Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Riding tall


Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away lived a little girl in fourth grade that towered over all of her classmates… boys included. She was an Amazon among ten-year-olds. The little girl learned quickly how to slump at her desk to blend in and stoop her shoulders when standing in line in gym class. When her mother took her to Sears and Roebucks that same year and made her try on one hundred and twelve bras with two giddy sales clerk more than happy to assist her in this first-time humiliating experience, the little girl had mastered her slump and stoop. Thus began a millennium of bad posture.

Last year when the little girl, now a middle-aged, vibrant woman was given a pink bike for her 60th birthday her slumping and stooping days were given their walking papers. With each mile logged her stomach muscles finally got some, well, muscle to them. As her core grew stronger, her slump grew less slump-ier. With each goal met, she stood a little taller. Which was okay, since she hadn’t grown an inch since fourth grade. Five foot three inches for a ten-year-old was monstrous; at age sixty not so much. At age sixty, the little-girl-turned-middle-aged has to now fight not to lose an inch in height. Such is the cruelty of life.

Posture. It can tell us so much about one’s life. If you’re trying to hide and blend in the tendency to make yourself smaller is inbred. But if you’re wanting to be seen, noticed, or wanting to take part in what’s around you, you tend to walk tall and raise your hand a lot to volunteer.

The little girl in me is done hiding. Of course, the hump on my back doesn’t help, but I’m thinking it’s time to stand tall and be counted just the same. I’m ready to push the shoulders back and let the boobies fall where they may. Bike riding season is here, so if you happen to pass a woman on a pink bike riding straight and tall in the saddle, wave, honk, smile or laugh, I don’t care. I’m gonna keep riding tall.



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