Musings From A Musical Mind

Fighting red kangaroos

Image via Wikipedia

I have short arms.  I have always suspected there was something wrong with me.

It started back in grade school.  I loved to twirl on the bar at recess.  Never mind that I had a fear of falling forward – thinking my short arms would NOT save me from landing on my face – but I noticed that the other girls seems to have a much better turning radius than I.  I suppose my short arms actually prevented me from landing on my face and I’m not really sure how all the long armed gumby-like girls prevented hitting theirs.  I guess it was because they were not only long – but stretchy.  Mine were neither long – or stretchy so lucky for me that mine were  on the short side when I did finally master the art of twirling forward.

As I grew in height – my arm length remained short.  Anytime I would buy something with long sleeves – it would be several inches TOO long.  Oh I would roll them up or fold them over – and in the 80’s when it was chic to have arm bands for shirts, sweaters and jackets – I had a pair in EVERY color.  I was cool.  My sleeves didn’t betray my short ‘kangaroo like’ arms.

A few years ago – my daughter and I ventured into the scary dark abyss of hot yoga.  I signed up for 6 weeks of cleansing and stretching classes.  What I did NOT know – is this – in yoga you have to do poses and stretches where you have to move like a gumby and do a back bend and touch the mat behind your head.  My husband calls it “reaching for China” – and only a person with very long and stretchy arms like the super power of ‘elasticity’ – can hope to achieve this.  I found out really quick – that I do not have that.  When we would have to sit and try to reach and touch our toes – I would watch everyone do this with ease.  It was impossible for me.  The poor yoga instructor – I’m sure she did not know what to with me would smiled and say, “do the best you can – you can do the same thing by grabbing your ankles”  Bless her heart.  Isn’t that precious?

I have also noticed that driving in a car – because I am tall (5’9″) I usually have the seat all the way back – but then my arms are too short to reach the steering wheel – so I have to lean forward.  Not a great thing for my posture over the years.  It’s this way for my computer too – tall so I sit back – short arms so I have to lean forward to reach my keyboard – like I’m doing right now.

What to do.  My husband and children have teased me about this for as long as I can remember – and because I love to laugh along – I started saying they were “kangaroo arms”.  I happen to think kangaroos are very cute – short arms and all.  We will not mention that they also happen to be a little round and bulbous in their lower exterior – we will just stick to the arms for this illustration. 🙂  Because my arms are shorter than the normal person who is as tall as I am – it is a challenge to let them just “hang” at my side, elegant and poised.  NO.  Mine stick OUT – in a most bizarre way.  Not long enough to make it sufficiently over the mid section and hip area – they poke out a little.  My daughter has pointed this out to me many times – “Mom, do you have to stick your arms out like that”?  Bless her sweet little heart.  She thinks I actually have a choice.  And I guess I do – in a way.  If I concentrate very hard, close my eyes and visualize longer, sleek, gumby-like arms – then I can make them stick to my sides.  For a few seconds at least 😉

Here’s to all of you kangaroo-like people!  I salute you.  Going through life and doing things meant for only the ‘gumbies’ of the world – such as:

1. Reaching the top shelf in the kitchen or closet without asking for help or stepping on a chair

2. Reaching the steering wheel and resting your back on the seat

3. Doing any kind of stretching exercise requiring that you bend over and touch the floor with your finger tips

4. Resting your arms elegantly at your sides

5. Reaching a keyboard without leaning so far forward that you pull all your neck, shoulder and back muscles in the process – requiring chiropractor visits and massage therapy.   (The massage part is a bonus – by the way 🙂

What physical hindrances keep you from doing what you want to do?  Have people ever teased you because you looked different?  Did you ever feel inadequate and different?  I want to hear about it – mostly because I don’t want to feel alone here 😦  Share AWAY!

God Bless


Comments on: "Kangaroo Arms in a Gumby World" (10)

  1. I’m a mutant, Cindy. I have short arms, short legs and a very long body. My husband and I are the same length from hip to shoulder and he’s almost a foot taller than I am! It’s in his legs, mostly. I also have a very short neck. I’m just short and round. You put the car seat back. I have to pull it up. Buying clothes is hard. I can’t really wear petite anything due to the long body. I can actually wear tall pants the best as I’m so long from waist to crotch. Of course, I have to cut half the legs off. GROAN Petite shirts are way too short, although the arms length is better. I guess we all get used to ourselves after awhile. Just once I would love to have something normal, but at my age. . . I strongly doubt it. ROFLOL

    • Oh Dear Carla!!! We all have something don’t we?? Thanks for sharing – I don’t feel so strange about my short Kangaroo arms now 🙂

  2. Cindy, I enjoyed reading your “Kangaroo arms” story. I am taller than the average person in my family, but not quite 6 foot yet, I am only 5’11” and very skinny ( my arm wrists are so skinny, I can wrap my fingers around them all the way up to half way my forearm) . Anyways, I am the tallest of my brothers, and I have always been called many names, among them giraffe, tower, giant, tooth pick, spaghetti noodle, etc. And I guess I got used to it. I am also the youngest, so it was easy for them to make fun of the “baby brother”. But I still think that, in spite of this unusual physical features, I am the most handsome, slim, and flexible person in my family. 🙂

  3. That was funny…not your kangaroo arms…they way you wrote about them! Bless ya!

    • Thanks so much Jay – how thoughtful of you to stop by and make a comment – loved your blog and I will be adding your page here so others can see it too 🙂 Blessings!

  4. This is classic stuff…lol. Great analogy…:) You really should write professionally.

    • Thanks Mike! I appreciate that so much – Me? Write professionally? You are a sweetheart and a true friend – you bless me, my friend 🙂

  5. Oh I feel your pain, girl! I’m five foot nuthin’ so I can’t reach ANYTHING! Most of my height is in my legs so when I sit down, I’m shorter than most children. I have severe problems with my neck and upper back because I can’t get high enough sitting down to reach the keyboard even though I have a child’s size desk. Most of the time I sit on my legs…like I’m doing now. But that mans they get cramped up pretty quick. Until they began making cars that had adjustable seats, I couldn’t drive cars unless I was sitting on my trusty telephone book! I had one for my first car which I shared with my brother who used to rip my pages out without my knowledge as a joke. I wondered what was going on until one day I could hardly see over the steering wheel and looked down to find I was on the “Ms!”

    • Yes – I can see you share my pain! You do not look shorter in your photos – isn’t a good thing that we don’t have to reveal everything about us in a photo? My legs are long – but with shorter arms it doesn’t matter for reaching things – I could be 5′ even and it would be the same thing!

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