Vertically Unchallenged

Vertically Unchallenged

How many of you are familiar with the term “Vertically Unchallenged”? Do you think it’s appropriate? Did you ever wish that some of your body features were different?

My friends, every person has mental and physical characteristics that makes them different from other people. Some may consider them advantages, while others think they are disadvantages.

How would you look at your features objectively? I didn’t look at mine objectively while growing up.

Early Growth

Coming from a family of tall athletes, ever since I was a kid, people used to tell how big I’ll be when I grow up. Our family friends would point out to my dad, who was 6’6”, and say: “Someday you will be taller than your dad, kid”.

That became obvious by the time I started elementary school, as I was almost a foot taller than most of the other kids my age. Whenever we took class photos, I was always instructed to stand at the back, that way I won’t cover anyone. Yeah, it started early.

Accelerated growth wasn’t noticeable until I became as tall as my mom, who is 5’8”. I remember her taking the measuring tape and standing me against a door frame. She would put a little line, with date and height. That way we could see how fast I’m growing.

I was always imagining how will it look like when I outgrew my mom. She was very proud of me standing in front of her and looking straight in the eyes. I kept taking measurements hoping to grow even faster.

Becoming Tall

By the time I turned 13 years old, my height reached 6 feet. My next target height was my sister’s, who is 6’3”. During that period, my parents noticed that I was slouching and that my posture changed. It turned out that my excessive height caused me to feel different. I wanted to try and blend in with the other kids by bending my back and dropping the shoulders.

It didn’t bother me much, because I felt similar in height with some of my friends. What I didn’t notice is how this stance made me look like, until I saw a few photos. It felt discouraging looking in the mirror after that day.

My parents would always remind that I should straighten up and pull my shoulders back. It felt uncomfortable trying to stand with the right posture for longer periods. I even had to wear elastic back straightener, which felt awkward underneath the shirt.

Have you ever tried to put on an elastic band around your shoulders and back? I can almost feel it now making my muscles sore, trying to force me to stand straight. I wore it for about a year, until I decided to straighten up.

Vertically Unchallenged post image

Straight up Challenge

All those problems went away after my dad enrolled me into school of basketball. Being surrounded with kids my height and even taller, made me feel like I should be proud of what I have. It felt as if I grew almost overnight to reach 6’6” and finally look my dad straight in to the eyes.

He kept on reminding me that I should be proud of my height and respect the gift that I’ve been given. Of course, I had to get used to being that tall very fast. You might be wondering why? Let me clear that up.

Can you imagine how does it feel like to have a close encounter with a door frame? How about a chandelier? I must’ve hit a hundred door frames before my neck reflexes started kicking in.

My dad used to say how we proudly bow down whenever entering a house or a room. It was a sign of respect, for our forehead. After a few years of bowing down, it became a bit boring bending over each time I’m passing through the door.

I figured out a way to make it more fun and decided to utilize a “different” approach to the door. That is how I learned to “limbo”. People passing by used to stop and say “Did that guy just do that?”.

No matter what your physical features are or how you walk in through the door, whenever you look yourself in the mirror, know that the person looking back is very proud. It took me many years to understand that, and now, I can’t be more proud of myself.

My friends, appreciate what you have, because you are like a fingerprint, there are no 2 alike in the world.

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John Todorovic

Experienced hospitality general manager, professional speaker, event host and an aspiring writer and author. He enjoys mentoring, coaching and developing teams and individuals who are seeking to improve their communication and leadership skills. As a restless knowledge seeker, he loves acquiring new knowledge on daily basis through various types of research techniques.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. As a vertically challenged person, I understand what it’s like to feel different especially as a kid. This is such an ispiring post, we should all be proud to be who we are. I hope we can all appreciate what we have.

    1. Thank you for the supportive words Ariana.

  2. Your words…”appreciate what you have, because you are like a fingerprint, there are no 2 alike in the world” touched me. So true. Me fascinated with your post.

    1. It makes me proud that you are fascinated with this post. Thank you.

  3. Aww I love your story. I’m vertically challenged, but in the other direction. LOL I’m short. I’m a teacher and most of my middle school students are taller than I am, so imagine that scenario! I do appreciate who I am!

    1. I’m glad that you appreciate who you are. It makes us a better person knowing that we appreciate ourselves for who we are.

  4. It is true that we all feel different in some aspects of our lives, the trick is to learn how to make that difference work for you and embrace them

    1. Respecting all aspects of life can really help us. Thank you sharing with us.

  5. Some great post you made here, I was actually looking forward to seeing something like this. Thanks for sharing, I’ll pass it on immediately

  6. I have never had this problem. What is funny is when you become the shortest person amongst your own family. All three of my kids are taller than me.

    1. It’s all a matter of perspective. I’m glad that you look at it on bright side.

  7. I’m new to know about this problem. Seriously, never heard of it. Anyway I’m keeping your ideas in my memory.

  8. I share a similar sentiment as well growing up, I was the tallest of my two sisters and I always wanted to be short like them but then as I grew older I started to accept myself too.

    1. It’s great to hear that you share the sentiment and that you’ve learned to accept yourself for who you are.

  9. I am vertically “challenged”. At all of 5’2″, my 8-year-old daughter is already at my shoulders, her pediatrician says she’s set to be 5’9″ by the time she’s 16. Well there, opposite side of the spectrum. Short girl power! And for some reason, it seems that short women are attracted to obscenely tall men.

    1. It’s great to hear thoughts from all sides of the spectrum. Thank you.

  10. I love the way you limbo through the door way. Might as well make it fun, right? You’re right. We need to be proud of who we are. We are unique in our own way. I am the skinniest in my family even though I eat more that my sisters. I am not complaining.

    1. No matter how similar we may be to some, we are still very unique, if we look at it the right way. Great to hear your perspective.

  11. Great post. I am on the other end of the spectrum; a shorty:D We all are created equally, So these features are what make us special. The measure foe every human should be a kins jeart, good morals ans compassion. Great story; you are an inspiration.
    Social Problems

    1. I’m happy to hear that I inspire people. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  12. I’m vertically challenged, I was the one the taller kids would rest their arm on my shoulder to be funny. Norms in school are so silly! Today, my husband and I giggle when he wacks his head on yet another doorframe, while I’m more than a foot shorter and get teasingly asked to grab things from tight places. We’re all made different, and that’s awesome.

    1. We are different indeed. I’m glad to hear that you and your husband look at it from the funny side.

  13. This reminds me of when my kids were young and towered over their classmates. They would also be expected to act older than their age as well, I remember telling other Moms their only 12 even though they looked 16 because of their height, they still needed to be silly and be they’re age. Thank you!

    1. It is nice to hear that you can relate to the situation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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