Dyspraxia and Running

When people hear that I am a Dyspraxic a normal response is but you run. It almost appears to some that having  no coordination issues means I cant run.

To me running is very important for a number of reasons.

    1. It is my me time
    2. Its helps clear my head
    3. It keeps me fit
    4. It gives me something to aim for
    5. It is a social outlet

Not included in the above list but an important one when running a race or with my club im just Philip, no body sees the dyspraxia.

Certain aspects of the dyspraxia will appear but with proper training you can learn to deal with them. I dont think i will ever get use to being stuck in the middle of a large crowd. This makes staying near the pacers at large event very annoying. I either stay just in front of them and try to keep them within a certain distance but out of sight out of mind I have run to fast before by not looking back often enough. If I hang behind the pacers there is always the worry they cut the time to tight and I miss the target.

Running around a track is not very good for me as I tend to get bored easily and my pace will always suffer. So my new game weather on track or road is pick someone ahead of concentrate on catching them. This way i tend to forget i am running a track or course and concentrate on the person im chasing. Just be careful who you pick I made the mistake a few years a go picking a young lady to try and catch during a race. Turns out she was an underage international runner. She took gold that day, I kept with her for about 1400m and needed to lie on the ground for 20 minutes after to recover.

Spacial awareness would be another impact that would always impact. I have on a few occasions tried to go around someone in a race and misjudged distance and ended up running into them instead, During one race I went on a mound on the side to go around someone and hop off the top and fall onto them knocking us both to the ground. Not the best way to make friends.

Waterstops are my bain during races. I am yet to master the whole running while drinking from a cup skill (bottles I can just master after 5 years). In most races I tend to pull in have my drink and continue. Its safer but I lose 10-15 seconds per stop over a marathon that can add up to a few minutes and cost you a PB.

Training plans can be very fun. With me the KISS principal is golden. Keep it simple. Doing my intervals with a club is handy as a run to the whistle and follow the crowd. Doing sessions where pace and distance changes a few time will never work. I get confused quite often.

Facebook tells me I ran first competitive 5k race 6 years ago today. I ran 28:07 that day. Somehow I am yet to trip over myself during the race which is a real achievement I think.

Overall I dont mind dealing with the few small issues above as overall running has given me a lot over the years and hopefully for more years to come.

Running is nice i believe for people with learning difficulties as most races and parkrun cater for everyone so even if you are finishing down the field its you race and no one else. You are only there for what you can see what it is worth to you. If that is completing couch to 5k, running 100 parkruns or wearing your country singlet there is someone thing for everyone.

As ever if you have any feedback on the above you can tweet me @pslattery2014. If you are dyspraxic and run do you agree or disagree with the above.

Dyspraxia and Dating

Dating and Dyspraxia

Dating someone with Dyspraxia can seem like a challenge, it can be worse for the person with Dyspraxia.

Two issue I find myself in general but are highlighted more on the dating scene are:

  1. I don’t show emotion, and
  2. Can find it very hard to read social situations.

I always look at the time my brother in law asked me to be one of his groomsmen. I turned away from the TV I was watching said someone like “great” or “l’d love to” and went back to watching the TV. My sister gave out that I seemed so nonchalant about it as if he has simple asked me what the time was. That example shows both the emotion and social situations issue.

A dating example I can give is recently I was messaging a girl and during the conversation, she suggested we meet up and go for a walk. Due to her getting sick, the walk became a trip to the pub. As I left for the pub I had no idea if it was a date or simply friends meeting up. As we were in the pub I was trying to read the sign to try to figure out if it was a date or not.  In the end, I had to make a move and hope I had read it right. Luckily that night I did read it right but I would consider that a fluke.

On the body language and environmental things. I cannot tell the difference between someone being friendly and someone being into me as the above example shows. As a result, I have missed signals from girls who like me or left it too late to do anything about it. I have made moves on girls who were not interested in me. This is one I don’t think will get better with age. Pretty much in this area it is the blunter you can be with me the better.

Finding a place for a date can be a challenge. Similar to most with Dyspraxia I have sensory issues places with crowds or a lot of background noise can be no go zone. Unluckily for me the Irish dating scene appears to revolve around the local pub or nightclub. If you manage to get a date in a restaurant, the fun part is trying to find food that I cannot put over yourself. When I was younger, I used to have issues using knives and forks, which could have made this kind of date very dodgy if it was still the case.

I  tend at the moment to try for dates in coffee shops as they normally have very low background music so I can still hear and understand my date but also very rare to have crowds in them.

When talking to someone with dyspraxia we can be a little show at processing information so can take time to answer back. When processing the information I tend to have a blank look on my face as all my energy is being used to process what was said. That blank look can be mistaken for disinterest, boredom, or even shyness. With me, I can break the list of people who know me into two groups the ones that cannot make me talk and the ones who cannot get me to shut up.  Both sides are confused that the other side exists.

My dates rarely go past the first date as it is normally the cant speak Philip who tends to show up. If I get a first date where I’m actually able to talk that a very good sign for how comfortable I am around the person I am on the date with.

The unwritten rules of dating make it even more fun. After a first date when do you text the person? When do you ask about a second date? How much should you text between dates?  Trying to figure these items out is mind field for most let along someone who struggles to figure out body language and social norms.

If things do progress onto date 3 or 4 or even a relationship develops the issue can be even more fun. I like most people with dyspraxia enjoy my quite time. I use to allow my mind to relax, turno off or perhaps think about the day .

As a result I find it very hard to date someone who wants to texts or talks all the time. Allowing people with Dyspraxia to have “me time” is very important. Dyspraxic don’t appear to stim or at least I don’t in the same way people with Autism do. To me this quite reflecting time is my release.

I have spoken about in earlier blogs about how sleep is another important item. With me I am a very routine person with regards to sleep to ensure I get enough. I have had times when its my bed time and that it even if the other half wanted to watch a dvd or talk.

Commutation is important in any relationship but even more so if one of the people in the couple has Dyspraxia. We tend to spend time in our own  little world or bubble for a number of reasons. Assuming why we do this can lead to issues. In the words of Homer Simpson assumption is the first step to getting it wrong. If you work with and talk to each other it will not be an issue. For example if you know that every night at 8 o clock my phone gets turn off to help my mind shut down and improve my sleep. You know why a text sent a 9 o clock is not answered. Dyspraxic’s pepoel tend to be very loyal, trustworthy and romantic when they are allowed be themselves.

I tend not to carry much cash and tend to use my debit card instead. There is two reason for this, one is losing a card is not  as permanent in the way losing cash is. I also have a record of where I spent the money so I can figure out where it is has all gone. If someone does not ask why or understand why I don’t carry cash it may come across either of two extremes. Either I believe it’s the man’s jobs to pay for the food or drink. The other answer may appear that I use a card for small items in hope the other person offers to pay cash and I get it for free. I have had more than one relationship end for these reasons.  Some of the above are simple examples of how a person with dyspraxia tries to or may have issues with the world we live in today. Explaining this fully is not a blog but a phd as a result it is not for me.

If you end up dating someone with a specific learning difficulty try to learn about it and work with them on it rather than seeing it as an issue. The benefits will out weight the downsides