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It Can't Be Thanksgiving, It Was Just Christmas

Desk Dave made ~1970s

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It’s never too late nor too early to start your diet. In fact, the best time is now, before the out-of-hand holiday eating commences. You’ll be surprised to know tomorrow, the last Thursday of November, is Thanksgiving Day. Already? No way! And just when you found peace and comfort with pizza, beer and TV every night of the week.

Yeah, Laree and I like an occasional pie ourselves. We make our own: Bomber Blend crust, fresh tomatoes ’n tuna chopped and tossed on top, followed by a thin layer of aged cheddar cheese. Heaven! We down it with well water charged with a twist of lemon.

Seriously, I don’t think you’ll find a diet within a hundred miles of any of us. It’s winter, short days, chilly nights, tan’s gone, layers of clothes, and the holidays stretch from now into next year, gleefully advertised with an abundance of food and sparkling wine. Some call it gratefulness and sharing. Some call it gluttony and frivolity. We all participate.

I remember in the old days at Gold’s gym, when there was only one and it was composed of blood and sweat, cinder blocks and iron. The really hardcore would be at the gym at 6 to open the doors on the morning of every holiday. True, a few of the guys had no place else to go, but there we were -- seeking the elusive pump, as if a rep on a holiday was worth five on another day.

Joe with Thunder, his big German Shepherd; Zabo doing leg raises, something like 400 reps passing though his mind as he gazed at the world; Eddie Giuliani and Ric Drasin observing, assessing and causing mischief, Zane and me focused on some intriguing multi-set combination, Arnold and Franco on the platform abusing an Olympic bar packed with plates, Kenny Waller with his hands on his hips before the heavy end of the dumbbell rack. By 10AM the sanctuary was empty but for Zabo, who was doing Roman Chair situps.

In that silver-lined yesterday, there was a handful of gyms and a loving armful of bodybuilders. Now they’re coming out of the woodwork like roaches. Stop. There’s an analogy that’ll prove to be unpopular. I’ll be receiving insecticide in my email box, a virus in my computer, a bug on my server and ants in my pants. Count on it. But wait, roaches are resilient and enduring and built like armored tanks and can clean and press 10 times their bodyweight. They sport a natural bronze tan and built-in posing trunks.

Number three step forward: A standing overhead wing shot, please.

I have no idea who or what is happening in the famed gyms, or on the pages of the current muscle magazines. Not since 1970-something have I held a muscle mag in my hand. Reading, study and research are not my strong points. I’m from the see-and-lift school of wisdom and understanding.

For example, now that I’m all grown up with no place to go, I enter the gym with wonder and gratitude (where am I, how’d I get here and thank God I made it). I scan the floor for one of a half-dozen prescribed safe places to suit my needs (anything works, yet nothing works). The safe place will be unpopulated, and two or three pieces of lovable gear will be in close proximity (side by side) for simple and productive interaction. Hoofing more than three or four steps between exercises can be exhausting. Not to mention the potential of getting lost.

Think push and pull. Once I’m established in my training space with an appropriate, albeit unimpressive weight, I exert with all my might, exact and focused. Working and exerting, extending and contracting, pause ’n breathe; alteration here, modification there, sit and rest, pull and press. No haste, no waste. Time is precious.

Since I don’t handle heavy weight anymore, I don’t have any specific injuries. I dig in, pump and burn, grow weary and hurt bad, and in two days I’ll ache all over and be stiff as a board, but I’ll be okay. Crazy, but okay.

That’s all, folks... God bless us... Dave Slave


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