I think that I started taking Algebra in the 7th grade. It was actually Pre-Algebra, as a matter of fact. Ms. Horton. She had a huge butt. I mean, it was big. I failed that class. I remember failing algebra in 9th grade also. Mrs. Blaik was the teacher's name, the old bat. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. So once I got lost, I would bring in Muscle Mag International, set it on the floor, act like I was doing my work, but really I was reading about Mike Mentzer. I kept failing Algebra until I had to take it in the summer school of my senior year. I had a great teacher for that class, and suddenly it clicked for me one day. Mrs. Tillery was her name. She made quite an impression on me. She sat my ass down and made me work and she explained it differently than all the other teachers, she explained it so a math wiz like me could understand.
I could never understand how some kids just "got it" in math class and I didn't have a clue. And it took me until my senior year to figure it out: I had to work harder than those other kids in order to do well. I wasn't a natural at math, my thing was literature. Math was like another language to me. Once I figured out that I needed to work at math to get it, and sometimes I needed to work harder than everyone else just to keep up, I was all set. You see, I had to accept the fact that Mary, who had all the answers, was better at me at math, and she didn't need to study or take a book home, but I sure did. It was a eureka moment for me. I worked hard at sports, for sure, but academics, I really didn't give a shit about. But I needed to graduate, and I needed to figure it out. It was hard work that finally got me through Algebra. I got a B in that class, and I remember how happy I was and how I chastised myself for being such a dumbass for all of those years. It was the same thing in college. I needed 4 science credits to graduate. I took Physical Geology, Historical Geology, all the geology's until I ran out of them. I was avoiding Biology, but I had to face it at some point. I did it in summer school, and I looked back to Mrs. Tillery's class and I said, oh yeah, you need to buckle the hell down on this one. And I did. I figured most of it out. And get this: I even skipped a Guns and Roses concert to study for my Biology test, and that was when they were cool and Axl wasn't so portly.
It's the same thing with diet. I remember killing myself on the treadmill one day and Kirk Karwoski walked in front of me in the window carrying a bag of Wendy's. He was all rocked up and muscular as hell. But every time that I ate like that, I got fat. That didn't work for me, I needed to eat very strictly in order to stay lean, and do lots of cardio, too. I needed to suffer to get lean.
And my bench pressed sucked. I needed lots of sets, over and over and over again to get in the groove of bench pressing. Some guys can lie down on the bench and hit 405 whenever they want to. Not me. My bench needed to be planned and executed with precision in order to make gains. I did get my bench total up, but only after becoming a student of everything bench pressing.
It's like that sometimes. You have to look inside and be honest with yourself. You may need to try a lot damn harder to be good at something than someone else. I see no problem with it when you can actually realize it. It takes being brutally honest with yourself and telling yourself that you suck at something and breaking it all down to the beginning and work, work, work. It's a lot more rewarding when you get good at it too, because you know that you came further along than "naturals" and you did it by busting your ass.