Here’s excerpts from a family video of me on the beach at Lake Michigan when I was about 8 years old, maybe? It was the early 80’s and we weren’t rich, so these do not have sound. Lol Technically I videoed the video with my phone. How’s that for a time warp? We’ve come a long way, baby! Lol
Let me preface this…I loved the beach. I still do! It is my happy place. I can sit and watch the waves roll in for hours. (Granted I’m covered in gallons of sunscreen, of course! Because I BURN!). I’m at peace there.
Walking in the sand!? That’s a whole other story. It’s torture. It was complete torture when I was a child. I wanted to be carried. I wanted to be magically transported to the water because walking in sand was like bearing 1000 pound weights on my body. I could barely hold my own weight and would fall if the wind started to blow. I would get incredibly weak.
All I wanted to do was run through the waves, swim, build sand castkes, hunt fur seashells and lucky glass… But my body would simply shut down and I was like jelly.
I tried so hard to push through the weakness. I’d do as much as I could to have fun. But after pushing through the the nausea, sweating, jelly arms and legs, I’d end up collapsing. I hung onto my dad, mom or sisters to help me get through the sand. They’d have to almost drag me. My full weight would bear on them and my feet and legs simply went through the motions.
It was misery.
As I watched these videos, it all came flooding back. I started crying.
It was soooo hard feeling so helpless and like my body just gave up on me all the time! And how it would always ruin my fun plans…like a beautiful vacation day at the beach.
I remember this day very well. Something funny happened at that beach. It’s a favorite family memory we all share. (I’m not including the funny moment because I’m trying not to show my sisters’ faces on these videos. sorry) And we got it on video! Which is really why I wanted to watch it. But then it really hit me how “weird” I looked walking and trying to stay upright. The feelings all flooded back.
You’ll see in first second of the 1st video, I start to go down but catch myself because I was hanging onto my dad. The small waves were enough to almost knock me over. In the second video, I try to walk faster and you can really see my wobbly abnormal gait! Makes me think of those windsock characters you see outside a business, bending and flailing in the wind (those things freak me out worse than clowns…but, I digress.) Mostly you see me walking/waddling unsteady… It took every ounce of energy to take each of those steps. Begging and pleading with myself not to collapse. I wanted so badly to be a part of my sisters’ fun. Yet, mostly I had to stand there…or hold onto someone.
I also remember this day because I remember my parents trying to TEACH me how to run when we were at that beach. They didn’t realize I simply didn’t have the muscle strength to do it. It wasn’t that I was awkward or uncoordinated… I simply had no strength.
I remember trying really hard for them. With no results. I wanted so badly to run! How glorious that would’ve been if it were simply something I needed to learn! But it wasnt. And I felt horrible. I felt I was letting them down, and I was so frustrated that my body would not let me do what I was telling it to! If that was on video, you would’ve seen how significantly I was affected. I think these videos don’t do it justice. But they’re all that I have!
Video 1: first few seconds show me almost falling just because of a small wave. I was hanging onto my dad for dear life. Then you see me waddling back.
Video 2: waddling…I even try to speed up and you really see my abnormal gait! Each step was calculated and I begged with myself not to fall… Just one more step…one more step…one more step…
video 3: just more waddling…and hanging onto my dad so I wouldn’t fall.