I am 5’9” tall, marked down from 5’11”
It’s no wonder I am always stepping on my trouser cuffs.
The 5’11” thing is a bit of an exaggeration. I was actually 5’10 ½” but always stretched it a half inch because it made me more comfortable about claiming I was “about” six feet tall.
I always wanted to make it to six feet and would hang from a bar in my bedroom doorway like a bat for hours at a time hoping to stretch out. Now, I am closer to 5’6”, the height of many an eighth grade girl, than I am to six feet.
I found this out at my physical several weeks ago. My doctor didn’t seem too concerned and attributed the shrinkage to “gravity.” This might have been going on for some time, since I don’t recall being measured at other physicals. I do recall being amazed that my son, Kristopher, seemed to continue growing well into his thirties. Obviously, I was going in the opposite direction.
It would be a lie to say that this hasn’t come as a blow to my ego. I don’t know why, since the only downside seems to be that it makes me more overweight than I already am since it knocks me into a lower category on the weight chart, as my doctor gleefully pointed out.
It’s also depressing to think that soon all those annoying short guys with short guy complexes are going to be taller than me. You know who I am talking about. I hope I don’t get a complex. I have enough problems.
I expressed my dismay to Kathie, and she was puzzled by it. Perhaps, she thinks I want to date tall women. It is just disconcerting to think that you are sinking into the ground like the wicked witch in the “Wizard of Oz”. Soon, my Yankee cap on the ground will be the only evidence of my existence.
A friend, in an effort to cheer me up, pointed out that I still have a long way to go before they ban me from the rides at Disney World.
I pointed out that a loss of 2 inches is a 3 per cent decline in my personal altitude. "Look at the bright side," he said,"your penis will look bigger." I hate optimists.
I recalled with anxiety the “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” the 1950’s thriller about a man who suffers radiation exposure and proceeds to shrink into oblivion. At one point he has to battle his own cat just to survive. Thank God our cat died.
I decided to fight back by joining the Y and hitting the gym. I seem to recall reading somewhere that resistance training is good for men of a certain age. I don’t recall if it had to do with shrinkage, or keeping joints flexible, or raising a flagging libido. What the hell, it’s all good.
Even if it doesn’t help with my elevation challenge, it may keep me from devolving into a beach ball as I shrink in one department and expand in another.
I decided to do the nautilus circuit. This is what I call it. I have no idea as to its real name. There are eighteen weight machines, each of which exercises a different muscle group. When you have completed the circuit, you have had a total workout. On the first day, Daryl, the trainer, set the machines up for me. I noted that he adjusted all of the height settings to the lower categories. I am just one or two settings away from having to wear elevator sneakers to use the equipment.
It’s enough to give one a sinking feeling.