In law school, I discovered that I have a learning disability. I have dyscalculia, which is like dyslexia but with numbers AND MORE! It’s most obvious when I have to use a phone number or address. I’ll switch numbers around when writing them or reading them. This was a lot of fun for me when my work number had the exchange 281 in area code 218. Or was it the other way around? As an attorney, I don’t have to worry too much about this, except all the time when I cite cases. Was Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436 or some other combination of those numbers? (I don’t have to memorize those numbers, but every time I write about a case, I need to include them.)
I’m realizing now how much this learning disorder also affects how I understand right v. left, i.e, I have to hold my hands out to know which is which.
I started taking a yoga/pilates/tai chi class at my local gym. I’m really enjoying it, but I frequently have no idea what’s going on. When the class is facing the teacher and she asks us to move our right leg back, I don’t know which leg she means and I have to look at her or another student to figure it out. Which is fine, unless we’re in downward facing dog or something and I have to look up and strain my neck. So the other day she saw my trouble and told me it didn’t matter, just do the opposite leg from last time. Which would be good advice, assuming I could remember which leg I did the last time and tell my body not to do that one again. I can’t. And then she asked us to do this:
I was completely lost.
It’s probably pretty therapeutic that I go, and I’ll probably get better with practice. But the other day I just felt like an uncoordinated mess and that the teacher felt she had to take pity on me. So when it came to relaxation at the end, when we were supposed to lie still and focus on breathing, the instructor came up to me and started to move my shoulders. And instead of thinking “oh, nice. A small massage,” (which was her intent) I thought “great, now I’m relaxing wrong!”