Thursday, June 02, 2016

Two Lefts?

Whilst at College over thirty years ago a friend introduced me to the idea of two year resolutions. It was one of those 'eureka' moments for me. Why do we make resolutions on December 31st every year and why only for a year? The idea was simply to pick a thing you would like to do (positive, not 'giving up' which is negative) and try and become proficient at it in two years or so.

One of my favourite two years was the period when I tried to become ambidextrous. Up until then I was very right-sided. Nothing wrong with that. But was it holding me back?

There is something very interesting about the Latin words behind that idea of being ambidextrous. Latin for right is dexter; for left is sinister. So a right-handed person has dexterity; a left-handed is a potential danger. A person who can use both hands equally well is, literally, one with two right hands.

The learning process is full of danger. I decided not to tell anyone. I continued to be a one-footed footballer in matches but tried to use both in training. To begin with I did much simpler things with my left foot; short passes and blocks, but gained confidence. A left-footed tap in from five yards wasn't the greatest goal ever but it was my first with my left foot and it would have been harder to get my feet in the er, right position to score with my usually preferred foot.

Two moments which gave me, and only me, great pride, and which I have never shared before, are these:

St John's v Lincoln College in 1983 and a run down the left wing ending with a cross dinked up perfectly to the far post to be headed home (it wasn't).

St John's v some hall of residence that season when put through on goal I hit it early with my left on the volley and it powered into the bottom corner of the net before the keeper had made any plans to to stop me.

Other things are simpler. I pour the milk from a jug in my left hand and the tea from the pot in my right. In my day job the juxtaposition of bread, wine, plate and cup looks more balanced to the congregation if done both-handedly.

Want to learn? Deliberately position your drink vessel so you have to use your left hand.

If you have a tablet or phone that requires a swiping mechanism take a game such as 2048 or Candy Crush. Play left-handed.

Start typing with, at least, your fingers in the correct positions asdf jkl; on proper keyboards. Tablets replace ; with the return key.

Constantly ask yourself the question, 'Could I do this with my non-dominant hand?' Then try to. It's fun. It's rewarding. It's your little secret.

That will be a £30 back-hander please.

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