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Why this project?

Around four years ago, I typed into Google search “autism and running”, in the hope of finding information for the above. Unfortunately, all I got was information on autistic children running away from their parents/carers. Unable to find the information I required left me with questions unanswered. This in turn, planted a seed of thought: to try and provide a resource for others in search of the same thing. Four years later, I will now take that step and see where the journey leads me!

Who am I?

Well, I guess to answer that I will have to make some generic statements about myself, so that you can try to picture where I am coming from. I grew up in a large, loving family living in a coastal village in the Pacific. I married young to a beautiful European girl, and it wasn’t long before we had a few children. For as long as I can remember I have struggled against the feeling that I am different to my peers, and I seem to struggle in areas that they appear to have no issues with. Particular areas of struggle have been schooling and employment. I am an intelligent and capable person, but I just have never been able to give the consistency required to hold down either schooling, or employment, for an extended period of time. Social interaction is another area I struggled with, and as a result, I led a very isolated social life even though I crave social interaction. Frustration due to constant struggle led me to confront these issues four years ago, and with the help of my wife, went on a journey of discovery.

In the years prior I had been given various “labels” as to why I struggled in life: OCD, hyperventilation, agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety to name a few. I also had at times been prescribed medication to treat these “symptoms” which I had to stop due to the side effects I received. The only medication that seemed to help were running shoes which I had chosen to put back on in 2011 for a natural dose of serotonin (of which I’m now addicted to!). This journey of discovery led me to uncover the core issue that was at the center of these “labels”. Even though this core issue is in itself a “label”, I don’t personally view it as a “label”, for it is part of what makes me, me.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with “Syndrome of Aspergers” or “Autism” as Aspergers, regardless of where you are on the spectrum, is now placed under the umbrella of autism. This was a life changing moment, and the pieces of the big jigsaw puzzle called life started to come together. I started to see the how autism has played a role in everything, from the bullying I received in school, to the distance in the current relationships of those closest to me. Over the next four years I started rediscovering who I am, learning to enhance my strengths, and functioning better within the limitations that I have. The biggest tool that I had at my disposal to bringing structure and consistency was running, and for this I am very thankful. Running has been with me in the high times, and also pulled me down into some of the lowest of times.

Right now I am learning to work in the area of web development and I will attempt to use this learning to give insight into my journey: treating autism with running. Please bear with the typos and unfinished work, because like life, this website is in a constant state of development. Feedback is always welcome, feel free to make contact via social media or email.


RedBeardRunning 🏃


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