The Unbolused Cookie

Embracing both the planned and the unplanned.

Mudderella and Me

Gabrielle Sharkey Oldfield

Mudderella and Me
Monday, August 17, 2015

I am less than a week away from participating in Mudderella in Snowmass, Colorado.  Now, for many people looking in from the outside, this may seem like just a fun event.  True, it raises awareness for victims of domestic violence, and that alone is worthwhile, but it does a whole lot more than that for me.


A few years ago I quit my job as a project manager to go into ministry with my husband.  I took that opportunity to get out from behind a desk and work on my health more diligently than ever before.  I ate better, I hiked, hiked, and then hiked some more.  In 2014, at 48, I hiked 107 miles over the summer which was a personal best.  I lost weight and felt great.  And then I didn't.  


Towards the end of November I started losing energy and losing weight no matter what I ate.  A cruel twist to suddenly want to NOT be losing weight yet not being able to stop it.  I felt weak and scared.  On December 2, 2014, I ended up in the ICU with Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with blood sugar at 590 and a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.  What the...?  


Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, often called juvenile diabetes and has nothing to do with the fact I was previously overweight.  So, after getting my health act together, there was (and still is) a particularly painful irony in all of this.  Insulin injections started immediately and will, barring the miraculous, be part of my life forever.  Pastor or not, I can say that sucks.


I am, however, a type A personality and chose to at least start this travel nightmare, which some people call delicately "a journey," with gusto.  I chose to start running, which I have never done before.  When I say never, I mean past the age of eight, I seriously have never run on purpose or for fun.  There was just something about doctors and other people telling me that a moderate walk might be best for now that made me want to run instead.  I think I may have authority issues.  


So, I test my blood sugar a lot, I log everything to see how it affects me, and I run.  So far this year, I've done three 5ks.  Now, to be fair, I am the opposite of fast, but I do actually run more than I walk, and there are people that finish behind me.


Once I started running, I started thinking about other things I could do, because honestly, is it ever too late to feel good?  I started doing Barre class (which I love), rock wall climbing (terrifying, yet exhilarating), more kayaking, more hiking, and I signed up for Mudderella--a 5-7 mile obstacle course in front of a crowd (yikes).  


I am part of a small team of women for Mudderella.  It is SO out of my comfort zone, you have no idea.  I have learned, however,  that everyone wants to feel better, be stronger, be braver, but still it can be scary to go it alone.  I am committed to embracing this big unknown.  I am going to cherish my teammates, and I am going to enjoy the fact that I do feel better, that I am stronger than ever, and that to be BRAVE--I do not have to go it alone.  


My good friends, I am going to own this.


2 Timothy 1:7  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.