Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Slipstream 2013

This years' group. Photo credit: Mike Last. Our resident T1D photographer 

60-some type 1 diabetics descend upon a one quiet Pinecrest camp in small town Ontario for a couple days of shenanigans and mayhem. This was my second Connected in Motion Slipstream event. For Slipstream 2012 PART 1, PART 2 (sans images of course).

Photo credit: Amy Burrows
I don’t - for one moment - take for granted how lucky I am to have a group like this to belong to. I know you’re all jealous of our green cult camp for adults. All the diabetics want to come and it makes all the non-diabetics want to get diabetes. It looks like we have fun doesn’t it? Well we DO! We have so much fun it’s untamable (I know that's not a word). It’s unimaginable in many ways. My abdominals and sides hurt not from cross-country skiing or climbing ropes but from laughter. I think that says a lot.

I’ve let on to more than a few people the contrast I feel with this group vs. other groups of T1D’s that I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with (not including other bloggers which are all amazing btw). The people of CIM are open, supportive and very caring. Our stories are shared and appreciated. We feel the triumphs and downfalls of our collective experiences with diabetes. We give kudos where warranted and judgement is NEVER passed. We all have our individual experiences that we bring to the communal CIM table and share with others’.

The weekend began as most CIM events often do. Chloe shared her experience that brought her to her CIM vision and dream. It doesn't matter how many times I've heard the story, it's still inspiring. This one was especially entertaining because as she was speaking, her BG was tanking which led her story down an unusual and repetitive path. Not that lows are funny, okay, sometimes they are in safe company. I think we all could agree we've been there before. Our brains slowly turning to mush while our ideas and words go in endless circles.

Photo Credit: Meredith Miller

This year I was asked to do a TED style talk along with 5 other attendees. TED talks in a nutshell are stories or ideas shared in a short time. As speakers we were given 5 minutes to share something about ourselves to our fellow slipstreamers. I cheated and shared two stories but it felt like I did it in less than 3 minutes. I was afraid if I got into too much detail I would get stuck on a tangent and not get a chance to finish it all! I shared a diabetes fail followed by a diabetes win. The story of how diabetes ruined my marathon (part 1, part 2) and the story about my awesome diabetes WIN that I am still proud of to this day. (I really need to go back into some of these more important posts and re-insert the images).

We heard from Mark who told his story about getting into triathlon. We heard from Lindsay who told the story about how she beat down the odds to become a pilot! Virtue shared some of her more interesting stories that had us all in stitches. Andy talked about his experiences and goals of excessively LONG cycling adventures reaching 24 hours of non-stop riding. We also heard from Terrence who was recently diagnosed a little over a year ago and qualified for the Boston marathon on his 6-month diaversary. We shared just a handful of stories but they were highly entertaining since we all only had 5 minutes.

We talked a lot about what exactly IT is about CIM that makes it so special. How is it that this group of once strangers could be like family? How is it that any new member gets welcomed with open arms and minds? Was it one individual dream and vision? I think a lot of it has to do with that. I also think a large part of it is so much deeper than just a bunch of us getting together to do activities of similar interest. It’s the communal desire to be just as supportive to others as we crave the support ourselves.  A “do unto others..” sort of thing. Let’s face it, diabetes is a burden that only we can fathom the raw intensity of it. Suddenly when I get into a room with people who are all treading the same temperamental tight rope, there’s just this feeling of letting go. Whether I realize it or not, I hold a lot of it too close when I’m around other people. It’s not something I do intentionally. When I am in this group of people, however, my diabetes can breathe. I completely let my guard down like walking around the house naked when nobody is home. Not that I ever feel truly naked with my pump attached but that’s a different story. Ok, bad analogy but you get the idea.

Enough of the sappy talk and onto some fun.

It was a long messy drive up in the snow but I was glad to have a carpool partner who knew the area way better than me. I got lost last year and took the EXTRA, extra scenic route but not this year, thanks Shannon! It was an action packed weekend with barely any downtime. It always makes me feel like a kid because it poops me out so much! There’s just way too much kick ass to squeeze into a short period of time.

There were plenty of options for activities to do both outside and inside. Last year I didn't get to do the high ropes so I made it a priority this time. So while others cross-country skied, snowshoed and tubed, I joined the group destined for the tree tops. After a few quick lessons in trust, we suited up and waited a bit longer than anticipated since locks on the gate were frozen. Kudos to the Pinecrest dudes for eventually having to cut the locks off with bolt cutters.  

Photo credit: Luke

Photo credit: Luke
I'm not afraid of heights and I have a background in ourdoor climbing so this does not scare me in the least. It was a gigantic playground in the air and I loved every second of it!

Becky, who is afraid of heights, has a lot of guts and courage to do this.

This looks really high because it IS really high!

Diabetic monkey playground!

I was EXPECTING that Chloe would bail at the bottom of this hill so I got all ready to catch it on camera. To mine and her dismay she remained upright!

Indoor session hosted by the insanely creative Shauna. Old used bicycle tube jewellery making blew my teeny mind.

The lovely Virtue hosted a Diabetes Art Day session. Did you know D.Art Day is on Feb. 4th this year? I made something but I'm saving the picture until the day.

Gigantic life-sized board game of Diabetium that had us running and body checking all over the place. There was some learning in there also. 

This was from the "activewear" onesie competition. We take our fun seriously... no, seriously.

Testing blood wherever, whenever no matter how cold or how busy we are.

Not something you see every day.

Friendly reminder

I think I swore at Curtis more than anything else. Curtis is an asshole!

Typical night of betes party shenanigans. I like the random toothbrush thrown in there.

Lastly I have two videos to share from our night of games. Please be sure you are a.) Sitting down, b.) Not drinking or eating anything and c.) somewhere you can laugh out loud.

This is the game of "Junk in the Trunk" and the purpose is to shake the ping pong balls out in less than a minute. I got permission from these two to embarrass them across the blogosphere. Though I think they did an awesome job at shaking and wiggling in their onesies.

And this one for extra shits and giggles!

There may or may not have been alcohol involved. Just sayin'.

If you aren't, you want to be a diabetic now, admit it!!

As always, slipstream was one of the best weekends of the year. I feel like I belong to a cult sometimes. A good one where we strive to be supportive and caring, not one where we pledge to mass suicide. Maybe suicide by embarrassment though. It's like camp for adults. I never went to camp as a child so this is like re-living a part of my youth.

Thank you CIM and all the volunteers! I also want to give a shout out to the staff at Pinecrest. They were an awesome group of guys who were friendly and accommodating. Gotta give it up to them for dealing with all of our dietary needs since a large portion of us have celiac disease. The food was awesome considering they were cooking for something like 60 people! They led us on snowshoe and ski adventures. They took us safely up into the sky high ropes and beyond. Truly an amazing experience.

To read a bit more and see some incredible photos by Mike Last, go see the CIM recap blog.


  1. That's my toothbrush! I was low and always brush my teeth after a night time low. That also is my empty juice container. Ha.

    Ok but seriously. It's so hard to put into words the kind of feeling this type of thing can be, you did a great job. It was fun to meet you.

    Also, I hated Curtis too. He just never had enough coffee.

  2. Love it, Scully!!! Thanks for putting all of this into words!!

  3. Oh man. You guys are so awesome. Thank you for helping the rest of us see the light and joy that is CIM's Slipstream!

  4. I also love how in the second clip, Chloe is absolutely losing her mind and doing the actions with them.

  5. This looks so amazing... how great that you get to do this in the middle of winter.


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