First Things First

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Fast As You Can,
But Don’t Hurry


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It’s Monday morning and you drag yourself out of bed. This is the day of the week you gather together the responsibilities you dumped on Friday and ignored on Saturday and Sunday. You load them on your shoulders before standing upright, taking a shower or having breakfast. The neglected duties and tasks can wait no longer. Guilt, anxiety and urgency, unlikable companions, assist you in the deed.

The weight is not light, nor is it desirable and it takes a few minutes to find your legs and collect your spirits. As you focus and find success in a few mundane chores -- brushing the teeth (job well done), pulling on your clothes (got that right), pouring the first cup of coffee (hardly a splash) -- the burden lightens and the sky brightens. "Today is the first day of the rest of my life. The streets are alive with the sound of music." Dribble. You grab your keys, wallet and necessary gear and head out the door.

May your face shine upon me, oh Lord, and you hop in the car.

Tuesday’s are better ‘cuz Monday is over. You made it unscathed and had a decent workout to top it off. The latter, insignificant to your colleagues, is the thing that mattered most. Without the workout, Mondays wouldn’t have a chance. You’d remain in bed curled up in a ball until the day was gone. There are lions and tigers out there, people and bears.

Furthermore, Tuesday is the day you train arms, ladies and gentlemen. That would be biceps and triceps with enough midsection to sooth the soul and rattle the six-pack. Yes! Let’s hear it for barbell curls and pulley pushdowns, dumbbell incline curls and dips. Ah, life ain’t so bad. Contract, extend, grunt, concentric, eccentric, focus.

The appetite takes an upswing by Wednesday, which is good because force-feeding every three hours is like a weird self-imposed torture. Oh, no... It’s the scrapping of tuna and the dripping of water day after day... I’ll talk, I’ll talk. Still an uphill climb, but the day has hope.

You feel emboldened upon arising on Wednesday morn, jumping out of bed early after a night of sound sleep. You have a sure grip on this thing called life, and you know why they say only the strong survive. You lean back in the kitchen chair as the second cup of coffee warms your hands. "What shall I do today that’s daring? Won’t take any crap from anybody, that’s for certain."

Squats during lunch hour sound like an adventure. Go heavy and hard, with the thrust of a freighter. Make those plates clatter and clang. Dump the bar in the rack with a crash. No sweat. Wrap up the routine with leg curls and extensions and calves and be out the door and down the stairs before the echo of metal grows faint.

The afternoon’s a breeze. You attend your work, however tedious or difficult it might be, with efficiency and high spirits. Everything is light after moving several tons of iron; everything is simple. Colors are brighter, sounds more acute and what might otherwise be annoying is almost entertaining. You wallow in patience, lose yourself in concentration and see humor where stress generally abounds. Somebody keyed my car. Ha! Get this: He goes home and can’t open the front door ‘cuz his key is jammed with my custom candy-apple-red car paint. Ha! I’m in stitches.

Man, do you sleep Wednesday night, and Thursday arrives right on time. Good morning, World. Race ya to the top of the mountain. Ha! Too late, been there! You have places to go and things to do, a job and responsibilities. The weekend is almost here and you don’t want to be caught in a lurch. Three down, two to go and today you work on deadlifts. Maybe have extra carbs for lunch and train late afternoon -- body’s better prepared, stronger.
 
You realize every day is distinct, unpredictable and unique, and you’re responding to mute social conditioning when you define the day by what day of the week it is. You hate to confine yourself by rules of habit, but sometimes that’s the way the game works. Go for it, what the heck. Nobody’s looking. You do the same thing with your training, once you pass the ABCs. Sufficient order is necessary -- guidelines, routine. We have days we work arms and days we work legs or shoulders, and there are certain exercises we practice to bring about desired effects. But within any workout we need plenty of room to allow our imagination and instincts, desires and needs to take control. That’s the best part about training, the joy of it: to express our self according to our personality and ability while achieving our purpose.

You arrive at the gym and find the Thursday mood is circulating the equipment. Faces are less somber and more hopeful than those displayed on Monday. The gym and the workouts soften anxious features by distracting, humbling and fulfilling the trainees early in the week. And as the week rolls by, zeal and good cheer accompany the guys and gals as they walk through the front door. Honey, I’m back.

The weights are moved with gusto. They jingle, jangle and clang like musico de grande improviso.

And so we come to Friday. Up in the morning and you say, "Thank heaven for Bomber Blend. How would I have made it through the week?" You count your blessings as you prepare to leave your castle: four super workouts this week and one more on the way, the job, my loving wife, tuna, good health, farmer walks... and you’re out the door. Similarly, other iron enthusiasts thank God for beer, the pickup, their Rottweiler, their ole’ man, waterproof eye-liner and strapless training tops.

Fatigue is evident, but strength and drive are sustained by the promise of the weekend. When the mind is willing and the body squirms, you recall the accomplishments behind you and imagine the joy and relief ahead. You continue your commitment to good and right in your work and communication, each step taking you closer to your Friday workout. It’s the best.

It’s the best, not 'cuz of records set, pump achieved or workload accomplished, but because of the feel of the steel, the awareness of exertion, the goodness of the cause, your presence in the gym and those around you, the clang and clamor and atmosphere, the successes and failures and fulfillment. Each rep is a charge, every set a blast. It’s Friday.

The weekend is the weekend. Except for those occasions when overtime hours and household chores extend the workweek, there are two extra days of life for sleeping in, watching sports, going to the lake, playing with the kids, praising God, visiting family and friends, going to a concert or just plain collapsing. Of course, there’s always the gym... in case you missed a workout or simply miss working out. (Word has it there are a few crazies in the weightlifting department.)

A large number of fitness and musclebuilding enthusiasts depend on Saturday and Sunday for their primary workouts, Monday through Friday crowded with, as if it were possible, more important things. You move time around like chess pieces, training when you want, as long as you want. The hard work and invested time in the gym feel like genuine recreation, a healthy diversion or a productive pastime, and less like an obligation, punishment or forced labor (the latter two perceptions are shamefully blasphemous, brothers and sisters.)

What freedom you have, people! Freedom to vote, speak, worship and work out -- work out any day of the week, any way you want and wherever you can. All you need is a purpose, some barbells and dumbbells, a little knowledge, a lot of heart and plenty of guts. From these basic ingredients great bodies, minds and souls are built.

Excuse me, my cell phone is ringing. Ha. I don’t think so! No cosmic anchor in my pocket. But my craft is facing the wind and picking up speed. I’ll be airborne before I can flap my wings and raise my ailerons. Look for me up there. I’ll be soaring.

Go as fast as you can, but don’t hurry. Monday is just over the horizon.

Steady as she goes... DD

Pssst. Hey you, over here. Ya wanna buy a bridge from Brooklyn... includes instructions for reassembling in Korean, Spanish and Babazwani, an Allen wrench and free delivery. All parts are shrink-wrapped.

Hmmm... Where would you put the Statue from France? I see...

How about a genuine prototype of the Draper Dungeon complete with chains and hooks and devices of torment at a very dark and cold discount price? Contact Laree at lareedraper AT gmail.com for details.


DO YOU REMEMBER…

Last July we held a seminar at the Santa Cruz Bomber Bash with Bill Pearl as our guest and Eddie Corney making a surprise visit. We recorded the 2-hour QnA talk with three cameras from different angles and points of view... 6-to-8 hours of recorded material. Swell. The following month Laree and I visited Bill and Judy at their home in Oregon and recorded Bill and me in another two hours of compelling (cool word, compelling) conversation.

This stuff is priceless, we're thinking: Now to throw it all together and offer it to our internet participants, a small army of authentic musclebuilders, and fans of the golden era. They’ll be jazzed.

No problemo; a dozen editing-specific computer programs later and a hundred hours on the how-to-edit help line and Laree is ready for action. The roar of trucks driving by, hums of overhead fans, the clattering of ladders to turn off overhead fans, periodic jingles of incoming phone calls and my persistent coughing and sniveling had to be removed from the soundtrack to make it comprehensible. The junk, redundancy, lengthy questions and extensive answers, and embarrassing moments had to be cut. Order to the disorder that comes from random conversations among 225 enthusiastic and hungry bodybuilders had to be explored and sensibly arranged. Entertainment and substance and professional presentation were the elements pursued. Good luck. Add music where it works, add stills where they work and throw in a couple of slide shows for the fun of it. Presto!

One day a month ago Laree emerged from her hellish computer station in the lonely loft for food, water and human contact. The production was complete. I tried to be sensitive as she was given to outbursts of tears and incoherent babbling. Still cute, I pat her on the head, assured her a shower would help, some Bomber Blend... she nodded helplessly.

The finished product was sent off to the pros to be duplicated -- stamped, printed and encased... whatever -- and is now in stock for immediate shipment.

The  Package includes a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute tape of the July seminar, two muscular slide shows, plus a 32-page booklet outlining the subsequent interview between the mighty one, Bill Pearl, and me in which we discuss some favorite subjects untouched by the seminar.

Be the first one on the block to own this indescribable entertainment and informational extravaganza starring Oscar-winning performers from around the world

Click here to order your copy of the Bash 05 Seminar dvd with Dave and Bill Pearl

Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel here

Click here to order Iron On My Mind

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