I read this article on Lifehack about a year ago about finding a hobby you suck at, but enjoy. (8 Good Reasons to Be a Lousy Musician) It really stuck with me. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have a little bit of a closet competitive streak. But, really, instead of inspiring me to get really good at everything, it makes me afraid to try things I suspect I will be bad at.
(Please ignore all the hanging prepositions in this post. “Things at which I suspect I would be bad,” just doesn’t have the same conversational ring to it.)
I recognize this pattern of avoiding stuff to avoid “losing” is unhealthy. Getting over it is another thing altogether. I don’t play sports unless I can’t reasonably avoid it, and spelling bees are in the realm of the impossible.
There are two things that are helping me get over my unhealthy habit, though: singing and running.
I’m not sure singing really counts, but we’ll go with it. I’ve been singing since I was four or five years old with my sister in church, so I never really had a fear of singing in public. I felt like I was reasonably good at it, too, until college. Small fish, big pond, lots of singers who were actually good. Surprisingly, though, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of singing to find that I was not as good at it as I thought. Really, it took the pressure of trying to be a great performer off, and just let me have fun. I still have lots of fun singing. It’s one thing I do every day, no matter what, and I don’t care that I’m not great at it. Still, I wouldn’t say I suck at it, and I was never afraid to try it, so not sure it counts.
Running, though, totally counts. I am a very bad runner. Abysmally bad. Always have been, probably always will be. For a long time (especially after my freshman year of college in ROTC, when I was forced to confront my horrible running on a daily basis), I just wouldn’t do it, period. This year, though, I started running with a friend at work– no pressure, easy pace, just for fun.
And you know what? It’s not that bad. I’m still horrible at it, but it’s really not the end of the world that I suck at running. No one really cares that I suck at running except for me, and I’m slowly learning to care less that I suck at it. It’s actually fun to run with a friend through cute neighborhoods and enjoy the sunshine and conversation. Imagine that.
So how about you? What’s your hobby that you suck at but don’t care? If you don’t have one, are you going to get one?