Saturday, June 14, 2008

I will be sketching out my thoughts on various news stories of the past few days over the weekend but at the moment I am getting through the roughest three day stretch of the year. With that in mind and as I am not too talkative at the moment, I want to simply request from my readers to please pray for my father.

Thank you in advance for your generosity in this regard.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

As yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the passing of Mike Mentzer, a few words on this individual whom many readers to this weblog may not be aware of seems fitting. The influence he has had upon your host have been touched on occasionally and to your host he will always be someone we remember fondly.

To start with, I never met Mike Mentzer. Nor was I following his competitive career prior to his early termination of it in 1980 at the age of 29 for reasons I do not want to go into now.{2} As I noted in years past,{3} my awareness of Mike Mentzer came from a book a late friend obtained for me{4} in a trade for another book I had back in high school. Most of the book Jeff (RIP) got for me was full of the usual incoherent irrational gibberish common to the field in question.{5} However, I found myself transfixed by the parts pertaining to Mike Mentzer. His physical appearance (along with that of his younger brother Ray) coupled with the logic behind their approaches{6} to training appealed to me though (admittedly) it took me a while to set aside my foundational presuppositions on the subject at question and consider the radically different way they were proposing.

Though I dabbled with it a bit over the years coming out of high school, it was not until I was in college a couple of years and after additional study on human physiology that I decided to really put the theory Mentzer espoused into practice and set aside everything I had been "taught" on these matters from other sources. I did this and with a training partner set about within a very short span of time radically transforming my physical appearance. I noted some of this in a weblog entry back in 2003 after I ran across part of my old training journal and took a bit of a birthday indulgence reminiscing on the matter at the time.{7}

As I go off of memory now, I believe I noted in that thread how despite my intentions of approaching the matters in the radically new way I had been studying that I nonetheless had a few presuppositions which were holdovers from the other training paradigm. These factors resulted in achieving far less than my training partner and I could have otherwise achieved despite the fact that what we accomplished was nothing short of spectacular and by all "conventional wisdom" was not possible.

For a variety of reasons -including a back injury suffered in 1996{8} and few knee injuries suffered in the years 1997, 1998, and 1999 coupled with the events of real life not being much help at the time- training took a backseat for me for a number of years. However, I did continue in a variety of ways to study the principles involved and I have found diverse contexts with which to apply the basic principles involved to a variety of seemingly disconnected subjects.

I may write on that factor at some point in the future but I want at the moment to remember Mike Mentzer (d. 6/10/01) and his brother Ray (d. 6/12/01) -the latter often overshadowed by his brother's gifts and achievements but also successful and an original thinker in his own right. But tomorrow is another day of remembrance for me so I will leave it at this for now except to note that the notion of an "Anonymous Christian"{9} in some respect could be said to probably apply to Mike and Ray Mentzer in my mind even though they were both Objectivists as well as atheists. I will perhaps cover that at some point in the future but at the moment wanted to remember them both, acknowledge their positive influence on me in a few key areas, and pray that the Lord show the graciousness to them that they showed to so many others.

Notes:

{1} Unless I am quoting from something I wrote previously of course.

{2} Maybe another time if I feel so inclined but not today.

{3} But cannot recall offhand exactly where I said it.

{4} Truthfully and in retrospect, I think he stole it.

{5} Namely, weight training and fitness.

{6} The late (d. 2007) Arthur Jones quoted in the side margin of this weblog was the individual whom Mike Mentzer obtained and further refined the basics of productive exercise from. (Mike always gave Jones tremendous credit for setting him on the right path so it seems appropriate for me to note it here since indirectly Jones did the same for me.)

{7} "Turn Back the Clock" Dept. (circa October 21, 2003)

{8} See footnote eight.

{9} This is a controversial theological term which has many possible interpretations. I do not intend at this time to explain what I mean by its usage here.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Points to Ponder:

No talk of peace, justice, truth, or virtue is complete without a clear understanding that certain individuals, movements, and nations must be met with measured force, however much we might prefer to deal with them peacefully or pleasantly. Without force, many will not talk seriously at all, and some not even then. Human, moral, and economic problems are greater today for the lack of adequate military force or, more often, for the failure to use it when necessary. [Fr. James V. Schall SJ]

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