A lot of us who work in this industry feel we know quite a bit based on our experience. The fact that hundreds - if not thousands or even tens of thousands - of people trust the information we provide and trust the knowledge and experience we have acquired, really only backs this up. However, I have always been careful to remind myself that there ARE people out there who know more than I do. I remind myself of this because I am smart enough to know that I will eventually run into one or more of these people (my kids would argue seven billion more) at some point in time. What I find from time to time, is that there are still a lot of people out there who do not plan for this and they should.
I went to have a DEXA scan done to measure my body fat levels about a week ago. I was unsure of who I was going to deal with, but I expected this to be pretty much a one-person operation and that the business owner would likely be the person who would do the scan. Obviously, there are quite a few other tests that can be done than just the body fat scan, so I figured this person would likely try to upsell me – typical business stuff that I expect and have no real problem with. However, I did have the foresight to know that this person might claim to have a lot of knowledge about why I should have these tests and try to convince me, or sell me on something that I didn’t need or want. For this reason, I knew going in that this could be one of those situations where I was going to listen to someone tell me how smart they were and I was going to play my typical role of “dumb older guy who used to work out and now just wants to not be fat and live a long time.”
I play this particular role quite well, quite convincingly and quite frequently. If I am at the grocery store and I am asked if I work out I almost always say, “I used to, but now I leave that stuff for the young kids.” I have learned over the years that this type of response sets me up to not know much of anything related to nutrition, training or supplementation – ironically, all of the things I talk about for my job and would prefer not to talk about any more than I need to outside of my job. Plus, let’s be honest here: it is just so much easier to play the dummy than to be challenged by someone who insists that you need to know how smart they are and how much more they know than you do. I squash that challenge before it ever materializes. On occasion, though, I will deal with people who know significantly less than I do and I get to sit there pretending to listen intently. This DEXA scan was one example.
Let me be very clear and say that I am in NO WAY saying the woman doing the DEXA scan didn’t know what she was talking about or that she was stupid, inarticulate or uneducated. She could be reading this article right now and I would never want her to think that I thought she was not intelligent or that she didn’t know what she was doing in reference to the body scans and things of that nature. I want to be very clear about this primarily from an angle of respect, but also so that it doesn’t sound like I was the Super Genius student and that she was the dolt teacher trying to teach me. She just really wanted to make more money and to almost every other customer who would come into her place of business, they might need a resting metabolic test or diet guidance or information about TRT. I, however arrogant it may sound, did not.
“What do you REALLY know?”
I made this statement when she started to inform me about some things that I found questionable in reference to TRT, HCG and the metabolism. If you take it at face value, “What do you REALLY know?” sounds shitty and arrogant, but please understand that I needed to find out quickly if this woman knew her shit and I might learn something from her, or if this was just a situation where she was potentially reaching far beyond her scope of practice for whatever reason. It could be that she wanted to impress me with her knowledge and that might lead me to want to purchase a $150 Resting Metabolic Test. If not that, she may have wanted to refer me to someone she networks with for TRT, HCG or any other myriad of hormone “replacement” options. I am certainly not against learning from people and I don’t think so highly of myself that I feel there aren’t people out there who can teach me something. However, I AM above listening to someone who THINKS they know more than they do or because they think I don’t know much of anything, they can say what they want and upsell me something I don’t want or need. That is what I needed to figure out.
You have to understand that getting a DEXA scan isn’t usually something you get at a hospital or a medical facility so the operator/business owner could be someone who has very little to no background in much of anything outside of pushing buttons and giving you the scan. Most all of us would be leery taking nutrition or training advice from a personal trainer because we feel we are typically much more knowledgeable than your everyday trainer. Not knowing what credentials this person had to run a DEXA-scan business, I wanted to see what her background was.
I also asked quite a few questions as she gave me information about HCG, TRT and resting metabolic tests that I did not feel qualified as very good answers. I won’t go into the nuts and bolts of her responses because it would take quite a while, but suffice to say that her knowledge of the things she was talking about and providing me information on, were only slightly better than rudimentary, in MY opinion. Yes, she did have knowledge. At the same time, I could tell that her experience and knowledge was considerably less than mine.
Now, I am not writing this article to badmouth her or to pat myself on the back because I somehow one-upped yet another person in this world. My point is that these situations or situations like these are going to happen to most of us from time to time. I have enough experience with these types of things that I am simply sharing how I deal with it so that it doesn’t become a battle of egos or become confrontational or argumentative.
I want to go back to get scans done in the future – probably every couple of months – so that I can gauge my progress more accurately. She was very nice and though I wanted to feel her out as to what she knew, to see if I could learn something from her, I could easily have just thrown my ego at her and argued, challenged her and pressed her on things that I felt she wasn’t giving the best answers on. I think in a world full of people who want to prove to others that they know so much and are well-versed in certain areas, I find that I have moved past that, these days. I had nothing to gain by trying to impress her with what I knew, my background, my experience, etc. One person is going to usually come off like a know-it-all in a conversation like this; I have decided that I really don’t prefer to be that person, anymore. If someone else wants to walk away from an interaction with me, feeling as if they were the expert and I lose nothing in the deal, I’m fine with it.
It ended up that she knew all about elitefts, was from Ohio and said her boyfriend is a meathead. By challenging her, the only thing I would have accomplished would have been to not have a place to get my body fat scans done and make her think the guy from elitefts was a typical, egotistical asshole. Basically, I didn’t want her to know the truth. Just sayin’.