Couch-1/2-Tri: Exercise is helping us combat the challenges of Autism

As you will see in previous blog posts, I started running to get over the anger and frustrations I had in learning our son was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum last year. I ran to let go of all the pent up furiousness and feeling of being completely helpless in  terms of negotiating what we can make happen for our little man.

I couldn’t even get close to running 3km the 1st of January last year. and then we managed through a 5k, 10k and half by October. It’s amazing what a bit of exercise and a new year can do for your fighting spirit.

I didn’t go back to the gym after our half in October. Really didn’t hit it hardly at all throughout the months of November and December, although I ate and behaved like I was still in training. Naturally, the awesome tightness I had developed from all that running went mushy and the weight quickly came back (But I did have one helluva holiday season!)

And so the new year began…full of promise and hope and realization that I will go nowhere if I don’t have a goal to work towards and friends to train with. Fortunately, I have both and my neighbour has agreed to try this one more time. But wait…we’re not just training for a half…NOOOOOO! That would be too easy. We have now decided to join another of our friends to work towards accomplishing a Try Triathalon shortly after the half. An adventure I think it borderline nutty, but one I am excited about conquering.

Getting back into the routine, the better eating habits and the training schedule has felt a bit gruelling..especially as we’ve just returned from a decadent week away skiing, are heading to the south shortly and seem to have a much higher wine consumption interest while hibernating in the dead of winter. I’m not a fan of forcing myself into a cold night either for a run or a swim, in fact it makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Now however, there is something that is pushing me to keep moving forward (aside from my pals). a) I have discovered I REALLY enjoy how I feel once I’ve worked out…getting muscles moving, being more limber, feeling healthier and b) My kids are taking notice that mommy is “doing a great job” of exercising and daddy is “kicking butt” as he ventures off to hockey. We find ourselves looking at exercise as a foundation and lifestyle we are establishing for our kids that will always include physical activity.

Family exerciseIt is so important for both kids- T, who often has a ton of extra energy at the end of the day and exercise helps tire him out in a way that his brain actually shuts down for a bit while he sleeps (You can tell the days he’s active vs not as that’s usually when he’s up at 5am and wants to chat). N, because she’s an energetic lovely little girly girl who I want to grow up in a world where a positive self-image is vital and reflects more so on being fit and healthy than anything else.

This drive for exercise is helping our family and we, as a couple, are growing stronger.  Both physically and mentally. As we combat challenges navigating the world of Autism, it truly does sometimes feel like a never-ending battle. To win..to get the most for T.. to see success, we have to be on top of our game. This is getting us there.

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