Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It not easy being Green (or Tall)

Ok so I’m not really that green, maybe in my uni days after happy hour but far from green these days.

I am tall though, not the tallest out there, but taller than most. At last tale of the tape I measured six feet, seven inches in the old speak or over 200cm in the metric system. I’ve 31 now and have more of less been at the same height since mid way through high school. I I’ve also worn a size 15 shoe since that time.

I did most of my growing in one or two spurts during late primary school & early high school. I grew over 30cm in under a year at one stage. I recall going through a winter where I had to wear shorts as I kept growing out of all my trousers. This caused a multitude of muscular issues for me, particularly my lower back, and hamstrings. I saw physios, had countless x-rays and had to do painful exercises to try and get my muscles to grow or stretch to match the bones that had grown too quickly. I have not been able to touch my toes since early primary school. I also haven’t been able to sit cross legged for that time.

Such a high rate of growth came with an hefty appetite, I ate my parents out of house and home. During my teen years I would easily put away a dozen vitabrits for breakfast, and upon returning home from school knock off another 12-16 at 4pm and then still eat a full dinner. Wash that down with 2 litres of milk that’s $10 a day alone. Factor in snacks, lunch at school and its sure does add up.

Being Tall certainly has its advantages. Everything is within reach for one, like hidden chocolates from the children in the top of the pantry. I was also able to slam dunk a basketball at age 13 and dunk it from the foul line ala Michael Jordan style from age 15.

The disadvantages unfortunately outnumber the advantages. I attended a private school & had to have a tailor made Blazer at considerable cost to my parents (which my mother constantly reminded me of whenever it needed laundering). I also had immense difficulty finding footwear, especially black leather school shoes. Because of this I was the only student who had written permission from the principal to wear trainers.

I have also incurred countless bumps, scratches and bruises courtesy of low hanging branches, door jams, roof beams, power lines etc. The side door to the garage where I grew up was equal to the height of my forehead. Unfortunately you had to take 1 step into the garage to reach the light switch meaning I laid myself out many a time on that door jam running in when it was the dark.

It also meant my aspiring career in MotoGP was dashed at about aged 9 as you have to be the size of a jockey to ride a GP bike. I could forget about many other careers actually, the army (easy target), the navy (ships have low ceilings), the air force (cant fit in the cockpit). I could also forget about working in electronics (large hands) or owning any one of the many cars I rate on my favourite list (Goodbye Lotus Elise & Austin Healy Sprite)

Its not all bad though. With the humans these days on average growing taller than our ancestors I have seen a swing the availability of clothing and footwear lately. Maybe its just that time has allowed me to search more but regardless 15 years ago I had the choice between Nike basketball boots or Nike trainers for footwear & when I entered the workforce my first business shirts didn’t fit me and were really uncomfortable to wear. Nowadays I can buy most styles of shoe, and have a wide range of clothing cut for tall people to choose from mainly due great stores like Rosenbergs & high and mighty.

I’ve developed an Imelda Marcos-esque trait of amassing a wide range of footwear though. I have a terrible habit of buying shoes just because they have a size 15 in stock not necessarily because I needed a pair. Much to the dismay of my ever supportive wife

I wouldn’t change being tall for anything though. I didn’t have an enjoyable time at primary school and rate growing taller as one of the key ways to gained confidence in myself late in life. I also take pride in the fact that I will get to go through this all over again. Out of my 6 children I would hazard a guess that at least 4 are going to be tall, 2 will certainly surpass me, the question is how soon, and will I be able to keep the fridge and pantry stocked.

Until next time………

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