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Why People Don't Like Facts - Tucson Personal Training Blog

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Why People Don't Like Facts - Tucson Personal Training Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

In some ways, the internet has done 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? That is some Jetsons stuff right there!

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

However, with these great innovations come a dark side as well. Two things stick out here:

  • Internet trolling
  • 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 experiment called: Capital ‘T’ truths vs. small ‘t’ truths.

I’ve been quoted in some blogs and podcasts for it, and since some of details got lost in translation, I’ve decided to take a moment and share part of it with you today…

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

As a fitness professional, I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to introduce these two things in 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, for years and have no idea how I vote, and/or what my religious affiliations are, if any (although, I have strong 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 called P31 Fitness that is specifically for Christian women, and I’m sure there are geographic regions where a large population is either very liberal, or very conservative, and they can get away with political stuff that I can't (my gym is about 50/50). Even if this describes your business, I must warn you: If you choose to do this, you are taking a HUGE risk of alienating a 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 your mission to improve the health of people’s lives. 

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…


If you’re very relativistic (‘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, relativistic truths run into the firm brick wall of reality.

There was an article posted recently by a friend that had the title, “A quantum experiment suggests there is no such thing as objective reality.” Oh really? Because I’m pretty sure even the quantum physicist looks both ways before crossing the street… he knows deep down in that big giant brain of his that it’s either him OR the bus (can’t be ‘and’).

Only an intellectual can write an article this dumb. But I digress…

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’.

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At this point, we need to make a distinction: Some things are ‘quantum physicist vs. the bus’ 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, capital ‘T’ truths are few and far between? And that a vast majority of fitness/nutrition 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?

Even in our 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 its 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, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Marie and dog Sadie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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