Rock climber Steve Richert may suffer from type-1 diabetes, but he doesn't let life get him down, he's participating in Project 365- his yearlong rock climbing challenge, and empowering others with the disease!
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the Project 365 Challenge and the Living Vertical?
Steve Richert: "Project 365 is a year long climbing challenge where I'm climbing every single day for an entire year to raise awareness for diabetes and to help empower folks that are living with this condition to be able to take a proactive approach and feel confident about managing their diabetes day-to-day. If I can do it in the vertical world, everybody can do it and their own challenges that are specific to them."
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about Steve's Mountain?
Steve Richert: "I'd love to tell you about Steve's Mountain. It's actually kind of the hub website that has our blog linked to it and our social media accounts. We're very active on Facebook and Twitter, and also we have a video on StevesMountain.com that has some of the highlights of the climbing that I've been doing for the past 191 days and by watching that video and liking it, Roche, the manufacturers of Accu-Chek will actually donate $1 to Project 365 for every person who likes that video and watches it."
Candace Rose: How do you manage your type-1 diabetes, especially when climbing?
Steve Richert: "Basically being very careful is how I do it. I rely on my tools to get the job done. I use the Accu-Chek Nano meter. As the name implies, it's small and it fits right in with an active lifestyle. It fits right in with the climbing because it doesn't get in the way and it gives me fast and accurate results. It's very dependable, I always have it with me and really knowing where my blood sugar is from moment to moment. It allows me to minimize the role that diabetes is playing in my thought process and by extension my life, and really focus on the challenge at hand which is the climate."
Candace Rose: What are some of the challenges you've faced this year during your Project 365 challenge?
Steve Richert: "Well, they've been as widely varied as wildlife attacks and also there's a lot of emotional direst that goes along with something of this nature. And I've been really chronicling those things in the blog, which is linked at StevesMountain.com, and there's a lot of stories there and I'm hoping also that the upcoming 174 days that remain in Project 365, that some of the best stories have yet to still come out. We're really excited about the idea of folks visiting StevesMountain.com, which links to the blog and getting involved with that because it's an ongoing project."
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice for fellow diabetics?
Steve Richert: "Basically stay positive and use the right tools with the right mindset, because ultimately that is what is going to give you the best result in the long term. Short term day-to-day there's fluctuations, there's variations that can be challenging, but don't let that get you down. Stay on top of it. Manage it. Check your blood sugar and keep your focus on the things that motivate you and that are positive for the big picture."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Steve Richert: "I'm just really excited about folks coming to StevesMountain.com and interacting with us because as I mentioned we have social media links there. But we also have the opportunity right on StevesMountain.com for folks to share their story and discuss the challenges that they face and how this project may be impacting them in their own lives. So we really are trying to get folks to come and visit us at StevesMountain.com, and watch and like the video that's there.