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Be Strong and Courageous

7309-prime1And now, without beating around the bush, hedge or prairie grass, allow me to come straight to the point without deviation or deceit and inquire as to how we iron-hearted muscular marvels manage the eventual and distinctive processes of growing old, getting older and aging, which, according to my calculations and stream of anecdotal information, we are bound to stagger, stumble or fall into, if we haven’t done so already.

I’m addressing any of the aforementioned categories, adding the mature and maturing, the elders and elderly, the seniors, the aging and aged, and, last but not least, the old farts.

Excuse my bluntness, pardon my directness. Reducing the revolting predicament to a few basic words makes it clearer and more digestible, don’t you think?

I was in my mid-60s when the weight of the iron increased notably, becoming ever more resistant to my persuasion. In addition, the price I was obliged to pay per pound rose substantially, leaving my sweatpants bare and baggy and my tank top loose and droopy. Till then there was tough joy in our partnership, but I, in my greediness, demanded more than I could give.

Alas, these are the times that try men’s souls. Kicking and screaming, flipping, flopping and flailing, I acquiesced to the certain and willful direction of time, as would any madman being led to the guillotine, firing squad, hangman’s noose or electric chair.

I thank God daily for my strength and courage.

Here’s a question I’m frequently asked by faithful bombers: How do you confront aging and old age, muscle and might?

Hmm, I sneer as I stroke my chin, eyes focused intently on an undefinable object in a distant place, while leaning heavily on my snappy new walking stick, which I call Old Reliable. An appropriate question. I am, I suspect, in the midst of it all. Gone are the days when one asked me how to build barn-door lats or turkey-leg forearms. Rather, concern has been directed to sagging pecs and lagging zeal.

Body, mind and spirit, none are spared time’s reckoning. Each, singly and together, are witness of and subject to the stroke of time. Some folks greet the stream of time with open arms and a grin, knowing something I don’t. Living life keeps them busy, entertained and fulfilled. Others suffer each day as a burden, bearing its wearisome daily passage as a chore. Living life escapes them; they deny the gift and they waste away.

Old age sneaks up on you, like a thief in the night. One day you’re 39… uh-oh… and the next day you’re 50… OMG… Blink-blink and you’re what, 60?…  Gasp…or is it 59? We get so confused. Then one day out of nowhere—surprise!—one of us is 72.

Hello.… Don’t blame me. It’s not my fault. It happened.

It’s no fun, the thought of aging. But, when welcomed with open arms and lived day by day, it’s wonderful and exciting, a challenging and instructive catastrophe. You grow accustom to its face.

Of course, that’s once you submit to, get over and accept deterioration, limitation and aggravation, throbs, aches and pains, stooping, shrinking and shrieking; stumbling and mumbling, snorting and gurgling and forgetting.

’Scuze me. Who are you, and what are we doing here? Just kidding!

In a future column I’ll offer my insights, observations, cautions, paranoia (’nother joke; I’m on a roll), fixes and fixations. First, I must invent them.

We are, after all, going to live till we die.… Bombs away!

—Dave Draper


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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