There’s No Such Thing As a Stupid Question
I remember my high school English teacher, Mrs. Davie, always saying that back in the day. At the start of each semester, she’d give a brief rundown of what topics we were going to cover (Shakespeare), and then in an effort to stimulate more class participation (which constituted 15% of our grade), she’d utter the phrase, “now remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.”
Of course, being the wise guy that I am, followed suit with something along the lines of:
“I do say fair madame of Longshanks. Would thou be opposed if thee wished to refrain from reading the likes of Shakespeare, yet again? For thee would rather take thy sword and thrust it into thyself’s abdomen…………..repeatedly. In the name of true love, what say you?”
Fade to black, and……………..applause.
Okay, in all seriousness that never happened. I took my Macbeth like a man. But it goes without saying that we’ve all heard the above expression at some point in our lives.
You wanna know something? It’s bullsh*t.
There’s absolutely such a thing as a stupid question; particularly with regards to the fitness industry. Let me preface this, however, by saying that I’m not writing this to be a cynical bastard. On the contrary, I’m always telling people that they should be more proactive with their fitness, and that they should ask questions whenever possible.
That being said, it’s the people who ask the same question(s) over and over and over and over again – albeit in different ways – that drive me absolutely bonkers and make me want to toss my face into a brick wall. As if to say, “yeah, um, I didn’t like the first answer you gave me, so I’ll ask again hoping that you’ll say what I want you to say.”
For instance, here’s an example from someone who e-mailed me not too long ago.
Q: How can I get rid of this inner thigh fat?
A: I’m just throwing this out there, but how about not going out drinking with your friends 3-4 times per week. That might help.
Understandably, this isn’t what this person wants to hear.
They want to hear me say do “x” exercise, and you’ll get rid of that pesky inner thigh fat in no time flat.
There are exceptions to the rule, but more often than not people don’t want to hear what needs to be said. It’d be analogous to me asking my doctor how I can reduce my risk of heart disease, and him saying, “stop smoking.” Only for me to come back and ask, “yeah but, how can I reduce my risk of heart disease?”
For the record, I don’t smoke. I’m just trying to make a point.
Honestly though, I think there’s a lot to be said about giving people a little dose of tough love occasionally. Everything can’t be butterfly kisses and rainbows all the time.
I’m always amused when someone questions my advice. More specifically, I’m always amused when someone asks me the same question expecting a different answer. This isn’t to say that I’m always right, I’m definitely not1. But it’s not like it’s in my best interests to give him/her bad advice. That doesn’t sound like a great business model to me.
Nonetheless, I just had to rant a little bit this morning.
I need to go lift something heavy.