ADHD Evidence and Growing into Parenthood

I wrote last week about my un-diagnosed ADHD and just a few of the ways that my brain is impacted by my inability to filter outside stimulus.  I have a few recent entries from my anecdotal log to prove my point.

Friday morning, I spilled my entire cup of coffee on my desk.  Sad, but true.  Yes, I probably would have licked it off my desk had my co-worker not been standing there, staring at me.  The good news is that my desk calendar was doused with my Kahlua flavored blend, so I can look forward to months of residual coffee smell in my office.

Then, I was able to top even the monster spill on my desk!  Each morning I make an announcement….to the entire school, over the PA system (which works through the phone system)…for teachers to post their attendance.  Friday morning, I was talking and distracted (as usual), picked up the phone to make the announcement and said, “Finley-Oates, this is Jennifer, may I help you?”  To the ENTIRE SCHOOL!!!  Immediately I heard the laughter of my office co-workers.  I’m still getting comments about it!  So if there was ever any doubt regarding my ADHD, I think I have removed it all this morning!

But just in case there was ANY doubt left, I’ll show you what happens when I talk and tweet.  REAL friends would stop me from embarrassing myself this way. I present you with Exhibit A:

This was supposed to say TOTALLY, not today.   But, YES, Corky and I are going skydiving! #excited
This was supposed to say TOTALLY, not today.
But, YES, Corky and I are going skydiving! #excited

This weekend was AMAZING!!!  I had ZERO obligations, except for Alli’s basketball game in town on Saturday.  I rarely get an entire day that is unscheduled, much less an entire weekend, and I enjoyed EVERY MINUTE!

Alli rolled her ankle during the basketball game on Saturday.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I expected it to come on the volleyball court.  Thankfully, Taylor’s many-a-rolled ankle prepared me for just this moment.  I know the number 1 rule of rolled ankles is NOT to remove the shoe, but Alli complained of pain along the outside of her foot.  That concerned me, since Taylor broke her outer metatarsal last year when she ran off a sidewalk (literally).  Alli’s foot showed no immediate bruising or swelling (thankfully one of our football coaches was there and he also felt it was just a rolled ankle), so the shoe went back on and I sent Alli to walk it off.  She sat out one quarter, then went back in.  I was SO PROUD of her!  I have often wondered if she would develop the toughness and competitiveness that Taylor has, and after Saturday, I do believe she will get there!  Now, I am not a proponent of playing while injured, but there is a difference between hurt and injured.  Alli hasn’t stopped since, except to ice it every now and then.

One day post incident and you can see just a touch of bruising under her ankle, but swelling is minimal, if at all.
One day post incident and you can see just a touch of bruising under her ankle, but swelling is minimal, if at all.

This got me to thinking about the first time Taylor rolled her ankle.  We took off the ankle brace (stupid) and went to ER for x-ray (stupid-er).  ER confirmed it was not broken, gave us a boot and told her to wear for 2-3 weeks.  Taylor wore that boot all of 1/2 day then decided it was for the birds.  She taped it up and walked on it as normally as she could.  At the time, Taylor was a Junior in high school and played 2 sets in her volleyball game just two days after the injury.  When she got to the point that she was hopping on one leg, I intervened and asked the coach to bench her for the remainder of the match.  Taylor rolled that ankle AGAIN about a week later, when she went out to play soccer and failed to tape it OR wear an ankle brace. (I was ANGRY, because we were DAYS away from our first playoff game and I felt she should have considered her teammates before going out and doing that.)  I did take her after the season to our orthopedic doc to make sure there was no ligament damage.  His diagnosis:  Taylor was tough and stubborn and her ankle would be just fine.

Day 3 after Taylor's rolled ankle (the first time).  She played on this the night before.
Day 3 after Taylor’s rolled ankle (the first time). She played on this the night before.

In comparing the different way that I reacted to both of these injuries, I remembered something that I once told Taylor.  She had been complaining that Logan wasn’t held to the same standards as she was and she felt I was being too lax.  My response to Taylor: You were the first one, so you were the guinea pig.  I figured out a lot of things that I did wrong and so I have tweaked my parenting as I go along.  My main goal is that you don’t end up in counseling because of my parenting.

OK, the last part was a joke.  Kind of.  But, it is true that you evolve and grow as a parent.  You learn (hopefully) not to sweat the little things and to pick your battles carefully.  For example, Alli used to go to Wal-Mart in her swim suit and a fleece hat during the summer.  I would have NEVER allowed Taylor to do that, but, hey, by the 3rd child, you’re just happy they made it out of the house  with shoes on!  (And you realize some things aren’t THAT important.)

I ran this weekend.  The weather was GORGEOUS – high 70s and sunny!  I increased my run intervals (per the plan) to 4 min run/1 min walk x8.  I actually felt better before and after than I have to date!  I had issues with tight glutes after Wednesday’s run, which is why I opted not to do my Friday scheduled run.  I am still lacking confidence in my body (as well as my decision-making), but I know that this is a process and it will take time to gain it all back.  Thankfully, I have a great support system AND, while odd, I have yet to run low on patience.  Maybe old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

I'll be channeling Saturday's run this afternoon when I face 40 and cloudy with winds 15-25.  It was nice while it lasted.
I’ll be channeling Saturday’s run this afternoon when I face 40 and cloudy with winds 15-25. It was nice while it lasted.

To most of the country: Enjoy your day off.  I’ll be at work and am going to make the best of it (with the help of Kahlua flavored coffee)!


Fighting the imbalance (no snickering allowed!)

First, I highly encourage you to read @RunningLonely‘s recap of his 24-hour race here.  I’m still amazed at how he pushed through, and in awe of his accomplishment!!  (Read my blog first, though, because my post will pale in comparison with his! 😉

At the beginning of 2014, the members of my Sunday school class were challenged to pick one word as their focus for the year.  I never could settle on a word, although I pondered it many times throughout the year.  Over and over, one word, or theme, kept coming up: balance.Balance

I’ve always struggled with balancing work/family/extracurricular activities.  I think it is something that moms just do in our society.  This past year, though, I found myself yearning for a change.  I realized during marathon training that SOMETHING had to give, and the only way to describe it is that visceral feeling that I get when something HAS to be done.  (Well, usually that visceral feeling is the one that gets me injured, but it’s a feeling that is hard for me to shake.)  My schedule was incredibly over-booked yet some how I managed to get most of my scheduled runs in AND wash clothes.  Having clean clothes was the real victory.  One thing (among many) that suffered was my strength training, and boy, did I suffer because of it.  I am quite certain that I would have run Dallas healthy and happy, had I kept up proper strength and cross training.

So this idea of balance had been on my mind, almost constantly during the last quarter of 2014. In rolled 2015 and I STILL couldn’t settle on a word.  Until last Thursday.  It hit me like a brick in a moment of beautiful clarity while Alli and I were driving home from practice.  My one word: balance.  WHY did it take so long for the light bulb to turn on?  I need balance across my life: in work/family and in my fitness between running/strength and cross training.  Balancing my training was even one of my goals for 2015.  What can I say?  The universe usually has to knock on my brain several times for the message to sink in.  (And, OK, we ALL know that I am imbalanced.)

I think one reason that my brain has been hesitant to settle on this word is because committing to it means I have to make some hard decisions and then execute those decisions.  This will push me outside my comfort zone, but we all need to live outside our comfort zones, right?  Still, this will be one of the biggest challenges of this exercise.

Yesterday was a special day in the life of our church, and for my family!  My son, Logan, was ordained and installed as the youth elder on session for the upcoming year.  (The session is the governing body for our local church.) From this point on, Logan will always be a fully ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA.  It is indeed an honor, and I hope he understands just how much so.  The most special part of the morning was the actual ordination, when all ordained elders, deacons and clergy were invited to come lay hands on the person being ordained.  Since I am also an elder in PCUSA, I was standing right next to Logan with my hand on his shoulder.  What an honor to be able to share that moment with him!

Logan, just before the ordination ceremony.
Logan with Pastor Brad, just before the ordination ceremony.

It was another fun weekend as far as sports were concerned!  Bonham High School soccer tied 2 games and lost 1 in their season-opening tournament, a HUGE improvement over last year.  Last year at this same tournament, we got our rear ends handed to us over and over, and we were not able to maintain possession of the ball.  This year, however, we were able to maintain possession of the ball roughly half the time, if not more, and we out-shot our opponents in the games we tied.  Eventually the ball WILL find the back of the net!

Alli played in her first basketball game of the season in our local rec league.  She scored 11 of our 13 points, including a buzzer-beater that put us ahead 1 point, for the win!  I mustered as much excitement as is possible for me to muster for a basketball game.  All I could think about was what a ball hog she seemed to be, although I wonder if it was the coach’s strategy?  (I know NOTHING about basketball.)  In any case, my biggest concern is that throwing the basketball doesn’t cause her to start throwing her elbows out when she attempts to set a volleyball….because elbows out won’t work for a setter.  #obsessivevolleyballmom

Our sweet young ladies after their thrilling 1-point win!
Our sweet young ladies after their thrilling 1-point win!

BIG congrats to my daughter, Taylor, as her team finished VERY well in this weekend’s ranking tournament.  There are 3 BIG tournaments in our region and this was the first, which is used for the initial team rankings that will be released later this week.  Her finish should put her team in the top 30, which is PHENOMENAL!!  I know she was proud of the effort from her girls.  Taylor is a great volleyball player, but I think her true calling is as a coach!  She is disciplined but fun and could motivate a fence post to greatness, if she wanted!

Taylor's team from last year.  YES, these 14 year-olds were all taller than her ;) (She is back row on the right)
Taylor’s team from last year. YES, these 14 year-olds were all taller than her 😉 (She is back row on the right)

I’ll leave you with an update on my personal quest to get back out on the roads.  For more reasons that you care to read, I decided to move ahead to the next phase of rehab and started Sunday.  In this phase, I add weights to the strength exercises (3x/week), bike for 60 min every other day and walk for 30 min on the days I don’t bike.  So yesterday morning I did my strength exercises and hopped on the bike trainer for an hour in the afternoon.  I’m NOT complaining, but riding for an hour and going nowhere is difficult mentally.  I looked at my watch, literally, almost every 2 minutes.  Today, I have a little tightness in my ITB, but I halfway expected this, since this is the longest sustained exercise I have done since running the marathon on December 14.  Even so, I don’t have any discomfort and the tightness isn’t severe, by any standards.  I am so encouraged by the way my body has responded this last week and am allowing myself to be cautiously excited about my return to running in two weeks!!

It’s Monday….all day!  Make the best of it and drink coffee when needed!