Climbing Mountains And Managing Diabetes

It comes with the territory of being an athlete really, but when someone sets me a challenge I usually have to accept it, if I think it's possible and if I'm doing it, then I may as well do it well. I might be on holiday at the moment, but that doesn't stop me from being active. So when the holiday rep told us about the famous mountain overlooking Lake Garda this morning, and then went on to mention that the resort record for the climb was 27 minutes. Well that was as good as challenge accepted!

We decided that it would be more sensible to climb the mountain out of the midday heat. As the temperature at lunch time had been 34 degrees. So about 4 o'clock we made our way to the church of St.Maria which also marked the start of our incline along the La Rocca path of the mountain. As you can see from the photos, the steepness of the incline was extreme, as was the rock underfoot that consisted of the terrain! I tested my blood glucose levels before setting off for the climb and I'd received a reading of 9.8mmol. So I'd had some chocolate and dropped my background basal by 40%.

About a quarter of the way into the 6km round hike it was time to test my blood sugars, because the sweat was pouring off us and despite some coverage from the tree canopy above, it was still pretty warm. My blood sugars had dropped to 6.3mmol, which I know is a comfortable range for some people to be at. But for, me whilst I was still exercising, the only direction my blood sugars were heading in was down. So whilst we were still going up, I took on some of the sugary drink and dextrose tablets that we were carrying with us and continued. At this point my partner asked me if I wanted to stop and go back down. To which I enthusiastically declined, because unpredictable blood sugars can happen at ground level, so why should they stop me now so long as I was safe? We just made sure to stop a little while later on to test and check that my blood sugars had risen a little.

The incline continued to increase as we made our way up the mountain, and the rocky steps were replaced by just rocks. But this mountain path was called La Rocca after all and it was well named in my opinion. About 100m from the summit we were treated to a break in the trees and the view we could glimpse was already astounding. This gave us the last push we needed to get to the top of the mountain, to receive our reward of the spectacular views over Lake Garda. We could see out across the lake for miles, reaching to the shore line on the West side. To the east we could see rolling vineyards rising up towards snow topped mountains and sloping down to the shore of the lake. If the mountain walk alone took our breath away from exertion, well the views left us completely breathless and made the climb all worth while. We also set a new mountain climb record of 24 minutes, which made the victory of diabetes and the mountain all the sweeter! 


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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