(BPT) - Ryan Reed, 20, of Bakersfield, Calif., is chasing his dream to become a top NASCAR driver. He’s racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series events this year as a development driver for one of the top names in the sport, all while taking care of his type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes entered Reed’s life in February 2011, just as his career was taking off - he was Rookie of the Year, Super Late Model division, Toyota Speedway, at age 17. With a strong effort to continue on, Reed’s hopes grew as he read about other athletes competing with diabetes. He contacted Indy driver Charlie Kimball’s endocrinologist, Anne Peters, MD, who couldn’t promise he’d be able to compete but did promise that she’d help him seize every opportunity if he would strive for it. Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007.
Reed was determined, and connected with dieticians and personal trainers to help him conduct the insulin, eating and exercise plan he’d need to compete in top form. With their help, Reed works out with a mix of aerobic, weight, endurance and yoga training, and has a carefully balanced eating plan, which he regularly fine-tunes to ensure the optimal mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates for practice, race days and recovery.
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