Welcome to a new post in the Featured Jetter series! A Featured Jetter is someone who either has diabetes/is involved in the diabetes world, or is a bike rider of some sort/is involved in the biking world, or both. While we started this blog to share our journey of raising $11k for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA this October 2018 (donate here!), a blog only about us would be, well, kinda boring. In doing this ride, we wanted to connect with the wider diabetes and biking communities, and in doing this blog, we’ve decided we would like to raise up and highlight some amazing people doing wonderful work.
As a precursor to signing up for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, Courtney and Broche attended a meeting of the Triangle/Eastern Chapter of JDRF. There are local chapters everywhere, and not only do they throw fun events, but they can offer a tremendous amount of support and resources for people with diabetes. Brynn Hoffman is the Outreach and Development Coordinator at our local JDRF chapter, and along with her husband Brian, has been a great support for our current biking and fundraising efforts. She’s a t1d herself, and has also participated in the ride. For more of her story, read on!
Featured Jetter: Brynn Hoffman
What is your relation to biking and/or diabetes?
I have Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed when I was 6 years old. I’m 30 now, so I don’t really remember much of life without T1D. I currently use an OmniPod pump and a Dexcom CGM – both of which I could not imagine life without.
I started biking a few years ago. My now husband, Brian, bought a bike off Craigslist to ride with a friend, but when his buddy moved away he didn’t have anyone to go out with anymore. I literally hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years, so I was hesitant to join him. But when I finished grad school he bought me a bike as a gift (an adorable purple cruiser with a basket and bell), and the rest is history.
How has biking and/or diabetes impacted your life?
I would definitely classify my life with Type 1 as a work in progress. Every day I’m trying to learn more so I can ultimately feel my strongest emotionally and physically. I’ve invested a lot of time over the last few years discovering how my body reacts and interacts with different foods, medications and supplements, and exercise. I could write you a whole essay on what I’ve learned and all the thought that goes into every decision regarding exercise and what I put into my mouth each day. At the end of the day, I’m committed to not let my Type 1 determine what I can and can’t with my life. That being said, I literally don’t go more than 10 minutes at a time without thinking about my blood sugar because it has such a huge impact on my day and how I feel. I haven’t slept a full 8 hours in over 5 years since I got my cgm. So it would be really great if we could find that cure in my lifetime!
Brian and I started biking by going out the greenways in Raleigh for 10 miles or so, but gradually started going longer and longer distances. Eventually I bought more of a hybrid bike to go more miles, and then last year we decided to sign up for the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes together and committed to 100 miles. That’s when we traded in our hybrids for road bikes and we’ve never looked back. Going out for hours on a Saturday to ride has truly become a little bit religious for us, and training for the Ride to Cure gave us something to work towards together. We’ve been together for over 8 years, but biking has become the first passion that we have truly shared together. Getting on our bikes and going out for 75 miles makes us feel strong and powerful.
What is your next goal related to biking and/or diabetes?
For biking we are signed up to ride 100 miles again this year at the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in LaCrosse, WI. We are also hoping to get another 100 mile in at some point this summer, but are still trying to figure that one out. We made a New Year’s goal to ride at least 1500 miles this year, so that will keep us busy throughout the summer. Eventually we would like to ride the Mountain to Sea trail across North Carolina.
As far as my Type 1 is concerned, I’m always just looking to find the right balance. I would love to get my A1C under 6 (a lofty goal for me), but I also don’t want to sacrifice the balance in my life just to get there. My ongoing goal is to just try to live my life the healthiest and happiest I can.
What is one idea, person, group, organization, or resource about biking and/or diabetes that you would like to share?
I don’t have a lot of biking resources – I always turn to Brian for those! But if you don’t know about Raleigh’s incredible greenway system you need to check it out. It allows you to ride miles without having to be on roads – so a lot safer and feels closer to nature. Most of the Raleigh greenways also connect to Johnston County, Cary, and Durham greenways, so you can really get around the triangle if you’re interested in distance rides.
I tell everyone with Type 1 to get on social media and search groups that support folks like us! I have learned more about caring for my mind and body through social media than I ever have from my doctor. I can definitely provide some suggestions if needed. Another great resource is Beyond Type 1. This is Nick Jonas’s charity that does advocacy and support for Type 1. They even sponsored a ride this last year – Bike Beyond – of cyclists who rode across the county. And of course I have to give some love to JDRF because they are the leading global organization focused on curing and preventing Type 1 diabetes!
What is your connection to #TeamJetlagged?
We are all going to be participating in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes this year!
What song should we add to our biking playlist?
Currently obsessed with Lemon by NERD. Haven’t tested it out outside yet, but it has been a lifesaver for indoor training this winter.
Check out these and other Featured Jetter recommended songs on our YouTube playlist!
Find your local JDRF chapter here.
If you or someone you know would make a good Featured Jetter profile, let us know! teamjetlagged(at)gmail(dot)com
Don’t forget to DONATE today to help us $11k for diabetes research during our JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, CA this October 2018!