When Mind Body Align asked me to write the Live Vibrantly blog, I was honored and excited to be given this topic. It is, as a matter of fact, the way I strive to live my life. My hope is that my story will inspire you to live vibrantly no matter what curve ball is thrown your way… like the curve ball thrown my way at a young age.
Welcome to Your New Life
Let’s rewind 32 years.
At the age of 18 and one week prior to graduation, overwhelming news was given to me. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I was immediately required to inject insulin with a needle. A big fear! As any teenager would react, I was confused, scared and not sure how I was going to handle this burden since my life up until now was fairly “normal.”
I had two choices:
Let diabetes wreak havoc on my life and become depressed about it, -OR-
Take control of the disease and do whatever I could to stay healthy.
You guessed it, I took control!
Don’t get me wrong, there were ups and downs of life events dealing with diabetes. I won’t sugarcoat it (no pun intended).
Strong family support and a great team of doctors kept me in check. Diabetes didn’t cause me to be angry at life nor to question why I ended up with it. I learned to appreciate the challenges of the disease and use my mantra “let’s look at the positive side” to change negative habits into positive ones.
A friend once said, “You’re diabetic? But you’re always so happy and active.” It was this comment I knew I needed to be a role model for others diagnosed with this disease. There is no way diabetes has to slow anyone down!
Hit the Ground Running
I took up running at the age of 30 and switched from injecting insulin with needles to wearing an insulin pump. Running became a new passion for me. It gives me time to clear my mind, enjoy the scenery and re-energize myself. Any form of exercise can physically, emotionally and mentally make you feel amazing! When you feel amazing and share your passion with the world, it positively impacts others. It’s a ripple effect.
In my mid-40s, I challenged myself to run a Tough Mudder obstacle race and a ½ marathon. (I have three Tough Mudders and three ½ marathons under my belt so far!) Those types of challenges might not be the definition of living vibrantly for everyone, but for me, it’s what keeps me smiling and motivated. What motivates you?
The New Normal
My life now consists of checking my blood sugar up to ten times a day, visits to the Endocrinologist and eating healthy. Running keeps me positive and well-balanced, plus I enjoy sharing tips with others on exercise and diabetes. Having diabetes has taught me discipline, appreciation and bravery. Diabetes altered my life and I’m thankful for it. It has put me on a path to a healthier life style with the purpose to enrich the lives of others with my story.
As I searched living vibrantly topics on the internet, the definition “pulsating with vigor and energy” kept appearing. I laughed to myself thinking, yep, that’s me! We all want a happy, vibrant life. We all have circumstances in our lives that throw us a curve ball and it’s how we choose to live our lives that will make the difference. Do your very best at whatever life hands you. Surround yourself with positive influences. Find support groups. Live your life with passion. Go out into the world with a smile on your face and share your enthusiasm with others. We all deserve a vibrant life.
Jodie is proud to say she has been with the Destination Mansfield team since 1988 after graduating from North Central State College. She is a graduate of Institutes for Organization Management/U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the University of Norte Dame and became a Certified Travel Industry Specialist through the American Bus Association. Her duties include attracting motorcoach tours to the area, conducting media visits for travel writers and promoting the world famous Shawshank Trail tourism product.