November 2nd, 2014 | Uncategorized
This weekend, I found out that one of the 6 year olds I coach on Saturday mornings is a diabetic. After speaking with him more, I literally felt as if I were looking directly into a time machine of myself from 16 years ago. As most people who know me are aware, I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic since the age of three. Developing this chronic condition from such a young age came to be an advantage for me, as I cannot exactly remember the lifestyle transition period. Therefore, all I know is life with diabetes.
All of the positive skills and attributes that the presence of this condition has helped to instill have always been a part of me, in my mind at least. One of the parents of one of the under-7 Baby Blues that I coach offered me a ride back to campus. On this ride, I was chatting with Les about various things such as business in Ireland, his support for Tottenham, and my love for Arsenal (obvious topic of discussion), when he saw me pull out my insulin pen to give myself an injection.
He immediately recognized what I was doing and mentioned that his son Darragh, who was riding in the back seat, was a Type 1 diabetic as well. Darragh proceeds to pull out his insulin pump and casually begins chatting with me about his diabetes in relation to soccer. What is crazy is not the fact that Darragh is a diabetic, but the fact that I would have never have made this amazing connection if not for Les offering me a ride back to campus.
We all began discussing my journey as an athlete and a footballer and how I have dealt with the ailment from such a young age, and I was delighted to be able to provide some valuable information to a young athlete who is into both his personal health and the game of football. Les and I then exchanged information, and he assured me that if I ever needed anything in general, but specifically in relation to my diabetes (supplies, medicine, etc.), that he is right down the road.
Like I have said before, you would be surprised by the connections that can arise out of seemingly nowhere. I am really excited to continue coaching Darragh and seeing what we can both learn from each other!
Victory Scholar: Jonathan Nelson
Sport League: ATLANTIC 10
Present University: University of Limerick
Alma Mater: Dayton University