How I Grew Over an Inch in Height After the Age of Forty
By Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Iâ€™ve always been a short person but I used to be even shorter. I remember friends at high school and college leaning their bodies on me with their forearms pressed on top my shoulders. They would often call me shorty and were forever asking how tall I was. Even at the age of thirty, when I started dancing Salsa, friends would do the same thing again. I would often find myself bragging that I was a whopping Five foot One and three quarter inches on a GOOD day, when all the PLANETS are lined up correctly.
That was ALWAYS my normal canned response for YEARS since High School. However for some reason in the past few years people stopped all that. I cant remember when, but the heavy leaning on me and the asking for my height measurements just stopped over time.
Ill never forget my last doctors visit. It was 1993, I think. I remember the nurse writing down my height of “Five Feet One inch and a Half. I remember thinking to myself Why do they include the Half? Does it really matter? Thatâ€™s all I remember. At the time I was reaching 30 years old, and having my annual check-up. I was being treated for chronic Allergies, Asthma, Sciatica, and symptoms of Depression.
Then I discovered Salsa.
Like I say in my tremendous weight loss story, I started forgetting things – A LOT of things. I guess I just simply FORGOT about my annual doctors visit – for almost twenty years. During that time I worked on my dancing, my styling, my spins, and my speed. I discovered a Posture Brace. It seemed that every time I wore that thing, everything seemed to work itself out including my overall look as a dancer. Not only did I look better on the dance floor, but I started getting noticed everywhere I went. This was starting to happen quite often, which motivated me to wear it – often.
There was even a period of time where I wore my Posture Brace for eight months straight, eight hours a day. Then after that, I would wear it about two or three times a week. My posture improved, and because I was dancing Salsa all the time, my attitude improved 1000%. My chin was up, my head was high, I was smiling, laughing, and LOVING LIFE. I actually started liking my self. I dropped fifty pounds and ten dress sizes the first year of discovering Salsa. I was 32 years old.
I continued to dance, improving, competing, eventually becoming an International Instructor/Performer and traveling the world. Eighteen years and 63 countries later, I realized how alone I was. Sure it was great dancing and traveling all the time, but when you have no one to share your experiences with, it can be quite lonely. I decided I needed to slow down a bit and settle down with someone. I started searching for a relationship. I wanted someone mature, who really wasnâ€™t into dancing that much, was done with having kids, and had a stable real-world life. I wanted to see what the outside world was like now, and “had become” without me.
I found what I thought was a normal boyfriend who put up a good front at first. He was great in the beginning, but eventually over time I found out that he had chronic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), was seeing a shrink, was addicted to Xanex, was an allergy-ridden insomniac, snored like a bear (I WAS LOOKING FOR SLEEP and STILL never got any), constant complainer and blamer, extremely controlling and to top everything else off, he was a Germaphobe (Being a Germaphobe and dancing Salsa will NEVER work you gotta TOUCH PEOPLE DANCING duh WHAT WAS I THINKING?). I donâ€™t know how or why I put up with all his BAGGAGE for so long. Looking back, I think I was just too tired to care. Our relationship did NOT last very long thank God.
BACK TO MY STORYâ€¦.sorry for getting so off-track.
We were having dinner one evening at his house and the conversation turned to all his health issues. When he asked me when I last saw the doctor for MY annual checkup, I told him I couldnâ€™t remember 1993 maybe? I responded. He got up from the table, and screamed You WHAT? YOU HAVENT HAD A PHYSICAL OR DOCTORS CHECKUP IN ALMOST TWENTY YEARS???? (Salseros forget things)
Uh no. As I guiltily sulked into my chair.
WHY NOT? He hollered back.
uh, I havenâ€™t had. found the time…?
DO YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH INSURANCE?? He continued yelling.
uh well no.
WHY NOT? He screamed again.
uh, I donâ€™t know I havenâ€™t really needed it.
YOU HAVENT NEEDED HEALTH INSURANCE FOR TWENTY YEARS??? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA OF THE HEALTH RISKS YOU ARE TAKING?? He continued screaming at me while blowing his nose.
Well, as you can imagine, he proceeded to lecture me for the next hour on how stupid I was, how dirty I could be, and that I was probably so full of diseases and incurable whatevers that I would probably die in my sleep TONIGHT. He made sure to educate me of the FACT that every NORMAL PERSON ON EARTH needs to see a doctor EVERY YEAR to make sure we are not cancer-ridden, or have heart disease, blood poisoning, or blah, blah,blah. I was basically scared and convinced into scheduling an emergency doctors visit the very next morning because I could have DIED in the afternoon if I didnâ€™t.
So I did it. I scheduled my now Once every Twenty Years Doctors appointment, physical, checkup” whatever you want to call it.
Salsa dancers donâ€™t need doctors unless weâ€™ve BROKEN BOTH OUR LEGS. Were too deliriously happy to think about being sick or full of diseases. It just doesnâ€™t happen to us. Seeing a doctor is something you do if youâ€™ve cracked your head open falling on the dance floor during a triple spin – and only if it’s seriously bleeding.
… because we know that later on that night when were dancing
we WONT FEEL ANYTHING.
Most Salseros are forgetful people only due to our tremendous LACK OF SLEEP not anything else. We donâ€™t remember a lot especially the bad stuff. We donâ€™t care after a while. All is forgiven, and almost forgotten. We donâ€™t drink, we donâ€™t smoke, we donâ€™t do drugs. Why? Because we wont be able to DANCE WELL if we do all that crap. Dancing Salsa and Lack of sleep are synonymous. They become our primary drug combination. Have you ever gone very long with no sleep AND THEN INTOXICATE YOURSELF WITH SALSA DANCING? Cocaine cant even come close. To a Salsero, dancing is better than drugs, smoking or alcohol. It is better than relationships. It is better than sex, and it is more important THAN SLEEP. We as Salseros often find ourselves rationalizing that we can “always get SLEEP when we are six feet under.”
Scheduling a regular Doctor’s visit is just about the LAST THING on our agenda – we’ve got too much to do! As dancers, WHEN we will get our next solid eight-hours of sleep is probably the most pressing ailment we face.
BACK TO THE How I Grew Taller story
(I cant believe how much I am digressing!! AAAAAAaaaaahhhhhha!!!!! I think I’m forgetting what I am writing about… OH YEAH … POSTURE BRACES. “okay”. )
So, you can just imagine my controlling paranoid boyfriend actually DROVE ME TO THE DOCTORS OFFICE HIMSELF for my thorough internal / external / physical “Once in Twenty Years” checkup.
I was rolling my eyes the entire time in the car, muttering the entire way, Oh brother. Iâ€™m the healthiest person I know. I cant believe Iâ€™m doing this. Iâ€™m FINE. Look who needs the doctor Mr. Chronic, Allergy-Ridden, OCD, Germaphobe.
So I went through all these tests, internally, externally, and physically. When all was said and done, and aside from feeling very violated, the doctor told us both that shed never seen a healthier woman in all her years of medical practice. My heart and stamina was that of a teenager, and all my internal functions and plumbing were extremely healthy and very unusual for my age. I donâ€™tâ€™ really remember all the other medical and technical terminology she used, but I do remember her saying that she was astonished that my heart rate was only 55 beats per minute. She asked if I was a Runner. I kept thinking to myself, I will be if I donâ€™t get away from this OVER-CONTROLLING JERK Iâ€™m with She would have never believed me if I took the time to actually explain to her that it was the thousands of hours DANCING SALSA at extremely high-cardio levels that kept me in supreme condition these past twenty years. (If you’ve ever danced Salsa in Los Angeles, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about). People at my twenty-year high school reunion told me that I hadn’t changed – that I even looked leaner and better. No one ever believes how much cardio you can get from dancing Salsa – accept my fellow Salsa-Holics like YOU. You KNOW you’re addicted if you’re STILL READING THIS CRAZY ARTICLE I PUT TOGETHER!!! HA!!! Que Viva La Salsa!!!
To make a LONG story very short, and to keep with the FOCUS of this article about Posture, it was so funny because when the nurse took my height measurements, she mumbled the following words while writing them down in her notepad, five feet three-inches
What did you say? What are you writing? Iâ€™m how tall? I asked again looking at her notepad.Youâ€™re five feet three inches tall She responded again, showing me her notepad.No thatâ€™s not right. I told her. She looked again, and measured me again. Yes, its correct – just a tad over five feet three inches tall.I looked down at the scale platform to make sure I had my shoes off (remember Salseros forget a lot due to lack of sleep).I got off the scale, bent down on my knees, with my bare hands on the floor (Ha! Try doing THAT Mr. Germaphobe!) and looked at the black-colored base while reading the white numbers out loud It starts at Zero!! I proclaimed to her, again looking up and down the scale to see if the numbers were indeed in order and all correct.
By now the nurse was looking down at me on the floor with a curious look on her face. She asked me slowly…
I responded laughing, Would you mind measuring me again one more time please. I cant believe I grew over an inch since my last checkup.
So she measured me again. When was that? She asked while measuring me again.
1993 I responded. Oh really? Your last physical was in 1993?
Yeah. I muttered, expecting another lecture.
She just smiled and continued measuring. I guess she didnâ€™t believe me. Yup. She said. Just a little over five foot three inches almost five-four.
HOLY SMOKES!! I responded in disbelief. Thatâ€™s amazing!!! I grew over an inch!!
Think about it. If your posture is bent over and hunched, you will, over time develop a hunched back and will Un-grow to be a shorter person.
I can attest to the FACT that my growth spurt was because I wore my Posture Brace. It is unlike anything else Iâ€™ve tried. It does not hold you up. YOU have to do all the work. You have to hold your own Spine up by YOURSELF. That is the MAGIC of this particular device. It only REMINDS YOU to stay straight it does not keep you straight. YOU do the work.
Sure my attitude changed, I was a happier person because of Salsa, but I believe that both worked hand-in-hand. I looked better, I danced better, and hence, I FELT better because of that brace.
Now I just need to get some sleep!! Have a great night folks!
You can get Posture Braces at www.DanceFreak.com/posture-brace.php
Edie, The Salsa FREAK!! is one of the most recognized and respected Salsa Instructor/Performers/Humorists in the world. In the past twenty years, she has traveled to 63 countries teaching the world to dance, and has been the first American to teach in 18 of those countries. She now lives in the high mountains of beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband, Nick. You may contact her at Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website