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Hold On -- Never Let Go

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Laree, under my explicit supervision, encouragement and inspiration, is just a week away from publishing a comprehensive book on strength and lifting by Coach Dan John. Dan’s a great writer and educator, as well as a record-holding champion in throwing sports, and the material he’s presented Laree, though consumptive, has been a pleasure for her to work with.

He can spell, punctuate, write whole sentences and compile his thoughts with wisdom and entertainment. Plus, he knows what he’s talking about -- from the heart and soul, body and mind. The work is titled Never Let Go.

The long-awaited information and inspiration-packed paperback will be available online and at the Bash in June. Laree will put out a link to the new book in May; I'll have to instruct her to, no doubt.

Bash? Did you say Bash? What Bash?

Laree, again under my tutelage, has become exceptionally proficient at multi-tasking. I give her an A for effort and an A for work product... and a C- for getting along with others... a D for behavior... an E for listening to me when I tell her what to do. Makes me mad... who does she think she is? I’m, like, the boss... head honcho... the Bomber.

Sorry, I digress; about multi-tasking, Laree has arranged and is preparing another Bomber Wing Ding, AKA, Bash, for June 5th, 6th and 7th in Utah, featuring Dan John as the speaker... of all people. Dan teaches at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah... of all places. I must confess, I did not know they named a town after me... of all things.

The publishing of Never Let Go and the Bash Wing Ding were accidentally, coincidentally arranged on purpose. This chance collision of events is absolutely spectacular, especially when you know who Dan really is. One or two of you dive-bombers might be asking, who exactly is Dan John? Let me tell you, using my brief foreword to his book.

NEVER LET GO – Foreword by Drape Daver... The Barber

Dan John can toss metal, hoist rocks, drag sleds, launch a discus and clean ’n jerk loaded Olympic bars with the biggest and best strongmen. Give him a kettlebell and he’ll make it dance; give him a hammer and he’ll make it sing. With one hand, he’ll send a shot put whistling through the air into the next county. He’s a heavy-weight composer. He’s a worldwide record holder who never lets go.

Extraordinary power, marvelous skill and masterful technique have been earned through years of training and practice and scrutiny, failure and success. The road Dan traveled is long, the track circuitous and the field weedy and potholed. No other way would do. A man doesn’t get from here to there, if there is somewhere, by taking a shortcut, the easy way, a limo or a mule.

So what, the guy is super-persistent, disciplined, gutsy and powerful? Take away the aspirin, you’ve got another headache. Not exactly! I’ve just begun to list Dan John’s attributes.

Get this. He’s intelligent, sharp and creative. He teaches, he coaches, he writes and he speaks. He has Masters degrees in history and religious education and studied in Universities in Cairo and Haifa, as well as good ole America. His day job is Head Strength and Track and Field Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Utah.

How does one so devoted to education spare the time to lift, tug and press? The same way one who loves to lift and tug finds time to learn. He has blended the two as one. This brings me to the point of my introduction: Dan craves knowledge and understanding and is compelled to pass along what he’s come to discover. Knowing is not enough; applying what he knows helps; instructing makes him complete.

A generous servant, a giver of gifts, his words come alive with experience and fact for the reader, the hungry student, the one bound to learn. Dan doesn’t paint by number and help you pick out the colors. He draws a picture and invites you, encourages you, inspires you, to become a part of it.

He’s done more research in the physics and mechanics of hefting and heaving, and knows clearly what makes man a more efficient, enduring and forceful machine. He’s applied the knowledge to himself, observed it in his colleagues, shared it with competitors and fine-tuned his learning for his subsequent applications. Dan’s wrapped, unwrapped and rewrapped knowledge and fact and theory and invention till they’re his without doubt or missing parts. Help yourself.

Me? I’d rather listen to the ocean than study a thing. I’m nowhere near lazy, but I want to get down to doing -- lifting and living and learning and growing. Dan takes you to those places in a marvelous journey of words and word pictures and unfolding truths and bare facts. Further, comprehensive methodology is barren without philosophy and purpose. These, too, are colorfully, critically woven into the raw materials of power and might.

Lucky you! You’re about to become bigger, stronger and faster while robustly entertained.

Did I mention he has a wonderful wife, Tiffini, and two winsome daughters, Lindsay and Kelly, who absolutely love him? This in itself is spectacular for a mound of muscle throwing imposing odd-shape objects across grassy patches of earth for the joy of it.

Let’s Go. Never Let Go.

Pick up your autographed copy of Never Let Go in Draper, Utah, and participate in the three-day schedule of training seminars, hands-on lifting instruction and impromptu training events live with Dan John and a group from the IronOnline forum. You can be sure there’ll be scrumptious, wholesome food at the right times in the right places. I bet there are details around here somewhere.

Fun flaps and happy landing gear... Your crazy Captain speaking... DD.

They didn’t really name Draper, Utah after me. I lied.

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And finally:

Devoted fans of muscle and might lost another dear friend this Saturday. Armand Tanny faded from the sands of Muscle Beach, his broad shoulders and rugged musculature having cast elegant shadows upon its shores during the fabulous '50s.

Armand left more than footprints in the sunny sands of Southern California. The gentle man wrote passionately of the men and women who forged their bodies with the iron, accurately and poetically contributing to the historical achieves of musclebuilding and musclebuilders for 50 of his 90 years.

He was the brother of Vic and the loved father of Mandy. His grand kids adored him... as did his neighbors and the guy on the corner. He was Laree's and my good friend. And so would he have been yours had you ever met him.

I hope to say more about Zabo and Armand in the days to come, class acts and most worthy of conversation. They discovered and invented, were conceived by and gave birth to this clinking, clanking stuff.

Dave

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BILL PEARL/DAVE DRAPER LIVE SEMINAR DVD

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. ~Dave

Cut through the confusion! Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel to make your training path clear.

Readers agree: Dave new book, Iron On My Mind, is non-stop inspirational reading.

Our IronOnline Forum will answer your training and nutriton questions right here, right now.

Golden Era fans will rejoice in this excerpt from West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

Here's Dave's previous week's column.