Monday, December 21, 2009

The Science of Inspiration: Diabetes and Athletes

So the question I hear the most right now: "WHEN can I see the Triabetes documentary???!!!"

So the Triabetes project has official been named in the documentary as: "The Science of Inspiration: Diabetes and Athletes". I trust Nella's genius on this - she's the one with the emmy awards, not I!

We are now entering the documentary into film festivals. While doing so, most of them request that we not show the documentary to the public until its gone through the festival process.

Hang tight. It's coming! But we'd like the doc to get the credit it deserves, mama would like a new trophy on her shelf and I don't mean bowling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anne's Blood Sugars during IM AZ

Anne's blood sugar during her race last weekend. I'm sharing for those of you who usually think of diabetes as shots, testing and watching what you eat. As you can see, their lives are much more complicated, 24/7.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The ladies of Type 1 take on Ironman Lake Placid - you in?

Now that the second generation of Triabetics has raced an Ironman last weekend in Arizona, it makes me ponder my own racing intentions. I've gotten a little fat, I won't lie. I blame my busy job, but let's face it, I think it hasn't helped that my training buddies - Stacy, Miles and so on - have moved away. I don't have anyone texting me at 9:00 am on Saturday saying, "Get up, we're going biking".

Thanks to Jen Davino and Shannon Bounds - two type 1 women itching to do an Ironman - I think I have aspirations to sign up again.

On 7/25/2010 I will turn 41. On 7/27/11 I will race Lake Placid. Let's add some type 1 women to this amazing group - email me if you want in -

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Damn Thing Needs a Title

Wowser. What anticipation it was to have the not-so-rough "rough cut" in my hot little hands from Nella Citino. I drove over straight from work to pick up the dvd. I could tell she was nervous to hand it over.

I brought it home and threw everything else aside so I could watch it. Charles joined me.

I watched all 50 minutes getting caught up in what others will think. I know people with diabetes will learn from it. I know triathletes will enjoy it. But what about the mom of a newly diagnosed type 1 kid? What will she get from it? And what will someone get from it who isn't touched by diabetes or the crazy sickness called Ironman that some of us possess?

I held it together pretty well until the credits. What's funny, is the credits only say exactly that - "Credits". But in between each dark screen glared wonderful memories of the past two years.

Charles turned it off and said, "that was really good, Michelle." I got up to excitedly call Nella to tell her that fears of us not liking it were silly. I got through about 10 seconds before I blubbered. Like a big baby. Now if you know me at all - I am not the touchy feely girly type. So after I hung up and had a huge overwhelming cry...I cracked up hard. At myself.

I felt like I had some therapeutic epiphany. What was it I was feeling? I was feeling over 2 years of love for a project and a group of people that I care about. I'll be the first to admit since the athletes crossed the finish line and Peter & John have taken the Triabetes team to the next level...and ready to take it to even another level...I have sat back a little waiting for Nella to do her magic. Not exactly a disconnect from the project, but just a waiting process. The emotion I felt was crazy.

My brain went back to 3 major events in my life. Okay, maybe 5?
1. March 3, 2000, Jesse's little tired body, with salt-rimmed lips, getting his finger poked for the very first time. Age 3. How would I cope with this?

2. Picking up a bicycle to ride in the name of diabetes. January 2004, my first Ride to Cure Diabetes where I met this crazy diabetic named Stacy Cook. And this guy named Mike Runnels who had no connection to the disease and yet was choosing to ride for someone he cared about. I didn't know that these two people would become my best friends not only in riding, but in life, who have stuck with me through this project.

3. Signing up for my first Ironman. And thinking, "if a dude with diabetes can do this, I can do this." I did. Step 3 catapulted me into thinking people with diabetes need help getting to the finish line.

4. Dreaming up a documentary in a coffee shop with no experience in film, only a passion about the people I cared about with diabetes.

5. Today. 10 years later, so many names, faces, stories...all of us still working together to make life do-able until the cure.

I end this blog post with a moment of laughter for me. After the intro of the documentary, there is a really cool screen shot that moved me personally because the shot contained very personal items of mine related to this journey. Clearly this was the title shot of the movie. And what did Nella write?

"This Damn Thing Needs a Title."

So very near the finish line.....thanks for waiting for us at 11:52 pm as we finish strong together.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

38 miles on your bike makes you think

Ugh. Seriously...UGH. I have neglected my body and my bike for way too long. Work has been so busy (yes I know you are the choir and I am preaching) that I have stopped doing what makes me feel the best - cycling.

It's almost November and if you have ever been to Wisconsin you know that a day like today can be 20 degrees and a blizzard, or you can luck out and it is 62 degrees and sunny. Today was one of those days.

I took the time to put air in the tires (I'm embarrassed to tell you they were down to like 30 lbs each), get the water bottles, and saddle up with my newly reshuffled itunes mix (Black Eyed Peas and I Got a Feeling will launch you over any hill) and hit the road to Paoli. As I biked on I got lost in my thoughts. Work this, work that, celebrities this, exhibitors that. Then it went to the Triabetes premiere, donations rolling in to launch us that last bit...

The leaves were crunching under my tires (I could hear it in between Beautiful day by U2 and While I was jamming to Switch by Will Smith) and finally caught myself smiling.

Signing up with a huge group of fantastic type 1 ladies to do Ironman Lake Placid '11....well today that did not seem out of reach. In fact, it seemed important to set myself on that path.

Today is a good day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the studio with Nella

Today was a big day for me. Nella was ready to show me the "rough cut" of the documentary. Watching the story unfold, listening to the music as it flowed with the story, was quite exciting to me.

If you haven't gotten your tickets yet to see the Triabetes premiere in AZ on 11/21, well you better get it in gear!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"I believe this documentary will change lives. I know, because it has already changed mine. "

Simple words that I read today from Triabetes athlete, Anne Findlay. Simple, yes, but the sentiments I believe all of us who were lucky enough to be part of the Triabetes project feel. From the first days securing the original today where thousands of type 1 athletes find us, sign up and train to do a 5K race....a 100k bike...or the unthinkable.


What are the facts?

The premiere: November 21st in Tempe, AZ Want to attend it? Email

Who will be there? Our goal is to have all 12 athletes and their "triabuddy" (formerly Ironkidz) at the event.

Why Tempe? A new generation of Triabetes athletes will be racing the next day in Ironman AZ.

Where can I see the documentary after that? We hope to show the documentary in hometowns (such as mine, Madison, Wisconsin), distributed throughout Internet sites that are willing to show hi-def documentaries, and through the Diabetes Health Network - doctors offices throughout the world!

We received generous contributions from sponsors and individuals. We want to tell the world about these amazing athletes - because simply. It changed Anne's life. And mine. And maybe even...yours.

Please help. We are very close to reaching our goal of distributing the dvd not just by the Internet, but other venues.

The last push. This is it. Have you been inspired by the journey? Whatever you can do.......matters to us.

If you can help, please give:

This project - these people - have changed my life. And you have been part of the journey. And I thank you.

Now, go watch the clips again at Be inspired.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Giddy...and Ironman Documentary PREMIERE!

Hi, kids. I hope you've missed me at least a little. Time to play a little blogging catch up. I was working today (have I told you already that BRAVA magazine is alive, kicking and a helluva lot of fun?!) Anyway, our resident fashionista, Mollie Shambeau, was putting together our blog (check it if you are bored, I think we crack ourselves up - and I thought, "I think its time for a Triabetes update."

Nella, the guts behind this project, is currently putting together a pretty "rough cut". People have been submitting amazing tunes that will set the stage and catapult these Triabetes athletes forward on a big screen.

I got an email the other day from Peter Nerothin, king of Ironkidz, Insulindependence, and temporary Colorado resident (he moved across the street from Johnny Moore!!!). He teased my brain by sending a marquee from a Tempe, AZ.

Drum Roll....

I have goosebumps when I tell you the documentary is set to premiere in Tempe, AZ, November 21st, the day before even more Triabetes team members embark on a new Ironman adventure...

Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Triabetes - the Next Generation

Where have I been, you ask? Where have I been? Errr...well lots has happened. The magazine I worked for (and loved) suspended operation on 4/10, 14 of us walked out with boxes, sadly, not knowing if it would reopen. In those two months, we worked hard and found a new investor and will happily be back to work soon enough.

But more importantly, I've spent some time working on the distribution of the documentary - lots of exciting news on that front, but can't tell you yet....

So instead, I'd like to take a moment to highlight members of triabetes that go beyond the original twelve. My focus was always the documentary itself, while Peter Nerothin and the team at Insulindependence worked hard to keep the momentum building to take the team to newer and greater heights, quite successfully in fact.

Case in point, here is Casey Boren, who you may be seeing on Twitter as "Triabetic", does an interview is Boise, Idaho about his upcoming races. Go, Casey!

Follow Casey on Twitter at Insulinpowered.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Easter Drowning would not be cool...

Ok, so today we all wake up fresh, Brian goes for a Madison 13 mile-ish run, I'm up cooking the ham, and then preparing all the food...

So late in the day I have the Triabetes crew of Brian, Nella, Ray and Elisa here along with my family and Charles' family. The pool has been shocked one time only, its still COLD in Wisconsin people! So, imagine our surprise as we here a splash and realize 6 year old Mason is in the pool and Joey is screaming it. Everyone runs. But in the time it took for me to run to the pool, Brian, marathon superstar, is already in the pool. We were all in rescue mode, but Brian was sauced including his blackberry (nonfunctioning), dexcom cgm (nonfunctioning) and his Animas pump (functioning!!!). Sigh.

After the excitment the kids re-enacted the wonderful excitment on facebook for us. We all laughed as they imitated me "oh, my triabetes ATHLETE is saving someone! He's amazing!". Hm...Offended, I was. But, a good sport. (ok, not really a good sport, but I pretended to be.)

So he saves the boy, we have fun...Triabetes rocks on, Easter style....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In the Studio!!!!!!!!

We are in the studio again!

Hello, we're back! What a fun day! Brian Foster, participant in the Triabetes documentary, flew in this morning to narrate the film. A few props were put in place, mic checks, ironing, and read-throughs and we were off!

Nella Citino and Ray Ibsen of Andiamo Productions directed Brian through the camera work and we had so much fun giggling through the outtakes (believe me, there were many). Charles' new bike (see previous post) ended up being the backdrop to the entire shoot and it looked pretty cool. We go through the filming and then after some lunch, hit the voice-overs. Just hearing Brian retell the story was goosebump worthy!

Back to the house for dinner and a quick clean up as not only my family is coming over for Easter, but Charles' family AND Brian along with the entire Andiamo family crew! I haven't really counted, but I think that's about 22 people...... looking forward to hanging out and talking about the rough cut that is about to be prepared.

I smell a documentary about to be born.... stay tuned (and please, God, I hope Ray uses that footage of me acting like Molly Shannon, shouting "SUPERSTAR!". I think it was Oscar worthy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Charles gets a sweet ride...

A little off the Triabetes beaten path, but it is fun to post that Charles now has a sweet new ride! We spent the entire afternoon at "bike-o-rama", a tradition I attend every year! Bike-o-rama consists of everything you need to start biking, keep biking, and everything you don't need but want to buy anyway.

When Charles and I met, he probably didn't see road biking in his future. Today he walked proudly out of the sale with a Fuji Roubaix ride, Crank brothers pedals, sidi shoes, Rudy Project helmet, pearl isumi shorts, gloves, water bottle cages and a wireless computer to track the distance he rides his first season!

In 2004 I walked in to bike-o-rama myself and hadn't a CLUE what to get, had my hand held figuratively as I picked out my first gear - it felt good to share the knowledge and get him set up and smiling on his way out the door.

Tomorrow it is 51 degrees here in Madison, Wisconsin! WOOHOO! It's time for the traditional Paoli loop at 11:00 am with friends tomorrow.... hope I see you out there! In the meantime, in case you are wondering I only bought a pair of Shebeest tri shorts! They are hot!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wisconsin Radio Network - 70 stations broadcast Triabetes

Sorry, inundating you with news today, but in an unrelated moment, the Wisconsin Radio Network contacted me about doing an interview about President Obama's executive order that reverses George W. Bush's decision on stem cells funded by federal money.

In 2004 Jesse and I spoke with Tammy Baldwin and Governor Doyle about the importance of letting scientists do the science, and letting moral values be something decided on a personal level. The Wisconsin Radio Network asked for an interview to follow up today on that 2004 interview.

please give it a here to view and listen!

The Interview!

Here's the video from CNBC's "Dlife" episode. Spread the word!

Click here: Triabetes DLife Interview

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3//3 - you've all seen the hat, what's the story behind?

Today is 3/3. You've seen me wearing my 3//3 hat everywhere that mimics the one created by Lance Armstrong (10//2) which referred to the date he was diagnosed with cancer and his life changed forever.

3/3/2000 was the day Jesse was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Some people may think its an odd day to celebrate, and yet most people with "d" can tell you their "anniversary date".

Today was his 9th anniversary. We ate burgers, fries and shakes at Sonic. Rage against the machine, I guess.

How do you celebrate yours?

Friday, February 27, 2009

What if someone said, "Wow, so tell us more about why you eat mac n cheese?

That's how I felt about getting asked to fly to NYC to talk about the Triabetes Documentary. To me, it's like talking about something that is so second nature at this point, it amazes me that someone cares what I have to say! Not to belittle the project AT ALL! My point is that is just part of my day, I look at them like, "Why are you interested in how I parallel parked my car?"

All kidding aside, I'm a little nervous posting this because I haven't actually SEEN the clip that was filmed on the set of Dlife about a month ago in NYC. I'm actually nervous it will be like 6 seconds and I will be horribly embarrassed, but what the heck, I've never been a shy girl, why start now?

Check your local listings but the episode will appear on Dlife and it is my understanding it will be March 8th at 7 pm est. If you miss it, don't worry, I'm narcisistic so I'll probably show up at your house and knock to remind you that you can re-watch it on the website soon after.

I received word that Brian Foster will be flying in to narrate the film on 4/4-4/6th and the script Nella and Ray of Andiamo Productions have built was the first time I really envisioned the film from beginning to end. Those two are rockstars.....

Anyway, I hope you tune in. I hope you tell your friends. I hope you don't mind the yard sign I planted in your lawn.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sometimes, diabetes just goes wrong...

I know I haven't posted in a long time, but lots of good things are happening in the documentary world. Brian Foster is coming to Madison 4/4 and 4/5 to finish up the film narration. My interview on Dlife will appear on CNBC at 7 pm est on 3/8. Last week I was interviewed by Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine and the article will be out on 5/1 (3.5 million readers!)

Anyway, I'm blogging today not about successes, but about feeling a little bit like a failure, as a "d" mom today. Jesse is in middle school and for all I knew, his diabetes control was good. I fought hard to keep the nurse out of his business as he is old enough to deal with testing, monitoring, etc.

The last month our house has been filled with colds and flu. It was no surprise he wasn't feeling well and missed some school. "Jesse dinner's ready, what's your blood sugar?" "A little high mom, 208, I'll give myself a unit."

I walked through the kitchen and his lethargic behavior over the last month was eating away at me, so I checked his meter sitting on the counter. Last blood sugar: 368. Horrified, I read through the last readings and without getting into it, lets just say it said "HI" more than once. I was furious.

Now this is where being a "d" mom is difficult. I realize blood sugar testing is not like forgetting to pick up your socks off the bedroom floor, forgetting to brush your teeth or to do your homework. But as a mom, I struggle with what is "right". In the end, I grounded him for lying. He lied. Moving forward we agreed that anytime his bs is over 250, he will tell me so we can manage it together. So far so good, but man....I'm so sick of this disease. I just want to fight about his socks and underwear on the floor.

Thank goodness I have so many adult friends with diabetes. They keep me sane.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Grab a sandwich, a kleenex, and watch our new clip

I seriously cannot believe it is already 2009. Seems like yesterday it was September 2007 and a bunch of people I had never met were flying in and staying at my house so they could sign up for Ironman 2008. Today Andiamo Productions released a new clip about Ironkidz and the Triabetes documentary. I love how the story has evolved into more than a story about a few great people doing Ironman. It has become the story also of a great group of kids who set out on an adventure on a river to learn about themselves, only to find strength in meeting a Triabetes athlete and helping to cheer them across a finish line. Those of us involved in the project knew it would be inspiring for the kids. What I didn't expect was how pivotal it was for the athletes themselves. Please enjoy the next little segment about a project that doesn't come from just my heart - it comes from the heart of many. Please spread the word. We can't do it without all of you...