Dyslexia has been a huge part of my life since I can first remember. From my days at primary school where I was the last person to get my p...

Red Letter from Alex Edmondson - Olympian Cyclist

18:20:00 Dyslexia Australia 0 Comments

Dyslexia has been a huge part of my life since I can first remember. From my days at primary school where I was the last person to get my pen license, being laughed at when I had to read out allowed, being so happy when the first Harry Potter movie came out as I could finally see what all the talk was about, as I wasn't able to read the books to finally having to leave the classroom to go to a different teacher in year 6 as I was apparently to dumb to stay in the class.

School was a huge struggle for me, I absolutly hated it. I can clearly remember all the times that I would argue and refuse to go to school with mum. Or when I would blow the candles out for my birthday cake and wish to just be "a normal kid". Finally the huge amount of homework I had to do at home to remember syllables and how they were pronunced.

Alex and his family
I was so lucky to have the most amazing people around me who always supported and helped me with my struggles with dyslexia. From my parents who were there every step of the way and Janice McPhail who was my shining angel. I can easily say if it wasn't for her I would not be where I am to day, both with my cycling and my life in general. She taught me ways to deal dyslexia and most importantly except that I wasn't dumb like everyone called me, I was just different.

My parents every step of the way encouraged and motivated me to be able to learn how to overcome dyslexia. Through all the hard times and the times I wanted to throw the towel in they kept my feet on the ground and motivated me to stick with it and in their words, "show it who was boss"!! The endless amounts of time they would help me with my homework, remembering games, helping me with my spelling, reading books for me the list really goes on, they really were unbelievable.

I was so fortunate to have had the support I needed at St Johns Grammar School with Janice McPhail, but most people are not so fortunate. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that effects 1 in 7 Australian children, yet not many people know what dyslexia really is. We need to put some big changes into schools and the teaching force about understanding dyslexia and knowing that everyone is a little bit different and giving us patience.

To now be able to look back at my schooling days and see it as a positive is pretty amazing. The reason this is possible is I now know that if times get tough I can get through it and also if you set yourself a goal you really can achieve them. 

These two key points have played a huge part in my life since leaving school. To this day I can call myself a 2 time Olympian and Olympic Medallist, Commonwealth Campion, 3 x World Champion and 14 x Australian Champion and most importantly a boy who over came the hardships of dyslexia.

Alex with his team and their silver medals

Finally if you are struggling with dyslexia and you want to throw the towel in thats all normal, but what you need to do is stand up and say to yourself, "You know what, I am better than this and I can overcome it." If you have dyslexia you can achieve things that you dream about. I was in your shoes and thought I would never be good enough. But I can now say that I have achieved dreams that were in my wildest dreams .....

Dream big you really never know what is around the corner!!!

Alex Edmondson

You can keep up to date with Alex via his Twitter & Instagram