Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rooting for Jay Cutler

I wanted to write a post about fellow Type 1 Diabetic Jay Cutler and how I was cheering him on this past weekend ironically even before all of the drama that has come out since Sunday's game. I am not really sure the details of what all happened or even what his final injury was, but I know I was disappointed that I was unable to watch him finish the game and lead his team to victory on Sunday.

I was cheering and rooting for Quarterback Jay Cutler this weekend because I really admire his ability to manage his type 1 diabetes as a professional athlete. As much as it would have been awesome to have a Type 1 Diabetic be the QB of the team to win the Super bowl, it is still great for the diabetes community to have Jay Cutler as a role model. I know there are many individuals with Type 1 Diabetes that run marathons, play professional sports, and even go to the Olympics, but with each story of these individuals that I hear and the more time I spend with this disease, the more impressed I am of their accomplishments. As someone who probably has to end a run or workout a bit early at least once a week because my blood sugar is out of wack, I cannot begin to imagine how finely they must have to balance their sugars when they compete. I can just leave the gym early or take a break to have some Gatorade if my sugar is low but these athletes have a lot more riding on their ability to control their sugars. It could mean missing a critical play or losing a race- potentially in front of many many people. It takes a lot of skill and likely a lot of courage too.

For Jay Cutler as a Quarterback, not only is physical performance critical, but there is a lot of thinking and strategy involved too. The fact that low blood sugars can cause you to get very hazy and confused just adds to how impressive it is that Jay Cutler can prepare properly to avoid lows and avoid the effect a low could have on him or his team. I also admire how he balances not wanting to be treated differently because of his diabetes by his teammates or the media while dealing with the fact that he….well is different. It is a hard line to walk. Yes we are different but we don’t necessarily want to be treated as so. For example with my friends, would I ever want them to treat me differently? No, but at the same time I also expect them to understand if I need to bail out early or skip out on things if my sugars are not cooperating.

I give Jay Cutler a lot of credit for dealing with his disease in front the country and media with a positive attitude and for his effort to help kids suffering from diabetes through "The Jay Cutler Foundation". Not only is he a natural role model, but he is using his name recognition to raise awareness and help individuals affected by this disease. To me- this all is enough to make me a lifelong Jay Cutler fan.

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