My Sporting Life with Diabetes
As I write this, 18 years ago to the day I was lying in a hospital bed in Inverness, thinking of the consequences of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Today, I am flying from Inverness to Johannesburg in South Africa to begin my second season as a professional golfer.
The first couple of days as a fragile 8 year old with diabetes, I thought my sporting life was done and dusted, before it had even begun, long hospital words meant nothing to me. However, a simple google search of 'diabetic athletes' by my parents discovered Sir Steve Redgrave, 5 times Olympic gold medal winner. From then, 'he was my twin', and there was no stopping me. My mindset from that moment was 'I won't live with diabetes, diabetes will live with me'. My parents were so supportive from the moment I was diagnosed, and without their support from the beginning I probably wouldn't have the same 'pursuit of perfection' of blood sugars that I do have.
I often wonder what it would be like packing for 4 weeks away without medical supplies, but then I also often think that diabetes has made me the person I am. Travelling the world with professional golf is hard enough, and that's before adding on all the fun and games that comes with trying to have a brain like a pancreas. Yes, I would love to have a life without it, but at the same time I could be in worse situations and fortunately 'I only have diabetes'.