I am so grateful for my legs.
I used to hate my legs. Absolutely hate them. They’re covered in scars from when I was a child.
I was always a very active child. Any sport or activity I could do, I did. And most of the time, I fell down while doing it. I mean, if you’re not going to go all in, in the activity you’re performing, why even do it in the first place? I dove for footballs, sped on bikes, fell from trying to run too fast, and that’s just the beginning. It was fun! And I don’t regret any of it.
My scars aren’t just from being an active child; I was outside a lot, and I hated bug spray. My legs were (and still are) mosquito magnets. Just going outside for 20 minutes, I’ll get bit by mosquitoes 5-10 times. Of course, I would scratch the mosquito bites, and then they would form scabs, and from scabs would come scars.
The final culprit of my legs’ pock-marked appearance comes from my cat. I loved my cat, and I wanted to show him that love all the time. Needless to say, he didn’t always appreciate an overly affectionate 8-year-old’s way of showing love.
My skin is pretty unforgiving.
I get marks very easily. And once I get a mark, it takes months or even years to go away. So every cut turned into a scab, and every scab tried to heal, and every scab got picked, and every scab tried to heal again, and every scab turned into a semi-permanent mark. The mark would either hang out for a couple of months or years, or it turned into a scar and has stuck with me til this day.
I remember once my mom warned me that I needed to stop getting hurt and picking my scabs. She told me that no boy would want to be with me if I didn’t have pretty skin, and that made me anxious, which made me pick my scabs even more. I was also extremely rebellious, so I was like “I don’t want a boy who doesn’t like me anyway!” and I went back to running, and playing, and creating more scars.
As I got older, I realized that everyone else had smooth legs with no battle scars, and instead of wearing my scars like the war medals they were, I began to wear them with shame. In high school, I was especially ashamed of my legs. Mind you, my legs take up a good 40 of my 66 inches. I remember thinking “Why are everyone else’s legs so silky smooth and mine look like little bombs went off all over them?” In high school, I did everything I could to cover up my legs. I never wore shorts, and prayed that I could have smooth, blemish-free skin like my peers. I felt like my legs were a dark secret that I had to keep from the world.
But I’ve realized, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
In fact, I’m ashamed that I was ever ashamed of my lovely legs. I love my legs. They’re strong. They carry me. They’re muscular and fatty and wonderful and mine. I would be nowhere without my legs, and I would get nowhere without my legs. There are so many muscles at work there and they all work together so seamlessly.
I don’t care if I still wear scars on my legs from battles I fought when I was younger; they show that I’ve lived. And I don’t care if my legs aren’t as muscular as they used to be; they show that I’m enjoying my life.
I’m just so thankful that I have legs at all, and that they are able to carry me everywhere. I know my legs carry me not only physically, but also metaphorically. I’m not only thankful to have my legs, but I’m proud to have them as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of walkers. These babies are long, lean, and beautifully scarred, and I’m damn proud to have them.
Also, I haven’t shaved in months. It’s not so much of a “Fight the Patriarchy” thing, but more of an “I’m Super Lazy” thing.