My running is as important to managing my ADHD as my medication is. It is something I do myself, for myself. Call it self-help, one step at a time.
When I was diagnosed with ADHD, in 1999, I resumed a routine that had gotten me through the challenges of college: Three days a week, I wake up at 5 a.m. and run for about an hour, always alone. It clears my head, sharpens my focus, organizes my thoughts, and allows me to map out my day.
For that hour, I am master of my universe. I am in control.
Movement enables me to process information. Before representing a client in court, I typically extend my run, to help me sift through the evidence and develop strategies.
Running marathons has taught me even more — namely, the benefits of training, of doing a little each day, to prepare my body and mind for the goal. The discipline and concept of gradual progress has given me the ability to manage long-term projects in my law career and home life.
I have completed five marathons. Of all the races I have finished, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in fall 2007, was the best. I ran to raise awareness about ADHD. The feeling of giving back was almost better than finishing the grueling race.
I encourage you to look for your own "marathon" — some physical activity that gives you the benefits that running gives me. I know it is out there. Just look for it. And then get going.
This article comes from the Summer 2009 issue of ADDitude.
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