Shinguard Fashion

So I’ve been threatening a truly random post in this Random Thoughts section; it’s high time I christen this section with my first completely useless and unrelated to anything post and a half-drunk (drunken? downed? 1/2??) bottle of cheap white wine.

I too often get asked such questions as these:  “Tiffany, it’s a zillion degrees out, like, oh my god, WHY are you wearing jeans?” or “Aren’t you hot in those pants?”.  About a month ago a guy asked me if I had to wear “those boots” (I was wearing brown leather riding boots with a skirt and tank top.  In July. BUT it was in Switzerland.  Moot.).  Just last week my  5-year-old niece asked me why I was wearing pants when it was so hot outside (They were white linen pants for chrissakes…perfectly suitable for summer wear, if you ask me!).

Why wear this?

Why wear this?

So what’s my answer to these questions?  WHY do I wear jeans and knee-high boots in the middle of the summer?  Pray tell!  Honest Answer:  Because I have to wear braces on both legs, and I have way too much pride and fashion sense to rock them publicly.  Shallow Cow Answer:  Leg Braces.  Ugh.  How Forrest Gump is that?  Actually, I like to call them my shinguards, because that’s exactly what they look like.  Manly navy blue fiberglass velcro-strapped Bladerunner-esque pieces of fashion pariah.

Most people who see me walking around have a hard time believing that I’m about 85% paralyzed waist-down (made obvious by the never-ending barrage of “When are you going to be fully recovered?” @#$%^).  From my knees down I’m 100% paralyzed.  Actually, that’s probably only partially true.  You see, I have full sensation but no movement or feeling of pain/heat/cold from my knees down to my toes; therefore, you can kick me in the shin, and I would certainly feel it, but it wouldn’t hurt (Awesome party trick, might I add!).  Anyway, that means I have “foot drop“, and the braces–AKA shinguards–keep my feet at a ninety-degree angle, maintaining a normal-ish gait and preventing me from dragging my feet and falling.

When I could wear this?

When I could wear this?

So what does this mean?  Well, to most people, this would probably mean nothing and they would be thankful that they could walk again and would wear their shinguards with pride.  My friends and family are always shaking their heads at me for the troubles I go to in hiding them.  Maybe I’m just a very shallow chick who is far too concerned with what people think of me, but the bottom line is I miss wearing heels just as much as I miss running, and I love booties and skirts and skinny jeans and wedges and cocktail dresses and sandals and by golly even “jorts“!  I don’t like having to wear pants or jeans all the time.  I don’t like having to wear knee-high boots every time I wear short skirts or dresses or shorts.  But you know what, I do, because I’d much rather suffer through heat waves in jeans in July than ruin a perfectly cute outfit with a pair of natty velcro-adorned blue shinguards.  After going through what I’ve gone through, and constantly feeling like a circus performer with all the stares and uncomfortable silences aimed in my direction, I just want to look cute without adding more fuel to the fire, dammit!

So give me a break and quit remarking on my wintry attire in the summer!!  And make that a whole bottle of cheap white wine drunk/drunken/downed/a whole bottle!!!  Thank you.

10 thoughts on “Shinguard Fashion

  1. Christy Yates

    You are one of the most stunningly beautiful people I know, especially when you light up a room with your smile! Seriously, you could rock burlap and your navy shinguards and the Paris runways would copy you.

  2. Jane Anderson

    I had guys asking me who that hot chick was at the Bisbee Blues Festival last year and it wasn’t because you were wearing boots with your cute dress! They had no idea I even knew you!! I want to drink a bottle of wine with you — come visit when you get a chance. love and hugs

  3. Jennie

    You have the most awesome attitude! The greatest thing ever is that your upright and able to walk! You’ve come a long way and are truly an inspiration. I look forward to living vicariously through you and this year long journey you are on. Keep it girl. You crack me up!

  4. Dianna Sanchez

    Hi Tiff,
    I think about you all the time. I can still hear you singing in the office next to me.
    Best of luck with your journey, if you ever feel like doing nothing stop back in Santa Fe.

  5. Pingback: El Salvador | A Tale of Two Legs


    Hi there! Finally someoneelse with the same daily struggle haha I love my ‘blue rockers’ as without them I wouldn’t be on my feet but blimey gone are the days of pretty shoes! I’m getting married in April and will be wearing brogues – not my first choice!

    I’m loving your blog, as a fellow yogiplegic I haven’t been able to find many people like me out there. Thanks for posting


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