First Things First

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Catch Me if You Can


Still photograph from the movie Don't Make Waves

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I shower outdoors under thick towering trees to refresh myself and drift with time, space and nature. How large and dear they are is not as apparent in a steamy, tiled closet, nor is their fleeting character.

Time slips away without pause or regret or any awareness of its irrepressible forward motion. Efforts to withhold the seamless seconds and continuous moments cause them to scatter furiously, out of reach and out of sight.

At night I sit on the deck enjoying the moon’s glow amidst black branches lacing the sky. The owl, accustomed to the dark’s lonely tricks, calls soulfully and without fright. 

Time’s unheard response: Catch me if you can; I’m weary of flight.

Or, to put it another way, bombos, we’re at the midway point of 2010 with the good times yet to come. Stop, look and listen and rejoice. These are our minutes and seconds, yours and mine; our sets and reps, our grunts and groans, our clanks and thuds. We’re rich. We’re priceless and eternal.

Are you ripped yet? Me neither, but I’m thinking about it. I’m always thinking about it. I’m a barrel from a six-pack and an unending tuna-fast from lean. But I’ve got a plan. I’ve always got a plan.

Train hard, eat right, be strong, be happy.

Beyond that, I’m a little fuzzy. No worries, bombers, after half a century in the gym I have discovered that simple eight-word, four-tenet creed to be right on. It’s contemporary, traditional, tried-and-true and cutting edge, though I’m sure a muscleheaded blabbermouth could elaborate upon it.

He’s old, but not too cranky!

Details frustrate me more each day. As long as I grab myself by the butt, drag myself to the gym and make sure I’m straddling a bench surrounded by iron and steel, I’m GTG, good to go. The rest is a matter of wrestling the iron as I see fit for 75 minutes till I throb and can still make it to my truck in the rear parking lot. Lately, I wish I had an automatic.

Anyone reading these mishandled words who didn’t know better would think the author was an old geezer with nothing to say. Not true. I’ve got plenty to say.

There are two young guys, twenty-some, who have discovered the magic of mid-afternoon training at the iron oasis. The sinewy one who groans while bench pressing -- till I arrive, that is -- always has a big grin and an encouraging word for me, like, “my dad was your biggest fan when he was a kid,” or, “is it true they only did squats, deadlifts and bench presses when you used to train?”
 
I no sooner walked into the Weight Room today and he suddenly stops groaning, sits up and asks what I would do if I wanted to build big arms. His partner looks on, mouth curled at the corners big time and his head shaking yes, yes, yes. I wonder for a sec what the gym is like late at night… after the last person is gone… after the lights are out.

I give them the once-over and instantly devise a plot that’ll keep them busy for the next five seconds, five minutes or five weeks… I’m not really sure. I don’t want to hurt them, I want them to like me and I want them to learn and grow. I also want to gather my own bits and pieces into a lump I call a workout.

I offer them the unembellished Draper Special.

This is the basic arm routine I did three times a week as a young bomber, recommend twice a week for these tough fighters, yet takes me three weeks to accomplish at this stage of the game.

Leaning on my staff and stroking my long, gray beard, I say in a gravelly voice, “This is what I’d do if I were you two guys.” 

>> Barbell wrist curl (4, 5 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps) supersetted with thumbs-up curl (4, 5 x 8-10 reps) and pulley pushdown (4, 5 x 12-15+ reps)

>> Standing barbell curl (4, 5 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps) supersetted with lying triceps extension (4, 5 sets x 12, 10, 8, 6 reps)

>> Seated dumbbell alternate curl (4, 5 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps) supersetted with overhead triceps extension (4, 5 sets x 12, 10, 8, 6 reps)

I know. It’s a monster routine, as I look at it through smudged bifocals and weary wisdom, but that’s exactly what I did not long ago. I didn’t say it was smart. In fact, it was dumb. And I never chose four sets; I did the five like a true obsessive-compulsive whack job. Worked for me. My arms grew and I never spent more than two consecutive days in a padded cell.

I told my good buds if they did any part of the routine with gusto and might and care, they would grow. The right moves were there and they could adopt portions of it as it suited them. I didn’t say anything about the miraculous ingredient, Bomber Blend, and its big-gun construction benefits, cuz they would have mistaken me for a greedy capitalist. I’m not greedy.

I went on to say authoritatively and with a deep pitched voice and a Bulgarian accent that in building big and strong muscle I have discovered it is wisest and healthiest, most rewarding and most enjoyable to work the muscles of the body as a system of connected and corresponding muscles.

Superset associated muscles to hyper-engage the tissues and assure muscle overload, while simultaneously exploiting the opportunity to achieve cardiovascular exertion.

I steadied myself and raised my right arm in the air like a conquering warrior and declared, “We fight the good fight, men. We never quit.”

They looked at me and said, “Yeah, whatev….”

I think the Bulgarian accent was a little much…

Gotta love this stuff. Keeps us raging… DD

---

Did you know Bomber Blend will provide the least expensive and most nutritious meals in your daily eating regimen? It’s not an added extravagance to your food budget; it reduces your budget and improves your nutritional intake. It builds lean, strong and shapely muscle. Regular servings of Bomber Blend raise your IQ and enable you to time travel. Made into a poultice and smeared on the scalp will prevent baldness and kill tics. Good stuff.

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

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