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I surveyed the competition and twisted, nudged and wormed my way towards the starting line settling in with the other 300 plus athletes from schools around my State.
We initially sprinted through a paddy field and established into a more appropriate pace weaving in and out of numerous kampongs on our way to the finish line. I floated past date palms, stray dogs, shrines (and as it turned out, a few other runners too) over the 6 km course and finished in the respectable top 10.
As I stood on stage, I only just managed to walk over in time to shake the Datuk’s hand. It was a lucky guess that I recognised my name in the flurry of Bahasa Malaysia. I remembered how much I love running when it stops! As a diabetic I am still able to run. Perhaps even better than I did before as I now take even greater interest in my keep fit and healthy habits like my life depends on it.
The Tarahumara tribe are the Mexican Indians in Chihuahua who are hailed as the best distance runners in the world. They conquer ultra marathons, taking out the pros, and are famously known for racing in sandals. Their stamina is attributed in part to chia seeds. They combine it with lemon and water to create a drink known as Iskiate.
Chia does mean “strength” in ancient Mayan language. The tiny black seed comes from the Silvia Hispancia – a member of the mint family native to both Central and South America. As a low carb and nutrient packed seed, they are super-foods, especially for diabetics. They reduce blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, possess antioxidants and do so much more. The Tarahumara tribe drink it daily and not just when they’re running marathons. Seeing as chia seeds are good for runners and health conscious diabetics they are now part of my life.
The next time I’m on a podium I’ll need to juggle listening for my name, checking my glucose levels and probably taking a fast acting snack!
I wonder what Type 1 diabetic Tarahumara runners can teach me?
Glucose upon publishing: 7.5 mmol/L