I have recently been diagnosed with dyslexia and thought I would share it with you.
From the age of six, my wife and I noticed that our daughter absolutely blossomed in some areas of learning, but struggled in others. She’s now 10 and doing brilliantly. We started on a journey to understand dyslexia – and in the process, began to recognise some of the same traits in myself.
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll probably notice I’m curious about myself. It comes from an ongoing belief that I’ve not reached my full potential in life – despite having a wonderful wife and two kids, and a great job with friends and colleagues I love. I like to think (hope) that I’ve got more still to give.
I was quite bright at school, passing 10 O-levels and two A-levels (on the third attempt for maths!) Yet, as I went up through school, I remember struggling with the volume of reading and writing. I also found it hard to revise for exams. So, I took what for me at the time was a wise choice, and decided not to go to university. I’ve since often looked back and questioned whether I really applied myself enough at school and if I could have done better. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hard worker, so the thought that I might not have done my best hasn’t always sat well with me.
Making sense with hindsight
Now diagnosed and reading my ‘Dyslexia Report’, it’s apparent that I’ve been working doubly hard over the years to compensate for ‘difficulties with phonological awareness and verbal processing speed… and issues with working memory’. It’s not all bad: I probably owe some of my strongest characteristics to having dyslexia. I’m a good problem-solver at work, tending to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions – all thought to be common amongst those with dyslexia.
From reading and writing, to running
I also now wonder whether having to work extra hard to simply keep up in some areas of life might have given me a driven personality. Could it be part of why I have an ‘endurance mindset’ – the grit and determination to push through, even when things don’t come easily?
I’d love to chat to any fellow ultra-runners who have dyslexia – does this resonate with you? Leave a comment below or drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org