No, this isn’t my attempt to convince all you ladies out there to suck more. Sorry, gentlemen. I’m talking about be really bad at something. Maybe you suck at school (calculus, biology, or chemistry), your bench press seems to always go down and never up, you make Shaq look like a free throw extraordinaire, or you can’t make it to the podium in a bodybuilding or powerlifting competition.

My point is that everybody at some point in their life has sucked at something. Sucking is part of being human, and you shouldn’t be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid to admit that you suck sometimes.

Everybody Starts Somewhere

Chances are, unless you are some kind of freak, you probably sucked the first time you attempted something. The first time I tried to bench press with free weights I completed what I consider one the most embarrassing gym fails—the dump. This epic fail occurs when one side of the barbell tilts toward the ground and the weights slide off. The weight imbalance causes the other side of the barbell with the remaining plates to jerk towards the floor. Something like picture to the right. The end result: everybody looks at you and you feel like an idiot.

campus elite, the campus elite, college success, college fitness, college fit, college workout, freshman 15, college health, college dietAfter this epic fail, I could have told myself that I had no business lifting weights. I’m just a skinny white kid; what am I doing here? Instead of quitting and letting the sucking stop me, I increased my training frequency. I went from doing one pressing movement a week to three a week. Even though I’m nowhere close to being the greatest bencher today, I’m infinitely better than when I first started— something that never would have been possible if I gave up.

I’m not the only one! I have heard countless stories of comedians describing their first stand-up or comedic experience as terrible, revolting, horrifying—a memory that they would like to forget. Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, and Jim Carrey, all comedy behemoths, struggled when they first ventured into the realm of comedy. Did they give up? Hell no! They got right back onto the stage and faced their fears and insecurities. “Look at me now, Mom!”

Michael Jordan, arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time, is another great example. Now, one could argue that MJ never truly sucked—he had more raw talent than the average man 10 times over. However, MJ wasn’t born the greatest basketball player that ever lived; his greatness was forged with competitiveness, hard-work, and an unrelenting desire to be the greatest. Believe it or not, as a sophomore in high school, MJ didn’t make the varsity squad. Instead, he was relegated to the dreaded JV squad. Looking back on his high school basketball experience MJ said,

“It was embarrassing not making that team. They posted the roster and it was there for a long, long time without my name on it. I remember being really mad, too, because there was a guy who made it that really wasn’t as good as me. Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it and that usually got me going again.”

What Do These Amateurs Turned Mega Superstars Have In Common?

campus elite, the campus elite, college success, college fitness, college fit, college workout, freshman 15, college health, college dietThey didn’t give up! They kept going despite the pain associated with sucking. As a result, they turned their perceived sucking into an opportunity to improve their craft. They acknowledged that there was room for improvement and took the necessary steps to make those improvements. They didn’t quit and go crawl under the bed sheets and cry themselves to sleep. They took the bull by the horns and….well, you get the idea.

Lesson: Don’t Be A Sucker!

There is a difference between sucking and being a sucker—suckers give up. Instead of persevering, they crawl into a hole to hide from the world. Instead of being a recluse and hiding from the suckiness, embrace it; accept it! Don’t be afraid to suck. You may suck right now, but if you continue to push through the pain you will begin to suck less. Eventually—with hard work, dedication, and perseverance—your suckiness may turn into greatness.

So, my fellow Campus Eliters, are you going to be a sucker or fight through the suckiness? The choice is yours.

Suck it up and Be Elite!