Happy Thanksgiving!


Adventuring to New Heights

I believe life is too short not to have adventure. 

I have felt such joy in moments when I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone. This weekend I experienced the  joy of parasailing. My body felt all kinds of freedom. I anticipated nerves that my body wouldn’t cooperate but when I stepped into the harness and went up into the air I felt weightless. I was in control and my body reacted just as I needed it to.

If your opinion is that your autism should stand in the way of experiencing adventure then you need to reset your mind. Let your body reach new heights of adventure! If you’re reading this and curious if you can handle it, let me encourage you. Try new things and let yourself be  surprised by life.

A Dream Come True

Nolan perfected his menu for the competition and although he went up against some promising competitors he did walk away a winner. The next few days were spent preparing and when Saturday came, Nolan was ready. 

He woke up, packed his knives, and off he went to meet the trucks with all his ingredients for the evening menu. He opened each box to carefully examine the contents, only to find it was all wrong. With just 12 hours to showtime he had to think and he had to think fast. He decided to start fresh with the ingredients he did have and rely on all he had learned during his time with Chef DuBois. 

Nolan Chose to be brave with his menu, combining new flavors and experimenting with unique foods. Dinner was served and he waited as guests devoured his food. He couldn’t believe how far he had come. 

The article ran a few weeks later and Nolan could not believe he was looking at his food in Bon Appetit magazine. A few weeks later he received a call that would change his life forever. An investor had enjoyed his Christmas dinner menu so much that he wanted Nolan to come on as the head chef of his new restaurant. A dream come true. 

Once again he packed his knives and off he went on his next adventure.

The restaurant was busier than ever when the holidays rolled around. One night during clean up Chef Dubois announced that one lucky chef would have the chance to create a menu for Christmas dinner and be featured in Bon Appetit magazine.

Nolan knew this was his chance. He spent the next week exploring different flavors and ingredients. He was ready to sweep the competition on Tuesday when they presented their menus to Chef Dubois.

Never On Time, Always Early

Chef DuBois was admired by all for his culinary expertise. The fact that he invited Nolan to stay after his abrupt entrance was shocking but Nolan was not going to mess up this opportunity. He washed his hands and suited up, ready to learn all he could.

Over the next few hours Chef DuBois showed Nolan more than culinary school ever could. After that night he decided he would never be on time for a shift again, always early. For the next six months Nolan earned himself a spot in the kitchen for dinner rush and he loved every second. He never felt closer to his dream of having a kitchen of his own.

His time in the kitchen so far had given him enough insight into what Chef DuBois was looking for. He was a no nonsense kind of guy and he expected the best from his sous chefs. Nolan knew tonight was his chance to stand out and he was going to be sure to make a good impression. 

It was a few hours still until prep for dinner would begin. So Nolan decided to sneak in early to scope things out. It took him by surprise when he was greeted by the most delicious scent of chocolate. Quietly he peered through the small window to see who was responsible for whatever was in that oven. When he realized it was Chef DuBois he panicked! In his rush to get out he managed to lose hit footing and fell right through the swinging kitchen doors. He was on the floor staring his idol right in the face. 

He laid on the floor for what felt like an eternity before getting on his feet. He was surprised to see Chef DuBois somewhat unfazed by his abrupt entrance. He quickly apologized and turned to leave when he heard a voice mumble “Stay”.  

Introducing, Chef DuBois

As soon as he stepped across the threshold, he caught a whiff of something …

He was not supposed to be there so he did his best to keep quiet. After months of practice he was ready for the big leagues, dinner rush in the main kitchen. For as long as he can remember, Nolan wanted to be a chef. He was fascinated, even as a little boy, by the way you could combine ingredients to create a symphony of flavors. His mother always dreamed he would become a five star chef, and for the first time ever that dream felt within reach. 

He was accepted into the institution of Culinary Arts in April and began classes in the fall. In his four years there he soaked up as much experience as he could. When he finally scored the gig at the city’s most respected restaurant he knew would need to prove himself. He knew he had to be the best if he wanted a chance to cook with the world renowned Issaac DuBois. 

It was months of working in the back kitchen before he even had the chance to step foot in the main kitchen and even then it was for a slow weekday brunch. He was determined to be a part of the excitement he heard bursting out of the kitchen when the restaurant was filled with people who waited months to try the chef’s world class cooking.

In his session this week, Brian was asked to share his interpretation of the common phrase, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Here is what Brian shared:

It is a lot like saying to yourself “Be Present”. When you are bombarded constantly with images of peoples lives and opinions of where your life should be and what it should look like … it is easy to lose yourself. Living by the words “Wherever you go, there you are” is remembering that you have the opportunity to choose growth in every day and circumstance. If you are focused on what is ahead then you miss out on the magic of the moment.

Afterward, we opened discussion amongst those of us in the room. We each shared our own interpretation of those words and were pleased to find that we all had differing perspectives! The words held different meanings for each of us. We want to offer you the opportunity to share what those words mean to you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

Spectrum of Potential

My resolution for this year was to prioritize my physical fitness and I am taking strides toward that goal thanks to Pete and his encouragement of this community. At Full Spectrum Fitness Pete makes physical health attainable for people like me. Pursuing a healthy relationship with my body is no easy task! Apraxia makes sure of that. 

Pete has taught me that my body can be strong and that is empowering. The process can be tiring but as with so many things, it takes the right perspective to help you reach your goals. We are capable of a lot when we step outside our comfort zone.