As I headed back to my dorm room I noticed a lot of the campers dorm room doors were wide open. Wednesday night all of the doors were closed and it was quiet. Thursday afternoon the campers were in each others rooms and talking about the camp. They were slowly becoming a family right in front of my eyes. Friendships were being formed as more and more chatter was being heard between the campers at dinner Thursday night as they prepared for bike handling games. Campers spread out all over the dining hall wondering exactly what bike handling games were.
It is no secret that anyone can ride a bike really fast. Pro cyclists don't just ride fast, cycling is a very technical sport that demands nerves of steel and bike handling skills that could amaze anyone. After my poor showing on the ride I figured sticking to pictures and taking notes would be the best option while they had the games.
These games brought the campers even closer together. Working as four mini teams the campers came together to prove which team was the best. The winner of the night’s event would have bragging rights for 24 hours. The two hours of games were so intense yet so fun that I would be disappointed if I shared what the games were. What I can tell you is that games made every one in attendance a family. It was that eye opening for me personally, event after event campers were going up to one another and telling each other how impressed they were with their skills. Everyone in attendance had heart and they wore them on their sleeves for everyone to see. They let each other in to their lives as cyclist and as athletes living with diabetes, it was plain to see as they rode their bikes back to campus with huge smiles on their faces.
In closing Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID camp is a life changing experience for each and every person in attendance. As someone that has been living with diabetes for twenty-five years and seen every side of diabetes I have to say this was simply amazing. For anyone living with diabetes this is a camp that changes lives, yes the ultimate goal is to be on Team Novo Nordisk and racing at the Tour de France but even if campers don't realize that goal their lives have been changed. Campers leave with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to self care and diabetes. They also walk away as better cyclists, but the most important thing they will walk away with are friends that know exactly how they feel when it comes to racing with diabetes. Not too many know that feeling but with each new day more and more people are learning about Team Novo Nordisk and how the team is changing diabetes. Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID camp has been growing each year, personally my goal is to do all that I can to get more and more teenagers living with diabetes to this camp. Diabetes and a bike, it will teach you more about yourself, life and friendship than anything else could. It doesn't matter if you have never raced a bike or if you're a seasoned veteran, I encourage all young, endurance athletes with diabetes to apply for the 2017 Team Novo Nordisk Talent ID camp, it will change your life forever!! I can't thank everyone at Team Novo Nordisk enough for the invite to camp, each and every member of the team is like family and has done so much for me on and off the bike!! I know that I'm not the only one with that feeling and I will do my best to make sure more and more people get the experience that I have these past three years as my obsession with the team has grown!!