I’ve given you my thoughts on SDR 30 years later, but what I don’t think I really told you is what that can sometimes mean for me when it comes to daily living.
Having Cerebral Palsy means my brain can’t always communicate with my muscles effectively, or at all. Not only do I have to think about every move I have to make but sometimes I have to think about every step of the process. As John Quinn says in his book Someone Like Me it’s not uncommon for me to have to think out how to walk, as in ‘Go. Pick up left foot. Put left foot down. Pick up right foot. Put right foot down. Stop.’
Now because I’ve had a SDR there’s always some extra thought in the process, especially if I’m doing something new, requires correct form, or it’s hard for me to see my feet. I have pretty good spatial awareness given my deficits but it can take a while for my brain and the rest of my body to get on the same page.
I’ll give you three examples:
-If I’m asked to move my feet laterally I have to be looking at my feet in order for even the most remote chance that this could happen.
-If I’m going to be prone on an exercise ball I often ask someone to “set my feet” before I start any exercise, because being able to look at the position of my feet and stay balanced on a round movable object and then move my feet if necessary. I have gone to check the alignment of my feet only to find one-foot laying parallel on the floor and the toe of my other foot pointing to the other one. When you can only feel pressure in your feet it’s pretty easy to think you’re balancing on your toes.
-If I’m going to cross my legs I usually have to pick up one leg and cross it over the other, unless I want to chance flinging myself out of a seated position by allowing my legs to move under their own power (which has happened).
” Does that make sense?”
“Up here it does, but who knows what’ll happen when it gets down there.”
This isn’t an uncommon interaction between a physical therapist (or trainer or coach, etc.) and myself; you see it’s not so easy to get instructions from here:
To travel down here:
To end up here:
And get the desired results.
Yet it happens every day, multiple times, more than any of us can probably count.
So we should all count our blessings for each time traveling from here:
(or anywhere else)
Because sometimes it ain’t so easy.
*A similar version of this post first appeared on an old blog on February 23, 2010