Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I did it! I ran, I actually ran

My FIRST Half Marathon 2012
I remember when I started running 8 years ago, and it was painful, and it took my time to get my wind up, my stamina, my stride well, and it took awhile before I actually felt like a runner and I ran some races.  I got through the awkward, the painful, and made myself an athlete at 42, after kids and cancer and 2 autism diagnosis.  Running I am pretty much saved my sanity.

2 years ago after my son was injured at school, I went dark, I stopped, just stopped.  I ran a half marathon 2 days after his injury and haven't run since.

In these 2 years, I gained weight, went a little crazy, had a little PTSD, and seriously injured kid to care for, and a lot of tears to shed.

Well we have all turned the corner, he is finally on a road to a better place, I am ready to get out of this sick mind, and chubby body and get my MOJO and my happy back. 

As an autism mom, I am the first to neglect myself, and care for everyone else and what they need and want until I'm exhausted enough to not do anything for myself.  Well I'm changing that today.  I realized that caring for my kids, especially as they get older, bigger, stronger.  I need to get healthier because I am all they have.  I learned a lot of lessons, there is not anyone that cares what happens to them.  We don't have anyone that would step up if something was to happen to them.  So my self-care will be guilt free (maybe) and not selfish.  It's just like if I needed to take a chemo infusion if I had cancer - I NEED IT, THEY NEED IT. My care is essential to their care.

So I am not sure where I'm running to if I'm going to train for a race, for now it's just more of a therapeutic thing.  I have to lose the awkward, get back in runners shape, lose the summer 20 I put on, and figure out if I'm going to do a race, or just I don't know, I just don't know. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

My Last Long Meaningful Run

My last long meaningful run was September 4, 2016, it was a Sunday, it was the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I was so excited training for it and doing it, and I had a Sparkle Athletic skirt that I got for it, I raised money for my favorite charity (Talk About Curing Autism).  It's always a thrill to do a RunDisney event, and get treated like cattle and put in our pens at 4 am.  All joking aside RunDisney events are magical and I've seen people that couldn't on a great day run 13 feet bust out 13 miles in a Chewbacca costume - for real!

Two Years Ago, two long, life changing, therapeutic growing years.  This race was sort of my runner come back, I had lost my mojo, and wasn't all that into it, but I trained and was ready felt strong, and couldn't wait to run. 

There is a a whole ritual to participating in a Run Disney event, and going to the Race Expo, and picking up your packet.  On this particular race, I was lucky enough to beat the crowds and go on the first day of the Expo, right after I dropped my kids at school, I was able to head over to the Disneyland Hotel and pick up my packet, and then I got this phone call hysterical phone call in the basement of the Disneyland Hotel. 

My son was injured at school and rushed to the ER via ambulance.  I was 30-45 minutes away from him, and felt like the shittiest mother on earth.  My sons life was forever changed, our lives were upside down, and I was struck with a horrible sadness, inadequacy, and feeling of failure and an incredible disappointment in myself and so many that I thought should have had his back.  The injury and incident, changed us, me as a mother, us as a family, and traumatically effected my son who is still recovering.  But this is something for another post.  He is on a good path now and almost fully recovered, so we are grateful for that.

But to race day.  It was 3 days post accident, the day after my son was released from the hospital, and I decided with consultations with my husband, that I could leave for 6 hours and run the race. 
13 - point - 1 friggin miles of tears. 13.1 miles of PTSD, 13.1 miles that I didn't want to run, I wanted to be with my little one.  I wanted to hold him and protect him and the mom guilt kicked my ass for even doing anything like that for myself.

I came home and basically hung up my Hoka One's and went on recovery mode for my kid.  I had to learn a whole new injury, syndrome and how to help it recover with an already challenged kid with severe autism.   I was just a journey I needed to take, and I don't really have a reason or excuse why I didn't really run anymore.  The few times I tried to take a run, my head went to a dark place, so I just went to the gym or my garage and worked out 1 mile from where my child was, and not 30 miles from him.  It was weird, I felt like I had a little control of his safety if I was close to him, I can't even explain my shattered feelings and reasons why. 

But anyway, my body needs it now, my mind needs it now, and I think my son and husband needs the me that used to run, and like to run, and felt empowered, independent and strong when I run.  I ran 10 half marathons.  I didn't win them, I didn't even come close, but I finished, and from the fat farm I came from it was quite the damn accomplishment.  So I'm gonna add running back into my repertoire.  I'm not sure I'm ready for a race, but I think I can see myself doing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and maybe a half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. 

My son is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, my chubby buns can get out and run.  Like I always said my $100 running shoes were the best therapy I ever had.  I'm back, I feel it, I need it, I am back.  Let's do this!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Back to School ---- With Hope

I am usually the mom doing the happy dance when kids go back to school.  As an Autism mom, summer is sometimes really really really long.  After many years of work, finding my kids "thing", and doing our best to set the kids up for success, I was a little sad to see this summer come to an end.

Being a special needs parent and starting a new school year is incredibly stressful, the uncertainty, the new teacher, new room, new kids, new schedule.   The district I live in is incredibly negligent and irresponsible where Special Education population is concerned, the anxiety goes on all year.  You never know what is going to happen at school, and frankly the schools are no longer about education.  I haven't figured out what the hell they're doing but they are not interested in educating special needs kids, they are more like a mediocre babysitter.  So we prep, prime the kid, and hope and pray for the best.  The jury is still out on the teacher and his aide, I'll give them time to get their feet wet with the kids, if I don't see progress by back to school night, then my charming but firm side will come out.

I make a very valiant effort to start the school with giving the administration, principal, and special education departments the benefit of the doubt, and try to swallow that they "have our kids best interests at heart".  I'm going to really try this year, I'm going to try to not yell, scream, and freak out when my kid is being marginalized, forgotten, and excluded from things because their classroom is at the back of the school, not encouraging inclusion.  When they leave a kid on a playground that can't talk, I won't let them have it.   When a kid gets out of school that can't talk, I won't call them incompetent.  When a kid goes home with a bruise, scrape, or bite mark and we are told we are not entitled to an incident, or "he fell".  None of this is over dramatic imagination, this stuff happens to special education children, especially non verbal ones, EVERY SINGLE DAY all over the country.

But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact.  But I'm going to try and plead to their common sense and decency, because the reactionary mom is just as bad as a reactionary school I am usually the mom doing the happy dance when kids go back to school.  As an Autism mom, summer is sometimes really really really long.  After many years of work, finding my kids "thing", and doing our best to set the kids up for success, I was a little sad to see this summer come to an end.

But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact.  But I'm going to try and plead to Administrators of school districts everywhere.

Please to Special Education Teachers,  and Staff.  

These are our children.  We love them, we worship them, they are tiny humans just like the neurotypical kids.  Please protect them, follow their IEP, work with the parents to make the kid as successful as you can.  Please assume competence and capability.  This is how you do it right.  

How you don't do it right, is lie to parents, deny or withhold services or knowledge of services to a kid that clearly needs them.  Treating our kids like they don't matter and that any hurt that happens isn't an enormous deal.  And Never Never Never tell a parent their child is unteachable.

We know who is doing it right, and we love who is doing it right.  And so do our kids, and we know who isn't doing it right.

Let's do it right together, forget what the Administrators want you to do, they're really just overpaid buffoons, that couldn't walk 5 feet in a teachers shoes.  Kick their rules and their control to the curb, our kids matter too.  You can do it, the parents will stand with you if we know you have our kids backs.  We can do this, we really can - I hope.