Friday, June 17, 2011

Combating Inattention / Hyperactivity / Impulsivity - My Journey


Song:   Comfortably Numb

Group:   Pink Floyd



Inattention / Hyperactivity / Impulsivity

Although these are some of the hallmarks of ADHD...

I was such a child...
along with Tourette's (numerous physical and verbal tics)
 and an especially high dose of daydreaming.

I hesitate to say Inattention only because
I was very much paying attention...
to my dream world.

Of course, I wasn't paying attention to the real world...
especially in school.

My grades were atrocious...
not only because I never paid attention
while in class...I also rarely did homework.

I am ashamed of my academic misadventures
earlier in life.

I was constantly plagued by physical sensitivities...
ex...tags on my shirts drove me nuts...
unless it were cool to cold in temp...
I would feel on the verge of passing out.

I was feeling overheated and constricted in class...
and for some reason...my feet were unbearably hot
(for awhile in High School...I went barefooted to school...
Bell Bottom Jeans were in...my feet were hidden by the bells).

I felt too enclosed sitting in the classrooms...
I had to constantly bite down...flex my toes...
clench my fists...or differing parts of my body...
just to distract myself from my surroundings.

In the meantime...my mind wandered...
to my inner world of great happiness...
a world where I explored and experienced
high adventure.

Very often...
I would entertain myself by just watching 
the movies of the mind.

Often times I would be watching a 
great comedy...I know I must have looked
strange to others when I would try to stifle a 
laugh in the middle of class...

or when I would reflexively jump
because in the movie...
I had reacted to being struck by an object.

Especially as a young child...
certain translucent colors would send me to
an inner world where I would be transfixed for hours...
only realizing it because the sun, which had been  
shining through it, had set.

It is what changed me part way through life, however....
that this article is focused on.

I was thirteen and in High School...
and although I had been in regular sports
for a few years...
it was only when I had begun to really train
with earnestness and true dedication in physical activities...
in which I had to bring up inner reserves to make it through 
the training... that I had seen any real changes come about.


I looked forward...while in High School...
and I realized that at my rate of achievement...
I was in real danger of failing to graduate.

Even then, I realized to fail at High School...
is to fail at life.

I started to grow up at that point.

I was involved in a very vigorous training regimen at the time
(after school)...
it was when I really started to take it seriously...
by looking at each training session as a life or death scenario...
and by also supplementing the training by Jogging before school...
that I started reaping the real benefits.

My physical sensitivities and Tourett's disappeared
with true training
 (although I was also at the age where it sometimes subsides naturally).


However, it was the real inner changes, in my mind...
that the training had helped so dramatically.

It was a time of high levels of Skill / Stamina / Endurance training...
along with a beautiful philosophical view of the world engendered
by my training,  that had started to change my life.


It doesn't matter the art form or sport...
so long as it is vigorous enough...
of such high intensity and for long enough time...
to leave the participant half dead from exhaustion.

There should be butterflies in the stomach before each training session...
in anticipation of the great growth you will achieve...
and of the great amount of pain and effort necessary to achieve it.

After each training session...
I felt as if I had died...
both, physically and psychologically...
as I was a new and better person coming out of it.

There must be partial dehydration...
from the intense and extended effort...
sweat must drench the clothes or uniform...
it is merely going through the motions otherwise.

It was when I had reached this level...
that the Physical / Mental / Emotional
all had become calm...
I could not only concentrate...
I had improved my whole outlook on the future.

The almost constant anxiety and physical discomfort had disappeared...

I had become...

Comfortably Numb.


Just as this song's lilting and floating rhythmical substructure...
it was how I had felt after training...
and it went on for days afterward...
(I usually trained every day...but in the event
of non training for vacations and such).

This allowed me to put things into perspective...
to not only concentrate on the here and now...
but to be able to look into the future with 
great anticipation at the adventures to come.

I knew enough of myself that I was still too immature
to go right into College...

I also knew I had to experience the adventures I had
always daydreamed about if I were ever to live without regret.



I, at seventeen, and two weeks out of High School...
went into the Army (Light Infantryman / Scout).




I had experienced many great things through the Army.

I simply loved Basic Training.

I loved the structure...
the plainly laid out goals...
the physical nature of it...
the plain high adventure to be had.

I had also learned the meaning of endurance.



Not only through our (Army) training
(especially the specialized military schools)...
I had started long distance running...
I had also run a full Marathon

(not jogged...but had run the whole way...
keeping just this side of deep nausea)

I had but two goals going into the Honolulu Marathon...

1:  To run the whole way without once stopping.

2:  To run it in under 3 hours and 30 minutes.

I did both...

Time at:  3 Hours and 25 minutes and 46 seconds.


After four years...
I got out and put myself through College.

Although, I was no stellar student by any means...
the fact that I graduated at all from a University...
considering what I was in High School...
astounded me.

I am now retired from a job that provides a good retirement.

I stuck it out...
I made it as fun as possible while at work...
I controlled my impulsive side through training.

Although, still now...
I can get impatient...
a little angry...
a little impulsive...

It usually only happens when...
for some reason...
I haven't trained for a while.


I had...
as a child...
a plethora of nervous energy.

ADHD?

Perhaps (unknown in the 60s and 70s)...

I had found a way to use it to further my life.

To have a surplus of energy is to be blessed.

All one needs is direction...
a positive outlet...
and the freedom to fly.

Without my discovery of how to use
my debilitating level of energy to good effect...
I would have, no doubt, essentially dropped out of life.

Life is now sweet because of my training...
and the balance it has given me.

The key is not just a modicum of physical training...
there must be an appropriate level of intensity to it 
to bring about the positive changes.

Very few sports are practiced to that level that aren't combative 
in nature.

There must be at least one to one and a half hours of 
almost constant physical activity...
where the sweat drenches the body...
the heart pounds in the chest...
the breathing is full and deep.

They must push themselves to just this side of nausea

(the greatest training effect is gotten at this point...
go to the intensity of nausea...back off slightly...
maintain for at least one hour).

to reap the positive effects.


As the body adapts...the bar is set higher...
as conditioning greatly extends the endurance.

By going to just this side of nausea...
the intensity level is self regulating.


The Physical greatly affects the Intellectual and Emotional.

Ensure your child is not deficient in the physical conditioning
aspect of his life.

Whether it is to help him regulate an abundance of physical energy
 to help him focus his mind...
or if it is to help him build his energy levels to that of the gods...

Correct Physical training is the key...

I know...
from life experience.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting to read about your history with attention deficit. It gives me some insight into what my son may be thinking (as he appears to have ADHD). We haven't focused much on the physical training to date... will have to work up to it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for commenting. Yes, it was through the physical that I got in touch with the intellectual and emotional.

    ReplyDelete

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