35 Minutes of Hell

Are you failing at managing diabetes? Are you suffering from diabetes despair? Never give up. No matter how many times you fail… NEVER QUIT.

  • challenge yourself today to go ‘low carb paleo‘ for 30 days
  • in this post I discuss a personal kettlebell fitness challenge


In 2009 when diagnosed with diabetes, I knew what a diabetes diagnosis meant. A downward spiral in health leading to strokes, organ failure and amputations awaited me. I found a better way to self-manage diabetes and I am NEVER going to quit. Back in 2009 I decided I loved LIVING more than I loved breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, potatoes and rice.

kettlebells are diabetes friendly


The picture of my kettlebell when I brought it home from the store.  Aw, so cute. I didn’t start out swinging a 55 lb kettlebell, nope. I started swinging a 20 lb kettlebell, moved up to 30 lbs, 45 lbs, 55 lbs and now I swing a 70 lb kettlebell at the gym. Eventually I will be moving up in weight. I will never quit.


Never Quit

Someone once said, ‘You never fail until you quit”. THAT IS SO TRUE!  Do NOT QUIT!

No matter how many times you have failed, never quit.

However, with diabetes there is a sense of urgency. You never know when your next bout of elevated blood sugars (hyperglycemia) will be your last, before permanent damage is done.  Sadly for many, their next elevated will be their last before organ failure, amputations or even death.

Decide today that you want to LIVE!!! … more than you want breads, cakes, cookies, cereals and crackers.  Go “low carb paleo” … a meal plan you can ‘live’ with.


Fitness Challenge

The day I was diagnosed I had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.  For the next four plus years after my diagnosis, I exercised in some form almost every day.  I was addicted to intense Xercise!  In September 2013 I was at the pinnacle of my adult aged fitness levels.  There was seemingly nothing that I could not do and to be honest, I felt invincible!

And then, I dislocated my shoulder in a bicycle accident and essentially all intense exercised ceased … for months.

For months I would try to exercise but there were continuous set backs. I’d take a step forward, only to find myself two steps back. I finally decided to rest the shoulder for a several weeks and then I started back exercising slowly with core and leg workouts. In Mid-January I began weight resistance exercising once again … the shoulder was healing slowly.

In March I joined a gym and for the next three months I was lifting ‘heavy’ or as heavy as I could. I was never able to bench press as much as I wanted to and my dead lifts and squats were not ‘all out’ either… but I was lifting ‘heavier’ than I had in the past. With the summer in full bloom I decided to take a break from the inside gym workouts and get back into intense workouts, outside in the SUN!!!  Using mostly body weight exercises with some kettlebell work.



Everything we do is an ‘experiment’.  I decided to compare my level of fitness using a workout that I had completed in the past…. to see how far I had progressed.  It’s one of the most intense workouts that I do,

  • 15 minutes of maximum 55 lb kettlebell swings
  • 5 minute rest
  • 15 minutes of maximum squats and bent rows, both also with a 55 lb kettlebell.

I call this ’35 minutes of hell’. I truly hate this workout … but I love it too.  It will get the ‘ol heart pumping… in no time.



I like to change up my workouts all the time… in 2012 I began doing this workout and on 3/12/13 I reached an all time high for each of the activities (swings, squats and rows).  I decided to ‘re-attack’ this workout the end of June 2014, about 10 months after my shoulder injury.

I had been working out intensely at a gym (and still doing sprints etc) so I was in good shape and condition. I took it slow to test my shoulder… it responded very well.

In two weeks on 7/6 I reached a NEW HIGH IN TOTAL WEIGHT!!! 

I was shocked honestly.  I didn’t really expect to EVER beat the old Total Weight set back in 3/2/13.  Don’t get me wrong, that was my goal.  FYI,  I am a big fan of setting goals.

After I achieved a new “Total Weight” record what did I do? I set a new goal of course. I wanted to surpass 40,000 pounds!!!  That’s 20 tons by the way… :)

After several days of rest on 6/10/14 I surpassed the 40,000 lbs in total weight!!!   That means that I ‘moved’ 20 tons … in 35 minutes. :)

… I was ELATED!!!  At least using this workout as a measuring stick… I was BACK!!! :) 

Note: This exercise is so intense, I like to have at least a day or two in between workouts…  to allow my body to recuperate.

Several times in the fall of 2013 I thought that I may not  ever exercise intensely again.

I had spoken to several people who had similar injuries and they were unable to do a push up or were unable to bench press … even a bar by itself.   One gentleman told me that he could not raise his hand above his head without severe pain.

I wondered if the high level of fitness that I had achieved …was indeed my ‘peak’?  I wondered if intense eXercise and New Personal bests were all in my rear view mirror?

No doubt that most of my victory over diabetes is attributed to my meal plan… without question.

However, much of ‘who I am’ today is exercising and playing outside… intensely much of the time.   At one point, even jogging barefoot caused discomfort in my shoulder … at one point I thought that even jogging might be too much for my shoulder.

Still … I did not quit.

Blood Sugar?

Here is my blood sugar numbers pre-workout  and in 15 minute intervals post workout.   Keep in mind, this is THE most intense workout I do… maximum burpees is very intense as well.  They both can and have spiked my blood sugar 30+ points due to the intensity.

FYI – Intense eXercise is the only reason that I allow large blood sugar spikes. I am convinced the advantages long term outweigh the temporary highs.

Back in normal range in less than an hour… I’ll take it! :)

post x


Wrap Up

As you can probably guess, the wrap up will be … DO NOT QUIT!  … and do not give in …. EVER!

Note: I did exercise too soon after my injury. And my lack of patience no doubt delayed the healing of my shoulder. So exercise caution when dealing with injuries.

We all have challenges in our lives.   Question everything and keep searching and testing… keep STRIVING to improve your health and fitness… I do.

My shoulder is not 100%, I still can’t do pull ups nor burpees ‘all out’.  I can do them, but I must use care not to re-aggravate the shoulder joint.  There is nothing that I can’t do … that I could do before which is important to me. :)

I once did 100 jump burpees in 8:28, here’s the post and a video. :)  I think that is my new goal … to beat 8:28.

If I only do 12 per minute… I’ll make my goal. :)

What are your goals?   One without a doubt should be ‘normal’ blood sugar, normal blood sugar for non-diabetics.