Sundays are the days in training that are usually a call for a long-run. A long-run by definition is anything over 90 minutes or 12 miles for me. These workouts for me are about time on the feet and getting ready for endurance events. Today was 14 miles with about 1,000 feet of gain. Sometimes during these workouts I really find myself connecting to the world. It is probably one the best joys I find in this sport. It allows me the opportunity to work through the complex and arrive at the simple.
I got asked a question the other day and it really hit me hard. Do you see Dyslexia as a gift? This question is not so easy for me. On one hand, dyslexia has trained me to endure, find workarounds and develop strategy to achieve goals. So on the outside, these might look like gifts. And they are. However, I need to be careful because I had support in order for these to develop. I had supportive family and resources to train in academics, all of which I am so grateful for. What about those that did not? How about the ones who are labeled stupid, lazy and dumb and have no counter to it? How is this a gift for them? It is proven that dyslexia has no impact on intelligence—you aren’t any less intelligent because you are dyslexic. However, even with support, there is so much shame that comes with dyslexia that I have experienced.
So the sad part for me is, unlike other things, I think we could create a world that would benefit dyslexics and people in general. What if all classrooms had science-based reading programs for Pre-K – 3rd grade and allowed all students to use assisted technology (if this time has taught us anything we need to be technologically literate)? Furthermore, what if the system allowed for any student who wanted extra time on exams that affect their future (high school finals, college admission exams)? What would the world look like for dyslexics then and frankly all people? Maybe then the question would be as simple as the ask: is dyslexia a gift? Because until every dyslexic can see it that way, it will still be complex for me. And I am truly thankful for long-workouts to deal with it.