Diabetes Forecast

From Zero to 100

By Terena Wilkens , , ,
Terena Wilkens

Terena Wilkens

Setting goals has always helped keep me motivated. Then telling others about those goals helps keep me honest and accountable—nothing is worse than a question about your plans from friends and family if you have not kept up on them. 

So here it is …

I am biking 100  miles in the Coralville, Iowa, Tour de Cure® this June.

There, I said it. There is no turning back!

I admit that the idea of riding for 100 miles seems foreign to me and scares me. I biked in high school and as a college undergraduate, but gave it up when life became crazy.

In 2010, I felt as if I was failing at everything. I hated myself, how I looked, and how much I weighed. I hated that no matter how much I exercised and how “healthy” I ate, I just kept gaining weight. I tried biking and made it just over a mile before exhaustion. Again, I felt like a failure.

Then I was diagnosed with type  2 diabetes. Who knew that could be a good thing? I started taking medication and educating myself.  I attended the American Diabetes Association (ADA) EXPO® in Minneapolis and joined the Tour de Cure Twin Cities. I set a goal of riding 7  miles at the Tour, which was nine months away. I started training—OK, riding around the block, then a few more blocks, and then a loop that turned out to be 9  miles! I joined Team Red and found encouragement and support from other team members and from the diabetes online community.

In June 2011, I rode 27  miles at my first Tour de Cure and could have gone even farther! In 2012, I took over as captain of Team Red and set my goal for 45  miles. I made the 45  miles, barely. I wanted to quit more than once but made it to the finish line. I was so happy to see the ride end. In 2013, after getting off metformin, I once again rode 45  miles—but this time, because of better training and a deeper understanding of nutrition and hydration, I made faster time and had improved glucose management. This time I was happy to see the finish line, for all the right reasons.

Setting the goal, announcing it, training, and, most important, having the support of friends and family will make this year’s 100-mile goal happen. I cannot wait to hear the “Go Red Rider!” cheer at the start of this ride and, even more, at the end

Yes, I can make it from zero to 100 miles in less than four years. I will do this!

And you can join me. Why not take on a challenge for your health this summer? Do it by setting a goal that suits you. Consider joining the Tour de Cure in your area. Team Red is the ADA team for people with diabetes, their friends and families, and anyone looking for a team. Consider this your personal invitation to join Team Red at the Tour de Cure near you.

Go Red Rider!

Terena Wilkens lives in St. Peter, Minn., and works at Gustavus Adolphus College Theatre & Dance as an adjunct faculty member, lighting and sound designer, and technical director. Her Tour Web page is at main.diabetes.org/goto/TWilkens.

To learn more about Tour de Cure, sign up to ride, or become a Red Rider®, visit diabetes.org/tour.

E-mail us @: replyall@diabetes.org

Send mail to: Diabetes Forecast, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202



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