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Unmasking with the Values Based Integration Process

Triathlon Here We Come!

Trevor Biking Towing Heather

So we’ve been gearing up for a while now, but the big day is now just one week away!

When we purchased my racing chair last year one of the things we had the opportunity to do was to consider purchasing a chair that was convertible between a run chair and a bike chair.

Given that both Trevor and I had competed in triathlons in the past, we decided to take the risk and purchase the convertible chair – having had no opportunity to try the chair out IRL ahead of time!

In the end, my chair didn’t arrive until the morning of our first half marathon back in October, and so we only had a very brief opportunity to try it out in the bike mode before the weather turned bad and we were limited to running.


This spring, in targeting a ‘solo’ half marathon, Trevor and I spent the first part of the spring really focused on our run training – extending our distances back out to a full 21K and then adding hill work to really increase the intensity of our training. But we also got word at the end of April that our request to participate in the Barrie Triathlon had been accepted, so we knew we had to get out on the bike and start training if we wanted to make that a reality!

And what we discovered at that point was that, just like with running, no amount of previous bike experience could prepare us for the effort this would be!

The first couple of training rides were short, painful and slow! Our first ride was just 9K and Trevor was beat when we got back. Worse yet, our speed was just 16.2 k/hour, making our goal of completing a 20K ride during the triathlon seem impossible! But we have continued the long, slow grind of training, and have increased our distance to a whopping 34.3K just this past weekend. And although our speed is just up to 17.3K, that’s because we target long, hilly routes for training, with the hope that we will have extra power in Trevor’s legs when we hit the flat course that is the Barrie Triathlon on Sunday!

So that covers run and bike, but what about swim you ask?

Well, we even have a plan for that!

Our Boat

This is our boat.

For the swim portion of the race, Trevor will place me into the dinghy, and swim with a homemade chest harness attached to the boat to pull me along!

Thankfully, the effort of swimming with me behind him doesn’t really seem to make the swim portion of the race any harder, so that’s awesome news! We’ve done two practice runs, and Trevor has been doing some independent swimming, but we have definitely been focusing on other things! We did one final swim yesterday morning – crossing Kempenfelt Bay with some friends – so we’re about as ready as we’re going to be at this point, I think! 🙂

We are hoping to raise some money and awareness around accessible racing with our work, to make it possible for more folks with disabilities to get out and participate. If you’re interested in finding out more about what we’re doing, please feel free to watch the great video our friends at Five Points Media created for us! And if you’d like to help support this cause, please visit my GoFundMe page!

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About the program

In 2017 I was newly self-diagnosed with atypical autism, struggling with burnout, and striking out when it came to therapists who could address the issues I was facing. At the same time, I was building skills around life coaching, shame reduction, and trauma-informed therapy for work. Gradually I realized that what I needed – an embodied, autonomous, agency-driven coaching approach to unmasking – was not something I was going to find “out there”, but something I was going to need to create if I wanted to recover my life. This was the moment the Values Based Integration Process was born.

Having developed the program for myself – and having seen the incredible results it brought in my own life – I began to use it with coaching clients. The results were out of this world!

After conversations with Dr. Devon Price, the technique was featured in his book Unmasking Autism. With it, came interest in the technique and the decision was made to begin training coaches and therapists to help make this toolkit more readily available.


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