I hate being wrong, there I said it! It wasn’t easy for me to admit that I have a problem being on the short end of the knowledge stick but I just had to get that off my chest. I realized this the other night when I was having dinner with some friends who happen to comment that sometimes my posts and articles seen elsewhere are too complicated and jargon-filled to be easily understandable. Some people would take this as a compliment, as they would (incorrectly in my opinion) feel like they have a superior intellectual capacity than others. On the other hand, I felt like I had missed the boat with this whole thing. When I write to share ideas I want to provide useful and practically applicable ideas for others to contemplate and contribute to, sort of like an open source or group think though experiment. What I realized, however, was that I was having a problem with potentially being wrong or someone thinking I was wrong in what I was writing about. This insecurity compelled me to start including numerous caveats and exceptions for everything I was saying that the entire message got lost in the process. In short, I messed up.
The thing about having this internal desire to be right all the time is that by doing this you’re not saying anything useful at all. For example, I can accurately say that if you go “low carb” it can help with body fat loss. But then I have to qualify that statement by quantifying what “low carb” is with respect to actual amounts of carbohydrates, macronutrients, the impossible task of guesstimating what individual populations require in the way of these sorts of numbers, exceptions to the statement, etc. This is all before I have even had a chance to throw in some practical advice on so to implement it and tweak it based on your results. I felt like I had to do all of this so that I could be legitimized in this field because the people who I have found to be worth the bandwidth their taking up also do these sorts of things. Interestingly, these other folks find it increasingly necessary to justify and clarify every single thing they write about because of all the “armchair experts” on the Internet these days.
It’s really quite sad that we pay these people so much mind, as they are certainly not adding anything to the conversation in the way of either primary research or practical experience. Most of the time these people are pursuing an undergraduate degree in some health related field or have recently been bit by the exercise bug, bought a few books, and are now qualified to search PubMed to read abstracts and dispense advice or criticize the advice others are given. These are the people clamoring for “research” and others to “read the literature” when they don’t actually have the acumen to understand and accurately interpret a true-to-life research paper themselves. You must understand that unless someone has actually performed primary research (cough, cough….me) in a related field, that it’s difficult to understand studies, especially the experimental methods and data collection techniques that are unique to certain fields.
What’s more is that these people don’t actually do anything in the health and training field anyway. They don’t compete, they don’t do research, and they don’t submit their own original ideas to the open-source of information, aka the Internet, to add anything to the conversation. They are, however, really good at parroting their favorite coaches or writers. The reason I’m blogging about this is because I’m just completely over caring about what these twerps have to say. I’m smart enough to know that I actually “know” very little about training and nutrition. I’m not going to make dubious claims on certain topics because this stuff isn’t that cut and dry. With that being said, from this point forward I’m not going to be pandering to the people with nothing better to do than try to denigrate others work. I’m all for a healthy debate or discussion when the other person is bringing something to the table, but besides that I could really care less. I’m just too busy to even care what someone else is saying about me or my work. Stay tuned to the blog because I just got really motivated to write!