I don't know for sure, but I would guess that Vinny inherited his late onset of walking from both parents, not just Jeff (whose mother has confirmed that he didn't walk until 17 months). I was always tall, which didn't help in the coordination department either.
Growing up, I was always self-conscious about my body and its lack of coordination. Anything academic or musical came effortlessly, so I wasn't accustomed to the idea of having to actually try or work hard at something. Instead, I was embarrassed and felt like any complex physical activity would be impossible.
Another thing working against me was my mom's outlook on her own body. She apologized multiple times for being so unathletic and children inherit their athleticism from their mothers, so.... It just confirmed what I believed about myself: I could never do anything athletic in nature.
I was able to rationalize around it quite beautifully. I didn't want to do it anyhow. I had better things to spend my time on. I had a brain to cultivate and my body was little more than a vessel in which my brain was stored.
This type of rationalization is a trap that many otherwise intelligent people fall into. When things get hard, we stop trying, because it's somehow safer to fail outright than to chance failing while trying. "If I'd tried," we rationalize, "I could have succeeded." As I always said to myself, I could be an athlete if I tried. I just don't want to put in that much effort.
It wasn't until I had to develop some actual study habits (i.e., in graduate school) that I began to put that rationalization to rest. I progressed through graduate school because I took a chance on learning to study, and risked failing while trying. My success in that endeavor helped put the first cracks in the wall of rationalization.
And as I matured as a person and got more in touch with my own desires (something that was accelerated by my parents' divorce and the countless hours of therapy that followed), I realized that I had always wanted to learn karate. Finally I got up the courage to take that risk, and went on to be remarkably successful in karate, earning a brown belt and even teaching children's karate.
Another athletic dream I have long held is the desire to run a marathon. I remember watching the 2004 Olympic marathons, transfixed. I thought to myself, if I could learn karate, what could stop me from learning to run a marathon?
Oh, Rebecca, I said to myself, you don't even know where to begin. Plus, you have weak knees and you are still too overweight.
I didn't learn how to run a marathon at that time, but I did begin running a little bit. I ran to my bus stop every day (a distance of only a couple of blocks), and I checked out a couple of books on running and read them. I listened to some of my peers talk about running and asked them questions. But I never took the leap. I soon graduated, moved to Tennessee, started my new job, had a baby, and then took another job. But the desire never left me.
Then, last month I was talking to one of my colleagues about her training for the upcoming half-marathon at the end of March. She asked me if I was interested in training for it. I took a deep breath and confessed to her my secret desire, but explained that I had never run more than a mile. Realistically, I would not be able to train up to a half-marathon between now and then.
She then asked me whether I'd be interested in training up to a 5K for starters, and then work on getting to a longer distance after that. I said yes, but that I needed to get a good sports bra before I could even think about running. So we agreed on a date by which I would have all the necessary gear.
I've been training for a week now, and I can already feel myself improving. The first day, I thought I would never resume breathing normally. Today, covering the same distance but doing more running than last week, I was only somewhat winded. Gradually we will work up to longer and longer runs, culminating in a 5K at the end of March.