Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation
for All August 4, 2003
summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime.
just found my Bermuda shorts and half the season is gone. The only
thing wrong with the summer is it comes to an end. I’m an
anticipator, that is, I live in expectation of times and events
to come. They come and go while I’m looking toward the next
set of happenings, usually with eyes askance. I reach out to grasp
the days ahead and drop the one I have in my hand, all the time
trying to retrieve the ones I fumbled yesterday, the day before
and last week. Oops, there goes another day, and another.
about you; how are you doing? Laree’s eyes roll when I ask
that question. It’s dumb, she says, cliché and redundant.
Though the question requires no reply (and it’s dumb), I hope
it causes you to pause and consider the answer. No deep introspection,
EKG or blood tests, just a quick review to check your training stats.
Are you bombing, blasting, fat, skinny, cruising, crashing or crashed.
Our gym is holding up and that’s a good sign. The gang’s
all here mixed with fresh faces attending their exercise needs and
unexpectedly discovering themselves in the process. An especially
hot or grand day or a coveted vacation snatches them away for a
moment, but the iron pond is generally full of life. I see some
guys and gals making strides as they bomb it, inspired by the season
and by each other. Who needs air-conditioning? This is very cool.
what, July is gone. The best half is yet to come. We have all of
August and much of September to bask in the sun and the spirit-of-liberty
we call summer. I must remember that though it is summer in Santa
Cruz, it is not summer everywhere. Likewise, liberty; though it
is free here, it is not free everywhere.
in fact, like the air we breathe and water we drink, is rare and
endangered. Let’s keep our eyes wide open, brothers and sisters,
lest our true joy be snatched away one innocent day. Train hard,
eat right, be free.
out there feels free -- I mean, really free; peaceful, easy, loose,
unencumbered, independent, self-reliant? That one is not behind
bars doesn’t necessarily make one free. I dare say there are
some imprisoned people who enjoy more freedom than many of us walking
about this side of barbed wire, concrete walls, dictatorship and
the watch of armed guards. We all have our chains.
have chains, ropes, locks with no keys, a millstone or two, one
straight jacket and a pair of handcuffs. Sold the padded cell; rent
and upkeep will drive a person nuts. And I’m thinking of holding
a yard sale to unload the remaining items of confinement and make
some money while I’m at it. You know how it is.
folks say money brings freedom. Makes sense; you can go here and
there anytime you want, buy this and that, no work, no bills. I’d
be willing to give it a try. I’ll bet it helps, though I don’t
think it’s the answer. I heard somewhere the love of money
can ruin a person.
is freedom. Who’s to say? Actors, rock stars, CEOs, champion
athletes, political giants, mothers of fine families, priests in
high places, JFK, John Lennon, OJ Simpson, Martha? Might success,
like money, destroy?
right partner with whom to share your life, therein lies true freedom.
The love and communication between two who become one dissolve the
issues that deny mankind of liberty. The irony. Separated they bear
confinement; united they are dependent, yet released, unfettered
and free to be free with one another. They are all they need.
less sensitive than I might say to the loving couple, “Yeah,
well, be careful you don’t become cellmates.” Harsh.
man’s home is his castle. The old adage suggests that freedom
is found in one’s home. Step in the door, close it behind
you, and, ah, the freedom of privacy -- the undiluted liberty that
is enjoyed when you are in control, making up the rules and calling
the shots. You do what you want to do, anyway you want to do it,
anytime and anywhere. Like, when the plumbing backs up, you get
to fix it anytime you want. The turret leaks when it rains, you
fix it when you get the urge. Fire breaks out in the dungeon, the
moat freezes over or the dragon is running loose, guess whose freedom
is on display? Right. The freedom of Your Highness.
“Give me a job I love and I’m an emancipated man,”
I said 15 years ago to my loving wife, Laree, “Let’s
open a gym.” She said, “Go for it, Bomber.” Now,
listen to me closely. In a penitentiary you might have to mop floors,
polish rails, paint walls, pick weeds, clean toilets, make food
for fellow inmates or serve in the metal shop working on iron and
steel. As the owner of a gym you are at liberty to do it all, plus
pay the bills without restraint. Sweet. I’m innocent, Your
Honor, she made me do it, that cute young lady sitting at the computer.
truth will set you free. When I was a kid not that long ago, I made
another profound statement: “When I have big arms I’ll
lied when I said not that long ago, it’s been 50 years. I’ve
been enslaved ever since.
subjected to, mastered and bound by? Now, that’s no way to
regard your passion, your purpose, your very breath -- the sun in
your sky: workout after workout, set after set, rep after rep, tuna
and water, vitamins and minerals, iron and steel, maximum intensity,
pump, burn, focus and pace. Skip a workout and you feel guilty,
push too much, too hard, too long and you wreck your shoulders,
back and biceps; take a layoff and your muscles turn to fat -- I’ve
seen it happen before my very eyes.
Bomber Dave… don’t know what came over me… I lost
it there for a sec. Must be the breathless hot weather day after
day, and there’s at least another month of this relentless
summer heat to go. Give me cool misty autumn days and I’m
one free dude. Pass me a Camel.
in the ‘60s, someone -- a Mr. California winner and a beautiful
specimen -- told me training and the pursuit of a muscular physique
was a monkey on one’s back, an ego trip that would stifle
one’s growth, a disguise to one’s hang-ups that needed
confrontation and a worthy pastime for the young, but a childish
waste of time for the mature. Several years ago he was found in
his apartment, out of shape, obese, dead of a heart attack and alone.
He had freed the monkey.
It was early in the spring when a young girl -- well, not a young
girl anymore, my mind wanders -- came into the gym looking for something
she’d lost. The last time I saw her she was a bright and athletic
sweetheart off to school and needing to terminate her gym membership.
things first. I must establish my career while I’m young,
Mr. D. I’ll never get to it later.”
both. Exercise is good for you, a must. Think of your health and
strength and energy and figure and expression, stress release, fun,
friends, yada, yada…”
not like that. It’s all or nothing with me, you know how it
lawyer for 10 years with clients throughout the state, she helps
the good and obstructs the bad. “Now it’s time for me.
I feel like I climbed the mountain and fell into its crater. What
do I do?” Time for you was 15 years ago, Counselor, I thought
and said instead, “It’s a perfect time to resume your
training and reclaim that old-time feeling. At the courthouse they’ll
see you coming, plead guilty, pay their debt to their victims and
run like scalded hyenas.” I’m cute and clever when backed
into a corner. What would you say, “You gained 30 pounds of
offensive weight and should be sued. I know a good lawyer.”?
the gym and gone by 7 AM like a high schooler earning a sports scholarship,
she’s only 10 pounds in the red, quick as ever and as free
as a bird, a rare bird. She migrated home in time to save her feathers.
of freedom, liberty and no restrictions reminds me of why I find
my way to the gym five days a week. Because I’m free to.
wonderful sensation upon which I feast after the completion of a
workout is not a command from a storm trooper. The strength I display
when moving a heavy load from my shoulders (or the shoulder’s
of a friend) is not gained by a threat from a mean-faced guard.
Standing upright and walking with determination is not the consequence
of pressure from authorities whose purpose is to control the masses.
My taskmaster doesn’t force me to lift weights or practice
discipline or make compromises or bear pain; I’m the congenial
enforcer of the good deeds, thank God, like an elevator operator.
you a casualty of today’s societal trends, a weak and round
non-physical creature, eating more and doing less, bound by stress,
limited by fatigue and dependent upon others to move the heavy load?
Are stairs an unwelcome challenge, not an everyday device engineered
to take you upward? Do you consider recreational activities that
require physical effort, energy and stamina as extreme sports reserved
for daredevils and crazy youth: hiking, sight-seeing, bowling, stationary
cycling, traversing the mall?
A free person without decent scores in health, attitude, intelligence,
willpower, desire, spirit and character is a prisoner of life. Break
the bonds that bind you. Develop the qualities that release you.
Get into the gym with renewed purpose, unloose yourself of disorder
and misdirection, freely and wisely feed your body -- don’t
compulsively stuff it -- stand tall and walk straight, push, pull
and stretch your body, engage it vigorously and release its energy
to the world around you as you absorb the energy the world offers
abundantly, magnificently. Glares and scowls and wrinkled brows
are not the expressions of a liberated person. Cut them loose, set
“Give me liberty or give me death,” said an early American
statesman, one of the brawny contenders preparing for the original
“Mr. Independence” contest, forerunner of the first
Mr. USA, sometime around 1776. There is nothing more precious than
freedom, it was noted, and strength, courage and all the time you
have are the fair price you will pay. Where else and on what would
you spend them, your inestimable tender? A squat rack, Bomber blend,
a gym membership, vitamins and minerals, vitality, an Olympic bar,
dead lifts, long life? Wise investments.
the only thing we can do is fly around and look for a place to land.
As long as you’re flying, it’s good.
smart, land safe.
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