My name is Lewis. I am 19 years old and I live in the United Kingdom. Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with very basic tasks in life. It took me years to be able to tie my shoe laces, write words correctly, ride a bike, swim and much more. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been sad, angry or frustrated because of this.
Throughout my school years, I was laughed at on several occasions for dragging my lunch bag along the floor (didn’t even realise I was doing it!), tripping over my own feet, and walking into things. People would refer to me as ‘Dopey’ and for a while this was actually a nickname of mine, one I unfortunately had no choice but to accept.
I failed most of my exams, struggled to pay attention in class, and regularly infuriated teaches due to the fact I was struggling to understand what they were trying to tell me. In all honesty, I have never been particularly good at many things in my life – but by no means am I useless. I just don’t excel in anything, apart from – and this may come as a surprise – football.
Having being diagnosed with Dyspraxia as early as first school, I will always remember being told I was unlikely to be able to participate in sports due to my fine motor skills not being as good as others’. As it turns out, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Around 12 years on, I’m playing football for a County West Sussex football team, which I am being paid for doing.
Needless to say, I must admit when I first starting playing, I wasn’t great. In fact, I was dreadful. I was put in the Goalkeeper position (they felt sorry for me, and didn’t trust me outfield) but I couldn’t even catch a ball. I would lose concentration and forget where the goal was. I was beyond bad.
The point is, I really wanted to progress in something I enjoyed doing and no matter how many other kids laughed at me, I was determined to be better and succeed. I practised every day, studied the game, watched countless games on TV and worked myself very hard. I have now leapfrogged ahead of them in terms of development and potential. I have learned that in life, you have obstacles placed in front of you that you simply have to overcome. If I didn’t have football in my life, I am not sure where I would be.
Is there something you wish you could be good at? Or something you have always wanted to try but were scared what other people would say/think? Go out there and try it Sure, you may fail at first. But remember, Rome wasn’t build in a day. With hard work, dedication and a bit of time, I promise you will see gradual improvements every day and feel better about yourself.
You may be Dyspraxic, but I guarantee you have a hidden talent that you are wasting away. Don’t wait for the opportunity – make the opportunity.
Thank you so much for sharing that, Lewis! It was one of the most inspiring stories we’ve read in a long time, and I think it’s a message that could apply to anyone, Dyspraxic or not.
Vrinda Pendred, Founder of Conditional Publications
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