Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ah, Friedreich's ataxia, my old enemy

My little sister recently said she thought that my brother and I suffered no Friedreich's ataxia symptoms till college. She said she just remembered us running around and playing like normal. I had to disabuse her of that notion about me.

Our grade school added a playground with a three-tiered balance beam when I was in about fifth grade. I wasn't able to climb to the different tiers, but I remember being so proud of myself for walking the low beam. I am sure I bragged to Mom about it.

I am not sure where I got it, because the Internet didn't exist, but sometime in grade school I had gotten a list of three coordination exercises. One used a yard stick, but I forget the exercise.

One had you stand up, bend your legs slightly, stretch your arms and close your eyes. I don't remember perfectly, but I want to say 15 seconds was my time, and if I cheated a bit -- say, opening my eyes or moving my arms -- I got to 30.

The last was to improve hand-eye coordination and involved bouncing a ball off a wall and catching it. I rarely caught more than one in a row.

I think the poor hand-eye coordination also explains my poor attempts at javelin in Summer Games 2. You had to push the button really fast to get up speed before the toss. I just could not do it. I was great at rowing, though.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

you were and are my big brothers...as much as we fought as little people...you guys were who I wanted to be with...playing the cool hobbit games and launching superheroes out of gram's upstairs window
i am sorry i was oblivious, i guess even then i loved you all to pieces even if none of us knew it.
xo
ejd

Anonymous said...

it sucks whenever it happened. But look forward not back.
sdt

Wolfie said...

I thought you might be interested in this blog. http://justaplainsam.blogspot.com/
Hope you find it as inspirational as I do.

Matt Trott said...

I wasn't saying you were a jerk and oblivious. I didn't know why I could not do javelin.

But if I don't look back, sdt, I could not write my memoir-ish blog... unless I knew the future. Then I could look forward but write about it as if it were the past.

Thanks Wolfie.

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