Are you committed to truth? {When fitness takes lives away}

“Any acceptance of authority is the very denial of truth” J. Krishnamurti

I just bought two programs this week. They were some gymnastics series by a world renowned coach. I have always being committed to education and are always looking for new material to digest.

The thing is, they sucked. For almost 20 dollars each, what I got with this “expert” programs was a series of generic exercises with no order or thought whatsoever, no progressions, programming, and ridiculous stuff like “once you can do a skin the cat, the next step is to lower through a full back lever”. Really?

Sorry for the hate, but I am developing a very strong BS detector on the physical exercise world. There are so many experts and gurus out there and, while with some I do not doubt their knowledge, I question their ability to teach. You can be the strongest person in the world but that doesn’t guaranteed that you can teach others how to do it. Actually, the stronger you are the more chances you have forgotten how it feels not to be, so really the most elite performers tend to be the worst teachers.

When you mix bad teachers with lazy and opportunistic students, what you get is the current fitness world. “Don’t let your knees pass your toes during a squat!””Always keep your back straight!””Eat oatmeal to get healthy!””Do squats on a swissball to be functional!” Really?

Why do people put themselves in this situations? Do they unconsciously long for it?

But wait, who cares? Nowadays this type of criticism is faced by saying “live and let die”. Well, bad education is not only a hindrance to the evolution of knowledge, but it has tangible effects in reality. Not only this cues have created thousands of unnecessary injuries, hassles, pain and loneliness, but they have also created death. I know first hand of a person who died for a heart-attack during a cardio session where they put electrical shots on you to “speed up your metabolism”.

A whole industry feed up by the bad self-esteem of people, their loneliness, despair and doubts. First they fill up their pockets with their suffering, and now they also kill them?

If you are not committed to the truth, you don’t get to talk. And committing to truth is not adhering to a dogma or an organized ideology, but a devout to a process. One sees when a person cares: he reads, listens, tests, questions, ponders, reshapes, and keeps doing that for the rest of his life. The reality of the offender is that he was once a victim, so who is going to stop the cycle? Either the supply ends, or the demand continues. And the supply may come from a desperate desire, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg of a deeper lack: of knowledge, education, love, company, community, care, you name it.

Let us not be fooled by the empty promises of fake gurus. Let us start committing ourselves to truth.

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3 thoughts on “Are you committed to truth? {When fitness takes lives away}

  1. Eric says:

    Great post. But don’t you think that the big issue isn’t so much that people don’t know, but that people think they know?

    Chances are that the guys who sold you the gymnastics product actually believe it works. I’ve seen a lot of PTs train people into even worse habits, because they don’t know better. Nassim Taleb describes these as “Iatrogenic diseases”.

    Iatrogenesis refers to any effect on a person, resulting from any activity of one or more persons acting as healthcare professionals or promoting products or services as beneficial to health, that does not support a goal of the person affected.

    Perhaps it depends on how much you believe in the ‘good intentions’ of people. Fortunately, the truth is out there somewhere ;).


    1. Santiago Pinzón says:

      Absolutely! I have always believe that people do things they believe in, Like Hitler really believed he was doing good, and so on. That makes it hard, because if people were dishonest I don’t think they could sustain it for a long time, but if you just believe in what you do, who is going to convince you that you’re wrong? And, are you wrong? Of course I didn’t spoke about how truth is relative or not, but that would be another problem. My main point was that, even if “truth is relative” (which is discutible) the limit of that subjectivity is when you hurt other people with what you do. It also is a matter of humility because, as you said, if you think you know you stop learning.


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