The Things You're Not Good At Can Be The Most Rewarding
Health and Wellness

The Things You're Not Good At Can Be the Most Rewarding

If you want to sing out, sing out. (Even if you can't sing.)


I've never been much of an athlete. I'm not flexible, agile, or coordinated. I can't play any sport to save my life, and thinking about my middle school PE class still makes my stomach hurt. Growing up, the only semblance of a sport I tried out was cheerleading, which my quiet, reserved, not-willing-to-be-thrown-up-into-the-air 10-year-old self-did does not enjoy in the slightest. It was only when I got to high school that any athletic activity began to appeal to me in the slightest, and it happened to be the last thing I ever thought I would join: cross country.

My first day of cross country practice, I had not even run two miles before I started crying. It was a hot Georgia day at 4 in the afternoon, I was out of breath, I hadn't done conditioning over the summer, I hated the way my body looked in running clothes, and I'd just seen at least two girls on the team throw up on the side of the road. When I got home from practice, I emailed my coach to tell him that I wasn't cut out for the team and that I wanted to quit. Almost immediately after I sent the email, I went back and forth about my decision. Ultimately, I determined that it was stupid to quit something I sucked at after just one day of trying. Running wasn't something that came easily to me, but it had to get better with practice and effort, right? So, even though I felt like I didn't belong on the team, I told my coach to disregard my last email. I wanted to keep running.

With each day of practice, the miles began to feel less and less impossible to complete-- for all of us, I think. When it came time for my first meet, I didn't feel as nervous about running the race itself as I was about being watched. My fastest run was many other girls' slowest run, and I knew some spectators wouldn't think I was trying hard enough. Fortunately, though, that race ended up being fantastic. I was so happy about finishing strong and doing my best that nobody else's opinion mattered.

During my four years of cross country, there were certainly moments of insecurity. Every now and then, an onlooker at a meet would condescendingly shout something like "don't stop now, push through it, come on" (without my giving them any indication that I was planning to walk or stop, which none of us would ever do). During one practice, a driver passing some of us honked and yelled: "faster." But in spite of those moments, there were also the unforgettable moments of victory, like when one of my best friends ran me to the finish line, or when I made a huge PR at my last meet. Even better were the routine high fives and words of affirmation my teammates and I would give one another at practice. Regardless of skill level, we challenged and supported one another. After the first practice of freshman year, I never would have expected that cross country would be one of my favorite parts of high school.

So, even though I never came close to being on the varsity team, I never trained for a crazy marathon, and I was definitely not known for my running by any means, I'm glad I took the time to practice something that made me happy despite not being particularly talented at it. In an increasingly competitive culture, we should allow ourselves to realistically acknowledge that we're not the best at something, do our very best at it, and gain the same sense of excitement, dedication, and fulfillment we do from something we're good at. And whether we have the support of teammates or we're going it alone, we should learn to be okay with starting at square one.

So, whether it's an instrument, a blog, a project, or a seemingly treacherous athletic activity, try that thing you don't think you'll be able to do.

You might surprise yourself.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 BBQ Essentials Every Vegan Should Bring To Avoid Summer Cookout FOMO

You'll have your whole family drooling when you bring these goodies over too.

All vegetarians and vegans can relate when I say this: summer barbecues aren't fun when there's nothing you can eat.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments