First Things First

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He’s Punishing Himself

Dan John's new DVD set: Intervention

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This’ll be short and pointless, bombers. We have rising debt, rising temperatures, rising unemployment, rising prices and rising tensions; the last thing we need is rising weights.

What? Seriously? Under these conditions, raising weights is the first thing we must do. Waste no time. Get to the gym. Lift those barbells and dumbbells before we drop. They are the antidote, the solution to what brings us down.

It is up to us to inject joy and happiness into the daily grind.

Laree thought surely I was in a foul mood as she watched me dump Nova Scotia sardines onto a plate and add a heap of chopped onions. “He’s punishing himself.” I’d just returned from the gym after an ample pounding session and needed a musclebuilding treat. She squirmed when I took my first mouthful and downed it with a slug of tap water.

The girl knows computers and kettlebells, but she doesn’t appreciate the finer things of life.

There are grateful moments amid ungrateful times. Grasp the day before it’s gone. Pause, look, listen, enjoy and understand; give someone a compliment, tell someone you love them, offer someone a helping hand, hug someone tightly, forgive someone and ask someone for forgiveness.

Yeah, whatever, ya wimp. Now, out of my way. My head’s throbbing and I’m late with this week’s IOL breaking news… burp. Ya gotta love sardines and onions… make you lean and mean… and they smell good, too.

I can deceive you no longer, bombers. I’m not as young as I used to be, nor am I as strong or as enduring. As to appearance, it’s hard to say because I dare not look in my direction unless seriously threatened or lavishly bribed. When I go to the gym, however, the members call me Dave, which I find reassuring.

Of course, the nametag Laree pins to my t-shirt before leaving the house helps.

If you’re new at this stuff – cold iron, bad company, straining, aching, starving, sacrifice -- you’re on a bold journey with solid experiences before you. That you are not 21 and tough, flexible, eager, hopeful and cheery is not important. You’re here, like it or not, and that’s commendable. Welcome… or not… we’re a little strange.

Stay close, keep your eyes wide open, pay attention and enjoy the travel. Soon enough all this will be familiar and comfortable and you’ll find yourself wandering curiously and seeking your own path. Older kids who lift weights do that cuz they have short attention spans and they’re bored and they’re nosy. Take advantage of it.

Some of you have been stacking and restacking the steel for a few years and you’re well invested. Having dropped plates on your feet, gotten stuck under overloaded bars and dislocated your shoulders, you have incidentally built strength, muscle and savvy. Encouraging.

Of course, there are those of you who were lifting when gas was 19.9 a gallon (you might have to check the nametag on your t-shirt – I’m Dave) and you’re what seems to be one big injury and one large pain with shriveling arms and shrinking shoulders. You drag the iron around cuz it all you know how to do and if you don’t you get depressed and paranoid and your world eventually falls apart… or am I personalizing this too much?

Don’t forget: The most important tools in your toolbox apart from the bars and benches are commonsense and consistency. Get to the gym on time and lift what needs lifting. Commonsense prevents chaos and disorder; consistency assures input and output. Commonsense prevents over- and under-training and consistency assures presence and accountability.

And we once thought muscle-making was secretive and hi-tech, profound and unapproachable. Tsk, tsk. Anyone with brilliance, fortitude, persistence, discipline, desire, finesse, patience, commitment and heart and soul can grab a weight and knock themselves out.

Rock on, or, more accurately, metal on…

God’s Speed… Rocket Pants


Everyone has heard of the light at the end of the tunnel, but few have experienced it… or know anyone who has. Lo and behold, Laree D has, and it is neither daylight nor the headlight of an oncoming train. It is the 3.5 hour, three-disc DVD series by Dan John called Intervention: Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer.

Three months ago Dan John gave an in-depth seminar about the fundamentals and intricacies of correct training structure for the focused athlete. Cameras rolled as he described, demonstrated and detailed on blackboards the functional movement systems and their achievement. In the ensuing months, Laree edited the raw material, arranged it for clear understanding and added files of related information to present a bright light to which few tunnels lead.

Here’s a quick look: Dan John -- Intervention, released last week.


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