Recently, we visited my cousin Steve and his wife Judy while they were vacationing in nearby Marblehead. Steve is the son of my favorite uncle so it was fun to talk about old times.
Cousin Steve is athletic and has run marathons on many continents. But on this visit, I noticed that his shoulders had become quite rounded—just like mine have always been! I reminded him that my mother used to say “Shoulders Back!” or just “SB” if we were in public, to try to get me to stand straighter. I always thought my posture was poor because I was unusually tall and somewhat awkward.
But now, at 75, I’ve finally figured out that my poor posture is a family thing. And it hasn’t stopped with my generation.
So I believe my mother wasted her time with her annoying reminders. You can’t beat genetics. (And, I would add, it came from her side of the family.) But I still hear her voice in my ear, and I still try to stand up straighter.
Alas, not very successfully.