Attention from strangers is nothing new to me. Questions about my height is the center of almost every public interaction. My friends say my height is just a physical quality and not a personality aspect. However, when I reflect on my life, I realize that my height has shaped my character in many ways and has helped to make me who I am.
I learned how to be kind. When I was younger, some parents in my neighborhood regarded me kind of dangerous because I was so much larger than other children my age. I had to be extra welcoming and gentle simply to play with other children. Of course, now my coaches wish I weren’t quite so kind on the basketball court.
I learned the quality of not being too proud about myself. At 7 feet tall, everyone expects me to be an amazing basketball player. They come expecting to see Dirk Nowitzki, and instead they might see a performance more like Will Ferrell (successfully starred a professional basketball player). I have learned to be modest and to work even harder than my fellows to meet their (and my) expectations,
I developed a sense of lightheartedness. When people playfully make fun of my height, I laugh at myself too. On my first day of high school, a girl dropped her books in a busy hallway. I got down to her level and gathered some of her notebooks. As we both stood up, her eyes widened as I kept rising over her. Astonished, she dropped her books again. Embarrassed, we both laugh