Just finished a wonderful workout at the Y that taxed me to the limits. I am tired but it's a good sort of tired.
As I was lifting I was giving next weekend's triathlon a lot of thought. Perhaps you could say I am a bit anxious about the event. The fact is, I'm terrible at the triathlon. I find it much more difficult and intimidating than a marathon. Nevertheless, it's lots of fun. I guess my point in this blog post is: If you love to do something, even if you're bad at it, do it anyway. All of us can recall being new at something and being really bad at it at first. As you know, that's what Greek was like for me, when I lasted only 3 weeks in my very first Greek class at Biola. I felt so stupid and had an "I can never learn this language" mentality. At the same time, I knew that I needed Greek to graduate as a Bible major, and when I did find a class that was taught on my level I managed to complete my first year of Greek and the rest, as they say, is history. It's so true that perseverance gets you past that point of giving up altogether and before you know it you are reaching your goals.
It's so easy to get hooked on making perfect grades or excelling in a sport that we forget that so much of life is to be lived for the pure enjoyment of it. The great thing about racing (whether it's a marathon or a triathlon or a 5K) is that there are so many people willing to help you if you have any questions. If you're struggling with learning New Testament Greek, there are plenty of excellent online resources at your fingertips. Write me personally if you like. I can talk to you about what it's like not to be good at things like Greek. When I took my first Greek class, it was embarrassing, it was frustrating, I felt so intimidated. It's really easy for experienced people to forget just how hard it is for beginners. Also, be willing to set personal goals. Don't just say, "My doctor said I am a prime candidate for hypertension and diabetes so I am going to start an exercise program." It's better to quantify your goals. You can say, "I want to walk for 30 minutes 3 days a week." For me, it's not enough just to say, "I want to become a better triathlete." I have to set measurable goals like swimming two days a week. But even then, I need to remember that my enjoyment of the sport is not tied to how good I am at it. I'm not very good at the biking part of a triathlon or at biking period. But I still love cycling because it allows me to get outdoors and enjoy God's creation and just revel in the human body's ability to move.I've been privileged enough to have had many students come through my Greek classes who struggled like I did when they first started out but then went on to become really good at the language. I feel the same way about triathlons. I know that if I put the time and effort into it I will eventually become better at it, but in the meantime I don't want the fact that I'm lousy at it hamper me from being in the moment and enjoying next week's race.
So, what are you really bad at it? Do you enjoy it doing it? Then do it. Do whatever you love. Don't let being bad at something hold you back.