Monday, May 4, 2020

Virtual Slipstream Event: Canada

I just finished up with a virtual weekend-long event by Connected in Motion (CIM) and I am very surprised to say that


The meet up on Friday ... AMAZING.  The discussions all weekend with great speakers ... AMAZING.  The new friends I've made from not just Canada, but UK / NZ / India / USA / Germany ... hoping  I didn't leave anyone else - AMAZING.  Over 300 were in virtual attendance, and you never would have known it, but we were all there.  What a wonderful way to together with other diabetics from the comfort of your home (some were in their backyards taking part in the workshops / etc. online).  Also, not all of us can drive /fly the distance to some of their events, let alone afford them if we're on a limited income (this virtual one was free, with the option to pay X amount, which is what I did to help support the wonderful group of people/volunteers who run this nonprofit organisation).

I mean, what more can you ask for with a virtual meet up like this?  Okay - maybe the smell of the wood fire, and the lap of the water on the shoreline as you sip on your morning/noon/evening cup of coffee (or what you may like to indulge in).  Hopefully, the Ontario Slipstream will be a reality on September 25-27th in Algonquin Park if lockdown and social distancing have been lifted.

This weekend's Slipstream was originally going to take place in British Columbia, but with the current pandemic with Covid-19, self-distancing, social distancing, lockdown in many parts of Canada since March, it was decided to hold it virtually through Zoom.


I'm not a big lover of crowds.  I know this may come as a surprise to a few of you who have known me since the early days of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) when I was hired by back in 2009, but yes, at meetups, I can get crazy, with my cat ears and Sock Monkey.  Most of that craziness does not come from having a low blood sugar, but more my introvert side of myself, trying to overcome my scaredy-cat (pun intended) of being with a lot of people.  I've found too that it can be very overwhelming for me, along with the clickiness of groups.  That's never been my scene, and I tend to be attracted more to others who are like myself, feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Well, in this virtual atmosphere, you could have it all, with either being a fly on the wall just listening in or being upfront and personal.  It was the best of all worlds, and hope others felt this way too.


What a blast the cafe was that some of us would go to in between sessions.  It eventually became a bar in the evening, along with a big surprise of having Crystal Bowersox come by to play some of her ever so relaxing music.  Let's hope she is good on her promise to come to Canada, not to work as a musician, but to hang out with the friendly folks from Canada.  We said we could send her back home with good ol' Canadian insulin.  

One interesting workshop I was involved in, was on 'Growing our Community'.  I won't go into all of them, but for some of us who are older T1D's, we find a bit put off in attending due to how CIM advertises pictures of youth who seem to be in tip-top fitness shape and not quite into outside activity.  Reba Redmond was the moderator, and took many notes to help make the T1D Community, especially here in Canada more open to everyone .... aka Diversity!  Also, what I found out from others this weekend, is that no matter what age (you must be over 18 to attend CIM events) you can either be super active, a lazy cat (that's me, that's me).   That has been a big put off for me in attending CIM events, besides the travel/cost to attend that is required to get to them.  The main thing is ... it's whatever YOU want to get out of it and be with others who get you! So I may be able to set aside some monies to attend the Ontario Slipstream in September hosted in partnership with Beyond Type 1  if rules for social distancing are lifted.  Hopefully, I'll have a workable CGM at the time to do the 6-hour road trip by myself with less anxiety of having a low blood sugar below 5 mmol/l / 90 mg/dl.  

If I've got you thinking that this could be something up your alley, to at least try from the safety of your home, then check out this LINK, that shows the upcoming virtual slipstreams that may interest you. There's even one for our loved ones, aka Support Crew since they need help at times with understanding us.  Remember, if you don't live in North America, you are more than welcome to join, the more the merrier I say!   Also, virtual events like this, no flapping of wings is required/driving a long distance thus polluting the lovely blue marble we call Earth (Greta Thunberg would love us for this).

I know, a lot of information above, to take in, but I hope this helps you understand how awesome this event was for me.  Even an ol' 60 year-old like myself, who still thinks she's a youngsta after 54 years as a T1D!

Thank you so much to the sponsors that helped make this all possible. 

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