One 15 mm anterior lesion. One 16 mm mass anterior lesion. One cyst that measures 27 mm on the anterior aspect of the ankle. Chronic stress injuries to the peroneous longus tendon and peroneous brevis tendon. Absorbable tack to repair ligaments visible. Edema at the tendon inserts. Bone spur. These were just a few of the readings available on my most recent MRI report. As a PA student, I read MRI reports from radiologists all the time. It’s different when I read my own. Two surgeries in three years, and my right foot still looks like a shark chewed it to pieces. My stomach ties itself into knots at the thought of a third surgery.
Even though the both prospect of another surgery and the battered appearance of my foot ties my stomach is in knots, I cannot help but smile because I don’t regret anything I have ever done to earn my scarred and injured foot. I’ve tripped over hurdles and crossed state championship finish lines. I have laughed running in Flagstaff and Lake Tahoe. I have climbed cliffs in the dead of night to sleep beneath the stars in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I have run through the sand barrios of Peru at dawn trying to solve issues involving social justice. I have run along the beaches of Costa Rica and California. I have climbed Mt. Humphrey, hiked parts of the Grand Canyon, run hundreds of miles over the pedestrian bridge that connects Iowa and Nebraska with so many friends. I have run through Steamboat Springs, along the beaches of Lake Michigan, and across the streets of Texas and Oklahoma. I have run to the top of South Mountain and walked miles through the Basque country of Spain along the Camino de San Igancio.
I have worn more high heels than is good for me. I have danced the night away at sorority formals, country bars, and at weddings with friends and family alike. I have been lifted, flipped, and swung. My feet have carried the weight of my passions day in and day out. They are forever changed from the physical pressures and joys they’ve experienced. They’re covered with callouses, burned and spotted from sunshine, covered in scars, with masses, bone spurs, and chronic stress injuries. However, they are mine. My passions and adventures have changed my feet. I can't wait to see how they will change as time continues. I would not trade a single step, spin, or high-heeled date for anything. That’s the truth about passions. They shape and change us, physically, and emotionally. That’s the truth about love. It will shape and change us, and if it’s real we will never be the same.