When I see the word enabler my first thought is learning about enablers in reference to people with addictions.

When someone who doesn’t know much about clubfeet or doesn’t know me sees the word clubfeet, I doubt the first word they think of is enabler.

They might even think of the word disability.

But clubfeet is my enabler. And has been for the last 25 years. And it will continue to be.

Clubfeet or clubfoot comes in so many different levels that it is hard to explain to one, just what it is because it depends on the case. Some have it and go on to win olympic gold medals, like Kristi Yamaguchi.  Others are in constant pain, just simply walking.

Putting it quite simply, I was initially one of the BAD cases. My parents were told that there was a strong possibility that I would never walk. I had my first set of casts placed on my feet when I was 3 days old. And the casting method was continued throughout my first year.  I’ve had two major surgeries on my feet(1989 & 1997). I’ve worn plastic orthotics off and on for years and will always have to have inserts in my shoes.

But I’ve beat the odds. I’ve beat the odds time and time again.

Perhaps I’m just too stubborn to fall victim to clubfeet.

But clubfeet is my enabler.

Someone tells me I can’t physically do something, I do my best to do it.

Someone tells me that I will be in a wheelchair by 30 and I do everything in my power to make sure they are wrong.

After my Achilles injury I was told I would never run again.  I ran my fastest pace (since I first debated a 5K back in 2008) just last week.

And clubfeet has enabled me in more ways than just in my physical being. It has made me a mentally strong & stubborn young woman.  I am who I am because of what I have gone through in my life.

Therefore, I can honestly say I am thankful for clubfeet. There are days when I hate it, but I can’t imagine where or who I would be if it hadn’t taught me to never give up and always stand strong.

My enabler is clubfeet. And every doctor and theory that told me I couldn’t.  I can. I will.