TUCSON PERSONAL TRAINING CENTER

Why People Don't Like Facts

Personal Training in Tucson - The Protocol Strength & Conditioning, Llc

By Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

In some ways, the internet has done some wonderful things to enhance the quality of our lives. In other ways, not so much.

How awesome is it to carry a little device around in your pocket that allows you to find the answer to virtually any imaginable question at a moment’s notice? This is some Jetsons stuff right here!

(side note: if you’ve read this blog often enough, you know that I still use a flip phone. Just play along…)  

However, with this great innovation comes a dark side as well. Two things stick out here:

  1. Internet trolling

  1. The human psyche’s strong disdain for facts that are inconsistent with their own beliefs

 

Scientific American put out a great article called, “Why People ‘Fly From Facts’.” It starts off with this little friendly exchange between two people…

“There was a scientific study that showed vaccines cause autism.”

“Actually, the researcher in that study lost his medical license, and overwhelming research since then has shown no link between vaccines and autism.”

“Well, regardless, it’s still my personal right as a parent to make decisions for my child.”

Does that exchange sound familiar: a debate that starts with testable factual statements, but then, when the truth becomes inconvenient, the person takes a flight from facts.

As public debate rages about issues like immunization, Obamacare, and same-sex marriage, many people try to use science to bolster their arguments. And since it’s becoming easier to test and establish facts—whether in physics, psychology, or policy—many have wondered why bias and polarization have not been defeated. When people are confronted with facts, such as the well-established safety of immunization, why do these facts seem to have so little effect?

You can read the rest of the article here

In the programming section of my workshops and certifications, I lead my students through a little thought exercise called "Capital ‘T’ truths vs. small ‘t’ truths." I’ve even been quoted in some blogs and podcasts for it. Since some of details got lost in translation, I’ve decided to take a moment and share part of it with you today…

Before we get started, I need to make something clear: When I’m ‘on the clock’: This can mean coaching in my facility, teaching a certification, taking a business-related phone call, and even right now as I type this, I am…

  1. Passionately non-political
  2. Passionately non-religious

 

As a fitness professional, I don’t typically feel that it is appropriate to introduce these two things to my business. I feel like I’ve done my job right if you’ve trained with me, taken a certification, or even read this blog, and have no idea how I vote, and/or what my religious affiliations are, if any, even though I have strong personal beliefs on both. 

I realize there may be some exceptions in the fitness industry that are contrary to this. Some friends of mine run a fitness program specifically for Christian women, and I’m sure there are regions where a large population is either very liberal, or very conservative, and they can get away with stuff that I can't (my gym is about 50/50). But I must warn you: If you choose to do this, you are taking the risk of alienating a certain percentage of the population who may be interested in your program, and you are doing so for a reason that has nothing to do with fitness. 

With that said, I’m going to be very careful with my analogies here. Since I promised no religion, here is an example of a capital ‘T’ truth that I hope we can all agree on for the sake of the example:

Planet Earth is round.

Now look, I know there are some flat earthers out there. If you’re one of them, you’ve stumbled onto the wrong blog. Re-adjust your tin-foil hat and go back to Facebook.

The point of a capital ‘T’ truth is that it is absolutely, undeniably, TRUE.

It’s TRUE no matter how you feel about it…

THE EARTH IS NOT FREAKING FLAT.

If you’re a relativist (‘your truth is your truth, and my truth is mine’) and this made you uncomfortable, good. Because the earth cannot be flat and round at the same time. At some point, any relativistic truth runs into the firm brick wall of reality.

Oh, that harsh, hard, terribly tall and thick, brick wall…

A small ‘t’ truth, however, is a little different…

“My wife is the most beautiful woman on earth.” (She loves when I use this example)

A small ‘t’ truth IS relative. I would hope that every married man who reads this says,

“No, no, no Jerry. MY wife is the most beautiful woman on earth.”

And in this case, they would (or should) be ‘right’.

At this point, we need to make a distinction: Some things are firm-brick-wall truths and some truths are relative to the situation/circumstance. We also need to be able to differentiate the two.  

With that said, would you agree that in the diet/exercise world, that a vast majority of the truths out there are small ‘t’ truths?

Would you also agree that most of the arguments that you see online occur when someone holds on to their small ‘t’ truth as a capital ‘T’ truth?

In diet and exercise, capital ‘T’ truths are few and far between.

Even in my own facility, a place that has spent more than its fair share of time in the spotlight of great accomplishments, has done just fine surviving on it's small ‘t’ truths.

So what’s the point of all this? If you’re on a journey trying to become the healthiest and strongest YOU that you can possibly be, and you pride yourself on seeking out better answers to difficult questions, I challenge you to save your capital ‘T’ truths for something outside of the area of diet and exercise.

Until next time,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, and blogger. He is also the owner and founder of The Protocol Strength & Conditioning, a fitness facility and coaching program designed to help ordinary people move better and become stronger. He has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. He provides workshops, clinics, and kettlebell certifications through UK-based company Strength Matters, and writes the internationally-read blog, ‘The Healthy Addiction’ (click here to subscribe). He lives in Tucson, Arizona USA with his wife, Marie and dog, Sadie.

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