Allow Me to Confuse You

Dan John's Intervention, the book!

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, but not without mounds of love, much gratefulness and many servings of leftover turkey, stuffing and yams. Leftovers, many of us agree, are more fun than the original meal -- that is, until about Monday night or Tuesday afternoon. Tacos, anyone? Hot dogs and beans… Chinese?

Now we have Christmas and the holiday season to delight in, to wallow in. Dread, avoid, endure and sustain also come to mind. Laree and I sit in sidelines and safely watch the scene unfold. The last time we went gift shopping, televisions were the size of motel refrigerators and gas was $1.19 a gallon.
Laree and I regard each other as gifts to one another, and we are deeply grateful. She says in her cute ’n cuddly way, “You’re a cheap old buzzard,” as we sit before our 12” black ’n white TV, upon which is perched a three-foot artificial Xmas tree laced with tinsel, sipping Gallo burgundy from mugs while viewing Miracle on 34th Street.

That Jimmy Stewart… pass the peanuts, sweetie.

I lied about me sipping Gallo. It just sounded so wild, crazy and romantic. I’m a reduced-fat milk man myself.

Let me guess. You’ve got to train today and you don’t want to -- that’s ‘don’t,’ spelled ‘do not’ with the emphasis on ‘not’ -- but you must or your muscles will wither, your mind will wilt, your spirits will wane; fatigue will consume you, guilt will paralyze you, evil forces will overcome you.

Nothing like a long, exciting list of incentives to invigorate one’s training.

What happened to the original motivators: big guns, barn-door lats, cannonball delts, four plates clattering on a steadily ascending Olympic bar? They came, they conquered, they moved on and here we remain, bright-eyed traumatized victims, grinning empty hulks, giggling remnants of hard-fought bloody battles.

Let’s face it, steel heads; without the iron we’d be a mess.

I never know what’s gonna take place at the gym these days. There was a time I knew exactly what was going to happen, give or take two reps or a 2½-pound plate. Grab iron; toss, hoist, shove repeatedly; pump, burn, sweat a lot; grow strong and big most certainly. Boom, zoom…

Today, getting there twice a week for an hour is a major accomplishment, and a major necessity, I might add. Without the dreaded duo I would not be deliriously happy, a laugh a minute and a heap of jokes. I would be, instead, delirious, a laughable heap, a joke.

60 minutes, one slim hour, is my max: slender, symmetrical, skeleton training sessions.

Seriously? Seriously. Short and sweet and still satisfying.

Push-pull combinations with heart, body and mind intently focused on tailored form, maximum muscle engagement, light-weight, max exertion (6,8,10,12-rep range) with intelligent care and caution. Injuries and downtime, big-time costly, are eliminated.

The older, the lesser. It works. The sooner you welcome or allow less-demanding, less-punishing workouts, the longer you and your muscles and strength and joy will last. The wise survive.

Heavy weights have done their work. Time for friendly force, focus, form and finesse. Spare the shoulders, save the elbows, rescue the joints. The big question to ask: Are we wearing ourselves out, or building ourselves up?

Don't spend yourself in one place at one time. Save some for a rainy day, a windy day, a sunny day, another day, the day after tomorrow...

Growing old and growing up are two entirely different phenomena. The former is certain; the latter is optional, or you might say, in the hands of the beholder, up for grabs. Never let go. Growing old simply happens, but growing up is tricky. It takes finesse and consistent practice along the way.

Bomber Code: Befriend time, exercise daily, eat right, rest well, laugh often, love lots and do not step in front of oncoming buses.

“Next stop… Fourth and Broadway…”

This is where I get off… see ya… the Bomb


Laree here...

In the late '60s, Dave hunkered down in a studio for a couple of weeks to read some kind of training information product for Joe Weider. The recording was never released, but the memory is so huge that to this day Dave doesn't do phone or radio interviews, and wouldn't even consider doing a lecture for our site.

To him, the idea that people would be willing to talk into the 20 recorders we have traversing the country for the audio lectures is just crazy. He thought I'd never find people who would do it, yet we now have about 100 lectures on the site, and usually have a waiting list for the recorders.

Fast-forward to today, and I have years in print and digital, and about a year-and-a-half experience editing audio lectures, but hadn't worked on an audio book. Print books, audio book.

Dan John told me a few years ago he'd be willing to read Never Let Go for an audio book, but in the busy-ness of life, neither of us made it happen. Then, earlier this year as we started working on Intervention, we talked about doing an audio book, but again, no real momentum. About a month ago, Dan told me to send him a recorder and he'd record it.

I sent the recorder, but honestly, I expected to get the recorder back in a couple of months, empty. Really, it's just too much to ask. Reading your own words is hard. Reading anything out loud is hard. Reading your own words, out loud, for public production? For pay? Yikes. No way did I think this would happen.

You know where this is going, right? to discover the rest and listen to the first chapter.


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