Meaning: got started badly. Use examples.
Rewrite 1: got off on somebody else's foot
Rewrite 2: put my worst foot forward
Rewrite 3: restart on the right foot
Rewrite 4: point me to the better foot
Rewrite 5: Right foot but wrong hand still gave me a bad start
Comment: Not much variety here, but you can get the idea across without going too far astray of the original metaphor.
More reading about clichés
What I found when I googled "clichés":
Common film music clichés, "A lighthearted look at some of the clichés used in film music and sometimes classical music too."