The Boy was pitching last Saturday; he was cruising until an 0-2 fastball sailed up and in. The batter turned into the pitch (NO!) and got hit squarely on his cheek. After the kid got up, shaken but staying in, The Boy went over to check on him; they bumped knuckles and kept playing. The kid came out after the inning; The Boy checked on him again as we were leaving. He had ice on his swollen face and looked very uncomfortable. Back for our later game, he noticed the kid was gone, so he asked some parents – gone to the ER.

He was told the kid’s jaw was broken, or at least that’s what he heard them say. They hadn’t been gone long enough to get x-rays, a prognosis and report back – so I took that with a lot of salt. The next day, I asked the coaches and they told me his eye socket, sinus cavity and cheekbone were crushed – that doctors were waiting for swelling to go down so they could operate!

As we were leaving again Sunday, my sainted wife saw the kid and his mom; they talked and we got the real news – that the socket, sinus and cheek were fractured, but not crushed. In fact, the surgeon felt it would heal without surgery. That night, we talked with The Boy again about what had happened; he handled it well overall and I’m proud of him for caring and following up to make sure the young man was alright. At the same time, it gave us a chance for an object lesson.

Don’t Believe The Hype

Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.

Edgar Allen Poe

When something happens, everyone is an “expert” and will extrapolate wildly. I don’t think those parents and coaches meant harm, and they weren’t trying to scare The Boy – but people love to gossip. They hear what they choose, make assumptions about half truths, and run with them. It’s like the old “telephone” game – you whisper something in the first person’s ear and it gets passed down the line. By the last person, it’s nothing like what was started.

We are surrounded by information – too much, in fact. There is a study for everything, and you can find data that will support whatever you want to believe. Health and fitness is definitely represented here; there have always been crazy fad diets and fitness trends (ice cream diet and toning shoes, anyone?). Of course, there is plenty of money to be made. Americans spent $28.6 billion – that’s a “b” – on gym memberships alone in 2018 (6.3% of which were never used!). Add to that the constant search for shortcuts as we work hard to find ways to not, well, work hard, and the fads and crazy ideas are going to continue.

Everyone has a plan and a reason why it works. Keto, paleo, intermittent fasting, vegan… the list goes on. I have seen studies and anecdotal evidence touting so many different dietary methods and fitness plans. To be clear, I have no definitive opinion on any of them, pro or con. I’m not a fitness evangelist trying to convert everyone to my way.

Why? Because I realize that what works for me may not work for you. My body is different than yours. My fitness goals are different than yours. I have tweaked my diet the last couple months, and will continue. It’s not specifically, well, anything – other than mine. I avoid fried foods and desserts, with a lot of protein and a fair number of carbs (but less than I was).

How did I get here? Trial and error, seeking advice from people I trust, and doing research. Some things I tried made me feel like crap – so I stopped doing them. Some made no difference that I could tell. Some I talked myself into as being fine – until I tweaked them and realized there were better options.

If you need a specific plan to get you started or keep you rolling, find resources (I know an awesome dietitian, for example). Just go in eyes open and realize that no plan is going to be perfect out the gate for you; it will need to be fine tuned. It’s like the telephone game again – only this time what comes out the other end, as crazy and unique as it may sound, will be perfect for you!

Photo by YIFEI CHEN on Unsplash