Training the Other Hand

When I was twelve years old, I fell off the bike downhill and broke my arm. Unfortunately it was the right arm. In those days you were doomed to wear a big cast for months, and on top of that it happened in spring when you’re filled with energy and just want to jump into lakes and climb high into the green branches of the trees! Well, I got used to the cast and trained up my abilities to be able to take care of myself and my school work with my left hand. Luckily, I was (am) ambisinistral, i.e. I already did certain things with my left hand, like lighting matches or playing Dart. Therefore I learned to write legibly with my left hand rather quickly. The hardest thing to do with the “other hand” was actually
brushing my teeth!
A while back I decided to pick up where I’d left off at twelve and started training my left hand again. Mostly because it was fun, but also because I thought that using the other hand more often would create new synapses in the brain.
When reading more about this on the Internet, however, I found that that’s not the case. Certain articles even warned against using the other hand, claiming that your brain would get confused. Well, on the Internet you can find anything and everything, so I still decided to risk it. Now I’m doing two pages of left-hand writing each day – and my brain does not seem to be more confused than before 😉
In the beginning of these exercises my handwriting was awful, but it has gotten much more fluent and legible over time and it feels great to grant the left hand more space and a bigger importance in my life.
Isn’t it amazing what you can still learn at a fairly advanced age? How you can play with your abilities, stretch your limits and gain new skills? This facet of the human existence never stops to surprise and enchant me! As Mahatma Gandhi puts it: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

I’m not there yet..! This is artist @mmanalena (Instagram)

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