I was not coordinated as a child. My motor skills were kind of depressing. I always had bruises from knocking randomly into things, and I still have difficulty moving in a proper trajectory.

A few recent examples: At the movie theater, I was walking back to the car with my dad. He was walking at a slightly different angle from that I was walking in. Normally, what someone would do is easily and smoothly turn their body a little more to the right and keep walking, parallel to their walking buddy. But instead, I realized that I was going the wrong way, and still my legs kept going, so I was essentially smashing slowly and irritatingly into my father’s toes. Eventually, my body managed to reorient itself and all was saved except my dignity.

And at school, during “Wellness”, when I was supposed to be doing some complex movements with a medicine ball while walking relatively quickly in a straight line across the gym, I was dragging my feet, trying in aggravation to perform the task. And then some jerk was running perpendicular to me. At this point, I should have gone into “pause and wait for the turd to pass” mode, but instead, I kind of hunched my shoulders nervously and slammed into him when I was perfectly capable of stopping. But I couldn’t tell my legs to function. And I couldn’t really see. And I still totally blame him.

But the worst example I have is from when I was about seven or eight years old. It was, again, in a gym class, and we were supposed to be skipping around the room. I had no clue how to skip. The teachers called what I was doing “galloping”. And I was told that we were done with that and now it was time to skip.

I desperately murmured that I couldn’t. And they insisted that I could.

So they demonstrated. I said I knew how it looked. Then they told me to hop on one leg and then launch myself forward. I think.

So I tried. And instantly fell over. And kept falling over. For the next ten minutes. Desperately wishing I knew how to perform this horrible exercise. It made no sense to me. I was confused and miserable and had bruises on top of my prior bruises. It was mortifying.

Now I know how to skip, and I have some vague idea of how to maneuver. And yet . . . I still don’t think I am safe to be around when doing certain physical activities. Like walking.


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