Jack Butler, Director of Person Centered Planning at Achieva, avid powerlifter and first time Pittsburgh Marathon runner, is running for Autism Connection of Pennsylvania in 2023. And he runs for a reason.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 43. I always knew that I was different from my peers. Looking back, that difference created barriers and annoyed people at times. My non-stop chatter and impulsivity would lead to fights, self medication, and forced isolation during adolescence and early adulthood. I reflect now and I realize that physical activity helped regulate me; you may say it saved me. The structure and expectation of sports was key in my day-to-day success and when it was missing, the consequences were unpredictable.
Having a daughter with the same observable traits led me to encouraging physical activity and we experienced the positive outcomes of those daily challenges. That is how we live our lives together. As a family we participate in 5ks, competitive dance, competitive powerlifting, soccer, and terrain races. And now at age 50, I myself am training for my first Marathon!
This journey has already led to some meaningful moments in my life. I am thrilled that I can fundraise for a vital cause, and neurodiversity is now an open part of my personal life as much as it has been part of my professional life.
I have chosen to raise funds for the Autism Connection of PA, part of Achieva family of organizations where I have worked for 28 years. Autism Connection relies on fundraising to fulfill its mission to promote awareness and advocacy for and with autistic people. People who like me, may identify with being on the fringe of societal norms. Autism Connection is not focused on fixing people, but welcoming people to the table, supporting their goals, and valuing all perspectives.
By sponsoring me to run the Pittsburgh Marathon, you will help Autism Connection continue their good work and help all people lead lives of personal significance. What started as a therapeutic way for me to self-regulate has now turned into a way I can help meet some of the support needs of others. Please join me in this effort – I could use your encouragement every step of the way!
We got your back, Jack! Visit Jack Butler’s 2023 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon page.