Exercise is good for you. We all know it, but for some groups it may be necessary for a better life. Julie Gauer, a Capital District resident, avid cyclist, mother of four (one with ADHD), and someone diagnosed with adult ADHD has started Race Car Minds. When I asked Julie about the name, she said, “there is a common ADHD analogy that the ADHD brain is very much like a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. My oldest son is my race car…..he goes at incredible speeds both physically & mentally but his brakes are faulty which interferes with school, relationships & life in general. So here is a child with incredible potential whose faulty “braking” sabotages his success and as a mother that’s heartbreaking. My passion for understanding ADHD was born out of the desire to do whatever I could to un-tap my sons hidden potential. When I was diagnosed with adult ADHD 2 years ago, I gained an even greater understanding of ADHD’s long term impacts (when untreated) and began my mission to take what most see as a negative & turn it into a positive. I embraced my ADHD and began to share my story. As I did, I had more parents approaching me about suspecting their child had ADHD or maybe they did too and what should they do? I became the go to person for ADHD information & support. Knowing the frustrations I had experienced for almost a decade with the lack of resources and support for ADHD families, Race Car Minds was born.”
Julie has spent the last few years doing research and getting educated. Her professional life coach certificate with a speciality in ADHD from the ADD Academy (ADDCA) along with STEP Parenting training (systematic training for effective parenting), a NY State credential via NYS Parent Empowerment Programs (allowing her to become a parent advocate for families in need of services for their child through the school or mental health system) and a course in Collaborative Problem Solving with Dr. Ross Greene (training for dealing with challenging children) means not only can she bring personal experience but also credentialed expertise to the table.
Julie knows what it is like to grow up with ADHD. She understands the frustrations of a child as well as those of the parents. She experienced “the frustrations that come with the diagnosis, internally questioning “what’s wrong with me/my child?” and the external judgements of others who’s lack of education on the disorder often results in hurtful comments about lack of parenting, laziness or just not believing that’s it’s a real disorder.”
Race Car Minds offers ADHD coaching & consulting for adults, parents, students and educators as well as advocacy for parents or caregivers of children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges in need of Special Education Services in school.
As a cyclist Julie always knew she thought best and felt best when out riding and after a good workout. Throughout her research she found “that exercise needs to part of the overall treatment plan for ADHD. Exercise turns on the attention system, the so-called executive functions — sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, inhibiting, and sustaining attention. Medicine alone won’t do it. An IEP or 504 plan alone won’t do it. To treat ADHD successfully there needs to be education about the disorder, an understanding of how you (or your child’s) own unique brand of ADHD is getting in the way & once that foundation is built than you can begin to treat. Recommendations for treatment are a multi-modal approach (not a one size fits all):
1) therapy or coaching,
2) exercise & nutrition
3) medication (which is always a personal choice)
4) school accommodations (IEP or 504)
5) mindfulness training (meditation, yoga)”
Julie has worked with many athletes over the years as a spin instructor, triathlon coach, TEAM in Training cycling coach and boot camp instructor. As a result she can help guide people to those activities that interest them. She says, “as long as you’re sweating and your heart is pumping, you’re likely to see real, positive effects from exercise on your ADHD symptoms.” I would imagine that there are many triathletes who have ADHD and are at the top of the sport.
Through Race Car Minds Julie will help other families. “It’s like finally getting glasses after not being able to see clearly. ADHD had me viewing myself and my life through a distorted lens. My own diagnosis brought me to a level of self awareness that didn’t exist before and with awareness comes change.” As a coach Julie has phenomenal strength in being able to help people see their own strengths. It is once these strengths are celebrated that life can change. As Julie states, “A coach is someone who will partner with you free of judgement and will shine the light on strengths that have long been forgotten or buried and will uncover false beliefs that no longer serve you.”
As a parent in the Capital District of New York and beyond there is now a great resource for you. Let go of any stigma attached ADHD. Get your child (and potentially yourself) the coach who will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Julie reminds us that some of our greatest thinkers have unique brain wirings likened to ADHD. We need to stop trying to fit everyone into the same mold and embrace the uniqueness in all of us.
Famous Inventors and Great Minds:
Alexander Graham Bell
Leonardo Di Vinci
Michael Jordan – The Greatest Basketball Player EVER!
Magic Johnson – A great basketball player
Terry Bradshaw – Sports Announcer and former Football quarterback
Will Smith – A man that can do it all, rap, sing and act – He IS Legend!
They Changed our World:
Walt Disney – he was fired by a newspaper because his boss told him he “had no ideas”
John F. Kennedy
Winston Churchill – he has to repeat the sixth grade
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Orville and Wilbur Wright
I can’t say it any better than Julie. “Now, try to imagine your world without these people, the contributions they made, how they have made life better, easier or more enjoyable. There are many authors, entrepreneurs, architects and so forth that have ADHD. That did not stop anyone of these people from achieving their dreams, and while they are in a class of their own, it is not because of the ADHD that they stand alone, it is because of all they have achieved.”
Race Car Minds offers consulting, coaching and educational opportunities. Contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org today.