06-04-2013   8 comments

I’ve always considered myself to be an ambidextrous person which has made it necessary for me to read anything I can find on the subject. There are arguments and discussions both pro and con as to whether a person is really ambidextrous or just cross-dominant.  Cross-dominance apparently is defined as the ability to use either hand for specific tasks but not being able to use both hands for all tasks. That sounds confusing I know so further discussion is required.

As a child in elementary school I began writing with my left hand almost immediately.  Teachers in those days actually discouraged left-handedness and required those children to write with their right hands.  I was chastised enough that I soon learned to write right-handed and have been doing so ever since.  Oddly enough I can still right with my left but not quite as clearly.  This was just the start of right-handed people attempting to change me.  To a young kid it was a bit traumatic and created a great deal of confusion for me.

I was heavily into sports and the problem was again raised almost immediately.  As I began training I wasn’t sure which hand I wanted to throw with.  Attempts were made to force me into right-handedness but I fought against it this time.  The end result was a successful career as a baseball player who threw and batted both ways.  I pitched a number of Little League games over the years using either hand.  In one game I actually pitched a portion of a game right-handed and when my arm tired, finished the last few innings left-handed.  I felt good about it since it caused people to finally leave me alone to my mixed abilities.

Growing up our family was not wealthy or well-to-do so I was forced to make other compromises.  My father was an avid golfer and started me golfing at an early age.  I was taught to golf right-handed because the cost of left-handed clubs at that time was out of our reach.  Many years later as a joke I rented a set of left-handed clubs at a local course and actually shot a reasonably decent score much to my Dad’s surprise.  It took a while for me to make the adjustment back to left-handed but I was thrilled I was able to pull it off.

There are a few real benefits to being ambidextrous.  I can hammer and nail with both hands and I can paint with either hand (artistically or house painting).  It makes painting and hammering less tiring when you can switch off when necessary.  I also found I had an unusual ability to write with both hands simultaneously.  With my right hand I write normally and with the left I am able to write backwards.  It’s a useless talent but has won me me a lot of drinks in a lot of bars over the years. Also being able to pick one’s nose with either hand is an ability your all probably jealous of. I still have no answer as to which category I fall into but that’s okay,  it’s taken years but I’ve adjusted to it either way.

I only hope that kids with the same abilities aren’t still being manipulated to be something their not.  Whether your a lefty or a righty doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that you be permitted to be what you are, not what someone else thinks you should be.

8 responses to “06-04-2013

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  1. Well it certainly seems to me that being a “switch hitter” today doesn’t seem to carry the negative connotation it once did!

  2. Love it – my brother could draw with both hands at the same time!

  3. Reblogged this on Mandyevebarnett's Blog and commented:
    Ambidextrous – definition: 1) able to use both hands equally well 2) unusually skillful; facile

    Thought this blog post was apt for today’s word. Enjoy!
    Are you ambidextrous? My brother was when he was young but lost the capability once he started school, where he was encouraged to use just one hand. What a shame!

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