Mr. Universe Dave Draper
Bodybuilding, weight training, nutrition
Education, motivation and
Golden Era camaraderie

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Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation

Bash

The world turned on its near-precise axis making infinitesimal adjustments to satisfy the shared universe. Time continued its measurement, horns honked in New York City, smokestacks pumped gray-brown smudge in Greeley, somewhere in the ocean schools of thin silver fish darted in nervous unison to outwit their predators and babies, pure and unspoiled, were born.

Led by Dan Martin of the Garage Gym, a dozen members of IronOnline stood in the efficient confines of a rented commercial kitchen, an over-sized blackened stove boiling potatoes for a salad, stainless steel tables heaped with vegetables and fruit to be cleaned, sliced and otherwise prepared and enormous pots slowly filling to their brims with sauces and marinades and cut meats, chicken and fish.

Half the attendants worked with methodical movements and smiling assurance: the remaining warm bodies, silent cheerleaders, introduced themselves in a clumsy informal way. "Hi, I'm Len from St. Pete, this is Jamie, my wife. You must be Doc. I've been wanting to meet you for a long time. Did you bring your wife, Cathy? Did you come by Greyhound all the way from El Paso?" The early arriving IOL members began to form a living body of one.

I came in the side door from the gym with a young couple, Richard and Ali, who hailed from Pittsburgh. They "wouldn't miss this for the love of money." More people were congregating at the gym and it was only noon on Friday. What do I do with them all? I'll drag them around on my errands and show them the local sights: "That's the police station, that's the library, that's the shopping mall, that's Shopper's Corner where we got the tri-tip..." It all works. Get some of them settled into their rooms, search for lost credit cards, locate misplaced keys, answer some pre-seminar "how to" bodybuilding questions (get huge, get ripped, bench 500), take a roll or two of smiling point-and-shoot pictures and find Laree to reassure her that I haven't gone off to visit my daughter in The Sierras.

Maps in hand, folks started showing up at The Nick for the 6PM showing of the near-classic thirty-five-year-old productions of "Don't Make Waves" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." You can't help but laugh and life is good and before you know it everyone is heading off to The Santa Cruz Boardwalk for food and entertainment, Sha Na Na, the roller coaster, corn dogs (?) and The Whip. That must be the Pacific.

The seminar began at 11:00 on Saturday morning. Laree counted one hundred and thirty heads from her balcony perch as she stole a few long-distance photos. Another dozen IronOnline, Garage Gym and World Gym members strolled in as things were under way, including the affectionate and stimulating Ed Corney family. Their surprise visit made the day and added a special dimension to the whole gathering. Exuberant Dr. Ken Leistner, chiropractor, NFL strength consultant and crazy HIT trainer from New York, and I proceeded to answer a spectrum of mature iron and steel questions.

In the world, in my life and in the audience of mesmerized metal workers that morning stands inconspicuously a giant in sporst medicine and disease prevention — an innovator, a practitioner, a researcher and a generous man with mountains of knowledge, which he shared for two and a half hours. Dr. Mike Nichols has answers to abstruse questions made simple.

This is the way it went: a question was asked, which I answered. It was then turned over to Dr. Ken for his spin and finally shifted to Mike for further sculpting and clarification. Next question, please... the young lady in red shorts by the incline bench... yes, how can we help you? This went on till nearly 2PM. The group stood, kneeled, stretched out or straddled the equipment. No one was restless. No one left. We ended, our hunger for information overruled by our hunger for food. The crowd moved as dispersing streams of water to the grassy park across the way.

The crew attending and preparing the banquet was a party in itself. Captain Dan and Susan juggled the flaming forks and knives. Ryan, Kit and John were marinated and charred. The fires were smoking and the grills loaded with freshly caught pink salmon, great chunks of the beef and meaty hunks of chicken spattered and hissed. I arrived after plates were filled and clusters of strangers ate in circles as they chatted and made friends.

Smiles from the hearts filled faces, moms and dads pushing strollers proudly displayed their handiwork and notes of deep importance were being scribbled as The Good Doctors expounded. One table of old-timers shared memories of those days that led to these days and, if they had to do it over again, they most certainly would... no doubt about it.

One man from Tenerife declared to a man from Denmark, "The food was excellent but the day was perfect."

And so it went... dave draper


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