Joys of Summer in Disguise

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7-11 and the days, like dice, roll on.
Summer arrives ever so slowly, shyly appearing on robins’ wings as April fades and the days of May lengthen. June is in no hurry to advance the season and we anxiously anticipate its approach.

It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime… The Jamies, 1958

Suddenly the last day of June becomes the fourth of July and summer is off like a firecracker, a bat out of hell, a scalded-ass ape, a greased cannonball or a recklessly launched Raytheon BB-IOL-OT Missile (whatever that is).

Let not the summer vanish before glazed eyes. The grand occasion, the multiplicity of events, the lifetime experience is notoriously lost to dull minds, misplaced by sluggish hands or disregarded by thankless souls.

Pleasure and pain, laughs, frowns or tears: Be there. This summer is the only summer we have, as far as they know (whoever they are). Dare not let a day go by without deliberately, curiously and conscientiously grasping, hugging and squeezing it until it squeals, thus adding it to your memorable and expanding, engaging and ever-loving experience.

Life is good. Life is a joy. Life is here and now.

Of course, I wrote this little ditty weeks ago, before the continental USA was besieged with wildfires, unrelenting heat waves and freak storms creating misery from coast to coast. What can I say? Misery makes us stronger. With misery comes humility. Misery makes friends and loves company. Misery sucks.

So very sorry for your sorrow and discomfort, dear friends, east to west, north to south.

Ironheads know something about misery: The last rep not achieved, the insistent accumulation of fat around the gut despite interminable diets and mind-numbing aerobics, the reprehensible desolation and absolute absence of muscle growth regardless of persistent double- and triple-split workouts (whatever those are), the dreadful injuries from absurdly excessive and extensive mass-training overload or the exhaustion from a six-week squat-benchpress-deadlift superset marathon on the tuna ’n water lean ’n mean menu.

The peculiar thing is this, girls: Despite the overwhelming presence of misery within bombing and blasting, we proceed to bomb and blast to avoid the intolerable suffering, depression, anxiety and guilt of missing or having missed a bombing and blasting session.

I think I’m getting a headache… you feel that… around the temples, over the right eye?

It’s time to hit the gym (wherever that is); the pain is dark, excruciating and possibly contagious.

More about Misery, capital M: The fab Weight Room Santa Cruz, originally DD’s world famous World Gym where we opened the doors in ’89, is closing those doors this weekend, auctioning the equipment.  Wanna buy an amazing, customized, oversized Excalibur six-station cable unit, a pair of dazzling, rarely used 135-pound dumbbells, a flat bench or a collar? An Exertube? Chalk?

I’m serious.

There are a bunch of sad-eyed muscleheads with drooping deltoids wandering the streets of Santa Cruz in search of a new home. A gym on every corner does not make the choosing any easier. Home is not anywhere you hang your barbell. It’s gotta feel right, right? Simple, basic and real.

No jerks, bozos, morons, loudmouths or crowds. No loud music, no rap, country-western or Perry Como. No loitering or flirting, no classes or plastic toys. Plenty of height and width and openness housing a rich and solid assortment of barbells, dumbbells, benches, racks and absolutely necessary  machines; lots of fresh air, enough clean mirrors with great overhead lighting, swell parking and close to home, sweet home, Mama.

I’m dragging my sad eyes and drooped shoulders to the Weight Room while it’s still a weight room. I’ll keep the workout simple, basic and real, rich, solid and swell while such things still exist. Having traveled numerous miles, my tank is always half-full, never half-empty. Anything more than six smart, well-discerned movements totaling 24 sets and exceeding 75 minutes is too much. Fatigue, aching, restlessness and loss of appetite ensue, a composite of dreadful conditions resembling misery, which, by golly, this bumbling bomber and blaster prefers not to endure.

> Rope tucks (50), machine dips (12-15), freehand squat/calf-stretch combo (60 to 90-second effort) X 3… silence, work it, concentrate, contract, connect, breathe, go, go… that’s nine sets… Realistically, I could go home now… the body’s blasted.

> Seated front press on Smith, supersetted with wide-grip pulldown (4 x 6-12 reps)… feel, direct the workload, enact the muscles, get the reps, achieve, go, go… eight more in the tank… shoulders, lats, upper back, some bis and tris and courage.

> One-arm lateral raises, back and forth, holding a rack for stability to specifically engage deltoids (4 sets x 8-10 reps)… the core rejoices… knit brow, focus, heave, hoist, toss with deliberate effort… Is there a secret escape hatch nearby???

> Wrist curls with Oly bar just to be rude and antisocial (3-4 sets x 15, 12, 10 reps).

Now git… go on… git…

God bless us… The ever-loving Bomb


The former World Gym Santa Cruz is for sale. Here’s the ad Marie, the current owner, is running on Craigslist:

Ever want to own your own gym?

Selling everything you would ever need -- former World Gym needs a new location!

Cybex, Hammer Strength, Body Masters, custom equipment, squat racks, dumbbells, barbells, thick bars, flooring, mirrors, lockers, stereo equipment, Cardio Theater sound equipment, commercial fridge, espresso machine, enough equipment to fill 1,500 sq ft cardio area, weight equipment can fill 6,500 sq feet. Photos here:

$70,000, or best offer. Original value $250,000+

Email: [email protected]


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