First Things First

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Can you believe it?

IronOnline is entering its 15th year of publication. I had to use all my fingers and a bunch of my toes to calculate that one. I don’t know what I’ll do in five years or so. Laree says not to worry, I’ll come up with something. Gotta love her; she trusts me.

We’ve presented the IOL newsletter, plus associated information, each week since January of 1999. Some of you are saying, “Egads, Man! That’s over 700 mindless intrusions into my email over the years.”

Oh, yeah! Well, spam you, fella!

Did you know?

Seventy-one years ago my wonderful 25-year-old mom was ambling about Secaucus, New Jersey, carrying a bouncy 11.5-pound baby boy in her tummy. My dad and brothers, Danny, Donnie and Jerry, were close by her side. You can do this, sweetheart. We’ll call him Davie.

Then, around April 16th, I was persuaded to make my particularly slow and dramatic appearance. You only get to do this once, right? I was a bashful lad and prolonged my complete arrival for a day and a half.

I was a scream.

My grandmother, affectionately called Nana--a doctor in Czechoslovakia and a nurse in America --compassionately and skillfully assisted my mom and encouraged me to join the family. “They’re a dandy bunch, David-ski. You’ll like them. A can of tuna and a pile of iron await you.”

Why didn’t you say so in the beginning? Great Googa Mooga! Let me outta here. Clang, clank, chew, chomp... bomb...
Have you heard?

I’ve designed a catchy new exercise for full body growth and maximum stimulation. It’s a killer exercise, and I say ‘killer’ in the most affectionate and commendable sense of the word, implying grand toughness (or tough grandness) in performance and reward. It’s a movement for real men and women. I call it -- get ready for it -- the clean and press.

Clear the work area of pets, broken glass, loaded guns and debris. Stand before the light and dandy bar nestled on the floor, bend forward with knees bent, grasp the bar firmly at shoulder-width, and with a solid and progressive action, tug the bar from the starting position to a resting position at the shoulders. Stand erect, pause briefly to assert bar placement, and press the load straight overhead like you and your body know what they’re doing. Thoughtfully retrace the action to the bar-on-floor position. Reposition and repeat for a total of six reps.

Did I mention to be sure to use collars? Use collars, one on each side.

I could offer you volumes of instruction and advice about where to grasp the bar, the natural foot placement and leg stance, toes slightly outward, setting the shoulders firmly, head-forward positioning, equal bending at the knees and waist, hips low to the floor, mindset and power translation and color of socks, but that would take the mystery and discovery out of the whole catastrophe. It’s like anything else -- figure skating, brain surgery, flying a rocket ship; do it once, and do it again and again, till you’ve got it. Learn from your mistakes and go forward.


Lifters of various levels have been known to keep a bucket in the corner. 911 is a handy number. Additional comfort items: ice, oxygen, defibrillator, paramedic, psychologist, pastor.

Note: Cleans and presses are clock-cleaners, people. The ticking drives me crazy and I could never get used to wearing a watch. I use a sundial instead – convenient, silent and accurate. For you techy types, tap cursor in the lower right-hand corner of your computer screen for a handy calendar and the time of day.

Today is Sunday (wha?) as I proceed to scour my mind for something to write about. It’s Easter day and some folks are reluctant to utter the words, an offense to civil liberty. Whatever. Hello, Spring!

By now, as you read these words (big thanks for sticking around, btw) Easter has gone and we’ve moved on. But that’s the thing: Easter is here for good. That’s the good news... for those who believe it.

Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas.

Time flies... God’s speed... Dave


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