First Things First

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Slow Down, You Move Too Fast


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It was the end of April (the month I happened to turn 72 for the last time) when I decided I had had enough. I promised that day to grasp each day, every day, in a determined effort to know it completely. My pledge was to marvel at its grandness and appreciate its ordinariness, and thereby sway its direction and rate of travel. It was astonishingly clear: My intense focus would arouse my senses, peak my intellect and engage me more entirely in the moment.

Yes, I know, not an entirely unique approach to life. Observe Far Eastern thought, the stoical ways of monks and intellectual recluses. But -- capital B -- I was a man of the iron with its practiced attention dimension.

Blink! A month later, before I could say latisimus dorsi, it was June. June? I recalled my plan to possess time, savor its presence, and interrupt the swiftness of its passage. The immature dream, the centuries old scheme, was barely a memory.

Let the clear and sudden awareness of my failure to contain time be highlighted, underscored and set aside. Live life day by day every day, as if there were no tomorrow. Another dream.

I returned from the gym an hour ago, living life day by day every day, and Laree said, “If we’re emailing an IronOnline article this week, remember July 4th is Friday.”

July? It was May just the other day! Half the year is gone already! What happened to March? April? Am I the only one caught in the great vacuum, the unstoppable flow, the awesome undertow, the swiftly fading hours and score of vanishing moments and minutes?

Summer is seriously here. Smile. Be real. Too late to get huge or ripped, settle with trim or fit or whatever shape you own, and hang tight. Be strong. Do not let a week -- none, any, ever -- go by without at least two workouts (three’s better, four’s very cool), or you will be so sorry -- angry, sad, guilt-ridden -- come September. Be courageous. Watch your food intake for the same reason. Come fall, you don’t want to have fallen. It’s hard to pick up the pieces, hump-dumpty, and put them back together again. I am the eggman, coocoocachu.

Good Times. A weekend with family, the in-laws, the kids, the neighbors. You choose. Barbecue, swimming, rides at the park, badminton, make that target practice at the firing range.

Do this the day before those Good Times -- a clean, solid and agreeable routine for dedicated muscle-makers particularly susceptible to guilt and unforgiving imaginations:

> Your share of crunches and leg raises to lift up your spirits, warm up them bones and wear down your doubts.

> Bench press superset with straight-arm dumbbell pullover --3-4 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps

> Standing barbell curl superset with dips -- 3-4 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps

> Light-weight squats superset with calf raises -- 3-4 sets x 10, 8, 6 reps

Nice and easy does it, you good, smart and enduring person. The workout is for expression, stimulation, space, discovery, fun, need and purpose. Don’t like barbells, use dumbbells. Don’t like squats and calves, take a run… uphill. Don’t like low reps, double the reps. Save yourself and energize yourself and prepare yourself for the Good Times.

You’re an authentic Ironhead. You certainly deserve them.

The Good Times, that is.

Go… Godspeed… D

 

God bless America, land that I love. My hand is outstretched to Benjamin and John, Thomas, Robert and Roger. Thanks, gentlemen, for the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776. 
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Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

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