An inner athlete's manifesto.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Tip--Don't Worry About Sucking

Last week, we explored why the hell we do things we don't actually enjoy doing. This week, we're going to acknowledge that not everything is going to come easy, especially when you are new at something. You might actually suck at it.

Imagine what your life would be like if you quit everything that you sucked at the first few times you did it. Remember the first time you tied your shoes, rode a bike, or copied a sentence off the chalkboard in first grade? You probably fell off the bike a million times, knotted your shoes into a complex puzzle, and your penmanship was probably terrible (for the record, my penmanship is still terrible). Learning to exercise is very much like learning a new language with your body--like proper grammar, there is proper form, but it also takes practice and commitment just like anything else.  Chances are, just like everything else in life, when you start something, you will suck.

So, you suck? Now what?

Acknowledging you suck at something is the first step to building strength and getting better. How else are you supposed to know what you need to focus on? Knowing your weaknesses is key; this knowledge gives you a base--a startline for how to set realistic goals that can propel you to success. When I first started running, I sucked. I could barely run a mile without wanting to vomit everywhere afterwards. So my first goal was really just to run a mile without wanting to puke afterwards.

What if I don't achieve even my small, humble goal(s)?

So what? Exercise is not all about achievement. You will not always be able to achieve all of your workout or fitness goals, and the sooner you accept that fact, the happier you'll be with your workouts. In fact, in a given week, I might achieve one (yes, ONE) fitness-related goal for the week. Shit happens. You might want to run outside three days a week, but out of those three days, it might be raining so hard you can't even see. You might promise to do it the next day, and wake up with a million pressing emails from your boss. You might just feel lazy and prefer watching Bravo all day. Bam--you missed your goal for the week. There's no use crying over a missed goal (though I am guilty of doing this). It takes a lot of willpower to move on and try for next week/tomorrow, or whatever, but move on. If you don't move on from failure, then you will never learn from it, and you'll never succeed. Remember that. Identify things that hold you back and do your best to control the ones you are capable of controlling (example: rain=you can't control, Real Housewives addiction=controllable).
Don't let your suckiness stop you. Use it as ammo. Use it as what it is--knowledge to make you better.

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