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We have been out of town and I am just catching this posting midstream as it
To swim successfully you need a coach that understands the inherent
difficulties you face when combining this sport with Diabetes.
If this coach is not willing to adapt his coaching to your health needs, dump
him and try another team if one is available. There are so many swimming
programs in this country that there is probably another in the vicinity. You
have to have other teams to compete against so there must be some close by.
Interview coaches from the other teams. It will be easy to spot the one that
is right for you.
He/she will be excited to have you join the team and an opportunity to help a
kid deal positively with this illness. BG checks will be a norm, not a
This coach actually sounds rather stiff and not adaptable. I have seen coaches
like this many times and usually they do not want anyone on their team that
might interfere with their greatness. They also rarely achieve their perceived
If you want to swim you also need to discipline yourself to make the practices
as safe as possible. BG checks 30 minutes before swimming are mandatory and
then if needed repeat before entering the water. Eat a snack pre-swimming at
the same time of day each day and keep the snacks very similar in terms of
carbohydrate, protein and fat. Keep log books that are so detailed you can
refer back to them months later and understand what you wrote down.
Learn your bodies response to swimming. To do this check your BG's 30 minutes
into practice, then 60 minutes and then at the end of practice for a 90 minute
practice. Do this for a few days to get an idea of when you begin to drop
and/or elevate. When you have established a pattern decrease the number of
times you need to check. The best way to have a satisfying experience is to
learn to head off the lows before they happen.
Do not check your BG in the middle of a set unless you feel low. Keep your
meter and a appropriate carbohydrate on the pool deck. Never go to the locker
room alone for this.
Do your maintenance checks at the end of sets and get in and out of the pool
quickly so you cause as little disruption as possible to the several other
swimmers in your lane practicing. You will earn you coaches gratitude because
you are helping him to keep 60 plus kids focused and practicing safely.
Let him know when your BG is low and you need to sit out a few minutes to eat
a carbohydrate and recharge your batteries. But, get back in and swim as soon
as you can. You will earn his and your teammates respect because you do not
quit, just take necessary time outs.
Swimming is great, but tough. Find a supportive coach, set some goals and stay
wet and winning.
Pam, mom to Sara
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