When I was in middle school and high school I set the bar for success in terms of growth right at six feet. That was the magic number. That was the vantage point that would change everything. Suddenly dunking would become plausible and not every damn girl would be taller than me. Clearly self-confidence issues abounded during the time. I eventually got over it, both the self-confidence issues and the six-foot mark. However, I have always had the superstition that wanting something too strongly makes it impossible to happen. This comes up during major games whether watched live or through the portal of a TV screen. When the tires hit the ground and the three-point shot to clinch the game hangs in the vertex of its arc, that is when I as a spectator tend to look away rather than curse the thing. Of course, after college the things that you want start to shift and reassemble, forming something unrecognizable. And the questions start to change as well, start to go on an existential binge that would usually be fueled by some type of high. What matters in life? That becomes the number one question I think. I think the good news is that it is a personal choice.
Six Feet Tall
I am 6 foot 1.5 inches tall.
the grand canyon is 6,093 feet deep at its lowest point.
The grand canyon is a ravine formed over millions of years by water carving its initials into the earth’s crust, I assume, so we can never forget how small our tools are in comparison.
On January 29th, 1982, Steven Callahan waved goodbye to the solid ground of the Canary Islands and set course for the Caribbean in a small sailboat. He was due for a rendezvous with land in no time at all until, six days later, a storm rolled in and the ocean hijacked his boat. He was left with an inflatable raft so small he couldn’t even lie down. Scrunched up next to him was a scant 3 pounds of food and 8 pints of water. He survived 76 days under a beating tropical sun with sharks circling around him and head awash with voices clamoring for just one more drink. He drifted 1800 miles across the ocean and split his mind into different personas so he could delegate tasks to those who could handle it.
Now I’m guessing Steven Callahan was somewhere between 3 and 7 feet tall at the time.
Mount Everest is 29,029 feet high at its peak.
Mount Everest is the result of a 60 million year old grudge match between two tectonic plates the size of continents duking it out night and day. Ever since they locked horns they have pushed the ground skyward inch by solid inch. The feud will continue long after people stop playing on the mountain’s surface.
On December 24th, 1971, 92 people were rushing home for the holidays on LANSA flight 508 when lighting struck the plane. It crashed into the Amazonian rain forest and took 91 people down with it. The sole survivor was a 17-year-old girl named Juliane Koepcke. She fell 2 miles through the open air then crashed through the rain forest canopy, all while strapped to a chair. I imagine it was nothing like what is often shown in cartoons and movies where the protagonist jumps from a downed aircraft and tumbles through branches cradling them down to a soft dirt pillow. She survived a 10 day hike through the jungle with little training, no gear, and a maggot infested cut on her arm.
I’m guessing that Juliane Koepcke was somewhere between 3 and 7 feet tall at the time.
the Mariana trench is the ocean’s lowest point at 36,070 feet deep.
The Mariana trench is an inverse mountain whose surface is strewn with microbial life all the way down to the bottom where the pressure is 1000 times worse than what we face at sea level. Yet somehow more tiny organisms find a way to crawl out of their proverbial bed and thrive than there are humans on Earth.
Some people might say being human is having the arrogance to believe we matter when all the evidence seems to point the other way.
I like to think
whether that’s true or not is beside the point.
Thanks for reading!