How is a person with ADHD like a race horse?
Hopefully you have been to a racetrack or seen a horse race on TV. Often you will see a horse that comes out of the gate like a bat out of hell. No matter how hard the jockey tries to rein him in, to structure the pace so he can last till the end, he just can't stop the horse from flying past all the others. Half way through the race our horse is 3 lengths ahead of the rest. As they are coming around the last turn and heading for the finish line, there is no sign of our horse. Sadly, he does not finish the race because somewhere in the last quarter stretch he stumbled and hurt his ankle. The horse limped off the field as the jockey tried to understand what happened so that he could explain it to the horse's owner and trainer who were both furious and frustrated.
The next time the horse raced the same thing happened. He shot out far ahead of the other horses and went flying as fast as he could. One could almost 'see' the look of pure joy on his face. This time the jockey had a bit more luck trying to pace him for the long race. After being only 1.5 lengths ahead at the half way point he continued to pace him as best as possible. Alas, our horse came in last. Almost 2 lengths behind the rest. The horse got the signals from the jockey this time but just couldn't give 'it' up completely. 'It' of course was the excitement of rushing headlong into something he loves and perhaps even hyper-focusing along the way??
So, how is a person with ADHD like a race horse? I suppose a better question to ask would be HOW can a person with ADHD stop being like that race horse whenever we start a new, interesting and exciting project? First we have to break down the steps, parts, tasks, sections, portions… of the project. Pacing ourselves means structuring our time by writing down in our planner When and for How Long we are going to do each and every part of this project. If it is an ongoing project it means restructuring our time to include this new task into our life. Savoring the parts we like instead of rushing past them can help to continue on with the part of the 'race' that normally would lose our interest. Putting down into that planner When and under What conditions it is OK to start the next project is also helpful. Win, Place or Show, it helps to continue to show up by planning the pace and listening to that jockey in our head.
And remember, mindfulness matters!
Mindfulness Matters Coaching®