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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UTM chapter.

If you were ever to see me walking around campus, you would see that I walk with an odd limp more than half the time. If you were ever to see my feet, you would first see how tiny they are. Then you would see two scars that start at my big toe and go all the way up my ankle. No I don’t have some crazy freak accident story, and I’m not clumsy, accident prone or lazy. I was born with club feet.

Clubfoot is a “foot abnormality” that can be present at birth where the foot is turned a different direction. In my case, both of my feet were severely turned completely towards the outside of my body. At the time, it was one of the worst cases doctors had ever seen. 

As a baby I had to do therapy before and after surgery. I had two surgeries before I even turned one. I had casts on both feet and I didn’t walk until I was over a year old. Fun fact, I never actually crawled!

When I was younger, I played soccer and I was involved with dance and gymnastics. I didn’t have any problems then that I can recall. However, when I got older and stopped growing, that’s when all the problems began to set in. I could just be walking and sprain my ankle. There were more times in high school that I was in a brace or boot of some kind than not.

I know in the grand scheme of things, being on crutches isn’t a huge deal, but over time and all the time it can get extremely frustrating and discouraging. In high school I was heavily involved with my FFA chapter and show choir. Both of those involved wearing heels. I know that we aren’t supposed to care about fitting in, but that really bothered me when I couldn’t wear the same shoes as everybody else because it hurt too much. I didn’t want to stand out in that way. 

I have been to countless amount of doctors over the years and tried so many different medicines, shoes, braces and other things that are supposed to make the world’s problems go away, but nothing has ever really made the pain go away. 

To kind of give you a mental image, there are times when I walk that it feels like something in my foot will pop out of place and it will make my entire leg stiffen up, causing it to be really difficult to bend and do normal walking motions. Typical sprains that a normal person would get over in a week or so will last for months for me. My feet swell constantly and turn really pretty colors for no real reason.

Now that I’m in college and almost 20 years old, I still struggle with my feet. There are days where it really hurts to walk to class. But, everyone has a battle they are facing. I’m not alone. You aren’t alone. Just because what we have to fight through in life is different, doesn’t mean we should belittle someone else’s problem. We should help each other out along the way together in any way that we possibly can.


I am an Agriculture Communications Major with a Minor in English at the University of Tennessee at Martin (Class of 2021).
I am a pre-vet major who loves to laugh (especially at myself), drink coffee, and spend time with my dog, Cora. I moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee to attend college at UTM and compete for their division 1 rifle team.