I’ve started taking CrossFit classes and, for the love of all that is holy, I suck at it. Without any doubt in my or anyone else’s mind in that gym, I am hands down the worst in our class. It’s not fun; in fact it’s outright embarrassing. Two classes in, there’s a very clear bell curve as to where we all stand, and I’m not even sure I’m on it.
So what do you do when you’re clearly the worst? What are your options? Well, there’s the obvious… quit, but I’d like to be around to see a decent amount of my kids’ lives. I’d also like to stop memorizing where all the mirrors are so I can avoid catching site of myself in them. There’s really only one option: keep going. You have to start figuring out what you suck at and get sucking. Be the worst long enough and you might get caught up. Get caught up and you might be able to excel, but know that excelling is a hell of a long way off.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to something or if, like me and my health, you’ve dug yourself into a hole… There is no easy way. There are no shortcuts. There’s just the time, the dedication, the suffering and worst of all, the humility you’re going to have to need to stick it out long enough suck less. You’re going to have to be okay with being the worst and you’re going to have to be okay with that lasting a pretty long time.
There are things you can do. Figure out exactly what it is that causes you to lag behind. Put in extra hours that the others won’t need to put in. Use whatever shame you’re feeling and stick it out. It isn’t going to be fun, but as is the case with me and CrossFit, if you’re willing to even consider suffering through it, it’s probably what you need.
I wish I had better news, I wish it were going to be easier, but it won’t be. It will be really to push through, but if you do, the ability to persevere alone will worth the cost of your suffering (or in my case free up mental bandwidth that is currently being wasted on avoiding my own reflection). But until then, we’re going to have to learn to live with being the worst, because unfortunately there’s just no other way to get better.