Out of Order According to Plan

Gray Cook, at work on the forthcoming Perform Better Pre-con DVD

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The summer has come and gone like a muzzled field mouse -- hardly a squeak. My workouts, also bearing a resemblance to the timid little creature, were consistent and sufficient. Alas, we arrive one day where consistency and sufficiency are the golden nuggets of training achievement. Well, not exactly. They’re more like the spare change and lint at the bottom of a pocket.

Hence, I anticipate the winter with longing and joy, a time to curl up, rest and lick my wounds. But wait, you say, what happened to bulking up and building mass, getting strong and setting PRs? These are the deeds of winter and iron.

I say, mind your own bee’s wax, Bumbles. Buzz off.

The fireplace, and some presses and curls; snuggling, and some pulldowns and dumbbell rows; hot soup, and some rope tucks and cable crossovers: molten multitudinous multi-sets for long-term, never-ending arthritic champions. Blast on.

Note: Am I alone here or do I speak for some of you who remember Buddy Holly and that’ll be the day?

My workouts are considerably less, yet more fulfilling than they were 50 years ago. Though the weights I lifted were exceedingly heavier and the time I spent lifting was tenfold, the demand to lift was unlovable. Consider the compromise and challenge, the sacrifice and submission, the hard work and havoc. Oh, my aching back; no let up and no fun, clunk and thud and moan and groan.

And all the time I was impatiently, almost desperately looking for something, anything resembling progress, muscle and might at the top of the list. Gee, this stuff comes slow and hard. Huge and ripped, lean and mean, shapely and defined, thick and delineated, massive and striated, symmetrical and awesome. There’s no end in sight. Gargantuan and earthmoving, bigger, faster, stronger.

“Are we there yet? “

“Shut up and lift. Eat your tuna, drink your water.”

Today, I am who I am and I have what I have and I do what I can to keep what I’ve got. Enter the gym, fueled and prepared, throw it in low and go. I know what I know from years of inspection and detection, and learn what I must and might from injury and immobility, pain and sensitivity.

Anyone using the 25s? Blondie… Cookie… Daisy, the dog?

Stand back! They’re all mine. Umm… can I get a spot?

We have a small construction crew at the house making a lot of noise. They have hammers, crow bars, circular saws, rip saws, boards and a boom box and speak several different languages. Seems our basic bathroom remodel (new shower tile, floor, nifty fixtures) exposed deteriorating floor and wall-beams (winter water damage) and a reconstruction project no one was expecting.

Laree and I, a smiley one-bath family, were ready for a few days of inconvenience. We’re tough.

The turquoise porta-poty, made in the USA, was plunked gracefully between the wood pile and the towering redwoods. Charming. “We’re looking at five weeks,” mentioned the foreman, as he handed us the revised work plan and cost sheet. Upon regaining consciousness and composure, my robotic response was “No problemo,” a new phrase I picked up from one of the carpenters.

Johnny in the woods… a garden hose instead of a shower… the guys and their trucks and power tools get here at 7:30… in the dang morning.

I shall go to the gym early and stay late… maybe pick up a part-time job, inspire, train the comatose, peddle my janitorial skills, flush the toilets repeatedly, adjust the shower heads. Laree is on her own. She’s ex-Air Force.

One of these days she will accompany me to the Weight Room and, when I’m not looking and least expecting it, retrieve her Droid from its hiding place and secretly film me while doing the highly acclaimed rope tucks. She will then without my knowledge include the staggering results in an edition of the IOL newsletter. Don’t ask me where I acquired this information or question its veracity. Some things simply are.

I’m off to the Weight Room now, right now. Rope tucks into seated lat rows, incline Smith press and pulldowns, curls and dips and pushdowns, 15 minutes of locker room and gratitude, relief and fortification.

Just think; only another month… or so… mid-October. I shall be harried and shredded. Laree will be torn and ripped.

I gotta go… seriously… Dagwood Boopadoop, ICYI (in case you’re interested)…


Everyone has heard of the light at the end of the tunnel, but few have experienced it… or know anyone who has. Lo and behold, Laree D has, and it is neither daylight nor the headlight of an oncoming train. It is the 3.5 hour, three-disc DVD series by Dan John called Intervention: Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer.

Three months ago Dan John gave an in-depth seminar about the fundamentals and intricacies of correct training structure for the focused athlete. Cameras rolled as he described, demonstrated and detailed on blackboards the functional movement systems and their achievement. In the ensuing months, Laree edited the raw material, arranged it for clear understanding and added files of related information to present a bright light to which few tunnels lead.

Here’s a quick look: Dan John -- Intervention, new release!


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