If you, like me, grew up viewing life through the periscope of sports, the random sports idiom knows no bounds. Sport is often sold as the character molding force that teaches the lessons of life, builds camaraderie, and strengthens resolve. Being one that only knows my own experience, I cannot discount these assertions (recently though, I’ve met a few people who never played sports and seem alright).
Besides all that greatness, sports engrain a language in its disciples–phrases that are repeated so often that they inevitably intertwine with your inner experience of everything, a little like a play-by-play call of your own day. As kids, we had to believe in these parables preached by coaches. Now, these idioms surface at odd times but nevertheless guide my diabetes management.
Thus, a new series has begun, devoted entirely to the lasting power of sports and its inevitable effect on diabetes. Let’s open up Volume One:
Playing To Win Vs Playing Not To Lose
This one’s good. Ultimately, it gets right at confronting fears and acting toward opportunity instead. Don’t guard the lead, extend the lead. Make the play, don’t try to prevent the mistake. Etc. As I stood in the grocery store parking lot one morning this week, sneaking a Clif Bar out of my grocery bag, preparing to take insulin, here it came like a lightning bolt from the heavens: play to win Ryan, don’t play not to lose.
My blood sugar was 130. The Clif Bar was 45 carbs. When the idiom entered, I was about to take 2 units. The safe play. The low avoidance play. Aborting the safe option, I dialed up 3 units, right at my carb ratio for the 45 units, and embraced the possibility of going low for better control. It worked. Sat down to lunch at 120. Playing to win.