For the first time in a long time, I am one of the shortest people in a room. You’d be forgiven for assuming that I am at a convention for giants, but I’m not. Instead, I’m surrounded by basketball players from the London Lions, and I suddenly realise being tall is great, and being around taller people can be unnerving. It doesn't help that the guys are training; shooting three-pointers and dunking with no effort. I am acutely aware of being forced to look up to make eye contact – I feel like ‘Mr Muscle’, pre digitised muscle-bound makeover. Flashbacks from pre- (and intra-) pubescent Jim ensue.
I was one of the smallest boys in my school, but when I began to grow, it happened quickly. Too quickly. My legs elongated so fast that my hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons couldn’t keep up. The result was a painful, T-rex-ish walk for the next year while my muscles played an embarrassing game of catch-up with my bones.
A year or so later (when I could finally stand up straight), I was a tall person. I’m not a behemoth – many of you reading this will be taller than I am – but at 6ft 3in I am definitely above average. When people who watch my YouTube videos stop me on the street, nearly 100 per cent of the time the first thing they say is “Whoa, you’re much taller than I was expecting,” to which I usually reply, “Sorry… genetics."
I realise that apologising for my height is odd. Particularly when being tall is supposed to be a desirable trait, but bear with me for a moment while I hunch
down and awkwardly play the world’s smallest violin, because sometimes being tall is not all it’s cracked up to be. So, is height really a genetic advantage?