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Embrace the Suck

Embrace the Suck

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. His name is Coop and he happens to be my “platform” guy. He helps me with my social media and designed this website. How cool is that?!


Me: How was your day?

Coop: Well, I just finished a round of golf?

Me: How was it?

Coop: Actually I sucked, but it was a great day. The weather was amazing, the golf course was beautiful, I was with friends and I decided I was going to enjoy my terrible play.

I basically had a talk with myself and said, “I love to golf. But I don’t have the time right now to work on my golf game—and I know I need to consistently play to get better. So I can either get upset because I suck—and I HATE not striving for greatness in everything I do—or I can give myself permission to suck knowing that I’m not putting in the time to be great and enjoy every other aspect of the experience.”

I chose to cut myself some slack and free myself from my constant need to be great and simply enjoy the experience. So you ask, “How was my day playing golf?” It was great! It will probably be even more fun when I don’t suck, but that will have to wait until I have more time to practice consistently.

In the military there is a term for this mental shift, “Embrace the Suck.” What that means is that while you might find yourself in a situation that’s not ideal, you can either be miserable or you can choose to embrace your circumstances. While finding yourself bombing on a golf course and being in a war zone with actual bombs falling isn’t comparable, I think we can all learn from this mental judo technique.

This conversation with Coop was the exact experience I had a few years after I had quit dancing and decided I missed it and wanted to take a dance class. Whatever the word for beyond sucked is, that was me. I couldn’t believe how much my muscle strength and technique had deteriorated. It was soooooo not fun. I was miserable and consequently didn’t dance for many years—except to choreograph. And even then I demonstrated as little as possible because my dancing felt nothing like it used to.

A few years ago, and many years after that experience I had the same conversation with myself that Coop had about golf. I realized how much I miss moving to music. I miss learning choreography. I miss the hard wood floor and hearing the instructor count us in with, “ahhh 5,6,7,8.” And most of all I miss getting lost in the spirit of Dance.

I believe we all have the spirit of dance inside of us. It doesn’t matter how we move or what we look like. That spirit is so unique and fulfilling it should never be stifled by any measurement of aptitude.

Here’s to embracing the suck and allowing ourselves to enjoy simply doing stuff because it’s fun.

What’s your fun thing that you suck at but absolutely love? Or, what’s that thing you love doing that you stopped because you suck at it?

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7 years ago

Mine is dance. I danced a lot when I was a teenager (I had part-time jobs and babysat to pay for classes and public transport to get to them) but gave up to study so I could get a place at university. A couple of years ago I decided to do an adult ballet class…and I really sucked! I never had real natural talent, so I felt like I’d lost all my abilities. But I had a lovely ballet teacher who was so much fun, critiqued my movement without being nasty and I just enjoyed doing it again. Even if… Read more »

7 years ago

I suck at softball/baseball but I love but I love to play catch or go to the batting cages with my sister or nieces & nephews. When I do manage to hit the ball it hurts my hands. Half the time I duck from the ball. When I have managed to catch the ball I can’t get the ball to stay in my glove. I totally suck but I’m always happy to play catch with them

Sharon S
7 years ago

Those that have known me for a long time can attest to the fact that for most of my life I essentially didn’t do anything that I wasn’t good at! So, when I learned to ski in my twenties I had to put all of that aside, suck it up, remain positive, be really bad at something that those I was with were very good at and just deal. Something that was new to me! Low and behold I stuck with it, with some complaining along the way as I despise holding people up and that’s what I did for… Read more »

7 years ago

Throughout my time as an athlete, the most challenging and painstaking obstacle I’ve always came across is that of gaining speed. Or really, developing my speed to be a quicker, more agile player/playmaker. Although my lack of speed was prevelant during my athletic career, my physical strength was my literal strength; my edge. So I would continuously embrace the suck in regards to my physical speed, but be proud of both my mental and physical strengths.

7 years ago

For me, I used to really really suck at handstands and circus skills in general. But the love of the challenge kept me coming back for more. I still have weaknesses of course, but I thrive off of challenges. Although I do not suck quite as much as I used to, I still have a long way to go! But I embrace the suck!