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Good Advice

In 2013, I attended a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course. My business partner and I were moving forward with plans to open our own gym, and while he was already certified, I was still coming into the sport of fitness. The two-day seminar was not only a wonderful introduction to CrossFit’s methodology, it was also foundational in understanding how to identify and correct movement. Something I discovered the hard way. During our small group breakout to review the squat, I noticed the instructor watching each of us closely. I was overjoyed when he invited me into the center of the group to “demo” my squat. As I reached the bottom and returned to the top, he asked the group, “Did you see what was going on there? Trey has an immature squat.” A what? I was flabbergasted and embarrassed. Slowly he began to explain the issues with my squat and gave me some good advice.

How do you know what is and isn’t good advice? I mean this guy’s got a PVC jammed in my hip literally yanking my heels off the ground with every rep. How do I know this isn’t some fun party trick he learned at instructor school? When I’m evaluating advice, I often begin with credentials. My instructor was just that, an instructor. Not only was he a certified instructor on the L1 staff for CrossFit, he also owned his own gym. He had years of experience in the sport and could relate back to when he first started, because he also had an immature squat. People have the best intentions when it comes to giving advice, but before you receive it as good information, consider the credentials of the person giving it to you.

In addition to a person’s credentials, when I’m evaluating advice, I also like to consult other credible sources. And no, I don’t mean YouTube. At least not YouTube in like the global sense. Certainly, there’s credible content on almost every distribution channel out there, but the channel itself doesn’t necessarily make the content credible. When I was looking for information on my squat mechanics, I started with my Level 1 course manual. Sure enough when I reviewed what good should look like, I realized I had a ways to go. Then I supplemented that with other coaches. When I got back from my seminar, I asked other coaches to evaluate my mechanics and confirm the diagnosis. Finally, I researched drills that initially would reveal my faults, but ultimately over time, it would correct them. And I’m just talking about an air squat! Think about how much “good advice” you come across every week. If you don’t have a solid filter for what good really is, you may spend your life chasing the wrong things.

In today’s reading, the apostle Peter gives us some good advice. How do I know? Well, let’s run back through the grid. First, it’s credentialed. Peter was one of the Twelve Disciples, he knew Jesus intimately, and was an eyewitness to both His miracles and His ministry. Believe me when I say Peter got lots of coaching up from Jesus. His letter also comes from a credible source, the Bible. Did you know that since 1815 over 5 billion copies of the Bible have been printed? In addition, the most popular digital Bible app has been downloaded 495 million times and is available in over 1600 languages. That’s some serious distribution. And Peter’s advice is supported by almost 2,000 years of real-world experience. I invite you to find a quiet place, click the link to today’s reading and let the words of the apostle bring you what we all need – good advice.

Questions for Reflection:

What’s your filter for determining what is and is not good advice?

Can you tell the difference between a mature and an immature squat? If so, where were you in my life before my L1 course, lol!

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