Conor Sheil currently works in marketing and volunteers as a coach with the Leinster Cricket Union. In my opinion, Conor's story is one with a difference. He was hailed as a very promising cricket player and according to Ireland Under 19 Coach Matt Dwyer, Sheil was close to being selected for the final World Cup squad (source; Ireland's Emerging Talent)
He came forward to volunteer with organising Thrive-abetes last September. I asked him why he wanted to get involved and this is what he wrote;
“Type 1 Diabetes; It's difficult. It's upsetting. It's life-threatening. It never goes away!
There's no doubt about it, Type 1 diabetes is life changing and requires serious commitment and effort. Don't get me wrong there's not a day that goes by where I wish I didn't live with type 1 but I have a lot to be thankful for since diagnoses. Let me explain that statement!! I've since acquired patience, commitment, dedication and loyalty to my disease with overlays into everyday life.
I was an underachiever, big time. I regret this!! I never excelled even though I had lots of talent. I played cricket for Ireland from the age of 13 until I was 19. I played in international tournaments in South Africa, Australia and throughout Europe. I had access to high quality coaching. Sadly I'd never put in the hard yards to progress fully due to lack of dedication. I'd never actually given 100% to training or playing, I just went through the motions and hoped talent would get me by.
That all changed since my diagnosis!!! It took a long term illness to get me on the right track, and the future to look bright. Diabetes has made me a different person, for the better. I'm now determined, dedicated, enthusiastic, grateful and also my maths has improved 100% due to all that calculating and carb counting. I've never been so healthy and fit in my life. Last Tuesday, I was in the gym in the morning for a 80 minute intense session and then a hot yoga session. The same in the evening for 70 mins.... If you go back 5 years and said I'd be doing that and I'd have a quick abrupt answer for you!!!
Diabetes has given me great drive. I use all the negative effects of what may happen if I don't look after myself and put a positive spin on it. If I'm out running and feel like giving up before my pre planned goal, I'll quickly think "run that 10km or risk losing my sight"! It's just something that works for me and always keeps me on track and pushing myself.
That's why when I heard that there was going to be an event for type 1 diabetics I jumped at the chance to get involved. A positive event about Type 1 Diabetes can only mean good things as I believe positivity is key in our management. Getting amongst people with the same disease and also experts in the field can only mean good things for all of us and even if you go away with just one piece of knowledge that's a success.
I could actually write for days about diabetes and what I have learned in my short time as a diabetic but I don't want to bore anybody. So let's all get behind Thrive-abetes and make it a massive success!!”