Meet Jessica Matteson: Team Type 1 Global Ambassador

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Jessica Matteson
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Thursday March 12th, started off as normal spring break training day. We went on the water and had a solid practice followed by a surprise by the coaches: a water gun fight. After practice we were running around splashing each other with our water guns and jumping in the lake without a care in the world. As we all made our way up to the boathouse, I saw some teammates crying and in distress. It was not until I grabbed my phone from my locker that I saw what my teammates had seen. NCAA cancelled our season, just one week after we had our first race. Our coaches got confirmation and we were all heartbroken. I was diagnosed with diabetes just a year before (two months before the start of racing). I made a comeback last year, earning 1st in the American Athletic Conference and 15th at the NCAA Championships. This year I had gotten even faster, and was ready to show the world what more I can do as a person and as a person with Type 1.

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"This is not how I thought I would be spending my season, however, this is the reality."

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Jessica Matteson headshot
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Although these are tough times and, frankly, nothing even imagined; we are staying strong. We have weekly Zoom meetings with each of our four coaches and exercise consistently. I graduated virtually, also an experience that I never could have imagined. However, something I have done personally, has traded in my Uni for Scrubs. I will not be wearing my Uni Suit at NCAAs this year. Instead, I will be wearing scrubs dedicating my time as a nursing tech at a hospital. (A job I had as a freshman after earning my license, but had to stop after it became too much to handle.) Working in ICU, Emergency Department, and wherever else the need is great. Seeing patients fight COVID-19 and other problems we cannot forget continues to happen, makes me ever more motivated to workout for a better tomorrow.  As a diabetic, I am being extra careful as I am pursing a degree that will bring me to my calling, as a Physician Assistant.

This is not how I thought I would be spending my season, however, this is the reality. I am doing exercises before or after work to get my training in. My sugars had been a bit harder to control as I transitioned from training at school to training at home. Through the support of my doctors and trainers, my blood sugars are back on track. I am excited to see where the season will lead next year as I am coming back to finish my pre-reqs for PA school while competing in my last season.

Until then, keep rowing.

 

Editors note: This week Team Type 1 and College Diabetes Network are taking Instagram by storm. Please join us everyday this week at 5pm EST on CDN's Instagram to watch our global ambassadors go live and tell their stories. We can't wait to share how they manage to juggle college, T1D and being premier collegiate athletes. 

You can also join us for a Q&A as we talk all things athletics, college, and T1D with the TT1 Global Ambassadors, Thursday July 9th at 6pm EST. Register here