First Things First

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Don’t Rain on My Parade



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I have oodles of things to talk about besides the weather, but it’s raining outside our typically sunny California windows for the first time in many moons and we’re loving it. A silent, grey sky casts precious water straight down and hard from its obscure storehouse above. The otherwise golden state is experiencing a daunting drought or I might not be greeting the soggy meteorological conditions with such affection.  

It’s a heartbreaker driving past empty reservoirs, shallow creaks that were raging rapids a year ago, and greenish ponds, the remnants of once fun ‘n frolicking lakes. Jet skis for rent.

Gee! Do I detect subtle contrasts above, coincidentally mocking my current physical condition? Empty reservoirs [sagging tank top], shallow creeks [pipe-stem arms], greenish ponds [puddle butt]? Indeed!

Don’t stop there, you heartless brute. Give me your best shot. I can take it. Carrot-stick legs, beanbag pecs, pin head. Is that it? Pencil neck, jelly belly, lily-livered, chicken-hearted.  

Old bodybuilders never quit, they just drip away.

There comes a time when one must openly, fiercely and intelligently express oneself to stifle the truths and lies, exaggerations and misconceptions.

Oh, Bomba! I’m beginning to sound like a politician, a head of state… a second-term president.

Opportunities arise amid defeat. Intervene and treat the forlorn to a high-protein, low carb-meal, and afterward lead them to a stack of iron. If they don’t know what to do once they’re there, shoot them. Just kidding! Rather, demonstrate a proper standing barbell curl and, looking straight into their eyes, describe plainly and simply the muscles involved in the action and the thrill of the burn and pump.

Note the hope and excitement in their vacant stares. Now teach them the bench press, if you happen to have a bench.

That’s it. You’re done. That’s how the whole catastrophe starts. They are sufficiently indoctrinated, obsessed, hooked, addicted and stoned. They’ll be back tomorrow begging for more. Push ‘n pull, again ‘n again. One more rep, two more plates.

“Ohmygosh, what are these things?”

“Those things are dumbbells… nothing personal… one-hand versions of the barbell. Allow me…”

You can teach them the right way to lift, but when nobody’s looking they’ll invent bizarre contortions to move the iron from here to there. Crunch! You can warn of the dangers of too much weight, but when they get that irresistible urge, they’ll add a plate and tear a tendon. Rip! You can suggest they not overtrain, but when they’re needy -- they’re always needy -- they’ll train till the cows come home. Mooooore…

Which reminds me, Olympians, time for my delicious pre-workout muscle-building, energy-boosting concoction -- four scoops of Bomber Blend mixed with 16 ounces of low-fat cow milk. I swig half of it 30 minutes before I swing to the gym and I sip the remainder on the slide home.   

Once on the gym floor it’s the iron, me and my expression of historic might. I say historic might cuz, creaky and bent, it’s a thing of the past. Still, it’s worth its weight in gold.

Wanna bet? I’ll bet you a five-pound plate you didn’t notice within the prior two paragraphs my subtle references to the Games in Sochi? Hint: Olympian - Gold. Ha! You lose.

What a grand, vibrant and courageous exhibition of young world athletes. Lucky we are to be viewing the action and talent at home in living color, but it must be an absolute and ongoing burst to be there. The hum, the buzz, the tingle, the glee amid the events; the awe when the athletes appear and the deafening roar of the crowd when an Olympian strikes Gold.

Imagine the eruption of joy and fear, numbness and excitement held tight in the mind and skin of the competitor. The searing moment before the gun, their ‘now;’ the charge, the release, the instant of truth. It’s like trying to understand time and space, never or forever or the far side of the moon.

Well, it’s that time already. Turn on the porch light, take out the garbage and throw another log on the fire. Another day.

Bombs away… DD

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