CampWILD: An investment in MY health!

by Cynthia

Have you heard about TeamWILD? Or seen the name Mari Ruddy around the diabetes community? Mari is the founder of TeamWILD & CampWILD. WILD representing: WInspire Life with Diabetes. I love this! Mari has also lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and survived breast cancer twice! What an inspiration she is! Along with TeamWILD, she also created the idea for the Red Rider jersey for the ADA Tour de Cure. I first heard about TeamWILD last year at the ADA Tour de Cure after-party when I met Mari for the first time. She came over to a group of us and enthusiastically shared about TeamWILD. I thought it sounded really cool but didn’t think I ever might do it. The program was for real athletes after all, right?

TeamWILD was brought to my attention again this year the day before my birthday in May. I am on the Red Rider sub-committee for the ADA Tour de Cure and the meetings just so happen to be held at Mari’s mom’s house! Well guess who was at our meeting that night? Mari! Another woman mentioned on her way out that she was going to camp this summer and was really excited about it. It piqued my interest. Who better to ask all of my questions to than Mari herself? I called her over and proceeded to ask her a bunch of questions (anyone who knows me well knows this is typical of me – I like to ask a LOT of questions!! My husband Jaim likes to tease me that my gravestone one day will say, “I have a few questions…”). I say that inquisitiveness is a gift, right? ; )

Was this camp only for people who run marathons & triathlons, etc? Wasn’t it also geared for people who do not currently exercise and need help implementing exercise into their life? What would I be learning at camp? I have multiple food allergies — how would you would accommodate them!? Please share with me  — why would I want to go to CampWILD?!?!?

She proceeded to answer all of my questions. I actually sent her a follow-up email with a few more questions too! What she shared inspired me a great deal and let me know that CampWILD was the place I needed to be!

It is a camp for people of ALL athletic abilities. Whether a serious athlete, couch potato or somewhere in between like me. I practice yoga 3-4 times per week and walk most days of the week 3-4 miles. I’m also training for the ADA Tour de Cure which is tomorrow on June 2! I will be cycling 27 miles. Exercise is a regular part of my life already but I have no interest in running a marathon or completing a triathlon. She assured me that they will taper the camp to fit each individual’s needs.

There is camp for what interests you! Triathlon camp. Run/walk camp & Cycling camp. You get to choose. I decided on the cycling camp because of my involvement with the ADA Tour de Cure and new found love for cycling after buying a road bike last month for the Tour de Cure.

You will learn all about the physiology of your body with diabetes. Nutrition and exercise (& sleep) are the biggest factors in living my life well with diabetes. I am ready to learn all about this from personal trainers, CDE’s (certified diabetes educators) & a mental skills coach. And if I don’t have to continually stuff my face with lots of food on my long training rides and can avoid lows and the dreaded highs that affect my performance — I will be SO happy and relieved!

Topics to be explored include: Exercise Physiology and Why it Matters When You Have Diabetes, How to Use Food as Fuel, Understanding Insulin & Medications for Exercise, Carbs and Why It’s OK to Love Them When You Are an Endurance Athlete with Diabetes, Bike Handling Skills for Cyclists & Triathletes, Run Form for Efficiency, There is no such thing as a hill – the Psychology of Suffering, Self Talk for Athletes (from their website).

What else really excited me about CampWILD?

We will have a personal chef! He will cater to all of our special food needs including food allergies! So awesome! As someone allergic to gluten, corn and most nuts – eating away from home can be a real challenge. Knowing they will accommodate my special diet was really reassuring — that while I challenge my body physically I will also have access to healthy safe meals that will assist me in feeling well & be nourished while at camp.

Yoga is offered every day too!! Hearing this I thought I must be in heaven. My yoga practice is such an important part of my health and well being and diabetes management I was thrilled to hear I would not have to sacrifice my yoga practice while at cycling camp! (we have scheduled activities from early morning until 9pm at night making it difficult to fit in time for a personal practice). We will have a yoga class offered to us each day. Aaaahh. The classes are being taught by the inspirational Ginger Vieira of the DOC. I’m looking forward to meeting her in person!

What is the good news in this for you?

YOU can attend CampWILD too! Right now through Tuesday, June 5 they are offering 20% off of CampWILD!  The camp is June 20-24 in Boulder, Colorado!!! I would love to have you join me!

Through TeamWILD I received a special rate on the hotel room & bike rental. And wait until you hear this!!! My hotel room has a balcony that overlooks the Rocky Mountains!! I cannot wait to see the view!! I am flying out the day before camp and staying until the following day just to check out the area. As someone living with Celiac, Boulder is known to have an awesome assortment of gluten free restaurants. Yay! I cannot wait to try some of them out! And I’m super excited to ride around on a fancy carbon bike for a few days!

What really convinced me that CampWILD was the right thing for me to spend money on?

In February I just celebrated my 25th year of living with diabetes. Although we had to gather up money from a few places to pay for this trip I thought to myself, “What better way to honor myself and my health than attend a camp focused on helping me live a healthy and active life with diabetes?” I am delighted about the possibility of living my next 25 years with tools and education that will allow me to be healthy, happy and likely more physically active than I have ever been! With everything I learned about CampWILD from Mari and the website I could clearly see that if I was going to invest some money into my health, this was the way to do it. I am so excited to meet other men and women just as passionate about living a good life with diabetes too. And camp for adults? Cool! I never thought as an adult I would have this opportunity!

Here is a recent link to a post written by Mari about some of the things you will learn in camp!

I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and share with you all about my experience at CampWILD! I don’t think I could be any more excited about this opportunity. My goal is to write a short (very short as we will be busy from 7am – 9pm each day) post each night with hopefully both a picture and a few highlights from that day.

Will you join me at CampWILD? This is going to be really, really great!

I hope you will consider making this investment in your health. YOU are worth it!


Blessings, light and love,


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Debora June 2, 2012 - 5:31 pm

Soo tempting. This sounds like a solid investment. We really only have our health, and have to make the best choices for it. This sounds like a great one.

Cynthia June 5, 2012 - 7:29 am

Thanks Deb for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. : ) I really hope you are able to go to CampWILD next year! Isn’t it interesting how people generally spend money fairly easily on things such as their car, a house project or vacation? Our health is definitely something to invest in. We only get one body & with diabetes our one body requires immaculate care.

Leah N. June 3, 2012 - 8:35 pm

Great article, and gorgeous pic of you friend! I’m so excited for you and for this awesome opportunity! Enjoy every minute of it!

Cynthia June 5, 2012 - 7:36 am

Thanks Leah! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and leave a comment! I can’t wait to share everything about CampWILD with you & I hope you will read my (short but sweet) posts while I’m away at camp! I am SO excited for this wonderful opportunity and I will be sure to enjoy it to the fullest! Thanks for the reminder! Thanks too for sharing my excitement – you are a good friend. : )


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