You Just Get Faster


Legendary cyclist Greg LeMond is credited with a wise and brutally honest response to a question about his training and dedication to his sport:

“It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster.”

I received an email recently from a mom who was dealing with a fresh diagnosis of her 4-year-old son. She was asking for advice and a sliver of optimism about what stood before her family. It brought me back to our early years when we were lashing out, grasping at any piece of hope, positivity or promise of security. And it sent me on a week-long introspective journey that led me back to Greg LeMond’s quote.

It doesn’t get easier, the battles just change. The initial shock of the diagnosis fades into fights with school systems and insurance companies over treatment and services. The fear that he may never communicate fades into apprehension about leaving his warm, comforting teachers and starting middle school in a brand new environment. These battles and fears will morph into new ones… and so it goes.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will find peace. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will learn mechanisms to fend off those moments (days) of depression and crippling fear about the future. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will learn to hide from that vicious, ugly monster named “Comparison”.

Maybe you will find an outlet for all these emotions. Maybe you will start a blog and write about these fears. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will start to receive wonderful compliments from thousands of people you’ve never met who thank you for helping them get through their tough days. Maybe you will lie in bed at night and giggle to yourself because you have them all fooled into thinking you have the first God-damned clue about what you’re doing.

Then, maybe you will put a pillow over your face as your giggles turn to tears and try to mask them from your wonderful wife… because you have her fooled too.

Then, maybe you will wake up the next morning, kiss your little hero on the forehead, fry up some bacon for breakfast and get back to it.

It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster.

This post originally appeared on Bacon and Juice Boxes: Our Life With Autism.

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