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Walking Tall – Life of a Giant

Bigger Elevator please??

You might bump into me at your local mall, grocery store, or disco and instantly discover the one thing that makes me naturally different from most. I don’t have Leonardo DeCaprio’s Hollywood looks nor do I have the presence of a Michael Jackson. I do constantly make heads turn, get the uncomfortable stares and receive frequent questions. I suppose you can say I literally stand above the rest. I currently measure 6’9 and weigh in at 245 pounds (2.06 m & 111 kg for everyone that doesn’t live in the US). With the average height around the world coming in at under 6 feet, I guess you can say I’m a giant. While you think I’m tall, imagine standing next to the tallest man that ever lived, Robert Wadlow. Wadlow was 7’1 at 11 years old and passed away at 22 growing an amazing 8’11. So you think I’m tall?

Ever since grade school I’ve towered over everyone. Between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I grew a staggering five inches over a full Summer. A bit awkward coming back to school and thinking everybody had shrunk. I was very uncomfortable with my growth spurts and the pains I endured growing so quickly. I suppose it was nature, milk, and Skittles that didn’t stop me from becoming a walking tree. Most things in life can be controlled, but when it came to growing up…that remained in the hands of my genes. So here I was entering my sophomore year of high school, fifteen years old, about six foot seven and skinny as a twig. After wearing an immobile cast on my leg all Summer, allowing the ligaments and cartilage to catch up to my bones, I was ready for the new school year. Big floppy ears, pale face, Jew nose…I really stood out now. Hanging with my Korean friends didn’t help me much, but I loved computers and ping pong. Making the varsity basketball team that season did help me though; new friends and a new way of life. Not knowing when I would stop growing, I just went with it. I eventually stopped when I was a senior at 6 feet and 9 inches. My “Deezy” ego was created and I would slowly evolve into what I am today.
I feel like this guy! Those are all his women! ;)
Becoming comfortable with my height took many years. As my body changed, I had to adjust to fit my newer mold. I remember the many changes and adjustments I’ve gone through. While most people walk around with their average height, they don’t understand the difficulties that sometimes come with being a foot above the rest. Ducking under doorways, being asked to get something on the top shelf, being pointed at, stared at, asked random questions. It was a bit much early on. All just because of my height. Everything came with experience as I was noticing the intrigue of my stature. I felt this was and could become a great advantage in life. Off the court, I could see that my height was making me friends, helping my social life and shaping my personality. On the court, my height was getting me in the newspaper, national recognition and allowing me to dunk on others. Most think that basketball requires the tallest of the population. While it helps, one still needs the necessary skills and training to yield the correct athlete. I was lucky to have both and carried it on to this present time. Trust me though, while you feel short next to me, I feel short standing next to someone only a few inches taller than myself. I must thank my parents genes for creating such a giant. Can’t say I haven’t reaped the benefits of life being a gentle giant. I learned that height comes with the gift of presence, power and intimidation. People in a position of power is so much different than just standing over someone and giving overpowering intimidation. I’m so comfortable with my height that sometimes I forget I might be intimidating or frightening someone unintentionally. Forgive me please, after a few drinks I zone out. Obviously there is a time and place for my height to be used to my own advantage. I still get freaked out from time to time at how big I am compared to certain people, especially my fiancee who stands 5 foot 2. Yet, while I know we look odd, I’m comfortable with who I’ve become and could care less what the next person thinks. I think living an odd life leads you to many odd things, but I can’t complain yet!
Bigger than everything..the way I like it!

Tall people seem to have a comical nature about them. I think because we stand out, we are forced to wear our personality on our sleeve. I was voted Class Clown of my high school, an achievement I was happy to earn, even more so then any basketball award. I’m still the goofy guy I’ve always been. Being older and around other taller people, I can see that they enjoy their height also (Except for the ones over seven feet tall, that doesn’t look fun). I guess when you are asked the same question everyday, “Damn man, how tall are you?” you develop a habit of mocking your own self for others amusement. I know when I walk in the mall or in any public place I can be seen from the opposite end. Then when people actually get closer and pass me by, they instantly want to inquire about my height. Especially in Europe where a tall man with tattoos is strange and a rarity. I know I’m stared at, so I wear sunglasses most of the time to watch the wandering eyes of strangers. The heads turning couldn’t be more hilarious to me then when I’m walking with my girl. Towering a whole foot and a half over her, the eyes seem to look at her, then me, then the upper half of me, then us as a whole, and maybe back to my upper half. Until photos are taken of us do I really realize that I’m almost double her in size. I’ve just become so accustomed to my height that I feel just like anybody else, a simple human being. There’s something great about smothering a women with a giant hug and engulfing her in your arms. To each their own! I guess I’ll always be amazed at the unintentional stir I create at a party or restaurant when I walk in. Now that my body is covered in ink and tattoos, I can see why the word, “Freak” might cross people’s minds. Not to worry, I’ve been stereotyped, made fun of, picked on my whole life and used to it. I’ve come to learn that being hated is a good thing, it means your doing something right! I know that I’m having the last laugh in the end!

For a decade I’ve stood at 81 inches (Another answer to the question, how tall am I, make them do the math!) and I’m proud of it. Of course with anything in life, it took time to become comfortable and feel accepted, even when people still almost break their neck to carry a conversation with me. My parents gave me life, life gave me height, height got me into basketball, basketball gave me personality, personality gave me friends, friends made me into Me, and Me is always giving back. The life of a giant isn’t an easy one. Except for the occasional ceiling fan with low clearance or a small Euro auto that I squeeze into, being tall is more of an advantage then disadvantage. I enjoy being seen and wondered about. At first I hated the questions and attention, but it helped me become who I am today. I wonder if I were regular size and not super-sized that maybe life would’ve been totally different. I’m thankful in everyway for what I was given. I know I can always earn the rest. I was made this way for a reason and thank my parents for creating me. It might be the luck of the draw to be a little bit taller, but what can I do, I like it that everyone looks up to me, literally!

Published inDeezy