The power of omission

Story 2:


Mim was born with a physical deformity called talipes. Within minutes of taking her first breath, she was rushed to surgery for her right leg to be operated on, leaving the souvenir of a giant scar around her ankle.


For the first 9 months of her life, Mim wore a cast around her leg that dug deep into her skin. However, if the operation hadn't have taken place, she would have forever walked with an interned foot and a more dramatic limp (or what she liked to call "spring") in her step.


For the rest of her life, Mim could never point her foot - she couldn't do ballet, pass age-10 level swimming or wear high heels. Her right foot would always lag 3 sizes behind the other (forcing her to always buy 2 sizes of the same pair of shoes). She often joked that her "baby leg" looked like Captain Cook's wooden peg - she essentially had no right calf or heel. She'd never have the long, lean, shapely legs of a glamorous high-heeled woman. 


Growing older, all kinds of other problems arose. With the right leg 3cm shorter than the other, she developed scoliosis and had ongoing issues with her internal organs, which, according to X-rays, appeared to have collapsed in on themselves because of her wonky skeletal structure. 


Mim never took any interest in sports or exercise whatsoever until she was 19. It only took signing up for her first ever gym membership for Mim to fall in love with fitness.


Lunges proved a struggle. Balance wasn't easy, especially with one side being significantly weaker than the other, but that didn't stop her. Soon, she developed a strong love for weight lifting. 


Wanting to give greater purpose to her fitness pursuits, Mim took her training to the next level and entered body building competitions. In her decision, there was also an underlying desire to challenge the criteria of this sport that judged entrants on the shape of their muscles and the symmetry of their body. Would the judges notice her peg leg?


Stepping on stage, she couldn't have felt more at ease. The judges returned their feedback: "Great muscularity and posing. Confident stage presence. Only improvement required: muscle conditioning". In other words, they hadn't noticed - more "conditioning" just meant that she needed to lift a little heavier for a little longer. She felt empowered and unstoppable.