In this clip, from Buster Keaton’s “College,” we see a clearly strong and ripped Keaton throwing the javelin as hard as he can but barely making any distance. (This is a short clip of other track and field failures from the movie.)

Although it’s fairly unlikely that Keaton would have done poorly at any of these events at this point in his career, it is true that even a remarkable athlete like Keaton can’t necessarily do any of this stuff. Competition in particular really shines a light on the need to have exceptional technique, even for events that seem simple, like sprinting. But even if you’re just starting Couch to 5k, a little work on form will make everything go more smoothly.

So don’t worry if a new activity doesn’t seem to be coming together right away. Physical activities and strength movements require skills and practice, and the development of “muscle memory.” We all start somewhere!


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