Erin Spineto’s newest book, “Adventure On: Adventure More, Worry Less, and Watch Your Diabetes Motivation Soar”, landed in my lap at an excellent time. After receiving a disappointing A1c result last month, it dawned on me that I was lacking motivation in my diabetes management. I was wondering what needed to be changed about my self-care routine; after all, I was doing all the rights things on paper. As I contemplated what I should do, I also read Spineto’s book. That’s when I got the call-to-action that I needed.
Thanks to the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), Spineto’s name was familiar to me. I’d heard about her first book, “Islands and Insulin”, her memoir about her trip on a 22 foot sailboat down the Florida Keys (and I can’t wait to read it sometime soon). So I knew that Spineto and I had mutual adoration for the ocean/beach—which was made even more evident when I received “Adventure On” in the mail. It was bundled in an envelope adorned with anchors and shells. The nautical theme continued as I tore the package open and the book, a “diabetes passport”, and a gorgeous beach print spilled out. It made me eager to start reading the book, so I dove right in.
Spineto’s book, as indicated by the title, encourages readers to lift themselves out of any sort of slump they may be experiencing and get back on the saddle by having an adventure. Spineto gets her messages across by dividing the book into an easy-to-digest four-part format. Each part exists as its own learning module, the lesson within being based on an action word. “Part 1: Dream” begins with a look at Spineto’s life and how she sought adventure after becoming fed-up with her diabetes care (or lack thereof). After providing a glimpse into her own story, Spineto defines adventure and its many benefits by using a scientific approach. She explains how the human brain processes adventure and its impact on the Present and Future You, and how a change in thinking can work wonders for the body and mind. By the end of the first module, the reader is introduced to a number of inspirational resources which act as kick starters to adventure.
“Part 2: Plan” provides basic guidelines for adventure-seekers. Spineto says that readers shouldn’t be afraid to ask others to joint them on their adventures, and gives plenty of examples of group and solo adventures. I was pleased to see she gave a shout-out to one of my favorite non-profits, the College Diabetes Network. But I wished that her list of 57 possible adventures included endeavors that weren’t as physical. In other words, I would’ve liked to see adventures like “write your own book” or “volunteer at a community organization” in the mix along with “skateboard in one skate park in each state” and “dogsled across a barren wilderness”. However, Spineto sticks with the physically demanding adventures she’s familiar with and her ideas are imaginative, indeed.
The second module also gives tips on how to deal with naysayers, and reassures readers that it’s okay to freak out before embarking on an adventure. By the end of the section, Spineto has made it clear that people with diabetes shouldn’t let it get in the way of the most wild adventures and dreams.
“Part 3: Train” covers the period in which one will prepare for an adventure. Again, Spineto does an excellent job illustrating examples, this time in regards to standard training regimens and diets. She sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout, making the grueling training process seem easier to attain.
“Part 4: Execute” contained one of my favorite parts: Inspirational quotes from famous people, along with other sources of motivation that can be found through social media. Spineto explains that by infusing daily doses of encouragement into your life, it can empower you in your goal to succeed in your adventure, whatever it may be.
After I read Spineto’s book, I felt reinvigorated. While I’m not sure I’ll be ready to hike the Grand Canyon any time soon, I do feel that the book prepared me to start thinking about the kinds of changes I’d like to make in my life to improve my diabetes management. I liked that Spineto didn’t shy away from talking about her challenges with her own diabetes throughout the book; to me, it made her more relatable. Plus, it was massively encouraging to read about the intensely physical journeys Spineto has completed over the past few years, in spite of her diabetes. It reaffirms a point I’ve long believed to be true: Diabetes does not define nor limit us in our pursuit to live our lives fully.
Order Erin Spineto’s book, “Adventure On: Adventure More, Worry Less, and Watch Your Diabetes Motivation Soar”.
Or buy it on Amazon.