Fighting Diabetes with Fitness
Meet one of our consistent and inspiring athletes, Pamela Holt! She is at Mako 5 days a week at 5 am with a huge smile on her face ready to enjoy a great workout. Pamela became a type 1 diabetic in her 20’s, but she was determined to not let that slow her down or get in the way of her fitness journey. Take a few minutes to read her story!
“It’s not enough if you are busy. The question is, what are you busy about?” ~ Thoreau
“This is one of my favorite quotes. I’m writing about my love for Mako Athletics and how it’s changed my life but this quote says much about it as well.
When I was a child I was active and loved to play. I took gymnastics at the local elementary school and loved tossing myself about and flipping over bars. I also enjoyed riding my bike regularly in my neighborhood. Around 11 years old, I became asthmatic and my life drastically changed since it was mostly exercise induced. I was never truly coached throughout my young adult life and had no sense of the need. When I was 20 years old, I became a type 1 diabetic. The times were still changing for the better, but an insulin pump wasn’t prescribed for me until around 2005. Throughout my 20s and 30s, I was involved in rearing our children, home schooling and freelance writing. I enjoyed aerobics and cycled some with my husband but it was difficult to do much as dealing with two chronic diseases was difficult.
As technology evolved and a continuous glucose monitor was introduced, I was excited to have an opportunity to be more active. However, by 2013 (and in my early 40s), I experienced a serious complication that seemed to almost stop me in my tracks. I was having trouble getting off the sofa because of lethargy and dizziness. I was eventually diagnosed with a rare condition called autonomic neuropathy and seemingly we caught it early. My endocrinologist suggested certain things to do to help but without much success.
Our youngest daughter became active in CrossFit just the year before. She and Chaz (then boyfriend, now husband), encouraged me to get off the couch and start some exercises they thought would be helpful and worked diligently to change my diet. Within two months I excitedly signed up at Mako in July. The coaches assured me they were capable of keeping me safe as many of the members and staff were first responders. They assured me if I had diabetic or asthmatic complications I would be in safe hands. I was happy to sign the application to get started.
I wish I could say I’d been a faithful member since that day, but it’s not the case. I started working full time that year and within a few weeks was promoted. The promotion caused difficulty in getting to the box as I was working 12+ hours per day; I live in Milton and it’s a 30 minute drive.
Between 2014 and 2017 I tried other places but none seemed to fit as well as my beloved box at Mako. I toyed around with the idea of coming back for a while, thinking it would be nice but the drive and hours would be impossible. Once weight began packing itself on, the more I realized I needed to get back to the one that changed my life for the better.
The day I returned I was pleased to see both old faces and new. Brandon, Kevin and Kyle all greeted me as if I’d never left and my new coach Scott (Cuz) was helpful and encouraging, not to mention all of the other new coaches who’ve taken the time and energy to teach me since I walked through the door last November.
I invited a new friend to visit Mako and she is now both a dear friend and accountability partner. We work out during the same class and encourage one another to get there each morning.
What’s changed the most in the 9 months I’ve been back has to be strength and nutrition. I’m steadily increasing intensity and have reached PRs I made in 2013. I come 4 days per week and am consuming healthy foods and sleeping 7+ hours per night. My husband and I run weekly and for the first time in my life, I know I can jog/run and not struggle to breathe. I read the weekly blogs faithfully, looking for new pointers and ways to make me a better athlete.
It is unbelievable I can call myself an athlete. I get excited about chalk. Everyday I walk through the door, I am grateful for the opportunity to train, feel good and know these hard working people.
I’ve always been a busy person but it wasn’t enough. I needed to take care of myself to live a better life.”
~ Pamela Holt