You'll Never Be Good Enough...Until You Are

CrossFit exercise Inspirational olympic sports

I guess my point is, why do people even use that argument, that we are not genetic outliers and thus shouldn't aspire to athletic success? How does anyone know that? Why do we assume we are genetically average? We have absolutely no way of knowing until we try to reach for those heights.

And when we hit a roadblock, do we stop and give up, finally assured of our 'genetic limitations', or do we push on, trying to find a way around the sticking point? Do we honestly think Michael Jordan never ran into roadblocks, that it was smooth sailing from complete incompetence to all star basketball player? Does it make sense to assume that every Olympic weightlifter got where they are simply and easily, with no sticking points, that progress came consistently and smoothly? Ridiculous!

Even the 'genetically blessed' had to work extraordinarily hard to accomplish what they did.

Ultimately, genetic limitation is a completely pointless excuse to not try something in athletics. You don't know until you try, and try with all your might, and even then, you don't really know. So there's no point in even entertaining the idea that this 'just isn't for me', not if it is something you want to accomplish.

The mindset applies to everything in life. 'I'm just no good at cooking' is another excuse I hear a lot. You don't know until you try, and part of trying is messing up and learning from your mistakes, going back and trying again. I used to think I just wasn't a cook, until I had to cook to feed myself (on account of my insistence on eating real food...I know, how eccentric). Now, I consider myself a fairly accomplished cook, capable of whipping together fairly gourmet meals with nothing but leftovers. I have discovered a remarkably intuitive creativity when it comes to flavor combinations (who thought braised flounder and cauliflower in coconut curry with pumpkin seeds would taste good?).

I think the real limitations people face are in their heads. A better consolation for an athlete who is stuck would be, "Don't worry, you're just not determined enough to be really great. Not everyone has the mental drive necessary for success, so just be happy where you are and go for something else in which you have the mental drive sufficient for watching TV. I'm sure you can be successful at that. After all, professional/Olympic athletes have abnormal levels of drive and determination. It's silly to expect yourself to have that."

So get your head together, then worry about your genes.


Image Source: Brian L. Romig on Flickr