Question for men, particularly tall men

For a young man growing into his tallness, he’ll have to learn to look out for low-hanging stuff, such as the lighting section at Lowe’s and Home Depot. He’ll learn that amusement park rides, buses, and planes don’t have room for his legs

He already knows this.

I’m hoping he keeps his boyish face as an adult. I think one of the reasons his father comes across as non-threatening even though he’s 6’2, and about 240lbs, is his boyish look. One of the things I really like about DH is that he is very masculine without being the slightest bit macho. I mean, I like that he pulls it off. He’s just masculine because he is, if that makes sense.*

Also, the boychik still goes by “Johnny,” not John, or Jack, or something more grown-up, and I think it’s a good choice for him-- I think it makes him less threatening. And there are plenty of successful men who used Johnny-- Johnny Carson, Galecki, Unitas, Weissmuller, Depp, Cash, Bench, et al. This is something else his father and I butted heads over a little-- DH thought we ought to encourage him to go by John or Jack, or some version of his Hebrew name, as he got older (this was a couple of years ago, when he was preparing for bar mitzvah). He (the boychik, that is) didn’t want to, and I put my foot down, and said it was his choice not ours, while in the back of my head, thinking “Johnny” was actually good for him, but hoping I wasn’t influencing him one way or another.

DH and I, for the most part, had our discussions about it, when the boychik wasn’t there.

*He’s also not threatened by men who are different. He was friends with this petite gay guy in his dorm who did drag, and on one of our first dates, we went to a drag show to cheer for his friend (in live shows, biggest cheers gets the tiara). When it was over, the friend came and sat with us (in the tiara), and DH gave him a big hug. He’s known since he met me that I’m bisexual, and he’s not threatened by my having male friends, and lesbian friends. I just have to mention this, because I’m afraid I’m mentioning too many of our disagreements, and he’s coming across as a jerk.

The first chunk of text doesn’t seem to match the second chunk of text. He is tall, but that’s about the height of a basketball player. There is probably no need to slow his growth! I don’t understand the need to medicalize perfectly normal things. (Some very large people, like Andre the Giant, had health problems due to excessive growth, but the doctor should be able to detect that and diagnose such a problem if there’s such a problem.)

I am not that tall. I’m a little tall and inherited my mother’s height (she is tall for a woman) while my sister inherited our father’s height (he was quite short for a man). I met a man who literally had an extra neck bone (giraffes only have seven, same as all non-mutant mammals) and I have a coworker that tall. Naturally, he got a job where his physical might is crucial. Computer programming!

Although there have been several guys mentioned here who are big guys, as well as being tall guys, being tall is, in itself, a weakness that makes physical jobs more difficult. My spine, being longer, is harder to brace, and more likely to fail by buckling . Leaning over to pick stuff up, it’s got more leverage, and is more subject to joint failure. Reaching is an advantage is some jobs, but short guys can carry a heavier load.

Isn’t there some kind of sweet spot? [disclaimer: speaking ON THE WHOLE; always individual exceptions] A really short guy, like someone 5’ even wouldn’t be able to carry as much as someone 5’6, because muscles are generally proportionate to stature, but then you reach a point where length of muscle relative to girth becomes so long that you start to lose strength, because in people, the girth and length don’t increase in perfect proportion-- the length has to increase with the length of the bone, but the girth doesn’t, and since your body always defaults to energy conservation, it makes as little girth as it can get away with.

I used to work out, and could bench 180lbs, which was pretty good for a woman who was 5’5, and at the time weighed 135lbs. I could also do 6 chin-ups, pretty good too, since most women can’t do any.

I could beat a lot of men at arm-wrestling (it was a “thing” around the gym for men to challenge me). I rarely had trouble beating men who were shorter than me-- there were a few really muscle-bound guys I couldn’t beat with two hands, but generally anyone shorter than me, I could beat (and lots of short guys worked out, so there were actually several shorter than me). Also, really tall guys, I could usually beat. The guys who were the most difficult to beat were between 5’6 and 6’0. Which, granted, was most of them. But I actually did beat a lot of the newbies. Some of the guys who’d been working out for a long time would bring newbies over to me, and think this was hilarious.

I was like, 25, and thought it was funny too. Now, maybe not so much.

FWIW, I cannot do this anymore. I also used to be able to put my feet behind my head, and I can’t do this anymore either. * sigh *

Oh man, this post totally brought out the competitive streak in me! I can do 15 chin-ups, and I can stick my foot behind my head, but I can’t bench press 180 lbs. I can’t even bench press anything close to 180 lbs. That’s impressive.

Some of it is genetics. The very first time I ever tried to bench press anything, ever, I could already bench about 110.

Same for putting my feet behind my head. It’s not something I worked up to, just something I could do. I could also get into the lotus position without using my hand. Just criss-cross my feet right into it.

A lot of weightlifting (and even muscle shape) comes down to how far away from the joint muscles attach to the bone. Tall people have more difficulty due to long moment arms and also having to physically lift further - but these weaknesses can be largely overcome - just takes more work.

Things like chin-ups depend a lot on weight - lots of huge 300 lb. lifters would struggle even to do a few. Much, much easier - even at 200 lbs. much more so at 130 lbs. It’s not a linear thing.

A lot of it is work but there is a fair bit of genetics in there too. Back when I played college football and though about 30 while I was playing rugby I was built similar to JJ Watt. He’s a little shorter at 6’5" but we’re both a very wide tall person for example when we were doing body fat testing in college I was told that I shouldn’t weigh less than 280 since that would drop me below 5% body fat. At the time I was 320 and looking to get a bit leaner. Just since its fun and we’re talking about bench press my senior year of college after two shoulder surgeries I was able to bench 450 pounds.

If you compare that to some of the stick tall people in the NBA like Jamal Crawford who is in great shape at 6’6" and 200 pounds. It will take Jamal a lot more work than JJ be strong. The moment arm is similar but some people naturally have more muscle mass.

That’s me. I actually have such an unusual amount of muscle mass for a woman, and, on top of that, slim hips and wide shoulders, that I used to wonder if I had some kind of endocrine condition. Before I’d had a baby, I bought my pants in the boys’ department. Now I buy them in the men’s department. Women’s pants just don’t fit me. They look and feel awful. Same with dresses off the rack. I have to do skirts and shirts/blouses/sweaters.

SLIGHT TMI ALERT:
I asked the doctor about it just before DH and I decided to try to have a baby, because I was worried whatever was causing me to have these masculine traits might make it difficult for me to become pregnant. The doctor said if I didn’t get pregnant after six months, we could do some blood tests, but I didn’t have facial hair, or some other things that were signs of endocrine problems. He said it was remotely possible I was overexposed to testosterone in utero, and asked if I had a twin brother (I don’t), which would affect my physiognomy, but not my later development. He said if I started menstruating at an appropriate age (I did), and my periods were regular (very), then there doubtfully was a problem.

My husband was serving in Iraq at the time, but we’d decided to try to get pregnant when he got back. We were thinking if we started trying then, maybe five months or so later, we’d be expecting a baby.

I was pregnant two weeks after he got back.

I don’t think there’s any way to know whether something my mother did overexposed me to testosterone-- she had not had a miscarriage before me, so I wasn’t a DES baby, and I didn’t have a twin brother, or an older brother. The only possibility anyone has ever come up with is that my mother overproduced testosterone, but it’s pure speculation based on some traits my mother had (she had a slight “problem” with facial hair, among other things), and the fact that my brother and I were both pretty big babies: I was 8lbs 10ozs, while my brother was a whopping 10lbs 2ozs. My mother was also 5’8, two inches taller than her brother. 'Course, this neglects the fact that I’m 5’5. But I’m still the tallest girl cousin on my father’s side of the family, and the second tallest on my mother’s side.

So, it’s genetics, yes, but also other things that can cause you to be “born that way.”

I know that was kind of a hijack-- but I wanted to illustrate my point that other factors besides genetics can cause someone to be born with certain traits.