We did a hiking trip last week in Arches & Canyonlands NPs. We did 4 full days of hiking book-ended by 2 half days of hiking (arrival/departure). This was my first time doing a multi-day hiking trip like this.
These few days rank among the best experiences of my life. We hiked for 8-11 miles on the full days. We were just surrounded by beauty and awesomeness the whole time. The week started a little rough, but then I figured things out, and I was in fantastic range the last 3 full days & half day.
This feels like a really big deal to me because a couple weeks before the trip we went hiking with a group of super fit people who hiked at a really intense pace. Afterward, My feet were really beat up, I had a severe headache and felt nauseous, and I had a pulled muscle in my leg. I didn’t prep my bg levels properly before the hike because I underestimated the difficulty - specifically the pace. We also arrived at the trailhead earlier than I expected so my timing was off. I really struggled to keep everything in range which made the hike really hard for me. On our trip, we did longer hikes of a similar difficulty level (most were technically more challenging), but my bg levels were in much better range. My muscles handled that fine and my feet were totally fine as well. My body doesn’t handle exercise well when my bg is not in range. My energy levels and abilities are profoundly impacted.
I was so discouraged after that hike that I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to go with the group again, and I became worried I wouldn’t be able to do the hikes we had planned in Utah that I was so excited to do. Quite the opposite occurred though. I feel like having multiple days of hiking really helped me see how I can adjust in the future in order to make an intense hike like that work. I now wonder if the pace wouldn’t have affected me as much if I’d known the best ways to adjust for an intense hike like that. For shorter or slow-paced hikes, I can feed my basal, but for an intense or longer hike, I need a 2 unit basal decrease (in addition to other adjustments I make) or I’m going to run into trouble - roller coasters and resistant lows.
When we finished an 11 mile hike with 2,000+ feet of elevation gain on our last day, I felt so powerful! We’d had an amazing adventure and seen beautiful sights, and my bg had been in range the entire day. I felt truly unlimited
Anyway, I guess I’m just sharing my joy with people who are more likely to understand. I tried to communicate my frustration to my boyfriend after the hike that went poorly, and his response was - “but you did well on the hike!” I think my struggles were largely invisible to those around me, and I guess that is how I want it. But I think you guys can understand without much of an explanation- that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve experienced a hard moment with diabetes and then turned around and beat it so that you could pursue your passions and live your life to the fullest.
Thanks for being here!