Grad-Itude 101 #2

This is a post that I’ve been planning to do for awhile as part of Erika’s Grad-Itude 101 linkup over at Chimerikal. I’ve been planning to post this ever since finishing the 30 Day Shred, so it doesn’t fit into the monthly themes that started this month, but I’m going to go ahead and post it anyway.
I wanted to take a moment to talk about something that I’m grateful for and that’s the ability to move.
To be honest, when I was younger I probably would not have put this on any gratitude lists. I was born with clubfoot, which means that the feet are twisted inward and down. I had it in both feet but my right was the worst. My feet were corrected with casts when I was a baby and I’ve been able to walk and dance and run and skip and hop and jump ever since. People who are born with clubfoot are able to move without restrictions once it’s corrected, but if it isn’t it can restrict movement because in order to walk, a person would have to walk on the side of their foot.
I still have the casts that I wore. According to my parents I kicked off the cast that wasn’t cut off right after we got home after having them put on.
However, when I was younger I had to visit the doctor who corrected my clubfoot regularly and I dreaded those visits, though I don’t remember why I hated them so much. (I still feel anxious for a moment when I hear the name of the town that the clinic was in.) I also had to wear supportive shoes, which to me meant ugly (even though they may not have been). I was told to do exercises to help strengthen my foot. And while I can do all activities, if I stand, walk or do anything for too long I can still feel it in my right foot. Low impact activities (like swimming) are better than high impact, which is why I had to listen to my foot during the 30 Day Shred and modify some of the cardio if it was too hard on my foot.
Learning that it really is best to listen to my foot was a process because I don’t like being told that I should wear supportive shoes or that I should do special foot exercises or that I should reconsider jumping up and down for an hour straight. But over time I’ve learned that listening to my foot prevents pain.
Even though having clubfoot has turned out to be a pain in the rear (or, more accurately, the foot) I can still move. And it wasn’t until I traveled to a developing nation that I realized if I had been born in a different time or a different place where treatment wasn’t readily available, I may not have been able to have my clubfoot corrected. I may not have been able to walk and dance and run and skip and hop and jump. So I’m grateful that I was able to have my clubfoot corrected. I’m grateful that I have a dad who thought it was important and was able to make sure that I had supportive shoes on my feet. I’m grateful for parents who nagged me to do foot exercises. 
I’m grateful that I’m able to move, even if it sometimes causes pain.

What are you grateful for? Link up with Erika to share!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Optimistic Existentialist
    November 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I found this really interesting. I had heard of clubfoot but really didn't know much about it until this post. I really like the perspective you put things in in the last paragraph.

  • Reply
    *tarazza
    November 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, great post. It's great that you still have the casts. It really does give you a perspective on being grateful for the things you can do, what your parents did for you, and the difference being given treatment early on can really make! It's a life-changer!

    • Reply
      Crystal
      November 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Thanks, Tara! It really is a life-changer! 🙂

  • Reply
    Erika from Chimerikal
    November 18, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Crystal, thank you for sharing this story! Wow, what perspective! And this statement: "But over time I've learned that listening to my foot prevents pain." <– isn't that the truth for anything — maybe not listening to our feet, but listening to anything that life is telling us? Sometimes we're so stubborn and neglect the signs when we just have to give in because it's what's best for us.

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