Why I Love Being Bad at Stuff (Seriously)

I recently joined a fancy new gym. I’m pretty obsessed with the place.

It has a beautiful outdoor pool, a healthy cafe (which has doubled as my office away from home), a spa, tons of gym equipment, and most excitingly for me, a full schedule of group classes. 

I’m in fitness heaven. But that’s besides the point.

Yesterday, I went to my first-ever barre class. To be more specific, BarreCardio. 

I went in feeling confident. Sure, I was a little nervous as I walked into the studio, unsure of what equipment to grab, if I should wear shoes or not, and where I should place myself in the room, but deep down, I wasn’t too worried.

After all, I’m a yoga teacher. I TEACH group fitness classes. Surely, I could handle this experience, no problem.

I was wrong.

Why I love being bad at stuff

I was bad. Really bad. 

Class began and immediately, I fell behind.

We started with a warmup on our mats (HOLY SQUATS!) and then made our way over to the barre, where we spent an excruciating 25 minutes completing teensy-tiny ballet, pilates and yoga-inspired movements working different parts of our bodies. 

“Stop looking down at the floor! Look at yourself in the mirror to check out your form,” the instructor shouted into her microphone. 

I nervously peeked at myself in the mirror (who really wants to stare themselves down while working out?) and immediately laughed out loud at my beet red face and sweat pouring from every part of my body. We’d only been at it for a few minutes. 

“Try to be graceful like a ballerina,” said the instructor.

*Snort* Graceful! Me?! More laughing out loud ensued.

Then, the instructor gave us each a ball and has us squeeze it between our thighs as we squatted against the barre in the most insane version of a wall sit I’ve ever tried.

Oh, and we did that three times a row. My legs were shaking like I’ve never seen them shake before. 

I glanced at the clock at one point fully expecting class to be wrapping up and it was only 12:30 p.m. We had a full 30 minutes left to go. Oh boy…

A quick look around informed me that I was clearly the only newbie in the room. These ladies ROCKED IT. They had their game faces on, and they weren’t messing around. 

As I gleefully ditched the barre and returned to my mat for the cardio portion of class, again, I thought to myself, “OK, I may not have nailed the whole barre thing, but I can do cardio. I’ve run half marathons. I GOT THIS.”

Wrong again.

Class kicked my butt in the best way possible…And reminded me of an important lesson.

Being bad at stuff is awesome

Stick with me here. 

When you’re bad at something, it means you’re trying something new. You’re stepping outside of your comfort zone and opening yourself up to new experiences. 

Being bad at something is humbling.

It’s easy to focus on strengths. Sure, I could write all day here about practicing yoga, teaching yoga, blogging, freelance writing, running a business, etc. These are the things I’m good at. These are the things I do day-in and day-out. 

It would be so easy to only write about these things that I can speak confidently on.

But that’s boring, right?

It’s way more interesting to explore weaknesses.

To explore how it feels to step into a space where I normally stand in the front of the room as the teacher, and instead to sit back and be the student.

To explore how it feels to be the worst person in the room at something.

To explore how it feels to laugh at myself and be kind to myself, even in the face of a challenge.

That’s where things get interesting. That’s where you learn about yourself, and that’s where you grow.

The beauty of being a beginner

Plus, there’s something so beautiful about being a beginner. I wrote about this concept last year after my sister tried her first yoga class, and was reminded of it again during barre yesterday.

Beginners are excited. Beginners are open to anything. Beginners are wide-eyed. Beginners are ready to learn; ready to be shaped and molded.

For a beginner, there’s *only* possibility ahead. That’s exciting, right?

Just because it’s awesome doesn’t mean it’s easy

Sure, there were moments during class I felt a little embarrassed.

Moments where everyone else was squatting on beat and I was just a step behind.

Moments were I had to stop and take a break and I was the only one not moving.

The part of class where I completely skipped side planks and sat on my mat watching everyone else work.

Yeah, those moments weren’t necessarily fun. But they were a reminder to me that it’s OK to not be great at everything. To have something to strive for, something to improve on. 

These are the moments that drive me. They are what bring me back.

And for that reason, I can’t wait to return next week for another hour of torture (Cough, I mean, a chance to improve).

What about you? Do you love being bad at stuff? When was the last time you were truly bad at something? Share in the comments below.

*Photo via Pixabay

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  • Recently, I went through coach operator (bus driver) training for Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) out here in San Jose. I lasted only six weeks in this nine-week program before I was cut. I gave it my best efforts to succeed in this expectedly challenging program. Still, it was quite the experience and fun to learn how to drive SEPTA-like buses throughout these parts. I would even argue that even though I won’t be a bus driver, that whole experience has taught me to become a better driver in general although I don’t drive much anyway. I should get back to desk jobs now where I really belong.