Back in November I started exercising again. And then about two weeks ago I hired a personal trainer to get my body back in shape. Of course, I told her about my medical condition, weaknesses and medications I am taking. She’s suggesting a new diet and all that good stuff. I’m going to build muscle and be healthier overall.

Here’s the funny brain damage story:

Coach Teresa and I start our first workout and after the warm up she has me do some push-ups in diamond formation (on my knees–I’m weak-sauce). After that she has me do some lunges with a jump between each one.

It looks like this:

During the lunge, when the right leg is forward and the left leg is back, the lunge looks pro. Then I jump and I am supposed to land with my left leg forward and my right leg back.

Technically, I land with my right leg back, but the leg is out to the side (instead of directly behind me)  and I lose my balance immediately, wobble, swing my arms all around and kick my leg over more to regain my balance. After five seconds steadying myself, I jump and land with my left leg back. No problem. Then I jump to get my right leg back and I am losing balance and falling all over myself.

I do this about 10 times (and trust me, this is hard work, I’m sweating like crazy) before Coach T. says, “Wait a minute. Didn’t you say you have some brain damage that impacts your balance on the right side of your body?”

She and I look at each other as we realize–at the same time–that my right-side balance and knowledge of where my body is space (hello, proprioception) is so out of whack that I can’t put my leg behind my body and just KNOW WHERE IT IS. Seriously. As soon as my right leg is out eyesight, it is gone to the world. In La La Land. My brain is like, “What leg?” And the reason it is fine(ish) when the left leg is back is because I can see the right leg in front of me.

Coach T. realizes she needs to build my body awareness (physical therapy-style) so she now has me performing altered lunges, focusing specifically on the slow, deliberate movement of placing my right leg behind my body. I have to do this in front of a mirror or I will always do it wrong.

What are your post-brain surgery deficits?