I took Lindsay to Kingsbury Hall last night and listened to a two hour monologue by Garrison Keillor. It’s a lost art form. It’s amazing to watch: a man in a suit with red socks and red shoes talking for two hours connecting threads of one story to another and tying them all together at the end.
Of course, it is Utah. So, he began speaking and then most of the crowd decided to show up. Somehow, being on time in Utah is against local cultural norms. So, I missed much of the opening standing up and sitting down for late comers. It was also nice that four or five people didn’t turn off their cellular phones, too. Courtesy: a lost art.
Keillor is a hero of mine. I can’t believe I have enjoyed his work for probably thirty years. Storytelling has always been the best way to communicate. The popularity of Harry Potter reflects J. K. Rowlings gift of telling a good tale. Dick Notmeyer was a master of this. Whenever I came up to another sticking point or barrier, Dick would simply tell a story. Dick would talk about this guy or that guy and how he did this or that and broke through. Certainly, the weight room is like a cave and wisdom of the weight room seems to be handed from generation to generation.
It is interesting when someone feels like it is important to toss away what Sandow, Hack, Gironda, Draper or Kono has to say about lifting and reinvents what we do. Usually, they toss away all of this with a new religion often with a cash making scheme at its roots. The neophytes run away and worship at the new altar, one or two get sacrificed, a virgin or two loses the title and then the smoke clears and we discover that the Emperor has no clothes and Oz is behind the curtain.
What these new lifting religions always miss is the story. Behind the walls of pseudo-science (remember the Nautilus cam and how it mimicked the exact line of how the muscle worked?), the new religions talk about percents and numbers and hard science. I reminded of the books I had as a child, “hard science,” that taught that dinosaurs were slow reptiles that had to live in water to hold their bulk.
I love the story. I love the stories. Whether Dick’s story about “a guy like you (Dan)” who decided to Olympic lift and made it as a Division One athlete was true or not isn’t really important. What was important is that a guy like me made it.