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Dave Draper, hammer curls

My name is Dave Draper and I'm your friend. What I am about to say is harsh and disturbing — it is meant to be — but in no way is it designed to violate or demean you, the reader. We are for all our strengths proliferated with weakness. Let the strong rally and wrestle to the Earth's rugged surface a fair share of those weaknesses and set a high mark for the timid surrounding us.

The masses of the modern world are getting fatter and less fit everyday, an appalling combination of conditions that profile man's deteriorating spinal musculature, character and instinctive sensibilities. Where we were once hardy, square-shouldered and erect we are now stooped and burdened. Where once we ran and played we now stumble and grope. The life-giving fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins that nourish our bodies and favor our lives have lost their appeal and been replaced by sugar, fat and chemicals in a bag to go.

Like sheep gone astray we accompany one another to the slaughter: dumb, fat, lazy and cowardly. It doesn't stop there. We know better and we ignore the dilemma. We deny and we procrastinate. We avoid considering the eventual consequences of our gluttony as if by magic they might not one day visit us, personally. Stroke, heart attack, diabetes? Not me... please. We find comfort in the overwhelming presence of others of similar structure and countenance and convince ourselves of the normality of relaxed stoutness. The descriptive word "fat" is now a term no longer socially correct and we shy of its use should we offend the deceived ego and start a war. Veiled eyes dart to a multitude of contrived distractions (TV, video games, obsessive work, gulping snacks) and the pain of reality is quieted again.

My harshness is kindness in disguise. Does one tell a child about to thrust his hand into the beehive to enjoy the honey? We can fix the problem. You who dare read this diatribe against self-destruction — the continued contribution to a fat and de-conditioned body — are tough and only a "choice" away from a solution. Stop here for a moment, dear reader, and consider the common crossroads before you. Each road is similar in appearance and takes you along your way in everyday travel. One goes left, a common road and slightly downhill with no margins on the food you eat, no exercise, no real disciplines, no hope. Discarded fast food bags, Big Gulps and beer cans decorate the muddy ditches and blinking-neon illuminates the overcast way. The other road veers to the right with a gradual uphill grade that wanders through tilled farmland, orchards of fruit and meadows of grazing cattle. It's called the highway where good eating habits regularly develop and exciting workouts thump the body. There's a gym just over the hill and another in the warm and sunny valley.

Do you want to be amongst the fat and the lazy? Is that a self-image you are willing to accept? Don't be offended, please; don't deny, rationalize or blame. Do you like being out of control? Are you content being one of the mindless masses, the easily conditioned and the ordinary on their way down a struggling path? You have passions and opinions, you protect your rights and options and you're a good person with intelligence and aspiration. Why not apply these qualities to the preservation of your life; why not multiply them eagerly and joyfully to the very enhancement of your life?

Your decision, your choice: left or right? What difference does it make which way I go? Why, if not asked to pause, I would surely go slightly downhill as it appears to be easier and by evidence of its broadness and trodden surface, it is the road most traveled, probably safer. That's for me, easier and safer. Think twice. Easier and safer leads to rounder and softer amidst a crowd of the dull-eyed.

Go right and feel the breeze, the flexing of your muscles and, ahhh, hear the sound of music: one sure step at a time, day after glorious day. There's a tangible difference in the effort of travel, an appealing difference and soon you define it as stimulating and invigorating, a fulfilling adventure without which you would despair. Why, the navigational discipline itself makes you feel whole and in control.

The "choice," to be effective, to be comprehensive, needs to originate in the depth of your being where reckoning resides. Only when you review your nature and are repelled by its composition, only when you are struck with purpose, impelled by its power and visualize transformation will you bow your head and say, "I'm going right, absolutely and for good, where life is lived and honored and prized."

What to do and how to do it? That comes natural to the Bomb Squad.

Next week I'll outline some friendly particulars for you to grasp or fumble or juggle. Startling basics revisited — I love reassurances.

Brother Draper here.

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