“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”-Barrett Johnson
Yep, you read that right — and no, that’s not how we usually hear the phrase. I first heard this twist on the original from my friend Barrett (pastor, author, and speaker); he was referring to awkward but necessary conversations parents must have with our kids, but I believe we can apply the theory to plenty of other things.
Of course our GOAL should be to do whatever you’re doing well — to the best of your ability. No one is a pro when they start something new so “the best of our ability” might be pretty ugly when we’re learning a new skill. Progress requires discipline and practice, but the fact is you’re going to do it badly until you learn to do it better.
I was thinking about this recently while upside down.
I only started doing handstands in late 2017. I’d never even done them as a kid because I never had the strength; I couldn’t even do a cartwheel. So when I started practicing handstands, I was ridiculously excited any time I successfully managed to get myself upside down. That was a victory, even though it wasn’t pretty. These days, although I’ve still got plenty of room for improvement, my handstands are much better — but I wouldn’t be able to do them at all if I hadn’t been willing to them badly at first.
Remember: even experts were beginners once upon a time. If you look or feel silly as you learn something new, that’s ok because you’ve got this — and if you don’t yet, you will someday!
IMPORTANT: when applying this theory to exercises, keep in mind that some movements have a higher risk of injury than others so you should to use caution and work with an experienced coach to help you learn them safely. (Many kettlebell and weightlifting skills come to mind.) In many cases you’ll need to learn other, simpler skills first.