Ah, International Day of Left-Handers 2020 is winding down on our side of the international date line. As MOLLYDOOKER is an Australian term for “wrong-handedness”, I’ll add for completeness that this celebratory day is done, down under. Remember Sunday in San Diego, Monday in Melbourne… Lefties are nice people too! And, some studies suggest that lefties are growing in number. Not all bad as a handy phenomenon, as left handedness is associated with: quicker math skills, possibly better verbal skills, faster complex processing, and more slender faces. Yup. However, comma, we are [statistically] more prone to migraines, sleep disorders and learning disabilities. Let’s balance quantities and qualities…
As a very proud, sinister assassin, I, as a lefty, am honored to recall other wrong-handers who left their mark on history:
- Julius Caesar
- Madame Marie Curie,
- Babe Ruth,
- Albert Einstein,
- Most American Presidents serving for the last half century from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama were also wrong-handers or mollydookers, or southpaws.
- Only Jimmy Carter, Bush #43, and now Donald Trump were in their “left minds.”
- Some Boomers, who had “natural” lefty traits might have been encouraged to think that they were “RIGHT” handed and act accordingly. My sainted Grandmother Chris was forced to use her right hand to write; and she stuttered for the rest of her days. True. I was always getting fountain pen ink on the back of my left hand, because the Palmer school of penmanship made it so. Weren’t we lucky little Boomers in the 1960s?
“Catholic school teachers in particular routinely inflicted corporal punishment and psychological pressure on left-handed students, ranging from accusations of being in cahoots with the Devil to, bizarrely, being Communist.” Could you imagine mandatory classes in cursive penmanship these days?
There may be many, many other lefties in history of whom we are unaware. As in my Grandma’s case, being a lefty was considered weak, abnormal, or ,,,sinister, as would be expected of those “in cahoots” with El Diablo. And you international travelers may recall that the left hand is the “Toilet Hand” in some civilizations.
Despite the ~ 6 to 1 odds of being right-handed; some of our greatest hitters in baseball were southpaws, like Tony Gywnn, the Bambino(mentioned above), Ted Williams, and George Brett. Steve Young and Kenny Stabler were pretty fine as football quarterbacks. Coach Bill Belichick tries to draft punters who kick with their left feet, because the punt spin is different. As a livescience.com article offered, “Physical competition, on the other hand, favors the unusual. In a fight, a left-hander would have the advantage in a right-handed world.” Example: Phil Mickelson has made a pretty good living as a right-handed person who plays golf from “our side.”
Question: What heart chamber pumps precious “red” blood to our organs and cells for livelihood? LEFT Ventricle. Touche.
So Koach, why the ramblings about handedness, you justly inquire? Handedness is fascinating, like so many performance and functional aspects of our bodies and our training regimens.
One example: “Ambidextrous” rowers are considered more valuable to crews as they can “sweep row” from either side. A Coach has more flexibility in her or his boating options as a result. And, by alternatively rowing “sweep” from either side, a crew jock might minimize or avoid sport-specific imbalances which can often occur. I wrote about sport-specific imbalances in KABOOMER as a shameless plug for my first book …
In our world, Boomers should strive to be as “even handed” as possible. By this I mean that activities of daily life – from tooth-brushing, to taking stairs, to putting on your underpinnings or leggings with either arm or leg as leading limb. And our handedness extends to unilateral stability and strength too! Last, but certinly not least, doing single leg, and single arm exercises can favorable impact those imbalance and stress injuries. I commend to you this stack.com article about the importance of unilateral training. KABOOM.