I’m not perfect yet. I’m not even competent yet, but what I really expect of myself is perfection. I’m fairly picky about other people, too. But for myself, nothing less than perfection is acceptable. The only real problem with that is that nobody is perfect.

For some odd reason, I thought I was going to be able to go from doing nothing to being fit and sleek in just under 27 nanoseconds. I have no idea why I would even consider this as an option, but inside my head is this much younger, once athletic person. That person has been sitting around eating chocolate and is hidden somewhere for now.

I once had cut muscles, definition, low body fat, and stamina. For some odd reason, my inner dictator (ID) is expecting that old me to show up NOW. And then my ID is expecting this old coot person to immediately learn absolutely never-been-done-before things with grace and alacrity.

Because I’m still (relatively speaking) thinnish, I think that I should be relatively fit. I think a lot of us believe fitness and thin/thick are positively correlated. They really aren’t. My thinking brain knows this. My thinking brain realizes that it has been 18 years and one month since I played racquetball for nine to ten hours a week. I’ve stayed thinnish because of good genes.

My feeling brain keeps being absolutely amazed by the fact that I still suck at CrossFit. My thinking brain is over there screaming, “Three sessions; you have been there for three sessions. You moron. Did you really think you could counteract decades in three sessions?”

And the saddest part is that my feeling brain replies, “Yes.”

Things to do to make this work better include drinking more water, eating more protein, drinking more water, stretching, drinking more water, keep returning, and drinking more water.

Failing isn’t in the falling down. Failure comes when you don’t get back up. I know this. Still, my feeling brain is appalled that I have fallen down. My inability doesn’t match my inner ideal of perfection. It isn’t even just an ideal. I need for me to be perfect. I’m appalled at any mistake I make ever and always.

The easiest way to make no mistakes is to never try anything new. If I keep doing what I’m good at, I can make far fewer mistakes. Instead, I’m pushing myself both physically and emotionally/spiritually in this new direction. I’m challenging myself to something much different than I have ever done before. I have never, ever lifted a barbell before I walked into CrossFit. But I have now.

Yesterday, my warm up was to run 200 meters. I knew where to go to get to the 100 meter mark and then turn around and come back. I made it halfway back before I had to start walking. My heart rate was 155 and I could barely catch my breath. It was 87 degrees out there with a heat index of 95. I’m 59 years old. I’m new at this (I have never run for distance in my life either. Running around a court is spurts of movement, but not constant running). I can make a list of excuses, but the miserable fact is I failed.

Unless I can think of this as a success, I’m going to be miserable. I’ve heard it said that what happens isn’t important. What IS important is what we tell ourselves about what happened. So what can I tell myself about this 150 out of 200 meter run?

Well, I didn’t just grab my keys, head to the car, and leave. I stayed put and got my heart rate down a bit and pushed on. That’s a plus right there. It would be much easier to never go back, to never push myself this way. There are so many things I can do that it seems silly, especially at my age, to even attempt this.

So that’s a win. I’m going back. This time, on a Saturday morning, we will see if cooler works better for me.

I’m going to suck at this. I’m going to suck at this for a long time. But, and here is the tricky part, if I keep going back eventually I will suck less.

I have to somehow give myself permission to fail, to be imperfect, to be totally suckass. Then maybe I can grow enough to master this.

Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda