the campers and brought a level of fun to all. The junior and development teams, which are amazingly talented when it comes to racing, are teams that have a lot of personality. They are a family and were welcoming the campers as new members of this family. They would do so by picking on them for clothing choices or hair styles. It was done in a playful manner which put everyone at ease. Junior team members would share stories of when they attended camp and how nervous they were. Once we arrived at the yoga studio you could see the campers walking a little taller and slowly coming out of their shells. While at yoga everyone learned the importance of flexibility when it came to cycling and how yoga could help. They also learned the importance of proper breathing techniques and how to relax their body while riding a bike at over 20mph.
Wednesday night after dinner all campers attended a class entitled Diabetes & Exercise management. This was the part of camp that I didn't expect. Going in to the camp I thought it would be a camp that taught a little bit about diabetes but was more geared towards cycling. I was very wrong, diabetes management was the major focus. I can't say this enough but if the cyclists don't manage their diabetes than they cannot perform their best on the bike. Camp was my first inside look at how team members manage their diabetes and race successfully with diabetes. As fans of Team Novo Nordisk we only see the work the team puts in on the bike. After a week at camp I can say that Team Novo Nordisk members work harder off the bike than they do on the bike, that is saying a lot. We see the races and the training, we all know how tough a mountain climb can be on the bike, team members put the same amount of work into their diabetes management. Team Novo Nordisk is truly a team, I would say they’re a family because they have so much in common and have to be close to race at such a high level. The family doesn't care just about the performance on the bike, I couldn't believe the number of times a team member asked another team member or a camper how they were doing when it came to their diabetes. That is what this camp is all about, many of us don't know another person from our community living with diabetes. We have amazing technology that allows us to connect with people all over the world that are living with diabetes but nothing beats being face to face with someone living with diabetes. The Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID camp gives campers that chance.