Monday, July 23, 2012

After Race

What a weekend! I spent the past three days working at the SKUSA SummerNats and it was a great event. To continue my Asperger Everyday string of blog posts I will talk about the event, or rather what happens at the end of the event.

The photo to the right is from the event with me giving the double checkereds and I wish you could see my face as I am in a state of pure enjoyment; there isn't anything else I enjoy than manning the flags at the finish line. It is pure euphoria and every second is cherished.

However, as with everything, time passes and events end. It's in this transition from supreme Kansas to not that is the most difficult.

Imagine living in an usual state of high anxiety, stress, and worry and then getting a recess from it. Now imagine that in that recess you are doing something that defies what you normally are. What I mean by this is I am normally soft spoken and walk with a hesitancy (this, of course, doesn't apply to when I am presenting). The photo is the opposite of that; I am confident and have no problem making my voice heard.

As soon as the final checkered falls on an event I am working it is like having every ounce of energy drained from my being. I put everything into flagging and as soon as the event is over all the energy that I have used catches up to me. Also, the confidence I had vanishes. I guess one could say I experience a metaphorical crash of sorts because I have nothing left and all the fears, worries, and over-thinking my mind does comes back with a vengeance.

This, right here, is a prime example of why we will do everything we can to get to our Kansas. The differences are as great as can be and when we enter that linking time from Kansas to not can be a crushing experience.

Here's the other thing that if you are a parent or teacher you NEED to know; I am feeling rather junky today mourning the passing of Kansas and the event that was the SKUSA SummerNats and yet in just two days I will be in the flagstand for the USAC .25 Battle at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. It's that series' largest event of the year and yet, right now, I can't see that Kansas will be renewed in less than 48 hours. The future is a hard thing to see and even if I know that Kansas will happen again it will be hard for me to know that it will happen again.

So that's where I am today. In just a few hours I will be on my way to the airport to head back to Indy and then I have one day to recover until the Battle at the Brickyard.


  1. I thought I've told you before, but I'm not sure, so just in case I'll tell again: We, at the Anime/Manga conventions, have a word for this. It's 'After-Convention-Depression'.

    My Kansas are Anime/Manga Conventions and so is the Kansas of many of my friends (most of them have autism too). Whenever a convention ends, we all sink into the same sad period as you spoke about. That's where the term after-convention-depression came from. It's the moment that Kansas ended and daily life resumes and we're once again faced with how we feel in daily life and how big a difference that it compared to Kansas. The only thing that cures it, is time (going back to neutral state), or entering another Kansas (best time!).

  2. Great blog, Aaron.

  3. nice! yeah i get that as well, i`m sick of people looking down on me like a dog and calling me crazy...

  4. Hey! i get the exact same kind of thing... people look down at me like a dog and call me crazy and more offensive words... i often wonder if i will ever find some solace!

  5. I will give you and your readers a tip. I switched gears very quickly from a presenter to a member of the audience very quickly. For example, if I finished a talk at an OT conference, I may have to walk to another room for another presentation. I ALWAYS anticipate someone might talk to me. I also ALWAYS anticipate some possible topics that person might talk to me. But if some people catch me by surprise with a topic I don't know, no problem. I will just listen to them talk and ask questions along the way.

    Since you are around race tracks premises a lot, your top go to topic there should be about the race you just flagged. Then your next go to topic can be other races you have flagged. Then your next go to topic can be who you saw on the racetracks during your flagging career.

    Other environments- similar procedures. Think about where you are -> think about who you might expect -> think about what you are comfortable talking about/ask questions on the topic the other person wants to talk about.

    Bottom line, don't try too hard in thinking about conversation topics in unfamiliar environments... use what's around you!