If we ADHDers focus on the things we can’t do, we’ll never do them. Better to believe we can.
by Beth Main
Hulda Crooks was 101 years old when she passed away in 1997. She was famous for being the oldest woman to climb Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the continental United States) and Mt. Fuji (the highest mountain in Japan). She climbed Mt. Whitney 24 times between the ages of 66 and 91. Yes, you read that right: A 91 year old woman climbed the highest mountain in the continental United States!
She started jogging when she was 72 because, she said, “it made climbing so much easier.” At age 82, she set a Senior Olympics world record for the 1,500 meter race. At age 95, she was still walking two miles every day.
Why did Hulda do all these amazing things? Because she believed she could. She wanted to do them, and didn’t see any reason not to.
I want to be that woman!
Hulda’s story resonated with me because I’ve been feeling down lately, worried that by the time I’m able to live my dream, I’ll probably be too old. My dream is to buy a few hundred acres and, together with my boyfriend, be totally self sufficient. We’ll grow and can our own vegetables. Cut our own firewood. Raise farm animals. We’ll have chickens again! But because of the other things I have planned for this life, it may be almost a decade before we make the move. Will I be physically able to live that kind of lifestyle by then? Will I still be able to run a chainsaw when I’m in my sixties and beyond? Should I give up the dream?
Reading Hulda’s story was a huge motivator for me. All it took for me to know it’s possible was one example of someone who did it. Someone who said “phooey!” to conventional wisdom. My mood has brightened considerably, and I can’t wait to get outside today. Yes, it’s raining, but I need to stay fit to live my dream. Every day is an opportunity to make progress towards that goal.
Have you ever said anything like:
I can’t start a business, even though I have this great idea...
I can’t invite people over, even though I’d really like to...
I can’t go to a top school, even though I’m smart enough...
I could never succeed as an (insert exciting profession here), even though I find it fascinating...
I’ll never make partner at the firm...
...because I have ADHD?
91 year old women can’t climb mountains either.
Oh yes they can! And so can you.
Hulda wasn’t into fitness all her life. In fact, she was obese as a child. She didn’t exercise regularly until middle age. It took her two years to get into a regular routine. She started slowly and worked her way up -- literally. Her first jogging excursion was a trip across her back yard. But she kept at it. She believed in the value of exercise, and she believed in herself.
It’s the same thing with ADHD. If we focus on the things we can’t do, we’ll never do them. Better to believe we can. Start slowly. Learn the strategies. Develop the skills. Climb that mountain.
Believe you can, and you will.