I am not ambidextrous. Apparently I am cross-dominant.
I used to be in the Boy Scouts of America while I was in Saudi and on a certain outing we were somewhat rock climbing. Well, we weren’t climbing, we were descending. I don’t recall exactly what the procedure was called. We were hooked up to some sort of harness, feet on the rocks, and we let go of the rope little by little to descend. There were two adults who were supervising the process. When it was my turn, one of them hooked me up. The other one, an Australian man, asked me “are you right-handed or left-handed?”. I said I wasn’t sure, and he said “I knew this one was going to be trouble”.
But I really didn’t know. I write with my left hand. It seems very natural to do so. One might assume that this makes me left-handed. It doesn’t quite. Were I to arm wrestle with someone, I would use my right hand. If I was playing cricket or baseball I would bat left. However, if was was pitching or bowling (equivalent of pitching in cricket) I’d use my right hand. Tennis and table-tennis, I use my right hand. I kick with my right (leg/foot).
It’s a mixture. I am not one or the other. My right ear is dominant, while for my eyes it is my left. What is odd to me is that this cross-dominance is described as an abnormality.
Most people develop unilateral cerebral dominance – that is their dominant eye, ear, hand and leg are on the same side of the body. Approximately 20% of the population has mixed dominance or other irregularities in the development of dominance. Those irregularities of dominance that are the most difficult to resolve without therapeutic help involve alternating reliance on one side or the other without conscious decision to do so. Such children will use first one hand when writing and then the other, for example. This causes instability in perception and performance. Immaturities and irregularities in lateralisation can cause perceptual, organisational and performance problems in all areas of life.