From the age of five to eighteen I would describe my stature as gangly, awkward, and towering. Always standing in the back row of school photos, embarrassingly next to my teacher, unable to wear high heels to any school dance, dare I go, I was painfully unaware of the many statistics of the success of my fellow tall, gangly beings. By the age of sixteen I’d observed that men (boys really) of my age were more interested in my shorter and shall I say bustier classmates, but not to worry, this is no sob story about the tall skinny girl who had no friends. For years I have sat back and wondered how exactly it is that tall people are statistically more successful than their shorter counterparts. I stand at five foot ten inches (fun fact, .7% of the US female population stand at this height or taller…and yes, that is a decimal in front of the seven), just above the average male height by one inch.
When I was younger I got little to no attention from my male classmates, for most of my middle and high school career I thought my height difference would forever be an “issue.” I was taller than my teacher in 3rd grade and by sixth grade I was five foot seven at which age I was supposed to stop growing….turns out I fell outside the “normal” growth curve. I could never buy the cheap jeans my mother would have preferred for me and every shirt was a belly shirt (luckily this isn’t still a problem). When I entered into college I began to realize that perhaps us tall people might just have to work a little harder to not seem so fe fi fo fum scary, which in turn would perhaps explain where these correlations to height and success could be coming from. As the years have gone by I have been told a handful of times that close girl friends thought of me as unfriendly when they first met me. Research has found that tall people are often seen as intimidating, so it seems as though they would have to become more outgoing and friendlier than their shorter counterparts in order to be perceived as less threatening.
My theory goes as such: tall people= fe fi fo fum scary. Fe fi fo fum scary people have to work harder at making friends = becoming more capable of socializing with people of all types. Being better at socializing makes us fe fi fo fumers better adept at communication and therefore = more success in our careers, life, etc. This is simply my attempt to explain some of the statistics that seem to constantly present themselves to us and as the years have gone by I’ve come to accept my height for the positive and negative things which it brings. And hey, supermodels tend to be above five foot eight…not too bad of company to be associated with!
What did I learn after a week in Sun Valley? That I need to buy a HD Hero.
When tall guy and Longshot friend Geoff Rogers was strapping this cool little device to his chest to prep for a day of riding I dismissed it as another geeky gadget. I’ve gone through a number of outdoor gear phases: Motorola 2-way radios, HD flip cameras, nav systems, altimeters and more. It wasn’t until I saw the footage from the day that this new piece of gear peaked my interest. The video quality was unreal in the sunny-blue-skied environ making groomed cruisers and just average snow conditions a spectacular experience.
The HD Hero comes in a waterproof case that can be used for snow sports, on tips of surfboards or for diving up to depths of 180 feet. At $259.99 the HD Hero Naked comes with a basic mount and waterproof housing. Here are some of the specs for the GoPro HD Hero:
“HD HERO Naked is the world’s highest performance wearable 1080p HD video and still photo camera. Professional quality 1080p / 960p / 720p HD resolutions record at 30 and 60 frames per second (60 fps in 720p). Record up to 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 9 hours total on a 32GB SD card.
The camera can also shoot automatic 5 megapixel photos at 2/5/10/30 and 60 second intervals during your activity, hands free. Press the shutter button once at the start of your activity and record up to 2.5 hours of poster-print quality photos of you and your friends living it up.”
If you’re any kind of action sport enthusiast, seriously think about getting the HD Hero. The footage finally shows people what it is to experience a ride or backcountry powder run – and specifically what you experienced. It’s a great way to share with loved ones you leave on a Saturday morning or sharing with your folks an adventure you were really proud of during the holidays or for good yuck when you relive the moment you sprayed a friend with icy corn snow with a Hot Dog the Movie style hockey stop.
That is what the Swedish musician Kristian Matsson calls himself although he apparently stands a not-exactly-towering 5’7”. I have been listening to his music a bit and outside of his stunning similarity to early Bob Dylan it is pretty good stuff. With his stripped-down acoustic sound I am certain that no one will confuse him with one of my favorite Swedish musical exports, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist of The Hives. Outside of Kristian’s stage name (which we of course enjoy here at Longshot) the real title belongs to Sultan Kösen who at an astounding 8’1” (2.47 m) is currently considered to in fact be the tallest man on earth today. As usual I like to think of my height as an asset, but at 8’1” things seem to get significantly more complicated. Sultan says he has a “normal” life, although predictably he has a tough time with clothes and in finding cars capable of accommodating his frame. Sultan, we certainly feel your pain!
Shopping for the tall man can be a long and frustrating experience, especially for the man who is also skinny and looking for a slim fit shirt. Many shirts for a tall man are made to fit the big man also, which leaves the chest and waist area very bulky even when tucked in. The Cutter & Buck Studio Gingham Sport Shirt is a nice casual dress shirt that is available in tall sizes. The problem is that they are made to be very large in the waist and chest area. When comparing this shirt to the Longshot Apparel Leadon Gingham Sport Shirt with a 36.5-38 sleeve and a 15.5-16.5 neck, the difference is remarkable. Both the waist and the chest are between four and six inches smaller than the Cutter & Buck version. This leave a nice well-fitted shirt for the tall and thin man. Shop at Longshot Apparel today for a nice casual shirt that fits you the way a shirt is supposed to fit.
I love to ride my bike. I am given to regularly exposing myself to ridicule in my skin tight team “kit” and of course standing 6’3” makes me a veritable billboard out there (a fact that I hope makes cars less likely to run me down). Normally I like to say that it is good to be tall and as I have noted in this space previously that holds true in most sports. Football, basketball; for sure. Baseball, soccer; usually doesn’t hurt. Hockey; well sometimes, maybe.
Not so cycling. The cyclist’s enemy is weight with the ultimate measure of success being the amount of power one is capable of generating per total weight. Extra height basically equals extra weight and unless the taller cyclist can proportionately generate more power per pound than the rest of the field he/she will be at a competitive disadvantage. There are some events in cycling (sprints, time trials, track) where a taller cyclist might be able to leverage their height into greater power/speed over smaller rivals. However in an extended stage race such as the Tour de France small has proven to better than tall.
Alberto Contador of Spain, a 3-time winner of the Tour de France, is only 5’9.5’’ tall. In fact over the past decade there have been only a scant few in the final top ten standing 6 feet tall or higher. How does Lance Armstrong measure up? The seven time consecutive Tour de France champion is a mere 5’ 9.5’’ tall, weighing in at just 165lbs. So aside from my otherwise sub-par cycling abilities Lance has 40lbs on me! I’ll take him on any day-on the basketball court that is.
Colin Firth is tall. He’s 6’1” tall which in Hollywood is a giant (remember height is relative). Several years ago my mom and my sister went to the Oscars. Upon reflection my sister recounted “Those people are really tiny!” Knowing what I know I believe it is safe to anoint Colin as our Gulliver among the Court of Lilliput. Last night the Lilliputian’s honored Colin with a Golden Globe for his amazing performance as King George VI of Britain in the must see movie The King’s Speech. What a performance. I was completely bowled over by the handsome tall man. He hailed amidst the field of talented, yet shorter actors. Mark Wahlberg 5’7”, Jessie Eisenberg, 5’9”, James Franco 5’10”. To be fair there was another tall guy in the running, Ryan Gosling, he’s 6’1”. I’ll be singing his praises too when he brings home the bacon (It’s a Tiger Momma Thing).
Anyway, I love Colin Firth which brings me to a topic that I stumbled upon recently; Tall Oscar winners. Believe it or not there have been lots of them. Not bad, seeing that the talls are in a minority in the acting community of Hollywood. Here is a list of some tall Oscar winners:
If you’re a tall man, then you’ve felt the pain when it comes to finding long-sleeved tall mens shirts . The sleeves stop just shy of the wrist, the sides don’t quite tuck in, or your best option is a billowing tent of fabric that covers up your fit frame. Longshot Apparel has taken the pain out of shopping for tall mens shirts . Longshot’s Lawson Black Oxford shirt has options for a 36.5-38 sleeve and a 15.5-16.5 neck. Made of a 100% Egyptian cotton fabric woven in Italy, this shirt also has a tailored fit for tall men who don’t have extra bulk to hide. A perfect addition to your collection of tall mens shirts. If you love the versatile, relaxed look and style of the Tommy Bahama Big & Tall Hound and Country Check Sport Shirt, and you want it to look as good on you as it does an average-sized man, the Lawson will exceed your expectations. Don’t spend another day trying to make an ill-fitting shirt work; check out Longshot Apparel for tall mens shirts that both fits and flatters.
Confession: I like to buy new things. I love the feeling that a great pair of jeans, sweet new sweater, or a soft new tee gives me right out of the box. Shoes have always been that way for me, too. I have been a big fan of Cole Haan for years as their shoes tend to fit my narrow feet well and I really like their style and quality. While not quite an Imelda Marcos-level collection, I do have far more pair than I would readily admit to the guys over a football game…
Over the years I have worn more than one pair of shoes into the ground and became accustomed to eventually prying them from my feet to lay them to rest in favor of a new pair. Shoes are no small thing to part with; a well-made leather shoe becomes one with your feet like a second skin, and when taken care of well they develop a wonderful patina that you don’t get out of the box in a new shoe. Enter my visit to my local Cole Haan store last year. Standing in front of the smart-looking range of new styles and lamenting my tired CH pennies to the salesperson, she informed me about their restoration service. What did you say? For about $85 they would refurbish and resole my trusted friends and ship them to my house? I wouldn’t have to sadly toss them in the trash? The soft indents where the leather insoles had formed perfectly around my toes would still be there? Sign me up!
I just received my second refurbished pair back last week and am ecstatic. Hats off to Cole Haan for a great level of service and superb execution! In these days where planned obsolescence is part of many company strategic plans, I salute Cole Haan for helping people continue to love the products they already own with a killer service that fights the notion of our throwaway consumer culture. Now about those new Paul Chukkas…
OK, so here’s the deal. I have always been attracted to tall, dark, handsome men. It also helps if they are smart, witty and laugh at my jokes. Let me clarify, when I say tall, dark and handsome I’m talkin’ 6’2”+, darker brown to black hair, brown eyes and skin that doesn’t turn red at the mere mention of “sunshine.” I think my attraction…ok, ok, let’s call it obsession, dates back to sixth grade when I had a painful crush on my dreamy 6’6” English teacher. Every romantic interest since then has looked eerily like Mr. Sanders. Eventually I ended up marrying his younger double.
I am, for the record, blond, fair skinned (I char at the mention of sunshine) shortish (5’5”tall) with “athletic thighs,” that’s code for speed skater legs. Naturally, when I decided it was time to get married I searched for someone who was tall, dark, and handsome with skinny, long legs. Low and behold I found him. We now have a super tall eight year old that wears skinny jeans (hallelujah) and eats anything I cook. Oh happy day!
The top ten benefits of being married to a tall man, in my opinion are…..
I am a rare and delicate flower next to him.
He never asks to borrow my clothes.
Nefarious muggers leave us alone, no matter what neighborhood we’re in.
He can reach the top shelf in the kitchen where we store the rarely used Christmas China and the stuff we don’t want the kids to see.
He carries a huge umbrella so when it’s raining I can tuck under his arm and stay dry.
Besides watching basketball on television eating is his favorite sport, which is mine too.
When Armageddon hits he will be able to carry my rare and delicate body across the hot desert to safety.
In a crowded venue he can anticipate oncoming danger long before his shorter brethren.
He spawns big kids who eat anything and everything I cook with enthusiasm.