• COVID life,  exercise,  motherhood

    Normal right now

    In four days our Colorado quarantine will be over. We will finally be able to leave our house. Go get groceries. Take the dog for a walk. Go for a run–oh how I’m aching to run outside! I ran 9 miles on the treadmill Saturday. I’m aching to run outside. In four days life will be back to normal again. Ha! Normal. I feel so lost right now looking for “normal.” Normal is an absurd paradox. Normal right now means having virtual school be the grounding point in the day when you’re in Colorado because it’s the only thing that ties your kids to a routine because things are so…

  • autism,  empathy,  exercise,  family,  mental health,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Lessons from the long run

    When I was pregnant I was aware of every single little change in my body at every single stage of my pregnancy. I took prenatal vitamins. I read up on and kept track weekly of what was going on with my body and what was going on with the baby growing inside of me. I figured out really quickly what exact foods and smells would trigger nausea and vomiting. I knew exactly which foods would help a little with the nausea: limes and carrots (I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with J during my last semester in college and so I would carry bags of baby carrots to…

  • anxiety,  apps,  autism,  exercise,  mental health,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Thoughts from the treadmill

    J has finally, FINALLY recovered from the last two weeks of being really sick, and I thought for sure that we’d be back on track with behaviours and motivation. Apparently, that was wishful thinking. Lately it seems like it’s getting harder to determine if J’s behaviours fall into the “anxiety” category or “I’m a 17 year old boy and just want to be a punk sometimes” category. Throw in illness, changes in schedule, changes in semester, or anything else, it starts to get even more difficult to parse those things out. It’s downright frustrating as a parent (and I sense for J too), and I’m realizing more and more the…

  • autism,  cross-country,  exercise,  high school

    Making the watch the boss

    It’s been 3 weeks since the end of J’s XC season and I’ve been trying to think of how we can get that spark back into running. I think if you’ve seen J running out on a golf course or around the track, you would probably agree with me. Running is so good for J. It’s good for him physically. It’s good for his mental health. Running is also great for building relationships. He loves the boys on his team. He’s grown really strong attachments to his coaches of the years. Running is so good for J. Since XC has been out, I’ve been trying to find the best routine…

  • autism,  exercise,  family

    1+1+1+1=26.2

    Steve and I were pretty confident that J and W weren’t going to qualify for their EDC track meet (their conference before state). My kids run long distance but they’re not fast runners. All-star runners or not, they love running, and it’s been a family tradition to run the Fargo Marathon 5K for the past few years but this year we decided to change it up. Since we knew their track season would be over before the Fargo Marathon, (student athletes are not allowed to run road races or participate in extra-curricular competitions outside of their track or XC season), we decided to try something different this year. We decided…

  • autism,  exercise,  high school,  milestones

    Practically Glowing

    J has just completed 1 month of running on his own. I call it the “off-season off season.” It’s that time after regular season XC finishes and before the “off season winter running” begins. Because we’ve had an early winter and J’s a better runner, I haven’t been able to trail him with my bike or run a close distance behind him like I have in the past. J’s been running almost every single day after school, on his own, on the XC practice routes that run closest to our house and have the minimum amount of road traffic or intersections. As proud of him as I am, it made…

  • autism,  exercise,  high school,  motherhood,  teen years

    Without a doubt

    Back in April, I blogged a little bit about my anxiety and very real struggle of signing up my autistic son for a new extra-curricular activity. Especially extra-curricular activities where J is the only special needs kid in the room or team. Signing up J for the Sanford Power Summer Weights Class at his high school was a really nerve racking choice for me. Going into it, I really knew nothing about the program. I knew some of J’s XC teammates were signing up for it. I knew the class was run by trainers from Sanford Power alongside some of the high school football coaches and that’s about all I knew. I knew…

  • autism,  cross-country,  exercise,  high school,  milestones,  teen years,  track

    A New Label

      J’s met with a lot of new people this month–a new orthopedic doctor, new trainers in his weight training class, new therapists at the eye doctor. And in almost every conversation he’s had, one of the first things out of J’s mouth? “I’m a runner.” J has never identified himself with another label besides his name, so to hear him describe himself in a conversation as a runner? I was shocked, and elated, and little emotional. It’s been amazing to see J’s growth both emotionally and physically with this running journey. It’s like every few months, he becomes a new kid. And once again, this week, I got to…

  • autism,  cross-country,  exercise,  family,  milestones,  track

    Born to run

    I don’t know how he does it, but without fail, when J starts a new season of XC, track, or runs a race in the Fargo Marathon, he takes off minutes–MINUTES off of his PR from the previous season.  This weekend was the Fargo Marathon and J took off 1:39 off of his 5K time and 3:21 off of his 10K time. And Steve and I were totally shocked at how much improvement he’s made from last year’s 2017 5 and 10K races. J’s been running XC and track for three years now. He’s a conditioned runner and those dramatic reductions in time should start to wane and finally plateau. But…

  • autism,  exercise,  motherhood

    Leaps of Faith

    Signing up a child with autism in a new extra-curricular activity—especially a sport–is a very stressful experience. I can’t just look at the Fargo Parks and Rec catalogue and say, “baseball would be fun,” fill out the registration and send off the cheque. There’s a lot of stewing and agonizing, questions to consider like: “Are we doing this because J wants it or because as parents we want it?” “Will the teachers in the class be accommodating and understating of J’s special needs?” “Will the kids in the group/activity be accepting of J” “Will J be distracting or hinder the learning of the other kids in the group” “Does J…