My high school over-valued sports. If someone wasn’t good at competitive sports, they didn’t matter. Kids with coordination troubles were made fun of K-12, which is one reason I eventually dropped out. Even going to a gym can be a tough experience. I didn’t grow up playing sports. My university’s sports complex was a very daunting place for me, a non-athlete, to visit. The different facilities’ varying hours really confused me, as did finding them. I felt stupid as I walked around trying to follow the signs. It was one of those times when a simple task was made near-impossible because of NLD. I was already stressed–I take on too much–so I couldn’t totally focus. I just really wanted to try working out. It’s spring, and I need the stress relief, but I had the distinct sense I didn’t fit into the gym setting. I want to return, but need to get over my embarrassment first.
I’ll return at a different time in the hopes of not seeing the same staff. I felt embarrassed in the locker room, and very self-conscious, like a teenager. A health club would be a little easier, but I have to do what’s within my student budget. I felt so embarrassed getting lost. I wish people wouldn’t act like it was dumb to get lost. Visual-spatial disorientation is a truly hard thing. We aren’t ignoring our surroundings. We just see things differently. It’s so hard having NLD. I wish people would have compassion. In this case, no one reacted in mean ways, but I just felt so alone. I was the only confused one in a place where everyone else was so comfortable. I wanted to go somewhere and cry, I was so stressed out, but I really wanted to get some exercise. However, I have to return when the rooms are open. It was hard just going into the gym building. With no logic, I thought, if I can get here, I can exercise, but it was not the case today. Another day, hopefully, it will be, and I won’t feel so overwhelmed by NLD, and people’s reactions to it. Oh my goodness.
I sometimes think people’s reactions are harder to deal with than NLD. When home, I still have visual-spatial confusion (i.e., not seeing things right in front of me, forgetting where I put something, trouble getting everything together before I leave, trouble fitting everything in my bags, et cetera), but nowhere near the stress I feel when out advocating for myself.