A new skating adventure following my autism diagnosis
Growing up, I was never considered a ‘sporty’ child. Quite the opposite. Out of the two of us, my brother was the athlete, taking every opportunity to try new activities and push his body to see just how far it could go. I admired him, but from afar. My adventures stayed safely between the pages of a book. Whenever I tried to get involved with his wild escapades or sporting endeavours, there always seemed to be some invisible barrier holding me back. It wasn’t until the age of 23, when I was finally diagnosed as autistic, that I came to realise what that barrier was made of.
As someone with the desire to lead a more active lifestyle, I was an avid reader of Women’s Health magazine during my early 20s, which led me to an article that genuinely changed my life. The author had written about how she’d been misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety, only later to find out that she was in fact autistic. I recognised so much of my experiences in her writing and knew I couldn't ignore the opportunity to find out if I was the same.
Receiving my diagnosis
When I received my diagnosis, it was a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, it answered a lot of questions that had been accumulating since my childhood. On the other, it highlighted that a lot of the struggles I had faced when I was younger could have been avoided with the right support. Some of those struggles made up the barrier that had been preventing me from leading the active and adventurous lifestyle I dreamt of.
Rediscovering my passion for roller skating
A few months afterwards, during the first UK lockdown, I decided to take up roller skating again, one of the only sports that I had been able to enjoy as a child. The situation we all found ourselves in brought home to me that, if not now, when? When would I start being the person that I now knew I could be? With this new mindset and the joy of being on eight wheels again, I spontaneously (completely out of character for me!) decided to sign up to the Berlin Inlineskating Marathon, which will take place on September 24 2022.
Why I am fundraising for Ambitious about Autism
I chose to take on this challenge for Ambitious about Autism because they’re a charity who understand that the right support unlocks the potential of an autistic child or young person. They don’t view autism as a deficit, but rather a different way of thinking that necessitates a different approach in life in order to thrive. I’m thrilled that the money I raise will be put towards enabling other autistic people like me to achieve things they previously felt were out of their reach.
If you’d like to donate to my fundraiser, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allieinberlin
I have also written an activity handbook called ‘The Autistic Guide to Adventure’ which will be published in Spring next year. I hope readers of my book will realise that they are capable of wondrous things, maybe even things that they thought autistic people just didn’t do.
About the author
Allie is a 25-year-old children’s author and outdoors advocate. Her debut book, The Autistic Guide to Adventure, will be published in April 2023. You can follow Allie on Instagram @alliewrote