Friday, 5 October 2012

Chalet Lines and Preparing for the Push to the Summit

Welcome back to Adventures with Autism Works after a two-week break. After the euphoria of completing the world's largest half-marathon, which I had the joy of recalling in my previous entry, now is time for me to come back down to earth again and concentrate on more immediate commitments in the present and over the coming months, including continuing with the ISEB Foundation Certificate, speaking/training events that I have next month as well as next part of my fundraising campaign for Daisy Chain - the push to the summit!

After experiencing the elation of a personal triumph, it is easy to see why some may get carried away to the extent that the euphoria can take one out of the present. Sometimes factors such as the build-up of anticipation before a special event can lead towards an anti-climax, especially if there are feelings of jubilation or triumph at the peak of the event, from which there is a long way to come down from mentally. However, over the last fortnight since my last blog entry, I feel that I have strongly experienced the value of stepping back from the flow to tune myself back to the present moment with mindfulness practice, bringing the focus of my attention to matters in the present as well as my next set of commitments to prepare for.

Chalet Lines in performance at the Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Switching off from ISEB, speaking/training and fundraising, this week I have been to see an entertaining performance of Chalet Lines at the Live Theatre on Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Quayside. Set at Chalet Number 12 at Skegness' Butlins' resort, where the Walker family's women have been holidaying since 1961, Chalet Lines takes the audience through five decades of birthdays, hen parties, gossip, arguing, heartache remedied by laughter. Drama and entertainment goes hand-in-hand with much of the work I do with giving training on Asperger's Syndrome, including sometimes using drama workshops to give participants an idea of how it may feel to have Asperger's Syndrome.

The contrast of characters Chalet Lines, written by Lee Mattinson, provide for great entertainment with Abigail, the down-trodden daughter (Viktoria Kay) of Loretta (Sharon Percy) who is subject to 'put-downs' from her mother while her sister Joelene (Sammy T Dobson) plays the part of the apple in her mum's eye. As you may remember from my previous entries, I recently went to see the stage version of the Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time. This expression immediately brought back memories of when Christopher Boone said why do we say such an expression when an apple is too big to fit in someone's eye! Viktoria Kay's brilliant portrayal of young Abigail gave an insight into the 'trapped' world of a misunderstood teenager, similar almost to how a person with Asperger's Syndrome can feel, particularly when her Aunt Paula (Jill Dellow) asked her if there really is such a thing as 'normal', while teaching her the Macarena dance.

Retuning back to the present, I am in the process of preparing for speaking/training events I have coming up in November and I am also preparing for the next stage of my fundraising challenge for Daisy Chain, which is to summit Kilimanjaro in October 2013. When giving training on Asperger's Syndrome, I often talk about why mountains have base camps, and why an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis itself is like a base camp, as it gives one an opportunity to step back and assess and reflect on their own journey so far, before continuing onto the next part of the journey. For me, completion of the Great North Run represents the 'base camp' in my double challenge challenge. The next part of the journey for is to keep up the training and maintain the confidence going into the next part, the push to summit of Africa's highest mountain. To visit my updated Justgiving page click the following link http://www.justgiving.com/Chris-MitchellGNR/


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