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White Noise, Echoing Silence of Iron


ironmanmagazine.comNaps are nice, especially for mutts who inscribe B-70 in the columns labeled “age” on forms in waiting rooms at clinics where blood tests are done weekly. There are some dynamic codgers and fogies pushing 75 and 80, but they’re typically 130 pounds of walk ’n’ talk and no iron. “Ya wanna push the iron, ya gotta pay the price,” said the gnarly duffer loading the bar.

Lately, I’ve been considering the price. The costs rise with age (pain, swelling, limited-to-no range of motion, fatigue) and the earnings diminish.… Train, or go ca-razy.

Gee, life’s a bowl of cherries—and then there’s tuna ’n’ water.

“Sorry, I think he’s grumpy. ‘Mama said there’ll be days like this. There’ll be days like this my mama said.’ Just hum along and pretend not to notice.… ‘Mama said, mama said, hey, hey,’… Shirelles, ’61. Oh, my!”

Here’s my approach when contemplating the gym and a workout on a cranky day: Just get there, walk in and check the vibe; do anything resembling an exercise and see how it goes. If it’s not good, go home. There’s another day; if it is good, stay and play.

This attitude is not for the young lifter, whoever that is. Let’s just say the tactic works for veteran lifters only, whoever they are. You’ll know when you’re a veteran lifter. They smell, see, stand, shift and sound singularly.

Getting to the gym can be the hardest part—yet the smartest part. The drive can offer relief while stirring purpose, energy and desire. Use the time wisely. I eat a banana, slug some Bomber Blend and visit God.

Entering is not exactly easy. At least you’re moving—a good sign. You’re a free man, wise, intuitive and tough. You’ll know if you should be here by the first clank and groan of others and a carefully arranged, glancing reflection of yourself in your favorite mirror, if there is such a thing. Focus, bud. Be strong.

Doing something, anything for a short period of time is better than doing nothing for a long period of time. The first few sets tell you everything: hope or despair, courage or weakness, soreness or readiness, engagement or retreat, arms ’n’ legs or chest, back ’n’ shoulders.

Not good? Seriously? Too bad. You tried. Go home; there’s another day. More rest and repair, more time away to heal and deal. Don’t worry, be happy. Life is a gift.

Good? I love that word, that sensation, that assessment. Smile, stay and play. One or two natural steps forward and let your God-given instincts take over. Vets can do that, though they seldom do. “Trust yourself” is not the mantra of the suspicious, susceptible serial-musclehead. It’s healthy and reliable, delightful and empowering, but how will you ever know without trying it?

Tip: Go. Let go, and go.

About me (do we hafta?): I got there, I walked in, and I did rope tucks. I engaged and raged and moved like a Caterpillar (the machine, not the fuzzy bug) but only for 45 minutes. Any more would have been too much; any less would have been less.

Rope tucks supersetted with seated lat rows.

One-arm dumbbell rows supersetted with stiff-arm pullovers.

Wrist curls supped with pushdowns.

Why? Why not!

I returned home with a grin on my kisser and a heart full of contento mucho. I’m multilingual. Yah!

Drive carefully. Potheads ahole. I mean potholes ahead.

Stay to the right, by God’s might.… DD—Danger Defiantly

 

Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit www.DaveDraper
.com and sign up for his free newsletter. You can also check out his amazing Top Squat training tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and forum.

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