I’m a big dude.

Damien & Buttons

My son looks just like me.

Physical activities take a greater toll on me than my little friends. I live in fear of bumping into or crushing some tiny normal person. Folks assume I’m mean, or clumsy, or dumb. It sure is easy to stay home and have dinner delivered to my house. It’s easy to fall into the trap. So long as I’m not putting myself out there, I won’t get hurt, or hurt someone else.

But that’s what it is. It’s a trap.

I’ve been big for what seems like forever. I hit five feet all in the fourth grade, six feet in the eighth, and capped out at 6’6″ as a high school senior. Sure, I played basketball growing up in North Carolina, but when I got to Tennessee neither football nor wrestling held any interest for me. I preferred drama, or the Model UN, two pursuits I continued in college. What I’m saying is I am a nerd.

Nerd culture changed in the 2000’s. Nerds became socially acceptable. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs made nerds enviable. Sadly, BIG nerds didn’t really keep up. We got Wozniak and Gaben and Hurley from Lost. Sure they’re champions to those who know, but the big nerd did not receive the same warm welcome as the skinny hipster nerd.

Culture didn’t give us a hero.

Seth Rogan? Please.

So, what’s a big dude to do? Do I feel ashamed because a combination of genetics, introversion, and metabolism made me into a massive nerdy monster? Do I figure out how to make it work? I chose to grab ahold of technology and never let go.

I Embraced Our New Robot Overlords

Technology has come a long way in making our lives a little less painful, a lot more fun, and way more expensive. Robotic vacuum cleaners and voice controlled home automation are the new hotness, but let’s all appreciate the fact that Amazon helps us not have to trudge all over some horrible box store for hours on end in search of a bag of socks. A simple thing like clothing manufacturing now results in pants I can buy that aren’t going to blow out in six months. I can now buy an office chair without running out to get new casters all the time, and I actually have a two-door sports car that I fit in with ample head and leg room.

The necessities of life are getting better, so how about those aspirational goals? What about those things I previously didn’t think I could hope to do?

What about participating in a sport? I’m 36, going on 37, and some of my friends even exercise recreationally. Can you imagine? Workouts at my size are about low impact, usually weights or bicycling, because my bones are rebelling against me, and cancelling out any benefit from running or jumping.

What if technology brought Big Nerds something we always thought would be out of reach: a competitive sport we can enjoy without the associated medical bills? While eSports currently holds a niche appeal in our society, I’m able to turn on actual ESPN and see an actual Heroes of the Storm collegiate tournament, featuring MY alma mater (Go Vols!). It’s close enough to mainstream for me. I can find other enthusiasts. I can compete on a high level (if I work hard enough). Being big doesn’t slow me down. I just gotta want it!

You didn’t see this article taking that twist at the end did you? Well the point I’m trying to make is that you can have what you want, and if you can’t find it, you should make it. Things have changed, and there are like-minded people out there eager to connect and share. You can find them without leaving your house, and if you meet up with them in the real world, that’s great too.

Figure out what makes you happy, and make it happen, because it won’t happen on its own.

Posted by Damien

Big Guy Damien is a creative communications professional, who really likes starting projects. He has a dog named Mr. Buttons, who you will see featured from time to time.


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