My Challenge: Coach Eli

Untitled

I am so excited that Coach Eli is willing to share his Challenge today. I admire Eli so much. First because he coaches girl soccer. I would rather have a root canal. He is the dad to three incredible daughters. He is the dad you want your kid to have. One that balances being a dad with being a coach with being the soft place for his girls to land.  Okay enough gushing.

My Challenge: Acting Like a Diabetic

Coaches are so stubborn. Or is it just me?

When both my soccer teams this season opened with winless records, I did as any other coach in my predicament would do.

I avoided the website with our standings like a kid dodges cauliflower.

That I didn’t see my teams in last place didn’t mean they weren’t there. Right?

So why do I act like if I don’t take a glucose reading when I’m supposed to … my blood sugar is under control? Especially when I’ve had three slices of pizza and a couple of graham crackers. And a shot of regular Cherry Coke in my Coke Zero.

Didn’t I do this to myself?

Type II diabetics get a bum rap. Diabetes.org reports guys like me and others with pigment are more likely to develop the disease. It’s often seen as a disease that we bring upon ourselves. Type I, called ‘childhood diabetes,’ is different. Those poor kids didn’t get it like we did.

By eating fatty ethnic foods. Living sedentary lives.

My life has been anything but sedentary. I’ve run two 5Ks, coached soccer for 11 years, and will squeeze a round of disc golf in every day, up to and including the day I die.

I am a foodie though. A foodie with an inner voice that claims animal crackers are healthy. That I should snag a burrito in the drive thru, because what if my glucose tanks? The voice talks me into worse decisions than Paris Hilton could.

So this is the part of this post I’ll stop being funny and making excuses.

The price of not getting it right

If I don’t get a handle on this, I will die. I will die early. I will miss my grandkids and college graduations. I won’t get to screen potential husbands for my three daughters.

If I don’t get a handle on this, I will have a stroke or a heart attack. It might be in front of my girls. It might be while I drive them to soccer matches. It might be at work, and they’ll have to call them out of class and into the office and they’ll find out dad will never come home.

They’ll grieve and suffer and then they’ll look into what killed their daddy.

They’ll find out type II diabetes is manageable.

They’ll wonder – why didn’t dad do it?

Why weren’t we important enough?

Why was there always a box of cookies in the car?

Why was it so easy to convince him to stop at the grocery store for little bags of chips and sports drinks and processed ‘fruit’ pies?

Why didn’t he care? And, will this happen to me?

I can’t live with that.

I told Kerri when she asked me to write this that I would in one take. Get it raw. I knew it would be that way. I knew that as well as I knew the well-intentioned charts and methods and promises would fail. I knew the way I did that despite nods and notes in my cute nutritionist’s office, this wouldn’t stick.

That last week I ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza after I couldn’t find hummus at work. Hey, I told the cook, if Jesus wanted me to have hummus and a whole-wheat pita, he’d have had some down here. The cook wiped his brow and pointed at the cooler with a spatula.

“What’s that right there?” he asked.

Hummus.

Yeah, it was funny.

But you know what?

This isn’t. This is real.

This is on the record. This is here for my kids to read. Just like the fun stuff, the answers I gave to their questions. Just like the stories of their soccer triumphs and hilarious moments. The provocative thoughts that drew readers back to their daddy’s blog to engage and be enlightened.

If I die early, they’ll have all that to look back on. And now, they’ll have this. The piece that didn’t fit.

Why didn’t dad try? We saw him do so much for us. Why not this?

It just won’t fit.

So, it’s up to me to make this most recent revelation of a method work for once. And stick to it. And not waver. Now, it’s here. And I can’t take it back. Now, I have to make it fit.

How will I know it fits?

In 40 years, when I’m almost 83 and the kids are grown. They’ll wonder why in the hell grandpa still blogs about fatherhood, grandfatherhood and coaching. Still with the coaching? Yep.

Coaches are so stubborn. Or is it just me?

When he isn’t hosting fantastic guest posts or answering his kids’ questions about bad sideline behavior, Eli Pacheco coaches two soccer teams and writes the blog Coach Daddy. Follow him on Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter

**************************

Of course Coaches are stubborn. They deal with kids and mold them into champions. Not just on the field but in life. They are also stubborn enough to hold themselves accountable, something I preached to Eli! I know he loves his girls enough to make sure he is coaching his grandchildren at 83.

Thank you, Eli for being willing to be raw and to share your Challenge. It will make a difference in another’s life.

There is no cure for Type II Diabetes, there is only management through diet, exercise and medication. Too many people believe this is a punishment for a lifestyle choice. Which is beyond wrong. Type II Diabetes transcends race, ethnicity and income status. If left untreated, Type II Diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney damage and other diseases.

To learn more about Diabetes please visit the American Diabetes Association.

 

 

27 thoughts on “My Challenge: Coach Eli

  1. Janine Huldie

    FIt’s, I adore Eli and so happy to see him here today. Second, while I knew a bit about this, I truly am humbled by Eli sharing his challenge of Type II diabetes here today. Definitely know this must be a struggle and give him tons for credit for explaining it all here today, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. firebailey Post author

      Thanks, Janine. As I just had M&M’s for breakfast I can definitely say eating right is a challenge in and of itself! Eli’s honesty about how diabetes impacts his life is so very important.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Eli Pacheco

    Janine – thanks so much for being here. It’s a struggle every day that I’ve become great at making light of, unfortunately. I want to do better, but not change. Is this possible? No. But i do want to not let go of who I am in the process. I have to find a way.

    Hi. I’m a foodie with Type II Diabetes. The irony, eh?

    Like

    Reply
  3. tamaralikecamera

    I’ve reined in my sugar intake for about two years now. I failed the glucose challenge while pregnant with Des, which is normal, and then I passed the test. I did not have Gestational Diabetes. During the two weeks in which I thought I might, I researched it like crazy. And the truth is, Gestational Diabetes is not Type II Diabetes. It goes away, mostly. However, it’s also more strict. And from what I gather, it’s really how we should be eating. Getting carbs from better sources. Pairing them with proteins. You know the drill.
    I’m rambling. What I really want to say is that in some strange and limited way, I do get the struggle. I was lucky that time, but that doesn’t mean I’m exempt.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      My sister had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant. And you’re right, it’s more about better choices for carbs, adding proteins, and the like. It doesn’t mean I can never have a cookie. I just have to not have a whole box of vanilla wafers.

      And if I’m going to eat Grace’s pizza crusts, I’m going to have only one or two slices myself. Tradeoffs. It’s bad form to turn away your baby’s pizza crusts.

      None of us are exempt, are we? I want to make better choices, but not be a prisoner to diet. What kind of way is that to live? So, it’s up to me.

      Like

      Reply
  4. Autism Mom

    This came at a perfect moment for me – in menopause and kind of hating it, watching my body change, the pounds creeping up, knowing I can do something about it but not wanting to because I am secretly angry about changes I can’t control. It is nice to know I am not alone in the wrangling in my mind. Just do it, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      It sucks to have no choice, doesn’t it? When I scoop up my morning pills or have to prick my finger on a cold morning, it’s tough to contain the hate. We do have to suck it up and go, but you know, sometimes it’s OK just to step back and say !@#%! you, diabetes.

      I’m having a Butterfinger.

      Then come to your senses. And eat only half.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Kristi Campbell - findingninee

    I love Eli’s challenge and love seeing him here today. I don’t have diabetes but can really relate to this as well – I make HORRIBLE choices so often… and I don’t want to because I want to know my son when he’s 50… but then well, I do. Ugh. Great post you two!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      Great to see you too Kristi! The choices are tough because really, if I eat a loaf of french bread and cup of hot cocoa right now, my glucose will spike, but tonight, I will be fine. It’s in six months, or six years, that I’ll pay the price.

      Like

      Reply
  6. Dana

    You will do what you have to do, Eli, because you love your girls more than you love pizza. And because you’ll be an awesome grandfather one day.

    My father had a heart attack when I was pregnant with my son. It scared him into exercising and eating better. He still walks every day, over 13 years later. He knows that he came so close to never meeting three of his four grandchildren.

    Thanks for sharing your challenge, Eli. I hope you overcome it; the world’s a better place with you in it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      I do, Dana, and that’s big love right there. If I play it right, I can have both. It’s easy. Thin crust. Quotas. More disc golf every day. Cut out the binging. Do I really need a bag of chips?

      I don’t want to even get close to a watershed moment.

      You’re sweet, Dana. I’ll stick around as long as I can if you’re here.

      Like

      Reply
  7. allisonbcarter

    I love this post. As a fitness nut, someone who did a week of clean eating, sometimes I get down on myself for not being able to forego the (lots of) junk food I eat each day. BUT more on that when my challenge is posted her…. (ooo, foreshadow)

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      Thanks Allison. I had a bad night last night, too, that involved peanut M&Ms. I know better.

      Can’t wait to see your challenge … if only there were foreboding music to go with your foreshadowing … )

      Like

      Reply
  8. Pingback: On the Road: This Time, at Undiagnosed But OK | Coach Daddy

  9. ProteanMom

    Now I feel bad about the pan of brownies on the counter… crap.

    Way to recognize that change is needed, though. Best of luck sticking to that decision – that’s the hard part.

    As for me… my new goal today is to only have one brownie, not rest of the pan. Okay, fine, two brownies. The baby needs one, too, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      Don’t feel bad about brownies. Nothing about brownies ought to make anyone feel bad.

      Thing is, I’d have one. I should have one. Not a huge one. Smaller than Texas but bigger than Rhode Island on a placemat map. I’ll eat it slow and savor it. What I *won’t* do is come back to the fridge at 11:30 a.m. while watching Arrow and eat two more.

      You, my dear, are eating for two. I just act like I am sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. Kim

    I’m so happy to see the note at the end about the fact that Type II Diabetes isn’t a punishment for a way of life – it happens. The main thing is you (Eli) are managing it and doing everything in your power to live a long healthy life for your girls!!!
    And, Kerri, I’m a follower over here but rare commenter – glad you had Eli and invited us over. I have to say, having just gotten home from my 2nd root canal in 6 months – I will always pick coaching any age, male or female, any sport!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      It does happen, Kim. It’s a struggle, even on good days, to get it right, but I’ll keep trying. I have a lot to live for.

      Kerri’s place is always great reading, isn’t it Kim?

      Like

      Reply
  11. Rorybore

    I’m just so humbled by your heart and your willingness to share it. raw. unedited. all for those precious three. That’s big love. And I rather think your girls will remember that best. hugs.

    Like

    Reply
  12. kellylmckenzie

    Oh Eli. I admire you more than ever now. Being able to recognize that you want to do better but not let go of who you are is the big key, isn’t it? May your next 40 plus years see you winning the battle. Hang in there buddy.

    Like

    Reply
  13. Megan Walker (@MWfiresidechats)

    I think both forms of diabetes get a bum rap. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with Type I diabetes about a year ago when she was 23. She is (and was) an incredibly healthy eater and exercised regularly, so the fact she got diabetes was a shock. I think it’s great you acknowledge how much your girls need you, Eli, and that drives you to confront such a discouraging disease. Keep up the good work!!!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Eli Pacheco

      You’re right, Megan. There are so many factors, and some are beyond our control. Type I is so much more volatile. A girl on a soccer team I coached this season has it, and it’s a point of concern. But she is usually great about monitoring herself.

      I’d love to see the day when she – and I – won’t have to anymore!

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s