Lost and Found
‘All paths lead to Rome’
This phrase describes the idea that any road can lead you to the final destination. This is often very true in the typical fitness journey. When one attempts to adopt a healthy lifestyle, one inadvertently accepts that they will be led astray by the multitude of ‘experts’ and ‘influencers’ that dominate the health and fitness space.
One might ask the question – how do we prevent ourselves from being led astray?
This is probably an easy problem to answer, but a hard task to accomplish. The theoretical answer would be to:
‘Get educated.’ This is true. It’d probably be a good idea TO get educated but therein lies a problem. Educated how? By who? Using what? In this day and age, does this mean by reading every Google article I can find? Does it mean I look straight toward the ‘experts’ in the industry? Should I use an institution or do self-guided learning?
With the invention of the internet, suddenly non-experts became experts because they had the savviest, most appealing blogs or photos. What they teach however, could contradict the body of literature that we have, not to mention the conventional wisdom that has been passed through other cultures. One only needs to look at the fitness influencer that sells a booty-band workout promising enormous glutes, or the shredded male who is clearly using something other than protein shakes and creatine to attain his mass.
Does a scientific degree mean they are more trustworthy? Once upon a time this MAY have been the case. However, it is now more murky. There are a great deal of people with scientific degrees who are proposing methods that contradict the body of science of which their degree was based. The reasons for this are numerous, and likely too sad to explore.
Regardless, because information is hard to trust in these times, people have to increasingly rely on themselves. Unfortunately, there have been, and will continue to be, millions of people who adopt unhelpful practices believing that it will lead to the results they desire. Unfortunately, many of them will not because these practices were never going to get them there in the first place.
But the question is – can this be prevented? Can we, as coaches, tell some of these people, that what they are doing, what they believe to be true, in fact, isn’t? It is very hard to convince someone who isn’t ready to be convinced. Many of those who have gone through this failure will accept what you’re saying to be true. Only some who have not will accept what you say. Most will have to go through the process of failure to accept that the promises were false.
I believe it can – but only in some. Unfortunately, many people must go through their own trials and tribulations before they are ready to accept the advice we provide to them. And that’s okay – it is all part of a learning curve. Only by being lost, can they be found. We just have to accept that only some are ready to be helped.