Hi guys, Beonick here, today we’re going to talk about an oft-cited but poorly-defined concept on the blog – the Try-hard.
Given how useless I’ve been today, I’m not going to do it justice. However, since tomorrow’s likely to be more of the same, and since I suspect the response will be “you don’t know what tryhard means” (probably true), I might as well get it over with. Let’s do this shit in point form:
- there’s nothing worse than being stuck playing team sports with people who aren’t working their asses off
- in the face of a cold and uncaring universe, tenacity is the most valuable form of strength, and learned helplessness is the most pernicious weakness
- if someone’s born with abilities they didn’t have to work for, we praise them as naturally gifted; if someone’s born with money they didn’t have to work for, we ridicule them as a trust fund baby
- untapped potential is fool’s gold
- “I could do ____ if I tried” is a statement of cowardice, not confidence
- lack of effort or commitment does not excuse or lessen the severity of a failure; rather, it means you have failed twice
- if you’re an asshole, and you set world records and win gold medals, congratulations: you’re still an asshole
I’m not making excuses for vanity, arrogance, attention whoring, poor priorities, or any other pathological behaviour. Quite the opposite; I’m proposing that we target the pathological behaviour directly, rather than taking the lazy way out.
Now here’s the flipside:
Picture someone you care about. Imagine that such a person exists, if need be.
Now picture them trying to do something that is difficult for them. Would you rather they approach the task with enthusiasm or ironic detachment?
And if they were to succeed, would you rather they derive joy from this effort, or discard it as being vain or inconsequential?
I think there’s enough defeat and misery in this world without us letting the air out of our own tires.
First of all your passion, altruism, and innocence are adorable.
A Tryhard to me is anyone who engages in an activity merely for perceptions or appearances. A guy who lifts because he enjoys it, even if he’s terrible, isn’t a tryhard. A guy who lifts merely to be perceived as hardcore/badass or to flex while wearing tank tops, even if he’s very strong or buff, is a tryhard.
When I first started lifting and made Facebook status updates about going to the gym and making a 2.5kg PR on my snatch 55kg snatch, I was a try-hard. When I started a livejournal, blogspot, wordpress, and xanga, all about my lifting, I was a try-hard. When I made a conscious effort to log my workouts in the style of a monologue as opposed to a list i.e.
Squat 255lbs for 5×5, felt pretty ez, can’t wait to do 260lbs next workout. I think my pecs are finally starting to get bigger now that I am repping 190lbs, it’s amazing what the difference between 185lbs x 7 and 190lbs x 7 can do, it’s almost like there’s a threshold.
I was being a try-hard. When I talked about going to Collegiate Nationals in 2007 like it fucking mattered, calling it “my first national meet” as if Collegiates actually counts as a “national” meet (it doesn’t) I was a try-hard. When I wrote lifting fanfiction (different from lifting erotica) on my wordpress about What It Is To Be a Fahggaught Meathead, I was being a try-hard. When I trolled livejournal because nobody on livejournal lifts and the guys bench like 95lbs for a failed 3×5 and they accuse you of using steroids if you bench 225lbs, I was being a try-hard. When I made lifting videos and put background music to them, I was being a try-hard.
Fun fact: I only liked that fahggaught song because a girl I thought was pretty shared it with me. You know what I listen to now? Late Night Alumni on Pandora. You know what I listened to back then? Tekken soundtrack. Literally. I listened to three non-techno related songs back then – My Chemical Romance – Ghost of You, Taking Back Sunday – Make Damn Sure, and Yellowcard – Only One. These were the result of crushes on a cute latina, a cute half-Asian girl, and a cute Asian girl respectively. But we’re getting off topic here.
When I agreed to write an article for Mehdi’s fahggaught site, as if my opinion on lifting mattered then or matters now, I was being a try-hard. When I made an iron-on t-shirt with a shitty MSU Weightlifting Team logo that I made using Paint Shop Pro, I was being a try-hard. When people helpfully suggested that I use a belt and I responded “why, I’m not wearing dress pants,” I was (still am) being a try-hard.
I bought the Adidas PowerLifts and got two pairs and wear one shoe from each pair – I am being a try-hard. When I do this at my next meet along with mis-matched Adidas soccer socks (I have already been doing this), I will be a tremendous try-hard.
BradRomance, I – begrudgingly – agree with you. There is nothing wrong with trying hard. In fact, I think we have all mocked the fahggaught who squats 135lbs for 10 above parallel and doesn’t break a sweat. But “try-hard” in a derogatory sense doesn’t refer to actual effort exerted. It is a reference to making it a point to let others know that you are supposedly trying real fucking hard, to such an extent that it it is entirely possible that the individual in question is expending more effort in ensuring that others know he is trying hard than he is in actually trying hard.
The guy grunting in a way that doesn’t reflect valsalva or controlled exhalation while doing bodyweight snatches is a try-hard. The guy who misses a bodyweight snatch 5 times before getting it on the 6th and wonders why he even fucking bothers with a chickenshit sport like weightlifting is NOT a try-hard.
In the above video, I am not convinced that the yelling/grunting is genuine. I am of the impression that it is manufactured, deliberate, and done more as an acting performance, not as a reflection or a side effect of his actual performance. This guy, at the time this video was taken, comes off as a try-hard. I will go on record to say that if there was video of me from this same meet, I would also look like a fahggaught – not because I was grunting or yelling, but because I was so obviously pretending to be Szymon Kolecki in the majority of his post-lift mannerisms.
Is this entire discussion pedantic and pointless? Absolutely. Is the fact that I even choose to recognize this behavior more indicative of my own personal problems and failings than it is in the people who exhibit them? I won’t argue that.
Look man – I am not going to sit here and lie to you and pretend that that I am trying to take some kind of moral high ground against try-hards. This website SINCE DAY ONE has been a way for me to deflect my own personal failures and unhappiness by pretending that other people are worse than me. The fact that I even need to this is already proof-positive that I am fucking scum.
Recently Stroup and I were involved – albeit unintentionally – in cyber harassment of a lady who LITERALLY told me to check my heteroprivilege because I kept saying “fahggaught” and also described a negative aspect of CrossFit as “kipping buttsex” (I was pro-CrossFit in the actual post). I checked it, but asked her if it made a difference that I LITERALLY encouraged homosexual behavior in others and LITERALLY wrote gay erotica. Stroup screencapped this and posted it – but we forgot to block her name and pic. She ended up getting hatemail from anonymous internet users.
Today’s MopeWOD: Happy Labor Day, I’ll be fucking working.