I've done X so many times, you'd think I'd be better at it than I am

Looking for skills/activities/etc. that you’re a little disappointed or surprised you are not better at than you are, considering how much practice you’ve had.

I have two, and they are both sports related:

*Bowling. I’ve been in several leagues - mostly as a teen - and I never could roll a nice hook. I’ve bowled some pretty decent games, but I could never figure out how to throw a nice ball.

*Throwing a football. I never could, for the life of me, throw a clean spiral. If it happened, it was a rarity and merely a result of luck. Guess I’ll never be an NFL QB.

Making cinnamon rolls from scratch. It’s not that the ones that I make are awful, it’s just that they’re various kinds of mediocre. Every time. I keep trying, but it’s slow going.

Golf…I tried for years, took lessons, bought good clubs and other equipment, it was an important part of a former job I had as far as entertaining clients/bosses, I got ‘decent’, which meant I could string a series of holes together playing par/bogie/bogie/par, then I’d throw down an 8 or 9, so, at the end of the day, my best was a 95…I once had a former boss (owner of the company) who was a very good golfer comment, “Gee, for someone who has such a good swing, you’re really not very good”, he and I are still friends, so some of that was good-natured ribbing, but it was founded in truth, after my last shoulder surgery (three years ago), I stopped, I don’t miss it, took too much time and cost too much money…I’ve got a really good set of Pings if anyone is interested as well as some good drivers…

Eating. I’ve eaten just about every day of my life, and yet I can’t help but to get crumbs all my clothes, condiments all over my face, and so on. Isn’t 10,000 hours of practice supposed to make you expert level at stuff?

My dad finally pronounced in disgust that I’d “never be a great golfer”. I smirked “Well, break my heart, Dad…”

But I WOULD like to throw a Frisbee well. I’d love Ultimate, and I have friends that play. I’d do fine until I had to throw it in any direction resembling Forward.

Golf for me too, but I don’t care. I’ve broken a hundred once, but usually come in around 110 - 115.

It’s just nice to get out on the course. As long as you don’t take it seriously it’s a great way to spend a few hours.

I taught myself to bake. It took years of practice and reading to get past mediocre, and some things (pie crust) are still not quite up to mediocre.

In the spirit of the thread, washing dishes by hand and cleaning my glasses. I just can’t get it right. Neither the process nor the skills involved are difficult.

Going places, literally. I can have GPS, a map, hell, I could be on top of the place. My sense of direction is pitiful. I may have posted this before, but I got lost a couple years ago bringing my daughter home from the orthodontist. A place I’d been hundreds of times. I realized it when I went many miles out of the way and said, “I didn’t realize there was a Walmart here.” That has become a joke in my house, look there’s a Walmart. I admit, I’ve gotten lost in parking lots, too.

Wall painting. I am an artist, my hands have been in paint my whole life but I just cannot paint a wall properly. First, I over think the color selection, next I am confused about primer and finishes. I know logically what I want, I just can never get it right.

Drinking. I don’t mean the specific act of boozing it up. I mean the general act of lifting a glass to my lips and pouring liquid into my mouth. I usually get it about half right but sometimes I miss my mouth completely. I tell myself that it’s because of my lousy eyesight, but I’m sure it’s just because I’m a flake and not really paying attention. But honestly - how much concentration should it require? I’ve been doing this for fifty years!

I was just thinking about this. One of my daily exercises is a Bulgarian Squat (one legged squat), and if my focus wavers in the slightest I lose my balance, despite doing this exercise for years. I was tottering just yesterday thinking “why hasn’t muscle memory kicked in for this one move?” I do 50 to 100 reps a day, 6 days a week.


I don’t make a mess, but it seems like about once a week I will get something caught in my throat while I’m eating. After fifty-something years you’d think I’d have a handle on that “chew first, then swallow” thing.

Fixing things around the house. Its not that I’m bad at it but at a certain point I just want the task/job done and tend to rush the finishes. I know better and I should have gotten better at it but ----------

Omelets. The French kind, that you swirl around in the pan, stirring, and eventually you end up with a neat little omelet that looks like an overturned rowboat. Mine just look like scrambled eggs with pretensions, to quote Peter Mayle. But they still taste good.

I can throw a frisbee, but getting it near its intended target? Good luck.

Playing a guitar.
I’ve been playing on and off for over 30 years. There’s about 4 songs that I can play that will actually entertain another person. Then…I’m done.

I’ve invested a good amount of time and money into practicing and performing but I’m just not picking up any newer skills.

Sometimes I’m disappointed by it but for the most part I play for myself and consider it a form of meditation therapy.

I’d suggest a self-help book but you’re already doing that.

Amateur brain surgery. Not that anyone complains afterwards, but I just don’t think I’ve got it down yet.

This is weirdly specific one, but for me it’s attending big, outdoor concert festivals. I’ve been doing it once or twice a year since I was fourteen, (mumble, mumble) years ago, but I still screw things up. Yesterday, at the LAST EVER Warped Tour, I left my bottle of water and my earplugs in the car. At lest I remembered to put on sun screen this time.

I, on the other hand, have gotten really good at making scrambled eggs with cheese and stuff.