As an adult, I love taking pictures of my feet (and shoes), and the landscapes beneath them…
When I was nine years old, my mother took me to a podiatrist who x-rayed my feet. Dr. Morley determined that, with the way my feet were naturally developing, I would need corrective surgery for bunions when my growth plates eventually closed in my teens. The year I turned seventeen, I had surgery one foot at a time to correct the bone structuring, then a subsequent surgery a year later to remove pins holding my shortened first metatarsals in place.
I’m grateful beyond bounds, first of all, for Dr. Gary Morley. He was kind and took exceedingly good care of me, monitoring my foot development at regular appointments in my childhood through my early adulthood. He also performed the surgeries, when the time came, that have been a blessing I can never repay.
Second, I am quietly in awe with the surgeries themselves. Before surgery, I couldn’t walk from one length of Orem’s University Shopping Mall to the other without having to sit and recuperate. I was also terrified at the time about the impact such a big change to my foot anatomy would have on me. A part of me was terrified and wanted to simply embrace my feet the way they were. But since receiving my surgeries, I have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and a Master of Science in Paleoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology. I have traveled the world participating in rigorous field work that would have been nearly impossible without my corrective surgeries.
These corrections were literally life-changing. This journey has filled me with eternal respect for the privilege of having a strong body, and for the mechanisms that generally make walking a simple activity for many of us. I’m grateful that I can walk, long and far, whether out in the field or in my own back yard. Because of my journey, I recognize that something so simple as going for a walk is a profound opportunity (and one which I still take for granted when I get a little too comfortable being sedentary).
I’m grateful for my (now-long-retired) podiatrist, Dr. Morely. I’m grateful for corrective surgeries in my teens that have since made walking much more joyful. And I’m grateful for my amazing feet!