Awareness of Autism at Ironman 70.3

By: AJ Gaston

The most important thing that I can offer to T4A and those who T4A supports is AWARENESS. I had the opportunity to participate in the Oceanside Ironman 70.3 on March 29, and while doing so I was wearing my T4A jersey to raise awareness of Autism.

The weather was great, a mild sunny day. There was more wind than we would wish to have during biking, but it felt great on the run. My wife Jody seemed to be at every turn cheering for me to the finish line. My good friend Adam and his girlfriend were also there for moral support, not to mention he helped me stay “pumped up” and motivated. Adam’s daughter Sarah is autistic.

Adam was in full T4A attire as well.

Many times through the day, I heard references about my jersey and “the blue crew.” Those yelling already knew about T4A, and it made me smile. Not only were they raising my spirits, I could imagine them educating those around them about autism and T4A. Just being there and sparking a conversation, based on what I was wearing, well I did my job, there is AWARENESS.

Thank you T4A for letting me be a part of something great, can’t wait to get out there on another event…proudly displaying TRAIN 4 AUTISM gear! I have a slightly different perspective than most T4A members. I am not a parent of an autistic child, but my nephew, Logan Gaston, is autistic. One of my best friend’s son is autistic, his name is Ryan. And Logan’s parents are very involved with T4A, which is what made me aware of the organization.

My first experience with T4A was in the LA Triathlon a few years ago, I merely rode the bike only section. The members of T4A were very thoughtful and inviting. As I learned more about the organization and met some very nice people, it made me want to learn more about autism and T4A.

T4A is a great support group, a great wealth of knowledge and information, and a great way to release tension and frustration in every day life. This release of tension makes us all more calm, patient, and understanding. What a great combination to help us all understand and cope life with autism.

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