Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Gumby’

Kangaroo Arms in a Gumby World

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



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