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A Generous Partner


Dave's new book, Iron on My Mind

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Weightlifting is a generous and playful partner bestowing us with riches too numerous to tally. Iron knows no prejudice; that's why we respect it. Steel does not deceive and for this we love it. Gravity is pure and offers us far more than we can give in return. The lifter understands there is poetry in form, solitude in focus and vitality in pace. He seeks and finds excitement in reps, exhilaration in sets and fulfillment in a workout completed. Worldly woes fade in the midst of training, and stress disperses as its fuel.

There's sanctuary in a good gym, a gathering of like spirits beholden to similar truths.

Naturally, little of worth comes without hard work and time, pain and sacrifice, monotony and disillusion. These, stern teachers and advocates in disguise, prepare us for life's more serious and raging battles beyond the thud and thunder of the metal hitting the lifting platform. The good life here on earth isn't free; you've got to earn it and learn it, love it and deserve it.

Since we're only a few days before Christmas, there's hardly enough time for one last cheery pump. Who'll be making it to the gym -- garage, basement, spare room, bedroom corner -- on Christmas? Maybe you'll be there with about a dozen desperate friends, or Desperados, as desperate ones prefer to be called. This is a tough bunch of hardcore and mean (read, insecure and guilty) lifters whose hands itch to grip the weights and toss them heavenward. On the Big Day itself we, like regular people, sit around and feast and converse and visit... and we doodle on the back of our training logs, drawing pictures of dumbbells and benches and stick people wearing tank tops and doing Zottman curls, artistic and deep.

Time has a particular effect this time of year. Obviously! It's the end of yet one more year, 2017 becomes 2018. One entire year is inexorably, absolutely gone in a split second, a second we anticipate with strange hope and enchantment, regret and relief, guilt and loss for days. In the next second -- zoom -- we're overwhelmed with... what? The bigness, boldness and newness of the New Year; joy, expectation, promise, tradition, liquor, fireworks, party time as usual, real New Year's resolutions and commitments? It's another man-made mystery.

Furthermore, back in October we were reminded by everyone invested that Christmas was just around the corner. Sixty-six shopping days left till Christmas, and the countdown began. Swell, but what happened to summer? The year... no, the years... are flying by and I'm just a kid. I don't know whether to hurry or slow down. I'm getting -- no, no, not me, us -- we're getting old... not old, but older, or rather, we're adding a few strong and wonderful years to our lives. Phew. That was a close one.

Yes, time screams in our ear this time of year. The gifts under the tree are different also. No more cross-bow, hiking boots, kayak and chain saw; it's a huge warm parka in which moving fast is impossible, a marble chess set (I don't know a king from a pawn), slippers and a set of adjustable exercise bands for training at home in the bedroom. It's scary just joking about this stuff. If ya don't mind, I'll stop right here.

I suggest for your last workout this week to be a collection of choice exercises to cover the whole body. Just keep moving and enjoy yourself, no pressure. Or, you know what else is fun? Slumpbusters. Find a partner in the mood for madness and do a selection of everlovin' slumpbusters.

Can you imagine this stuff is free? People complain about trivial things -- bicker, cause trouble, fight, start wars, terrorize, when all they have to do is go down to the gym, lift weights and everything's all right. It's better than all right; it's grand... it's full of hope and splendor and understanding and forgiveness and life and happiness.

Merry Christmas, bombers. I'll catch ya before the New Year.

God's strength forever... DD

*****

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