by Dave Draper....Athlete, Actor, Author, Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. Universe      

Occasionally someone will ask what keeps me going after all these years.

My first reaction is, duh, like, this rugged and powerful body, dude. Whadaya think?

However, my smooth and savvy character insists I offer a more motivational and instructional answer, one spiced with inspiration and wisdom.

I start with something lyrical, like the iron is part of me.

It's my purpose, it's my center; it's my blood, flesh and bone.

It's the very breath I take. It's my soul.
I come to the fields of steel to think, to sense, to be; to settle disputes and solve problems and prevent wrongs from happening.
The gym is my sanctuary, my refuge, that private place where I dwell fully and express myself completely.
The painful exertion of each desperate rep, the unnerving cacophony of clanking plates, the tedium of repetitious movements, the vanishing egocentric presence of me:

They are strange and elaborate reprieves from the convention of daily living.
Training is transcendental........