Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friends for Life from a bloggers perspective

I still have no idea what the purple one was for.

The other reason I wanted to go to FFL was because I knew that a crap ton of bloggers and online friends were going to be there.

On Facebook, Sara wrote, "Did you guys know that everyone's favourite mmol/L measuring, poop story sharing, TT1 riding blogger is going to be there?!"

I poop you not!

Needless to say I got razzed all weekend long about pooping and air biscuits. I had to keep clarifying things. It's not like I have a cloud like Pig Pen full of air biscuits or anything... well maybe. It's a little known fact that I have "issues" when I run. Last year I held no shame while training for my first marathon. I also may or may not have written a little something about the air biscuits that Jeff had to suffer through while on our 100mile Twin Cities Tour de Cure ride. You can look but it won't be there due to removal of content by ME. So apparently I am known for it. I guess I can be quite "noisy".


After setting up our Team Type 1 booth and settling into my hotel room the evening began. Before dinner started I made my way into the gigantic room of endless tables. It was dark and there were orange beach accessories and illuminated blow-up palm tree centre pieces as far as I could see. The task of finding people was daunting but I did. I found my friends and I was beside myself! There they all were, outside of their little places in the computer. For real yo. Just then Denise (mom of bean) stomps up to me and curses up a storm at which point I turn to her and flip her the bird. Then we laughed and hugged.

There are countless blog posts out there about the passion of FFL. I don't want to repeat the same thing over and over but it's hard not to. There are many different perspectives so I'm just going to go with the flow here.

Everybody is so much cooler in real life than they are online. Not that you're all losers online, it's just SO nice to talk in real life. I also got to meet a whole ton of people whom I am ashamed that I didn't even know of. Recent blog adds? Brian, Kate, Shay and Martin.

Meeting the lovely D-mom Wendy 

A truly awesome woman/D-mom Denise

There were some truly memorable meet-ups and conversations. Like when I spied Simon walking by the TT1 booth and I zipped out screaming, "SIMONPALOOZA". Poor guy had NO idea who I was but I already knew lots about him. He was so kind in not running in the other direction from this crazy Canadian girl. We talked a lot about how the DOC saved his life and about the deplorable health care in both the US and Canada. We shared disgust in the fact that the basic life sustaining necessities for a diabetic are not free. I ended that sad train and changed topics because I'm sure tears would have started flowing.

With Simon

Caroline, Simon and Heidi

Another awkward moment at the expo was when I saw Michael Aviad walk by. I literally called out his name as I went running out there. Naturally this was followed by the statement, "You probably don't know me but I love reading your blog and I can't believe you're here!" Michael Aviad and Jessica Apple founded A Sweet Life and they live in Tel Aviv, Israel. Michael writes about running and diabetes so it's right up my alley. He also just started pumping about a year ago. It's been one of my favourite D resources and I got to meet them both!

With Michael Aviad

I got to witness the wild and wacky personality of Bennet who writes Your Diabetes May Vary and his equally hilarious wife Kimmel. I don't know if I stopped laughing at all when they were around. They were just as zany as one Uber Geek. We'll leave it at that. But between them they are a handful of laughs.


Courtney doing what we can only assume is the windmill

I got the pleasure of attending the Adults with Type 1 event late one night. It was there that everything sort of CHANGED for me. It was a social event (with an open bar no less), and everybody came out! It took them awhile to get me dancing but eventually some of us spent the entire night dancing and it was FU-UHN!! I remember some hand clapping and Bieber singing though... ahem. What I was trying to say when my thoughts were interrupted by memories was how kick ass it was to spend all this time with all these people in such an open and comfortable way. Dancing and making fools of ourselves. I'm not sure it gets better than that.

I honestly have something I want to write about each and every one of you. There wasn't an unmemorable moment for the entire time I was there. If I start writing I won't be able to stop. Just know that even if I didn't write about you here you ALL had an impact on me. Without a doubt.

With Scotty J!

With Kelly

A special thanks goes to the ever gracious, kind and giving Kelly. She shared her room with me the last night as I could not afford the hotel on my own. She not only shared her room but she shared her great big king size bed! Kelly you're a doll! I don't even think I farted the whole night! 

I connected with Scott Strange in a weird kind of way. Again, more like, "Hi, I'm Scully and I know a lot of personal stuff about you that I can relate to but you have no idea who I am..." kind of way.

Let's just say that the other half of my trip was all about people. Hugging and talking and clearly startling people with my knowledge about them. One thing brought us all together and that thing is a nasty life-long chronic disease that none of us chose. There is a different kind of strength inside of the people who live with this that you cannot quantify in any scientific way. It's just THERE. No matter how old or young or recently diagnosed. No matter which part of the continent (or world) they are from. It's there inside of all of us. Perseverance and the will to live well with diabetes.

I am beyond honoured that I could put real faces to all the names as well as the over-the-top wow-me-again throws of NEW people I met. This world of mine just keeps getting richer (though not monetarily, but I can dream). My life is starting to make a bit more sense to me.

Courtney, me, Kim and Andy - apparently the dancing crew

13 comments:

  1. I love this post! And I agree about Friday night - that was some good bonding going on there. :) It was SO GREAT to meet you in person!

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  2. Also, the purple one was for exhibitors who were "allowed" to eat the conference food. Because you had to pay more to do that, I guess?

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  3. You said it! I was nodding in agreement with every word. Great post! I am so happy to have met you IRL and to be able to call you friend! Hope to see you again!

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  4. SUCH AWESOME PICS!!!!!!! It was SO COOL to bump into you in the lobby, followed by a zillion random encounters here, there, and everywhere. It seemed completely normal to see so many familiar faces across the room. New faces, but old faces. New friends, but old friends. Memories. :)

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  5. soooo wish that we were able to make it this year but there is always next year RIGHT? :) So glad you had an amazing time and made wonderful memories. GREAT POST! And what a sweetheart Kelly for sharing a bed with you, happy to hear you did not fart on her ;)

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  6. I AM SO FREAKING JEALOUS! I had no idea that the conference even existed! :(

    So, basically, you're telling me that you'll know my life history whenever we finally meet? Haha. I'm okay with that... :)

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  7. Got all teary eyed reading this!! Awesome post and it sounds like you and everyone had a blast there! I am so jealous! One day I plan on making it to an FFL conference and I'll be that crazy girl running up to you knowing way too much about you! :)

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  8. WTF?!? ;)
    It was amazing getting to be with all the amazing DOC`ers and hug and laugh and just be with them.
    I have such special memories that will be forever treasured...including accosting you with f-bombs!!

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  9. Love this. So fun to connect and hang out and visit! Yay! Need more!!

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  10. It was so great to meet up in real life-& I hope it works out for you to come next year as well. Missed the adult T1 event-that looks like it was a hoot!

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  11. Exactly!

    And I am sorry that I show my excitement by sharing inappropriate stories about people. I was just so excited that you were going to be there.

    It was great to meet you and hang out!

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  13. i'm SO HAPPY you were there! i just wish we'd had a chance to chat more.

    the world does get richer when you meet online friends face to face. :)

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