Since the beginning, friendship wills, help to build "blue O Project", tO them my gratitude, mOst of all because they believe On it!
2014 blue O interview:
1. Hello Carlos. To get started, tell us about your evolution as diabetic. When developed the disease, at what age, etc.
In my case "awakened" at age of 19th. In 2/3 weeks I was diagnosed.
At the time I "trained" MTB almost daily, with plenty cramps, till there unknown to me. It had all the typical symptoms: extreme thirst and consequent urination, constant tiredness, with a ravenous hunger!
In this rapidly development I lost over 10kg, which embarrassed me more was how quickly I had to find a toilet.
2. What was the impact on your life? I keep in memory my first blood glucose value: 537mg/dL. My parents, who assist the doctor consultation, reflected in the eyes the impact of the new.
I had a normal interpretation, if I can say like this; "It's for the rest of my life! Okay! How I do it?"
Being a chronic disease the consequences of mismanagement will be pay it in the long-term, sometimes we disregard some details, that make all the difference.
3. Did you had sport at the time, especially MTB? I always practiced amateur sport. MTB was that very year.
Judo, karate, running when young. Tennis, handball and basketball in basic and secondary school. As a Boy Scout, 13 years on, many outdoor activities.
As adult and out of Portugal I started doing squash and swimming. The bikes they come with me since childhood.
4. What has changed in your life before and after diagnosed with diabetes? In sports terms and also personally? A diabetic rule, and for his benefit, have to adopt certain patterns that lead to manage his diabetes at all levels.
Initially I didn't make a cause-effect link! I learned over the time, experiences and attempts, I'm very self-taught.
I start to eat better, anyone - not just diabetics - should eat little and often daily, it’s a fundamental rule.
A practical example; fat has 3 times more Carbohydrates then sugar, in the same amounts - a chocolate mousse or a potatoes chips pack? - having a disciplined mind is the key!
Insulin at set times and sports activities supplements the "treatment" helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
5. Did you think to stop or it wasn't an issue "on the table"? Somehow, only later I realize it, but, sports "click" has always been there!
I’m optimistic and really persistent!
Another fundamental rule for a diabetic is to understand the body symptoms, when in doubt, do a blood glucose reading to confirm!
Before each meal we measure it to know what quantities should eat and insulin intake, always on the basis of what we going to do.
6. How did the blog and blue O concept's appear? Existed before, in another format, or it was something created from scratch? In 2009 I went to Avis XCO "Norte Alentejano" Championship. At first tour, already with hypo symptoms, I ate poorly. During the second tour the hypo "settled" making me to finish very late and still recovering from it. On finish line were many organization people, but no one asking me what had happened to me!
With this episode, I thought on a customized gear, I confess, also because one 24H MTB Event in Castelo Branco, in which Antonio Girão athlete had all customized. I mentioned this to him personally.
After this, in 2009 September 24th, I beginning a rubric on MTB Portuguese Forum - Health and Training; "OmeuBTTtemDIABETES" – my MTB has DIABETES.
I start my contacts, even on international level, throughout all diabetic institutions in Portugal, with some positive responses, I start the blog to illustrate the Project and sponsors. Following that the social networks and from the interest and contact of amateur athletes, also diabetic, the Facebook page "Projecto blue O".
"Projecto blue O" is more complete. Have several focused "managers", all amateurs! Running, climbing, trail, Korfball, biking / cycling... The concept is to report experiences and demystify diabetes in sport, with diabetes is extremely important to keep us active - doing sports - help to decreasing blood glucose values, avoiding the usual complications.
7. For those who do not know, what "blue O" means? The circle derives from diabetes international symbol, the circle, representing Diabetes union and symbolizes support for UN Resolution on diabetes.
The name "blue" comes from the circle color, representing the sky and the UN color flag, featuring the union between countries.
Complement the UCI (International Cycling Union) stripes, because it was MTB with everything start.
8. The "brand" has created an impact on MTB marathons where you go? First time I showed up the gear I felt the first goal was achieved. I started to represent something. No doubt it was one way to be known!
Are you diabetic? The MTB isn't an issue for you? You’re out fit is pretty cute! How do you control everything? Where I can buy a gear like yours?
Internationally, in 2012, “Projecto blue O” was awarded as "Week Heroe" from IDF (International Diabetes Federation).
9. Are you the only diabetic athlete with a project like this, communicating about diabetes in this way? Somehow, at a national level (Portugal), it may be, but not exactly... There are many "blue O's" who report their experiences, this is the objective of blue O Project.
If we go to Spain there are several athletes with a similar idea, even professionals; Jon Karro developed the "DT1 Team ". Antonio Lledó recently "Titan Desert 2014" finisher was the 1st DT1 to get this done.
An English example is Sir Steve Redgrave, rowing Olympic athlete, was diagnosed DT2 in 97 and in 2000 Sydney Olympic Games it came with the gold medal. This is a good example!
In Canada this year, Sebastien Sasseville undertook a 7500K race to promote diabetes.
"Team Novo Nordisk" first professional Pro Tour cycling Team, founded by Phil Southerland, formed only by diabetics, who also have representation in other sports.
There is a wide range of "activists", some are professionalized, others only because they like...
10. Since the blog and "blue O" concept, almost created a team. How many athletes shall wear your jersey now? Last count I did and not all are being registered, over 50.
Canyon headquarters in Koblenz, there is one in a wall.
Spain and Costa Rica were the 1st international, Mexico, USA and Brazil went this year.
Some are not diagnosed, is pure friendship and/or love to spread the blue O Project. A team, properly there isn't, is pure fun, investment of each one, financial and particular, reporting the lived experiences with the jersey dressed up.
11. It prides you having helped get the message that diabetes isn't enemy of sport?
Without any doubt, this is the main objective of "blue O Project". We have to demystify that a diabetic can't do sports. Can and should keeping active!
Diabetes doesn't cause any obstruction to sport, it’s part of the treatment, along with a balanced diet, insulin and/or oral agents.
Sport activity helps transforming Carbohydrates ingested into the blood, this is fundamental.
12. Which sports you do at this point? MTB only? Mountain biking, cycling, hiking, running, trail running, swimming, triathlon I'm "build it"!
13. How many times a week does you exercise? And races? This winter I bought a roller trainer, equipment that allowed me to "scroll" a little. Went out by bike during the week is difficult me.
Being a father, putting the kinds on the extracurricular activities, "burn" me some time.
I try to schedule some walking/running, swimming and also the bike, but never long workouts. blue O Project circumstances takes me some time too after work.
Some week-ends are dedicated to races; MTB marathons, trail runs, some running - max 10k - and now the triathlon.
I'll sketch my calendar on my blog. This year, I'll probably represents "blue O" outside Portugal, always with Novo Nordisk Portugal help, without them almost nothing would have been possible.
14. How you went from MTB to trail runs and triathlon? What was this motivation? A conjugation of situations. In 2013 CANYON GmbH borough me two bikes, MTB and road, last one allowed me to diversify some trainings.
Walks/moderated hiking and run I’ve always did. My goal is not podiums, I try to be and been active. So I can perfectly do 25K moderate trail run, remind my childhood, and Scouting. I made the first one and now...
Because I did swimming, I'm still far from the Olympic distance, but "sprint" version I want to start my curriculum.
15. Will also take the blue O concept to trail run and triathlon? Absolutely yes, blue O will be to spread as far as possible.
The concept is always the same, to demystify sports practice in diabetic persons, talking about our experiences. I'm the mentor of it and I dedicate enough time to this cause, I’m proud of it, but the ones who wanting to follow me, they make the rest of the work...
16. What you do professionally? Currently I work in a Call Center.
I graduated in Biological and Food Engineer, professional experience in chemical, automotive and industrial painting. An life obligation now is to be polyvalence!
17. Are you married? Have children? Married with 3 children. An emancipated girl, a boy, pure swimming athlete and a child, also swimming and it seems pianist.
18. You live in Castelo Branco, right? Always lived there? I was born and currently live in Castelo Branco.
After my studies lived in Holland during a Leonardo da Vinci internship. Due to a multinational where I worked, I travelled extensively by Europe, living in France between 2006 and 2007. In each country I had a national bicycle as transportation. From Portugal, as you go north, the greater cycling culture is.