First Things First

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Nutrition and Muscle Building Can Wait


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Dark and rainy at noon. I like it. The spring, disguised as winter, acts the mean bully in a most convincing setting. I contribute to the theatrics, as pretending and drama are my two strongest assets. I play the part of the Bomber, or DD, aka Dave Dangerous, Dandy Dazzlegood and, last but not least, Drew P. Draws.

The fire in the hearth crackles in chorus with the beat of rain on the rooftop. I sit at my desk, the sweeter side of a water-streaked window reserved for me and my steaming cup of coffee, humming computer and skewed noggin, empty of thought, yet groping for words.

Muscle and might, might and muscle; what’ll it be today? Something novel, fresh and thought-provoking. I’ve got it, biceps and triceps. Risky, but tantalizing and alluring. Better yet, chest, back and shoulders. No, nope, not! I just wrote about that, them, those.

Hold on. Wait for it… a burgeoning brainstorm… something to do with food… good food 4U… umm … smart eating… more adult, more technical… nutrition… Yes! Nutrition is forever a popular health and strength subject, lively, mysterious and fun-filled. I’ll boldly underscore the need for protein, fats and carbohydrates in building muscle and strength, while assuring the fascinated reader of personal joy, sound health and years aplenty.

Yeah, that’s what I’ll do… that’s my plan.

“Hey, Dave. Mail these packages if you’re going to the fill up the car with gas, and get milk at the bottom of the hill, okay?”

“Yes, Dear.” Anything for my cookie. Nutrition and muscle-building can wait.

It’s a needy world; the iron is heavy and the speed limit is slow. Filler up, Mack, and don’t spare the horses. I’m heading west, far as I can go.

Chores done, I drive two minutes to the steep palisades overlooking the ocean, a grand and sweeping skyline for miles and miles and miles. The back of the pickup makes a nifty throne for a poor king overlooking his vast empire. Got me a coffee to go; skies are clearing. I like it.

On any day, sunshine, rain or haze, a variety of people drift along the towering walkway to catch a glimpse, stretch the mind, take a breather, drink from a bag, point far off and whisper close up.

Monterey Bay is a memorable sight to see, and a stirring site to review one’s memories. I visited this scene in another lifetime, before moving north from Los Angeles in the late ‘70s. Half of me was alive and kicking, the other half unborn and yet to live.
 
One time I came north to Big Sur to camp, get close to nature and heft iron amid the powerful and lofty redwoods. I had amongst my precious gear a sleeping bag, a jug of wine from the Napa vineyards, as much canned tuna as one iron-brained, bare-chested, bleary-eyed mutt could safely eat and a pair of adjustable dumbbells -- 75 pounds max. I thought I was cool, man, let the iron vibes flow.
 
This is it, the sweet spot! Harmony in abundance, a plethora of peace. I grasped the dumbbells, stood upright, thrust my shoulders back, and proceeded to carry my hefty companions to just the right spot (forest walks). A heavy pump and deep breathing was established before my true embarkation of lifting amid nature and her sweet accomplices. A sturdy fallen log served as a bench on soft underbrush amid the soaring giants. I’ll never forget lying on my back, dumbbells secured in strong, eager hands and the spectacular spiral of branches reaching ever skyward in my gaze. Wow!

Mostly, I remember the rigid bark chewing into my raw skin as the clanging dumbbells flipped, flopped and dropped. Gasping and snorting and staggering comprise another trio of long-lasting memories embedded in my astute mind. I’ll never, ever forget transporting the unforgiving, finger-pinching, back-breaking miserable mounds of metal from the bug-infested tree trunk secreted in the hallowed ground perfectly suited for cleansing, meditating and oneness with gravity and nature’s unrelenting relentless pull.

I remember denting a fender in an attempt to maneuver my wheels closer to my stupid scenic gym in the thicket so I didn’t have to cart the whole mess back across the land-locked terrain.

This may be the very first time I’ve publicly confessed this hapless excursion in quest of muscle and might. Don’t tell anyone. I lost a five-pound plate in the process, and at least that much in self-esteem.

Next stop: Gold’s Gym on Main Street. Parking in the rear.

Dave


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