Slow Walker and Proud of It

If I had three wishes from a genie, I would ask him to make me taller. Then I would ask him for millions of dollars, and then a cure for cancer. And yes, you did read that correctly- I would use my first wish from this magical creature to ask him for a couple more inches of verticality.

The wish seems so simple, yet here I am standing just barely at 5 feet 3 inches while the rest of the world towers over me. Just the other day I ran into a friend of a friend that goes here. I recognized him from some of my friend’s Instagram posts and stopped him to say hi. Now, just so you can get a visual of this boy, he is a linebacker on the football team. He is probably the tallest human I have ever talked to. So there I stood introducing myself, neck craned, and it finally hit me- I am really, really, REALLY short.

My dad is a rather tall guy. He is about 6’3”. My mom on the other hand is a shrimp, standing at just 5’1”. You would think when their genes came together I would fall somewhere in the middle, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. My genes decided to give me two inches on my mom and leave it at that.

I am very much a sports person and I have been playing sports for as long as I can remember. Soccer, basketball, and softball were the three sports I played growing up. As much as I loved those sports, my height always hindered my ability to be better than the rest. I only played basketball for a few years, but it was plain to see that the other girls were outgrowing me and soon my shot would stand no chance against their tall arms trying to stop it. Soccer was always a dud for me because I could never run as fast as the other girls. Their long legs carried them at speeds faster than I could ever hope to achieve. My illustrious soccer career ended the year before I hit high school.

My softball career lasted much longer than my soccer or basketball careers did. I continued to play softball until a few months into my freshman year of college when I decided I needed to focus on school. I was a pretty good first baseman, but I knew in college I would never see the likes of first base because I was too short. I could track down fly balls better than most people, but yet again my little legs couldn’t propel me after fly balls like other people’s legs could.

As you can gather from reading this, I am not a fast person. I will never be an Olympic sprinter or even an Olympic speed walker for that matter. Here on campus, I always find myself trying to run to catch up with my tall friends when we walk together. I’ve often found this to be very annoying. However, I never knew this was a sign that I could be dying soon.

I’m dying soon?

Well, I don’t believe so, but all this talk in class about correlation not necessarily equaling causation got me thinking about this study I heard about. Last year in my SCM 200 class, we were studying this exact topic when my professor told me that researchers found a connection with people’s walking speed and their life expectancy. You can learn more about this experiment here. However, just like worms not making kids stupid, I don’t believe life expectancy can be predicted from walking speed.

You see, the reason I walk slow is due to my height. I do not walk slowly because I am sick or anything else. The children who aren’t as smart as others may not have access to good school or to books, which explains why they are on the academic level that they are. Sometimes in our society, people will make connections between anything as long as it will grab the attention of the public eye. However, just like in our justice system you are innocent until proven guilty, I will not jump to any conclusions about correlations until I have hard evidence. So, sorry friends- I’m going to be around for a long time to walk slowly behind you and make you wait up for me!

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2 thoughts on “Slow Walker and Proud of It

  1. rlw5445

    Hi Maggie,
    As a girl towering at a total of 63 inches tall I completely relate to this post. No matter where I go I feel that I am always forced to take twice the amount of steps as my friends just to keep pace with them. Heights in my family vary but my mom stands at 67 inches while my dad is 71 so one would think, just as you said earlier, that you would think I would end up somewhere in the middle, but that was not the case. My twin sister on the other hand is already at 66 inches and still growing. It baffles me to think that there would be a causal relationship between walking pace and life expectancy, so I am relieved to read that article and learn the truth. While doing a little research of my own I stumbled upon this article by Jay Schwartz which provides advice for those with shorter legs on how to walk at a faster pace. The majority of the article discussed the method of taking short steps more frequent, which results in less energy expended per step therefore causing you to do more and walk faster. I am going to try out this method while walking to class tomorrow. Even if it doesn’t work, my Fitbit will be impressed with my step count. If you want to learn more tips about walking speed visit this link

  2. Kaitlyn A Kaminski

    Hi Margaret,

    You have no idea how much I can relate to this post! I am 5’2 and come from a rather short family minus the men in the family who are all over 5’11. I am rooming with people who are all over 5’5 and it’s like they are running when I walk next to them; I always tell people that I have dinosaur arms and dachshund legs. But I will say- for being as short as I am…I can walk “fast” by my definition. I am from just outside New York City so I can move when I need to. I can spot a tourist just by how they are walking and it’s pretty funny to speculate. I once stood next to a volleyball player who happened to be 7’1 and it was like looking at a tree while I was the ant… I’ll never know what it’s like to be tall, but I sure can dream. I hate how there’s almost a stigma that comes along with being short and I don’t know if you feel the same way, but it’s annoying to be short around guys “you’re cute, awww, etc.” Like I don’t want to hear that. I attached an article about how slow walkers may be on the verge of dementia… not the greatest news to hear, but it’s something-


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