Legs... Legs... Legs (10/25/13)

BY AMY PURDY

New feet!
Team USA after playing ultimate frisbee

Yesterday I woke up and decided to put on my athletic feet so I can jump and do a plyometric workout, and as the thought crossed my mind it made me think… how many other people in the world wake up in the morning and think, “This is an athletic feet kind of day”?

I’m sure they are few and far between. Sometimes it even shocks me to hear myself talk about my different legs — snowboard legs or walking legs. It’s as if the old Amy still exists somewhere deep inside and she can’t help but to respond with either a little internal chuckle or a thought similar to “can you believe this is your life?” In those cases, fembot Amy steps in and says “Yes, I can, I always wanted a life full of adventures with stories to tell so here I am on an adventure of lifetime.”

But to tell you the truth I mostly forget day to day that I am unique to others. Having prosthetic legs has become a new normal. It’s very normal for me to yell across a room full of people, “Has anyone seen my legs? I can’t seem to find them!” as I am seriously looking for a pair of legs which usually are under a pile of clothes or left in the car. Just the other day one was left on the gondola which almost gave me a heart attack. The looks on people faces in these moments are priceless.

I was inspired to do this blog after a friend came up to me the other day and said “Amy, I’m pretty sure you’re the only person I know whose feet come in the mail” and it made me remember how unique this situation is, even if it is my normal. I mean, how many times have your feet arrived in the mail? Mine… every few months, especially if I’m playing ultimate frisbee, which usually leads to at least one broken foot per game. This is actually a very common occurrence. A few months ago I played a game of ultimate frisbee with the rest of the U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Team and between us all three feet were broken that day, including my left one. Although it can be frustrating, I choose to look at it as all of my weight training is paying off and I am becoming so strong that I can shatter carbon fiber. It makes you feel like a badass — what can I say? Life is all about perspective.

One of the most common questions I get with all of the travel I do is, “What is it like going through security at the airport?” and let me tell you, it’s an interesting situation especially going through security with multiple sets of legs. Let’s just say that I light the metal detector up like a Christmas tree. Last week I traveled with eight legs in total and as I am pulling each of them out of my bags for TSA I feel all eyes on me.

Sometimes I think “Gosh, people, haven’t you ever seen a chick with eight legs before? Jeez.” To tell you the truth most of the time though TSA lets me through security without a problem, either that or I become a learning tool for the new TSA staff. They get excited when they see me and ask “Are you running late for your plane?” And If I answer “No” they say “Great!!!” and call over the newbies to inspect me and test them on the efficiency of their pat downs. Just another one of those things that comes along with being part bionic. Most of the time, though, I don’t mind. It’s like one massage after the other. I really don’t understand how people can complain about TSA so much!

With all of these stories I can say that there is never a dull moment. My life has not turned out as I expected — to tell you the truth it has been even more amazing. I may have lost the legs that I was born with, but these legs with carbon fiber and steel, these legs have taken me to amazing places!