November 9, 2010

Don't Believe the Hype!

Several years ago I was suckered in by my curiosity over the copper and titanium magnet bracelets. There were enough people who told me that they could actually feel a difference with flexibility and arthritic pain that I had to give it a shot. All can I do is speak for myself, but after wearing one for a month....nothing. So why on earth I would allow myself to be suckered in again is beyond my capacity to understand or explain. Nevertheless, I am once again a sucker. 3 weeks ago I purchased my Power Balance wristband - endorsed and worn by an abundant list of well-known athletes who swear it has made a difference in their game, performance, and everything surrounding it. Just watch the videos on their website. Amazing! (Try and cut my sarcasm with a knife, if you dare.) Yet again, after my 21-day trial run, I can only speak for myself. But as far as I can tell, whether it's my flexibility, strength, balance, or whatever....nothing! There's more.

A recent in-depth study at the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse (which I have actually visited, thank you very much) showed absolutely zero change in the students they tested. Outside the Lines on ESPN reported on the study: Watch the episode HERE.
To fill you in, they took a Power Balance wristband and another run-of-the-mill silicone wristband (like that WWJD bracelet you used to wear when it's was cool and trendy) and covered them with a sweatband so the subjects wouldn't know which one they were wearing. Every person was tested twice - once with the Power Balance and once with the plain wristband. The difference of the tests: NONE. So, what's with all the hype and hoopla?

I would say that you have your answer right there: HYPE! Get enough athletes to believe something - endorse it (for big bucks, of course) - and tell the world that "it works", and you've got the right ingredients to make a whole bunch of suckers! This is an industry that went from struggling to stay afloat for their first 2 years to now pulling in over $17 million this past year. $17 MILLION! My little black silicone wristband cost me $29 (plus tax). The fancy necklaces (you may have seen many of the Texas Rangers wearing them during the World Series) actually cost anywhere from $49-$89. This company is cleaning house. And interestingly enough, as a person who very rarely gets sick at all, during my 3 week trial period I not only got the stomach virus, but also have had the worst sinus infection I've had in years. Now I know, they don't claim that this thing will make you healthy or that it's an immuno-booster or antioxidant provider. But the timing sure is squirrelly. Imagine the irony for me last Monday as I sat in the doctor's office for the first time in a year, feeling like I'd been hit by a bus, wearing my Power Balance wristband. Let's just say I probably wouldn't have been selling anyone on rushing out and grabbing one for themselves.

So if you're entertaining the idea of joining the Power Balance craze, my recommendation is to take that $29 and give it to your favorite charity or to purchase a very large supply of dark chocolate-covered almonds. That said, if you're looking for a really cool looking wristband that is sure to catch the eye of someone around you, and if you need a new psycho-brainwashing tactic to convince yourself that you can jump 3 inches higher than you actually can, this just might be the subtle fashion piece you're looking for.

Anyone else out there tried Power Balance?

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