First Things First

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Home Alone


Back cover of Mr. Thailand Magazine, listing Dave as Dan Draper.
Thanks to my eagle-eye friend for the heads up about the ebay listing,
in a note in which he wrote, "The man's so famous he had to use an alias!"

Download the full Draper here newsletter
in printable, live-link, pdf format, here.

Laree and her younger sister, Sydney, just packed Laree’s ol’ jalopy with their gear and are heading north to visit their mom for Mother’s Day. Syd tossed a bag of knitting materials and her sketch pad on the back seat, while Laree stocked the cargo area with an assortment of kettlebells, her foam roller, exercise balls and her TRX.

I reminded her to take her cell, license, registration and insurance, reading glasses, GPS, mace, first-aid kit, Swiss Army knife, compass, flares, toilet paper, MREs and plenty of water. She said, “You’re freaking me out,” and left.

Carol Setterlund, their mom and the cause of the commotion, is a very cool lady -- not very much older than me... if I call her Mom I’m a dead man -- who lives with her art in her home and studio in the country where California grows grapes on every sunny slope. Carol is a notable artist, primarily a sculptor, who works in wood, metal, clay and paint. Her fascinating art forms (you’d absolutely love them) have been the theme of a hundred private showings and enliven deserving homes and establishments from Seattle and Chicago to NYC and all points south, and the corners of our home in Central California.

She, like the rest of us, is rich in life, but counts her savings in the palm of her hand. Oh, look, an Indianhead nickel, a Lincoln penny, one thin dime. Artists, muscleheads, authentic people... what’s the diff?

Before nightfall kettlebells will be scattered about the front room of the studio with Laree going over the finer points of swings and overhead presses, focus and form. Syd, I suspect, will be leaning comfortably against the foam roller offering encouragement and suggestions, as Carol (all 100 pounds) exacts Laree’s every dynamic movement with the gnarly behandled iron balls. Ooph!

“Can we use the TRX, yet?” Girls will be girls.

I, on the other hand, will be home alone. First thoughts: Who will feed me, wash the dishes, change the channel, answer the telephone, clean Mugsy’s litter box and, in general, serve me. Though I am particularly independent and self-reliant, I don’t refuse an occasional hand.

I joke. As you know, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And, my girl will only be gone for a day... I hope. Last time she was gone longer the goats, pigs, chickens and Uncle Louie got out. Goats, pigs and chickens came back...

Today is Saturday and I chose not go to the gym, letting the freeway to the ever-loving vacationers, board-walkers, sun-sappers and sand-kickers. Instead, I stepped onto the deck in my shorts, pulled up a bench and shared a couple of cans of Dave’s Albacore Tuna with Mugsy, the world’s greatest cat. The sun was pouring down like fool’s gold from a stimulus package, and I, after the tuna cans were scraped clean, stretched out to relax on the bench.

Mugs cleaned his whiskers and paws.

Horizontal and gazing at the sky, I allowed my mind to wander. Dumb as a barbell, I started thinking of the seconds going by, one by one, tic, tic, tic and so on, and that they are gone in a flash and not retrievable. I panicked, like I had stumbled upon a startling cosmic revelation. Crap! Life is going by and I can’t stop it. Now what?

Stunned by the reality that time is uncontrollably draining through life’s sieve, I determined to make the most of my reclining position by performing various leg and hip mobility exercises, and a variety of dumbbell-like freehand movements to experience and stimulate the action of the muscles and their attachments. Extraordinary! I was focusing, stimulating, discovering and revitalizing, as my mind was wandering and the sun was warming, soothing and tanning my chubby, white body as time was slipping away.

Basking in a sense of richness, wellbeing and accomplishment, I thought about missions ahead, the future: grandeur vs. aging, aching and shaking, rattling and rolling. Getting a handle on this time stuff had me looking forward with wide-eyed hope; there’s gotta be goodness and delight and triumph in the future, those seconds, yet to come and go.

My impromptu mobility-training-sunbathing shed light and life onto aspects of exercise that are most insightful and revealing. With no weight at all, simulating basic exercises with calming concentration, I was entertaining myself and discovering new pathways for exercise... and soothing and healing those pathways already worn and torn. There’s something here for bombers whose wings, if not clipped, have been more or less plucked and battered.

I’m feeling loose as a goose and regal as an eagle.

Brother Iron Sister Steel is educating and entertaining (historical, brilliant, profound, elegant, inspiring, fascinating, sensitive, provocative and scintillating) and has taught us a thing or two about training and nutrition, getting huge and getting ripped, but it has taught us little about the disturbing and irrevocable passing of time.

What I would like to do, ironmasters, had I the audacity and time, is update and expand Brother Iron Sister Steel. I would begin by... well... here are some thoughts I scratched on a roll of toilet paper while visiting the men’s room at Burgers-R-Us off Pacific Coast Highway:

> Minor fixes in Brother Iron text

> Additional chapters stolen from Your Body Revival

> Couple of chapters of fresh information invented, written and added

> One intro chapter: Training over 30, 40, 50, 60 and more... Reality of age and aging, personal experience, wisdom slow to come, parceled out, preparation for the aging trauma from a lived-and-observed perspective, cautions, reactions and responses to persistent, ever-present process

> One or two more specific chapters... diet/routines, what’s different, what’s the same

> Afterward (looking forward from age 10 -- looking back from today)

There you have it, crew. I dunno... sounds like a project for an ambitious young man. We’re in deep dodo now.

Godspeed from your ol’ abandoned Captain, DD, and his incredible cat, Sir Mugs

----

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Scoop the blend into a glass, stir and drink with pleasure and satisfaction, when you need to, want to or should. All the time.

Soak yourself in a taste of bodybuilding’s Golden Era with Dick Tyler’s on-the-scene record, written in his easy-going, one-of-a-kind style, West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

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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.