Erik Douds is a New York City-based global traveler and endurance athlete who proves that people living with type 1 diabetes can achieve anything. He has recently returned from Alaska on assignment for Adventure Cycling Association to write an article about bike touring with type 1 diabetes.
Erik’s talk will include:
• Introduction: Hitting an obstacle early in life — Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
• Being told you “can’t” and the motivation that provides
• Images from biking this past year
• The strength of figuring it out as you go
• Everybody wants to help
• Where I actually sleep
• How the bike has changed my perception about myself and others
• The hardest part is getting out the door, but that is when the true adventure begins
In her blog post about Erik, Jacqueline Herships wrote, “Some people are crushed by adversity while others measure themselves against it, pushing out boundaries that seem firmly in place.”
Erik, who has nicknamed himself a DIABadass (Dia standing for Diabetes) and a “digital nomad with a digital pancreas who goes around describing traveling with diabetes”, tells us that he travels a lot. And in doing so he tests himself at every opportunity. He has run marathons (26.2 miles); done triathlons (e.g. a 1 mile swim in the Hudson, a 26 mile bike ride and then a 10k run — 6.21371 miles). And now at 27, trained as an environmental scientist, Erik took himself to Ethiopia on the border of South Sudan for 3 months, and hiked in New Zealand for a month with one of his best friends. “I want to do this,” he told his doctor, who essentially told him not to. So off he went. “Imagine how many people do this kind of thing … not only people with type 1 diabetes,” he said. Answer: not many. Not only is Ethiopia remote, he had to carry in all medical supplies and deal with new food choices; and it’s hot: 95 degrees.
For now, Erik’s back home again where he is planning on remaining still so that he can organize and grow the DIABadass Community and work on the ErikDouds Foundation which he runs with the local Lions Club whose primary mission is eradicating blindness, often a result of diabetes. A main kick in the butt was realizing that your health is not guaranteed, he said. He wants people to say they know someone who is doing things he was told were impossible, while managing a disease which requires 24 hour attention.”
Check out Erik Douds on YouTube and visit him on Instagram @erikdouds; www.diabadass.com; #diabetes.
photo credit: Photo by @annalisavdbergh
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