Not just tall

Misha Canin ’22 talks about her journey with her height, sports and school.


Misha Canin posing for a picture taken by Caroline Barker

Stepping into the gym, the first thing you would notice is the noise. The sound of shoes screeching across the floor, players yelling commands, skin slapping against worn rubber. This is something Misha Canin ’22 is very familiar with as a member of the volleyball team. Going into high school can be a difficult adjustment. Canin was no exception.

“I was very terrified at first,” Canin said. “Just because it’s such a big school. I mean I have a good group of friends, but I was just scared because of the upperclassmen and all that. But as soon as I got here it only took a couple periods to realize that everyone’s kind of worried about themselves. No ones judging other people or trying to make others feel bad about themselves, everyone’s really accepting.”

“…Everyone’s kind of worried about themselves. No ones judging other people or trying to make others feel bad about themselves, everyone’s really accepting.”

— Misha Canin 22'

But it isn’t always easy to adjust or be comfortable with yourself.  All her life, Canin has been tall, standing at 6’1”. This has a pretty big impact on how she lives her life.  “Originally, I did gymnastics, and then people were always saying that I was so tall that I’d never be a good gymnast. I think my height has a huge impact on the activities I’m involved in,” Canin said. Canin did dance, because she was told it was a good fit for her height, but found she wasn’t satisfied.

With volleyball, she finally found a sport that both worked for her height and she enjoyed. Canin began playing volleyball in the seventh grade. “Going into the school year I just went out for the volleyball team,” Canin said. “I actually really enjoyed it, my height definitely helped give me an advantage. I had never played before, but the girls were really nice, and then I just started playing from there.”

Canin has been playing for three years now. Her favorite position is outside hitter, but at a game you may find her playing middle.

Sports have always been a big part in her life. Growing up, her older sister did sports all her life, this rubbing off on Canin. She loves to be active, whether she’s in a studio, gym, or outside with friends.

Canin’s height affects her outside of sports as well. The first thing people notice about her is her height. When referred to, she is always ‘the tall girl’. She wishes there were other things people saw first. She doesn’t want to be defined by her height. There is her personality, and talents. “…I’ve always been very insecure about it. […]It’s the first thing [people] notice about me […] It’s kind of difficult because I don’t want to be noticed because I’m tall. I wanna have a different impact on people. People are like ‘oh I remember you, you’re the tall one,’ and I wish it was a different kind of impression that I left. But now that I’m in high school it’s a lot better, because people are taller than me.”

“..I wish it was a different kind of impression that I left.”

— Misha Canin 22'

Canin feels that it’s instinctual to notice and comment on physical features, although she tries not to do this herself.  “One of my closest friends always says that if they can’t change it in ten seconds, don’t tell them,” Canin said.

Although sports are prevelanct with her and her families lives, they also enjoy art and literature, always making sure they have time for it. Canin and her older sisters also enjoy literature. Her older sisters were always writing and telling her stories. This got her involved in writing, which goes hand-in-hand with reading. “I’ve always loved getting lost in books,” Canin said.

Canin is also involved with the best buddies program. She noticed at her last school that groups were often exclusive, and it was easy to feel left out. She didn’t think this was right so she wanted to get involved with a program that was inclusive and about making friends.

Makenna Vondarhaar 22’ is a close friend of Canin. “My favorite thing about Misha is that she is a really fun person to be around,” Said Vonderhaar “She is always really happy, positive, and ready to laugh.My favorite memory of Misha is when we were in eighth grade. We were running notes around the school from the office, but we tried to avoid the scariest teacher by finding different ways around the building,”

“She is always really happy, positive, and ready to laugh.”

— Makenna Vonderhaar 22'

Canin  really enjoys helping people, having considered a job in the medical field. She wants to be the person brighten up your day. Caroline Barker 22’ is another person Canin has impacted. “She has a lot of empathy and sympathy and really pays attention to how people feel. If you’re ever having a bad day, Misha will send you love in anyway possible. Sometimes she’s sent me little notes in math, a sweet text, a smile and a thumbs up, or a hug,” says Barker.

”I really like to make people feel better if they’re having a bad day,” Canin said. “I want to leave the impression that I’m always there for them.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email