Eric Dutcher (45)
Type 1 Diabetic
Diabetes & Life Coach
Diabetes Sports Project Champion
Diagnosed at 26, Eric spent a decade afraid of participating in athletic events until he caught the Obstacle Course Running (OCR) fever at a 5k Survival Race in 2012. Since then he has run over a dozen obstacle course races including back to back Tough Mudders, Spartan’s Beast, Bonefrog’s Tier 1, and Conquer the Gauntlet Continuum.
A multi-tool athlete Eric has also competed in multiple marathons, and triathlons and a Half Ironman. Additionally, Eric is pushing the diabetic envelope by auditioning for Survivor and American Ninja Warrior. Recently Eric joined a Type 1 Diabetic athlete who ran across Texas (850 miles) to inspire and fundraise for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association. Eric completed 110 miles in 4 days, the equivalent of 4 marathons. Never missing a chance for an athletic challenge, Eric has participated in events in London, Poland and multiple cities across the country.
How do you use your sport/passion to control your diabetes?
“When faced with an obstacle, you must decide whether to go over, under or through it. Some are small and you can handle them on your own. Others are bigger and you need a team to help you get across. Diabetes is just another obstacle I face, and some days I can face it on my own. Other days, I know I need my team because I just can’t do it alone. Obstacle course racing reminds me of this.”
How do you live an unstoppable life with Diabetes?
“Diabetes was like a new bully for me. Having faced them in the past, I knew I had to stand up for myself and not let it sideline me with fear. It was not until I had the encouragement of my wife Heather, and the diabetic community that I was able to stand up to diabetes. I then realized it was just about taking the first step, and building from there. We are one in this – we all have something we fear that can sideline us . But, fear and obstacles were meant to overcome. Be bold and gather a team if needed, but all it really takes is making the first step .”
If you had one piece of advice for others living with diabetes, what would it be?
“Gather those around you who are full of encouragement, hope and wisdom. We have a long road ahead. Make sure you have those with you who will keep you going. For me, that is why I love OCR. Grumpy people just don’t wake up in the morning and decide to run through miles of muddy obstacles. These runners are a special breed of crazy that helps keep you going. “
Other facts about Eric:
“I try new things just for fun – trapeze classes, beekeeping, sculpting, painting and looking for new street art. I just did an axe throwing class. May not be practical, but could be fun. I have had all sorts of jobs during college – driving the riverboats on the San Antonio river, stagehand, radio DJ, and even at one point been responsible for wrangling an alligator.”