Transform Your Passion Into Character

8/22/19
WRITTEN BY: David Lozano
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David Lozano is a member of Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team. Every athlete on the team competes with Type 1 diabetes and against the best cyclists in the world. David recently talked to Beyond Type 1 about his experience with the team and future plans.

My life with diabetes

I remember that my diagnosis was complicated but came at a good time in terms of results and things like that. I was preparing for the Cyclocross World Cup in Igorre and had a good feeling about it and as the race approached, I was at a very good weight. Suddenly, I started to feel extremely fatigued and at first, I blamed it on the workouts and races I was doing, but there was a time when I even had sight problems in one of my eyes because of the high glucose levels before my diagnosis. So finally, I was diagnosed with T1D the day before the Igorre World Cup for which I had trained so hard.

After my diagnosis, I was worried about being able to compete again at the same level and having a normal life, and I say normal because in my household, we already had experience with diabetes because my father has lived with T1D for about 50 years and his management has not been the best. I must confess that the truth is that I did not change anything drastically because being an athlete before the diagnosis I already had a structured diet and a regular and scheduled activity plan, but perhaps the hardest thing was the fact of having to explain to all my close friends that I have diabetes.

The truth is that my diagnosis caught everyone a little bit by surprise but the one person that really had a hard time was my mother because she had already had to deal with diabetes with my father. In my case, all I knew about diabetes was “the bad” because the good things often go unnoticed since they are normal for everyone else. But when I was diagnosed, having better management than my father helped me change the perception of diabetes in my family and especially changed my father’s management of his own diabetes.

Team Novo Nordisk

I have been part of the organization since 2012 when I joined the development team, and to this day I am still with them and I am very happy with everything we do – not just the ability to ride fast on our bikes. My arrival at Team Novo Nordisk was through Javier Mejías, who was our partner. He contacted me when he learned from the cycling press that I had been diagnosed with diabetes and he put me in contact with Phil Southerland and invited me to the US to try out with the team, and that is when this adventure began.

As far as my diet and management is concerned, the truth is that I eat everything any elite athlete eats, and nothing special. I try to adapt diabetes to my pace of life, and not the other way around. For competition and training, I use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that helps me a lot to avoid having highs or lows during training or races and to always be able to make timely decisions and not act too late.

Regarding the difficulties and challenges of diabetes during rides, the truth is that I do not find it complicated because you do it every day anyway and you do it without thinking. Perhaps on days when it is cold or raining and difficult to look at my CGM are the ones that I find more complicated.

Looking at the future

I would like future riders to see that when you have diabetes you can not only compete and have a healthy life, but you can also have ambition and go for everything and get results!

My next plans include a tour of Poland and a tour of Denmark, which is the home of our main sponsor so we want to arrive in good shape. Currently, I am preparing for Grand Prix de Fourmies/La Voix du Nord, and the truth is that I do not know the route since I have never raced there. We know for sure the race will be hard since it will be in France and riding there is always intense. I will try to do my best for the team and if my teammate Charles Planet is in good shape, I want to help him because he will be racing in his country and that always gives you extra motivation.

 


This piece originally appeared on Beyond Type 1 en Español and was translated from Spanish.



David Lozano

Now in his seventh year with Team Novo Nordisk, Lozano is an 11-time Spanish national champion in mountain-bike and cyclocross racing. Soon after his diagnosis, Lozano connected with Team Novo Nordisk CEO Phil Southerland who explained the values of the team — to help inspire, educate and empower those living with diabetes — and invited Lozano to join.