Training is Character Building
Self-Centeredness and Selfishness
you'd like to download the full Draper here newsletter in live-link,
pdf format, click here.
is not important reading. You will not discover shortcuts to muscular
excellence, weight loss, personality transformation or financial
stability. This is an extemporaneous rambling, an unfolding of thoughts
that occur to me as I forge my way though yet another day. Life
is good and wonderful and filled with joy. This is my first impression
and enduring description, never to be rescinded. Life is also worrisome,
cruel and filled with pain. To the diminishment of its later distinctions
I dedicate my days. I am not unlike you.
don’t resist the notion that all things happen for a purpose;
all things are as they are and they have brought us this day is
proof enough of that. The world is perfectly imperfect today. That
is, was one thing that happened -- a flood, a blaze, a war, a newborn,
a moved grain of sand -- not to have happened, the world would be
different. The perfectly imperfect world we know would not exist
as we know it; it would not be. Thus, what has been was meant to
be. This is it, this is life. We can only change the course of things
by what we do now and the plans we make today and implement tomorrow.
There’s hope for this fruit basket, if it wasn’t for
all the nuts in the world.
you and I and our brothers and sisters carry on day by day to survive
and live well, laugh and love. In the course of events we notice
our own shortcomings and weaknesses, our sins and evil nature. So
be it. Keep your eyes open; watch yourself, know you are part of
the problem and contribute to its solution.
only allow myself to think on these impossible things when it’s
three o’clock in the morning and my eyes are like quarters
staring at the darkened ceiling over my bed. Laree is quietly breathing
by my side and Mugs is stalking mice in the wilds of Western civilization.
Otherwise, I’m as deep as rain in the desert sand. Why we
complicate things, I’ll never know.
come to think of it, I do know.
at least, I think I know. Pride. Self-centeredness, mankind’s
driving force, is simultaneously his most iniquitous nature, faulty
beyond all others. Egocentricity is a destructive defect and hides
its ugly head from its proprietor. Our overwhelming need to have
things our way and resist things any other way is in our bones,
a conceited madness convincing us we are first and foremost, the
center, numero uno. I deserve, am owed and should have priority,
control, abundance and a host of admirable qualities, humility notwithstanding.
bible defines man’s pride as his underlying sin. The Good
Book is full of forewarnings, guidance, preventions and solutions,
but we can’t go there without a lot of explanation, apology
and, ironically, hateful feelings. Thus, I’ll dodge the silver
bullet and toss around some ideas that come from outer space and
mythology, scientific fairytales and the shallow depths of my mind.
“Factual conjecture is worth a thousand pointless words.”
Phonygeus, 3000 BC
Curiously, it is self-centeredness -- AKA selfishness -- that gets
me to the gym. And it is within the gym walls, paradoxically, that
I modify the damning creature hang-up, the ego, and make it a livable
and almost adorable companion. I love the gym because it soothes
my soul, my most inner place, as it builds my muscles, my most outer
place. The gym entertains me, focuses my mind, rallies my resources,
teaches me how to count, how to plan, how to perform and endure
and enjoy endless exercises that make me bigger and better, healthier
and more resilient, smarter and stronger, faster and more agile,
wiser and more patient. You might think I’m about to repeat
myself as I tend to do, become redundant and possibly obnoxious,
but I resist the temptation. Oh, wait. Discipline, perseverance,
responsibility, respect, modesty, sharing and caring almost slipped
time you have a picnic, a family reunion, a stockholder’s
meeting, an old-time revival, a gun show, a bar mitzvah, blues festival,
rock concert or wedding ceremony, have it in the gym.
gym, or any version of a gym, whether it’s a heap of weights
at the foot of your bed or a chinning bar in your basement or the
Y in your neighborhood, is not a temple, and exercise is not a worship.
It is not a university complete with courses taught by professors.
The gym is just the simplest of places to put your body in action
with the mind by its side. Together in harmony they seek and reach,
discover and unfold, develop and improve and effect the application
of the strong and fine qualities of life that were meant to make
you better, perhaps the best.
can’t help myself. Wrong doesn’t belong, but there it
is, perfect imperfection, staring us in the face at every bend.
Sometimes wrong looks like right, and it mystifies me how. Imagine
someone crashing a jet aircraft into a most magnificent structure
full of people and saying it’s right, it is good, Allah be
glorified. How and why a handful of whacks for their perverted illusions
oppress nations of millions I find impossible to understand and
accept; more impossible is that I would join a world that would
allow it. Sorry for my humanity, not to be misconstrued for politics,
which I hate.
When I’m President, there will be a 110-pound barbell set
in every household rec room. World’s crises -- crime, violence,
immorality, terrorism and such -- will be obviated as we shortcut
their source: lethargy, physical weakness, lack of discipline, absence
of compassion, loss of focus, obesity, poor self-image, and vanishing
purpose and inspiration.
another wrong gaining notoriety and worth mentioning. Have you not
seen, have you not heard? The world at large is becoming large,
its individuals, that is. People are getting fatter every day in
every way: bottoms, tops, hips, feet, thighs -- the whole body is
growing plump. It’s no secret -- been going gangbusters for
at least 40 years -- though we still use sensitive words to define
the catastrophe: weight challenged, mucho weight challenged, mucho
grande weight challenged and so on. It’s killing us steadily
and surely, one by one. Worse, it’s the diseases behind the
disease that are frightening: apathy, ignorance, chronic gulping,
agitated masticating, stuffis mouthosis and whatever.
goes back to self-centeredness, which you might have suspected is
the main warehouse of greed and power and the other human failings
we possess in inestimable abundance. Look here: In getting rich
and to support the economy the food industry massively advertises
their junk foods consisting of sugars, fats and chemicals, addictive
by nature, tasty and cheap. Somebody’s making big bucks. We,
the 99 percent who are hungry and blind and resemble sheep, eat
the food and poor imitations suggested by indoctrination again and
again and we eat it a lot. We eat it to entertain ourselves and
distract ourselves from the dull pain of reality. We eat it because
we desire to please ourselves, our taste buds and appetites, and
because we seek swiftness, ease and convenience. We eat in abundance
cuz it’s become a habit. In short, we are lazy and dumb.
There, I said it and I mean it. Shoot me. But before you pull the
trigger, I love you, dear friend.
-- lazy, powerless and not thinking -- is an unnecessary condition
that is undone in the gym, if one chooses to undo it. Dumb grows
like a weed and is about as attractive and useful. Dumb grows out
of cracks in the concrete wherever dirt collects. The moment you
think of going to a gym and exercising, “dumb’”
is put on notice. The moment you enter the gym’s door -- bedroom,
basement, World or Bud’s Gym -- and commence exercising, dumb
is under attack. Each rep and set, every curl and press, reduces
the size and shape of the destructive element. Dumb soon resembles
a peanut. Persist, dumb dies and smart is born.
all has to do with the character qualities that inevitably develop
as you develop your muscles and might. Once you initiate and pursue
the joy of lifting -- engaging the body in exhilarating muscular
activity, stretching and extending, flexing and contracting, breathing
deeply and pumping the heart -- living becomes less resistant, larger
and more fulfilling. One aspires when one has discipline and perseverance
in one’s strong hand. Patience makes room for a grin and humbleness
reaps a smile. Any boastfulness and rudeness struck down by hard
training is a good thing and the absence of the rogues allows and
contributes to one’s admirable makeover.
begets true training and true training begets discipline. The energetic
and enduring cycle goes on. Sound workouts beget resolve and resolve
begets sound workouts. See how it works? Sure as rain. Smart exercise
begets fulfillment and so the story goes. Wait! There’s more.
I don’t know anyone who exercises with integrity who doesn’t
improve his eating habits to complement his efforts. True training
begets intelligence and commonsense.
one said it was easy and some overweight folks have an extra difficult
problem before them. Their weight is out of control and their chemistry
is upside down. The years of habitual poor eating and over eating
and unfriendly genetics have them boxed in and at their wit’s
end. Double-XL obesity cannot be corrected entirely, but it can
be stopped, reversed and managed. Early confrontation will remarkably
limit the toll obesity takes on one’s life and the debilitating
sense of no-control or lost-control will be circumvented. Energy
and endurance, strength and muscle tone, lost inches and shed pounds
day is a challenge -- the best day, the ordinary day, the sleeper
and the one that shakes you to the core. None are the same; they
are not predictable and taking them for granted is a grave mistake.
One day they’re gone, mine, yours, your friend’s, your
enemy’s. The idea is to make the most of each day every day,
sunrise to sunset, without flogging yourself or others. Light a
campfire, but don’t burn down the forest. Take the elevator
to the penthouse, but don’t jump from the top to be the first
to the bottom. Take the stairs, one step, one day at a time.
you insist on jumping, bombers, take your chute, practice your emergency
procedures and land with aplomb. They’re watching us.
yet, fly... with God’s speed.
Did you sign up for Dave's expanded
free, motivating and priceless!
May we answer any bodybuilding questions for you in our forum?
If you haven't yet read Dave's bodybuilding book, Brother Iron, Sister Steel, here's more information.
You may also enjoy our ongoing weight training and fitness article blog, which we update with new material several times each week.
Are you in the mood for reading an weight training book excerpt?
Can I tell you about whey protein powders?
Could you use a new 8-week workout routine or a bodypart workout program? Need to learn how to squat or how to deadlift?
Or select a link to the left to discover our most popular pages that are sure to answer all your training questions..
here to visit our IronOnline Bulletin Board
here to order West Coast Bodybuilding Scene
here to see the previous week's column
here to order a Top Squat
New | Online
Store | Weekly Columns | Photo
Archive | Weight Training
| General Nutrition | Draper
History | Discussion Group
| Mag Cover Shots | Magazine
Articles | Bodybuilding
Q&A | Bomber Talk | Workout
FAQs | World Gym Listing | Santa
Cruz Local | Muscle Links | Need
More Help? |Site Map | Contact
All IronOnline pages copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
All rights reserved.