TOO SOON OLD

BY DAVE GLASGOW

IF YOU WANT QUALITY EQUIPMENT THAT CAN BE CUSTOM MADE TO YOUR NEEDS, GIVE AL MYERS A TRY. NONE BETTER. I GUARANTEE IT. GIVE HIM A TRY! WHY??? 'CAUSE I SAID SO!!!!

RECENTLY, I HAD OPPORTUNITY  TO MAKE A WONDERFUL PURCHASE OF A VERY FINE, SUPERBLY CRAFTED POWER RACK, BUILT BY OUR OWN AL MYERS. I DIDN”T REALLY NEED IT, AS I PURCHASED ONE FROM ANOTHER OUT FIT A COUPLE YEARS AGO. IT WAS VERY BASIC, BUT WELL BUILT, STURDY AND FUNCTIONAL. HOWEVER, WHEN I SAW THAT AL WAS IN BUSINESS, I JUST COULD NOT RESIST AND HAD TO HAVE ONE OF HIS CREATIONS.

CHRISTMAS CAME A COUPLE WEEKS LATE BUT THAT WAS OKAY. ALONG WITH DELIVERY CAME TWO YOUNG MEN TO ASSEMBLE THE RACK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, SO THIS WAS A WIN/WIN SITUATION. I STILL HAD A LITTLE WORK TO DO TO ATTACH IT TO THE FLOOR BUT THAT WAS MINOR, IN RELATION TO SETTING IT UP.

WHILE I WAS WORKING PLACING THE RACK IN IT’S PERMANENT POSITION, I HAD SOME THOUGHTS THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE. THE ONE THAT KEPT COMING BACK TO ME WAS, ‘WELL, OLE MAN’, NOW YOU HAVE THIS FANCY ASS RACK AND YOU ARE TOO OLD TO PUT ANY SERIOUS WEIGHT ON IT!’ THEN IT OCURRED TO ME JUST HOW ‘LONG’ I HAD WAITED TO HAVE SOMETHING OF THIS QUALITY, WITH ALL THE ‘BELLS AND WHISTLES’ AND SUCH. IT WAS THEN THAT I STARTED A TRIP DOWN ‘MEMORY LANE’.

I GOT OUT OF COLLEGE IN THE MID-SEVENTIES; WITHOUT A DEGREE, I MIGHT ADD. I IMMEDIATLEY WENT TO WORK IN THE ‘OIL PATCH’. MONEY WAS TIGHT, THE WORK WAS HARD AND, SOMETIMES, HARD TO FIND. WHAT IS REFERRED TO, THESE DAYS, AS ‘DISPOSABLE INCOME’ WAS NON-EXSISTANT. WHY MY WIFE, GUNNER, LET ME BLOW THREE BILLS ON A YORK OLY SET IS WELL BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. TO THINK I COULD ‘BLOW’ MONEY ON SOMETHING AS EXTRAVIGANT AS STORE BOUGHT LIFTING EQUIPMENT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION.

SO, HAVING RUDIMENTARY WELDING SKILLS, I SET ABOUT MAKING MY OWN EQUIPMENT. THE NAME OF MY FIRST ‘GYM’ WAS ‘THE SCRAP IRON WEIGHT HOUSE’. IT DOES’NT TAKE A GENIUS OR DEEP THINKER TO FIGURE OUT WHY AND HOW IT GOT IT’S NAME. EVERYTHING I MADE WAS FROM THE ‘BONE YARD’ OF SCRAP METAL WE HAD AT THE FARM. I STILL HAVE THE BENCH I MADE AND MY FRIEND CONTINUES TO USE THE SQUAT RACKS I THREW TOGETHER (WHICH WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT COULD POSSIBLY LIVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, THAT’S HOW HEAVY AND DURABLE IT IS).

THE THING I WAS (AM) PROUDEST OF, HOWEVER, IS THE POWER RACK THAT I MADE, WITH MY DAD’S ASSISTANCE. I SCROUNGED FOUR 4 X 4s FROM AN OLD CRATE WE HAD AND DAD BORROWED A DRILL PRESS FROM A SHOP HE HAD CONNECTIONS WITH. WE HAD A ‘DOWN’ SATURDAY SO WE GOT TO WORK. DRILLING THE HOLES TOOK TWO HOURS AND WE FIGURED, WHEN WE WERE DONE, THAT WE HAD DRILLED 33’ FEET OF ‘HOLE’(COMING FROM THE ‘OIL PATCH’, THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO US!! HAHAHA). WITH SOME ANGLE IRON FOR SUPPORTS AND ‘SUCKER’ ROD FOR CROSS PIECES, I WAS IN BUSINESS!

THAT POWER RACK SERVED WELL UNTIL ABOUT 2007, WHEN I LOST THE PLACE I HAD BEEN LIFTING IN DUE TO AN ‘ECONOMIC DOWNTURN’. IT WAS A COUPLE YEARS BEFORE IT WAS PUT BACK IN USE.

ALL OF THESE THINGS WERE SWERLING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD AND I STOPPED AND MARVELED AT HOW FAR WE (GUNN AND I) HAD COME. I WAS SETTING UP A RACK THAT I, REALLY, DID’NT NEED AND WAS APROACHING AN AGE WHERE I COULD NOT, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, USE TO IT’S FULL CAPABILITIES. DON’T MISUNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING. I WILL CONTINUE TO TRAIN JUST AS HARD BUT IN NO WAY WILL THIS RACK GET WORKED AS HARD AS IT IS FULLY CAPABLE OF. I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD, IT’S JUST VERY HARD FOR ME TO REALIZE THAT I AM AT ‘THAT’ TIME IN MY LIFE! AT THIS POINT, I AM FIGHTING JUST TO SAVE WHAT I HAVE!!

FOR SOME REASON, I THOUGHT OF THE MOVIE, ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’. GEORGE IS COURTING MARY AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A HOUSE WHERE AN ‘OLDER’ MAN IS SITTING ON THE PORCH, READING A PAPER. GEORGE IS STRUGGLING WITH WHAT TO DO AND THE OLE GUY HOLLARS, ‘WHY DON’T YOU GO AHEAD AND KISS HER?!’ AS GEORGE JUST STANDS THERE, MOTIONLESS, THE MAN GETS UP FROM HIS CHAIR AND STARTS WALKING TO THE DOOR TO GO INSIDE. AS HE IS WALKING, HE SAYS, IN DISGUST, ‘AWWW, YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG!!!’

HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE! WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, WE HAVE NO COMPREHENSION OF TIME OR WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US. AS GEORGE DID, WE MUDDLE THRU BEST WE CAN, AND, USUALLY, AS CHEAP AS WE CAN. IT IS ONLY WHEN WE REACH A CERTAIN AGE THAT WE CAN BE A BIT MORE EXTRAVIGANT AND PURCHASE SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT, NOT NECCESARILY WHAT WE NEED.

STILL, AGED OR NOT, LOWER WEIGHTS BE DAMNED, I WILL ENJOY THIS HOLLAND STRENGTH RACK AND PUT IT TO USE AS BEST AS AN ‘OLD GUY’ CAN. I WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT, VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT, AS IT HAS TAKEN FORTY YEARS TO ACQUIIRE.

ODD, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT WERE JUST YESTERDAY THAT I ………………………………….

Holland Strength and Fitness

by Al Myers

Holland Strength and Fitness

Last week I launched a new business, specializing in gym equipment and other items that will aid in the strength developing process.  The name of the business is Holland Strength and Fitness, and can be found online at www.hollandstrength.com.  I’ve always been involved in making gym equipment for the past 25 years, and have sold many pieces privately through the years.  The reason I’m doing this is because I think it is about time that I share some of my ideas in strength equipment with others.  For those of you that have been to the Dino Gym and seen some of the stuff I’ve designed and built will understand this – as most of my equipment is very unique and designed for the lifter in mind.

My philosophy is to make gym equipment very functional for it’s intended purpose.  Too many times in commercial gyms I’ve used equipment that makes me ask, “why did they build it like THAT!”  Something is positioned wrong – in the wrong place – or something is missing that would make the piece of equipment more beneficial.  I’m hoping the equipment made by Holland S&F will not be that way.  I have the best “testing lab” there is -  an actual gym where the equipment is pushed to it’s limits on a daily basis.  I know pretty quick if something needs improved in any way.  I WILL NOT sell an inventory piece unless it has been put through the rigors of heavy testing.

My main focus to start with will be with custom orders for power racks, platforms, and benches.  I have the ability in my fab shop to customize the equipment any way you may want.  This may include a personalize banner, or even a cutting a personalize name into the equipment itself. I have several stock items in inventory, but if anyone wants a stock item customized, please let me know and I’ll give you a quote. Also, keep an eye on the website as my product line will be expanding rapidly over the next few months. A “lack of ideas” is not something I have!