Do you remember being a little kid having fun spinning in chairs?
My grandparents’ house had these cool wicker barstools at their kitchen counter and I spun and spun and spun on those things.
Growing up, my favorite summer fun fair ride was the one that is a big cylinder. Everyone lines on the inside of the wall of the cylinder. It gets spun and the centripetal force keeps everyone glued to the walls. And the floor drops down. I loved that ride!
On the cool playgrounds, there was a big metal circle merry-go-round with metal bars to hang onto. I loved those too! I had my own technique of sitting pretzel-legged around one of the bats and hugging it so I could stay on and spin extra fast. That was my talent.
As I have grown up, my life has given me fewer and fewer times to exercise this fun spin experience. I see astronauts in movies or tv shows in those spinning contraptions and I have to admit, I am always jealous. I would love one of those things in my home so I could spin any time I want to.
Early in my vision therapy journey, one of the things I was diagnosed as having issues with is proprecoception issues. I think that’s the right word. It has to do with either my inner ear or where I am in space. One or both of those.
The first time my vision therapist had me spin, I stood up and looked about a foot or two away from myself, at the ground / carpet. And she had me spin once. Slowly. I got dizzy. It made me feel so sad that I couldn’t spin like I used to. I used to be able to stand up in my grandmother’s front yard by her garden where she was weeding, and spin and spin and spin until I got so dizzy. And I would try to stand up, dizzy, but sometimes I would fall down.
And here I was at the vision doctor therapy room and I could barely spin 2 times in a row, slowly.
My therapist had me turn very carefully with my feet, a slow quarter turn at a time.
Later, she put me on a big, square wooden plank suspended from chains overhead. I sat on it, pretzel-legged, with my eyes closed, and she spun me so slowly.
The first few times she did this, I could only go maybe 70% or the way around. Not all the way around.
As time went by, we were able to get me up to 3 spins around I think. Nice, slow spins.
I need to remember to try to spin myself in my own office chair at my desk. It would be fun to remember to do it more often, and see if I can get back to the place I remember of spinning on those wicker bar stools at my grandparents’ house when I was a little kid.
Centripetal force is so much fun.