Racing to the Top
In May 2011, Charlie Kimball became the first person with diabetes to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
We asked him about his racing career and living with diabetes.
What is your race schedule like? How long do you stay in a city?
I’m usually in a race market for three or four days, except for the races in Brazil and Japan, where we go in earlier.
I’m a race car driver so my office is at the racetrack and my normal day at work at the track includes media interviews, race meetings with my engineers and meeting with fans. Oh yes, I also have to make time to get in the car and drive at more than 200 miles per hour.
What has been your favorite city to visit in the series?
I love Long Beach because it is like my hometown race, but nothing compares to being in Indianapolis during the month of May. It is truly like no other atmosphere in sports-for a whole month!
How does it feel when you racing a car? How fast do you drive?
I’m relaxed and happiest, in the race car. I think many of us have our “special place” and mine just happens to be in a race car driving at the limit.
Is it hard to adjust to driving a regular car after racing all day?
Many of the technological advancements in cars today originated on the race track and there are several similarities between my everyday car and my race car. So, while I don’t drive at high speeds in my Acura, I do like to drive. I think that is just part of who I am.
How are you doing with your blood glucose?
My diabetes management is going well. Like all of us managing diabetes is not a part-time job, it is a lifetime commitment. I have a great team around me and they help me be a better athlete because of my diabetes and not in spite of it.
What do you do when you’re feeling down?
Hang out with friends and let them bring me back up.
What’s your favorite food?
Steak, pasta and good company
What types of snacks do you like to eat when you’re low?
Cliff Bar, Jr.
What message do you want kids with diabetes to hear from you?
Diabetes doesn’t have to slow you down and you cannot let it stop you from pursuing your dreams. Whatever it is you want to do . . . you CAN do it. The tools and the opportunities are there. All you have to do is take the first step.
Hometown: Camarillo, CA
Birth date: Feb. 20, 1985
T1 diagnosis: Oct. 16, 2007
Pump or shots: Shots using the FlexPen
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