Strong is the New Tall…

By Angie Baldwin

Let me start by explaining that this whole ordeal started because I threw my back out, pretty severely, a few weeks ago.   I have been seeing my chiropractor almost constantly so that I can get back into shape and start working out again. We are making great strides such as two weeks ago I couldn’t walk, last night, I could jog… good things are happening. 

Until yesterday. I will say that my appointment with my chiropractor started with, “Your spine is my new poster child for CrossFit spines.” Pat on the back for Angie, literally. Then came the downward spiral of devastating news.
Blow to my world numero uno.
“You can have CrossFit or you can wear high heels, but you can’t have both.”
“What Doc? Dude, I am only five feet tall,” I say clutching my four-inch golden strappy sandal to my chest. “Even with heels, my pants drag on the ground!”
If you know me, this is like giving me the choice between air or food, chocolate or beer. These choices cannot be made. I am a woman who wants to have it all.
No sympathy.
I get it. A strong healthy spine makes for strong healthy fitness – durable core or stiletto, walking like Quasimodo when I am sixty or being an elite athlete. Even so, I started to negotiate like a drug addict and managed to score the ability to wear heels casually and wedges are ok. That is a small consolation, but I will take it.
Good-bye girls, I will miss your slimming effect, the way you make my butt look in jeans and your compliments to the perfect top. I will be a CrossFitter in flats, even as I say this, I want to throw up in my mouth.
Slap to my ego number two
 After a life altering back adjustment, (I think I saw God when my neck was popped—this is part of the story, don’t worry) I had a discussion about whether or not I am only five feet tall.
“You’ve got to be at least five three.”
“No way man. The torn threads at the bottom of every pair of pants I own beg to differ.”
And so, we go to measure my defeated heelless person, twice. What do we discover? I am not five foot. I am not EVEN five feet tall. I am four feet (horrible gasp) ELEVEN. (This is where I interject that I had just been adjusted because that actually makes you longer/taller) I don’t even know if 4’11 is a real height; it is like four a.m. It doesn’t really exist. A myth.
Four eleven.
Four eleven.
Well now, the choice of CrossFit is clear. I must CrossFit so I can defend myself from all of the seven year olds who are now taller than I am. I am the incredible shrinking woman. Before you know it, I will just be a pile of black hair shuffling around on the floor.
I mean the real moral is to take care of your spine, and also that sometimes getting hurt can be a blessing because it shows you where you are weak and it allows you to grow, but whatever.
I am going to embrace this new shorter reality because I have been taught through CrossFit that there isn’t anything that can’t be modified to fit me, so I can be stronger and better. Am I sad that my new height can be considered “handicap” yeah, a little. Am I sad that I can no longer wear adorable red stilettos on a day when I want to feel pretty, sure. But I will make up for it by increasing the weights that I lift, decreasing the times of my workouts, and becoming a better all around athlete. I will be the strongest short person I know.
My husband told me a few weeks ago “strong is the new skinny” but I say “strong is the new tall” and I will live that, in flats


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