Leg Warmers + Dyslexia = All Gain
“No Pain, No Gain” -Jane Fonda. My sister and I were Jane’s leg warmer partners in crime and side cramps. My sister’s journey with Dyslexia told a different story about pain and gaining.
As my mother would begin Jane Fonda’s warm up on the VHS, my sister and I would be changing into our bathing suits over tights, scrunching up Dad’s long socks (they came up taller and on us looked like those leg warmers worn on the video- we thought). We would get into mom’s blue eye shadow until it was more like forehead shadow. Our hair in HIGH side pony tails mimicking our favorite backup Fonda “fly girls,” we were finally ready to show these ladies how it’s done!
This was so common in our home that we wore out the Jane Fonda video tape. My mother always laughs at this memory of us, yet my sister and I take our Jane Fonda VERY seriously- so no laughing people! We were little girls then, but Fonda and her hotshot posse’ of long-legged sweat band sporting 80’s workout divas made tiny me and my little sissy feel extra fierce.
Years later in school, my sweet little sister would not be feeling so fierce any more when she was the target of bullies. They called her: illiterate, moron, idiot, retarded, and more names I know she has buried deep and hopes to forget. She has a learning disability called Dyslexia. She is severely Dyslexic and she didn’t really catch onto reading until around the sixth grade. She thought reading would be her ticket to being “normal” and making friends. The better she could learn to read, the fewer panic attacks she would have when teachers would make her read aloud in front of class “for her own good.” And fewer tears she would cry because of nasty name-calling jerk wads.
She went through a whole lot of emotional pain on the playground, pain when she got any tests back, and pain in her bedroom alone after school- yes, she had pain… But my sister would tell you her GAIN had nothing to do with her pain. Her gain came from her time in drama class. She gained motivation to stay in school through High School performing arts programs. She gained trust back with her peers when she sang in the chorus. She gained confidence in herself when she was the lead in the school play. She gained independence when she put herself through college by winning talent competitions in scholarship pageants. She has represented organizations like Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic along with advocating for school arts programs as both made such an impact for her. And yes, in case you are wondering, the shy little girl who couldn’t read did graduate college. Boom shaka lacka. Hip roll Fonda!
She continues making gains every time she reads a word and each day she goes to work. She makes gains by proving her former teachers wrong, those bullies, those mean snotty classmates, tutors, and everyone who must have been so dumbstruck by her sparkle that they all acted like fools around her, I suppose.
It wasn’t in all the hardship that my lil’ sis found her fabulosity, it was in the moments like dancing in front of the television to Jane Fonda’s Workout video. Fonda fly girls for life xx.
This entry was in response to a Daily Prompt from WordPress’ Blogging site:
Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto, “no pain, no gain?”
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