Everyone Has Their Own “Little Shoes”

By Jill Seiler

If you’re a Seiler Skin patient or simply follow us on social media, you’ve probably seen our posts and blogs discussing lifestyle topics such as diet, exercise, and overall wellness. We believe lifestyle plays an integral part in one’s skin health and helps amplify the effects of both the products and treatments we offer. Our passion for these topics is oftentimes heavily inspired by our own journeys in life and a desire to look and feel our best at every age.

What some of you may not know, however, is how healthy lifestyle habits came to be a staple in my everyday life. For me, it all started with a little pair of shoes.

By the time I was old enough to walk, my parents noticed my right foot turned inwards, causing me to trip over my own feet time and time again. We later found out this was because my leg was internally rotated at the hip joint, a condition that affects millions of children every year. Doctors gave my parents two options – break some bones in my hip and spend nearly a year in a cast or wear little arch inserts in my shoes to support my feet while I strengthened my leg. Luckily, my parents chose to believe in the fighting spirit of a little girl and her shoes.

It wasn’t always easy. Blisters popped up on my feet constantly and no number of Band-Aids seemed to be enough. My parents would watch me struggle at times to walk or play with friends, but through it all encouraged me to keep going. One of the best things to come from this experience was enrolling in gymnastics upon the doctors’ recommendation to stay active and strengthen my legs. I became a little girl who laid in bed at night dreaming of becoming an Olympian, thinking through routines over and over in my head. This experience took a shy girl and helped her learn to compete and have confidence. It wasn’t always positive, with bullies sometimes taunting and calling me the “bow-legged cheerleader” – but these “bowed legs” ran faster than anybody else at track meets!

As I got older, my leg would still turn in again at times, generally when I got tired. My mom would recognize this and remind me to be mindful of my body. I learned to have awareness and control over my legs, taking the necessary steps to ensure I was giving my body what it needed.

For years now, I have loved the art of controlled movement, mostly through exercise. Pilates and lifting weights make me feel more grounded and centered, playing an important role in the continued strengthening of my legs. Warren jokingly calls me “Gumby” because I’d rather be upside down in a hand-stand rather than right side up any time of the day!

I was telling someone this story recently and realized that every time I think about those little shoes, a smile comes to my face. Despite being something that caused my parents and me pain at times, those shoes reflect something much larger and positive from my childhood. The miles I walked, ran, and climbed in those shoes taught me the power of a turning struggle into strength.

Part of being your happiest and healthiest self is being able to find the positives in everything, however big or small the challenges you’re facing may be. These little shoes led me down a path in my life to so many things that bring me joy and happiness every day. So, I encourage you to smile at whatever may be your “little shoes” – you never know where they may take you!

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