Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis “Just Another Challenge” for Travis Mead
One month ago, on April 15, everything started to feel off for Travis Mead.
“I coached early that morning and had a long training day, so I thought I was just feeling more tired than usual,” said 35-year-old Mead, a four-time regional athlete who was second overall in the 2022 Open in the men’s 35-39-year-old division.
“But as the days went on, I continued to feel lethargic. My kidneys were in pain, and I was using the bathroom like every 10 minutes,” said Mead, the owner of Iron Valley CrossFit in Clackamas, OR.
After two weeks of experiencing the latter symptoms, as well as blurred vision, Mead ended up in the hospital for two nights, where he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the same disease his younger brother discovered he had at the age of 11.
“He had similar symptoms before his diagnosis, but I was hoping for rhabdo or something,” said Mead, who recently completed 365 straight days of hero workouts, and his next challenge was to complete 1,000 hero workouts within a one year period, before being derailed with his diabetes diagnosis.
Just Another Challenge
In a matter of seconds, Mead’s priorities shifted from thinking about hero workouts and an upcoming 31-mile trail run to simply getting the disease under control “as fast as possible,” he said.
He wasted no time wallowing in self-pity.
“There is no reason to sit around and wonder why me? This is something out of my control so the faster I accept it the faster I can overcome it and get back to what I do best,” Mead said. “This is just another challenge I will conquer and become stronger for it. I never let anything stop me, so why is this any different?”
The first action he took was going on a three-times-a-day eating plan, as suggested by his doctor, with limited carbohydrates to see how this affects his blood sugar levels with the current insulin dose he is on.
“I also am only doing 15 to 20 minutes of low intensity workouts with supervision to make sure I don’t drop with low blood sugar until we get a grasp on how my body responds to everything,” he said.
Once it’s under control and he has a better idea of how his body responds, Mead said is confident he will be able to return to his regular eating and training program, but “it’s just going to take some time,” he said.
“It will take some getting used to, but I’m going to get it dialed and get back at it,” he added.
For anyone who gets hit with an unexpected diagnosis, Mead’s message is clear: “Never accept defeat. Never dwell on the negative, but find the positive in your current situation.”
He added: “My positive is turning this into a challenge I must win. Life is going to throw unexpected things at you that you’re not going to be ready for, but you must adapt to it and overcome it.”