It started out as a crooked tee-shirt.

It was new one too, one that I had never worn. I pulled it over my head, then looked in the mirror. The printing on it was slightly crooked; the left side of the design was a tiny bit lower than the rght. Bummed, I hung it back up and pulled out a different shirt. Once I got it on, I realized that it, too, was slightly crooked. Once I tried on a few more shirts, and found them all canted ever so slightly to the left, it occurred to me that it might be my body, not the shirts.

After standing very still in front of the mirror for a while, I could see a definite difference between my right shoulder and my left shoulder. I'm right handed, so naturally my right side is a bit stronger, but the amount of difference was really surprising to me. I have also noticed differences in my hands, my biceps, and most notably, my forearms. I blame it on racquet sports. Mostly badminton. The lack of a racquet in my off hand is slowly turning me into a human fiddler crab. Soon my left arm will wither and become vestigial, like those bones in the tail of a whale that used to be it's legs.

My right and left forearms are so different that if photographed individually, you might not be able to tell that they belong to the same person. There is this muscle on the outside of my right forearm - let's call it the "badminton backhand muscle" - that appears to be absent on my left arm.

Initially, I was actually left-handed. Back in the late '60s, however, it was in vogue to gently "help" children who began to develop left-handed tendencies by taking the crayon from them and putting it in their right hand. Or gently putting the spoon in their right hand when pudding was served. Or smacking their left hand with a ruler and telling them they can't have any pudding until they "eat correctly". Or (my personal favorite) putting their art smock on them so that the left arm was not in the sleeve, effectively making them one-armed, and then telling them they can't go out to recess until they finish their painting. My all black finger paint compositions were not well received.

Of course, now we know that forcing a child to switch hands can cause all kinds of problems, ranging from stuttering to acidic sarcasm and bitterness. Luckily I was not so affected...

At any rate, that's all spilled tempera at this point. I'm just thinking out loud here, but the way I see it, I have two choices; 1) add more exercises to my training regimen for the left side of my upper body, or 2) embrace my lop-sided freakishness, and try to be like Reggie in "Lady in the Water." Perhaps I could even work my right mitt into something akin to Hellboy's "Right Hand of Doom"...

Ok - that settles it; freak it is. I'm buying a brown trenchcoat and a large caliber handgun.


Teh Dr. said...

My arms were waaaaaaay off when I had my hand surgery. They are still not quite back to normal, but much closer, I think the kettlebells will really help. We could also try an all left hand handball day.

Modig_Bjorn said...

F'n A! Kudos on the Hellboy reference!

Bunny said...

The red skin tone won't be too hard to come by, seeing as you're an Irish boy. =p

Post a Comment