First Things First

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The Inquiry Is Universal



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Life is short; the days are swift, but the moments of doubt are long.

How are we progressing, we ask in accord. The inquiry is universal, multifaceted and pervasive; the answer a wonder.

I have constructed a test of one question to determine the attributes and advancement of regular bombers -- a clever device to spotlight the curiosity and resolve the mystery of how we are doing.

You load sixteen ton and what do you get?

A) Huge and ripped
B) Another day older
C) Deeper in debt
D) A sore back
E) Fulfillment
F) Pleasure

Choose one. The answer you select reveals your inner being -- your character.

A) Optimistic B) Realistic C) Pessimistic D) Pathetic E) Simplistic F) Sadistic

I enjoy and appreciate impromptu quizzes, don't you? They keep us alert and on our toes. And they say we're all muscles and no brains. Ha! Fooled 'em again, airheads.

So, how'd ya do?

Yeah, I know. Lotta Ds! But, hey, we try hard. We train hard. We blast it!

Let's move on to more stirring things, like the spoon in your morning coffee or the local weather or maybe a challenge.

Business of the day:

I, the Bomber, have been unanimously selected as your friendly challenge motivator. I deem a challenge commitment act courageous, constructive and wise...and binding.

My duty as motivator is to remind you, encourage you, persuade, stimulate or threaten you to revive your goals and enthusiastically attend them.

To get started, select the approach that is appropriate to your particular needs. Be bold, choose them all.

1) Tough approach

We take this personally. We are a serious mob. We have little patience. We know where you live.

If I were you, here's what I'd do: think of your kids, spouses, lovers, friends and pets and possessions. Either the iron goes up or you're going down.

Note: This methodology is iffy and seldom requested. We contract out to an east coast firm.

2) Practical approach

Think of the importance of your challenge and what it has to offer: health and strength, honor and long life. Consider the consequences if you don't participate as pledged: guilt and disappointment, lost days and wasted weeks, pudginess and vulnerability, stoutness and inadequacy.

Our training is integral to our wellbeing and deserves special attention. You know it; it's a fact of life and you endorse it highly. It must be done and any postponement is costly and counterproductive, feeble and destructive. Lift that iron, drop the junk food and move like a lean machine, jellybean.

3) Loving approach

I know exactly how you feel, friend. Lifting weights, eating right and being disciplined in your living habits can be a real drag. The payoffs are grand, but the payments are often downright painful, troublesome and tedious. It's during these trying moments of discouragement and discomfort when our character and courage -- our core strengths -- are created, defined and engaged.

We press on or we falter, step forward or stumble backward, reach ahead or rest on our broadening haunches. I cannot relax and enjoy life if I let go. Only when I grasp life, the precious gift, am I strong and deserving, relieved of stress and at peace with the moment.

A short and sweet workout today, one that stimulates the mind and muscle and soul is the perfect workout. Tomorrow it will bear legs, the next day wings and the day after, air beneath those wings as they spread wide and far. You're soaring.

4) Casual approach

What's the big fuss? We can all use a challenge to brighten our spirits and sharpen our egos and tone our bods. Go to the gym, lift a few weights, ride the stationary bike and watch the tube. Meet new friends, dig up some action and talk about sports between sets and reps.

Blast it on occasion when your hormones line up like soldiers on the front line. Cool! What a relief! Before you know it, it's time for a steam, Jim Beam.

About food: don't eat the whole pizza and drink the last beer. Get rid of the soda and dump the chips. You don't need 'em and you won't miss 'em if they're not staring you in the face. Boost the protein and lower the sugar and greasy fat; take a protein supplement, drink more water, throw in some pop-top tuna fasts when you feel mean and nasty, and smile as the days go by and the fat evaporates and the strength grows and the muscle tones.

Relax. It's what happens, man. It works.

5) Desperate approach

Pssst! Hey you, listen up. We don't have much time. You've gotta do your challenge now before it's too late. The end of the year is coming fast and you're gonna be a mess if you don't start blasting it -- today. Blasting works!! And, if you don't move now, you won't move again.

Remember last year? You stopped training and gained twenty-two pounds in twenty-two days; your gym membership lapsed and they dismissed you from the bowling team for tossing the ball from your seat...missed the lane, missed the gutter, hit the rent-a-cop.

It's now or never. Delay and die, go now or go home. Bomb it or explode.

6) Zero approach

Why bother, who needs it -- the cop-out -- withdrawals.

What's it all mean? You go to the gym like a faithful cleric, you lift weights like a big gorilla, you eat like a starving canary, you sacrifice like a shrouded monk and you get hit by lightning like a hapless limb in a vast forest.
You struggle with the weights through the summer and gain ten pounds. You catch the flu in the winter and lose fifteen. That was encouraging -- let's do it again.

No one enjoys dieting, sacrificing and denying, but it must be done if you're going to lose the excessive twenty-five to fifty pounds of fat (who can tell anymore?). Swell. Life stops for an endless season of hefting and hoisting, spinning and chinning and vegetables, fresh fruits and teensy portions of fish and chicken and, oh, more water.

We get a little touchy when the blood sugar is low and the iron is heavy and the sinew is soft and time is wasting and the thrill is gone.

Those are your choices, loyal warriors. I leave you with a few final hints or insights or viewpoints that might sufficiently confuse you. There's order in confusion.

Sometimes challenges work best when you keep them a secret all to yourself -- you and your inner partner. You whisper, you coax and coddle.

Sometimes they work best when you set them on cruise control and disregard assessment and scrutiny. Let them be. They happen.

Sometimes you've got to carefully share and examine them, press and stretch them to make them work. A little help from your friends can't hurt.

Sometimes they work best when you move them to center stage with confidence, under the spotlight for everyone to see. There they are in all their nakedness for observation and comment and criticism. Way to go.

Get huge and ripped, or lean and mean, or big and strong, or trim and shapely, or thick and powerful, or light and tight, or fast and flexible.

Just get it going now.

Dave



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