Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Run, Funkylegs. Run!

I suppose I should explain the name Funkylegs. This is a self-imposed nickname derived from my unique, shall I say, ‘gait’. My mom was reportedly quite small when she became pregnant shortly before her twenty-first birthday. She claims she was about 110 lbs and packed on at least eighty more during her pregnancy. Apparently the womb was too tiny for my gangly frame (I’m 6’3” now), and my legs were sort of pretzeled in there. As an infant, I was severely pigeon-toed, so my legs were often fixed to this metal apparatus that pointed them in the right direction, as in, straight ahead. I remember once sitting in the kid’s seat on the back of my dad’s bicycle and getting my feet caught in the spokes. Later as a middle-schooler, a certain classmate teased me relentlessly about the way one leg sort of swung out and the other swung in as I walked to my classes. Once in college, a girl asked me how I had injured my leg after seeing me walk towards her on campus. I’m sure there are many more memories like these, but they're likely victims of selective amnesia.

I’ve grown accustomed to the way in which I walk. In fact, I married a girl with similar issues. We’ve always joked about having a kid with legs that are either really messed up or completely straight, as our impediments sort of canceled each other out (thankfully, he was born with normal legs, although I suspect he’ll be a bit bowlegged). I took up running, and those unnatural movements don’t seem to be affecting my knees or finishing times. When I see a child in a wheelchair or a man taking an elevator up one floor, I’m grateful I can walk at all.

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