I remember my many years of physical therapy from when I was a child. I remember always feeling different from the rest of the world. I remember thinking those days would never end.
When I was little, I was considered a "toe-walker." At the time, I had no idea what this meant. However, when I watch home videos of myself as an innocent, young girl, the problem is conspicuous. I never put my entire foot on the ground, held back by the fear of the unknown dangers lurking beneath me. Because of this, I was sent to five years of physical therapy, which I absolutely dreaded. I remember that it was only once a week, but the Wednesday afternoons seemed to roll around endlessly, piling up to a lofty height, but they never came crashing down.
I remember having to complete bodily challenges that seemed unnecessary, but were supposedly improving my flaws. I climbed up intimidating rock walls and grabbed puzzle pieces resting at various positions, and I repeatedly hiked up and down the stairs, forbidden from holding onto the rail, the safety, the refuge. I learned to jump rope and touch my toes, tasks that were simple to everyone except me.
I remember nonchalantly meeting up with my therapy instructor every time the fourth-period bell rang, though twenty-eight pairs of mocking eyes were always glued to me. I was the only girl who walked on her tippy-toes. And even though everyone else viewed this as something that had to be fixed, I ultimately learned to call it something that made me, me.