Bad Case of the Barbells
by Thom Van Vleck
When I was a kid I watched the Beverly Hillbillies. Yes, I’m pretty old. The show was a top comedy show in the 60’s and early 70’s. It was about a family of hillbillies that come into millions and end up in Beverly Hills. In one particular episode the beautiful “farmer’s daughter” Elly Mae gets set up with “Mister Universe” Dave Draper. Dave Draper was indeed a Mr. Universe and a top Bodybuilder. In the episode the family, being backwards, sees his huge muscles and mistake it for an illness. They ask him what they are. He said “Muscles”. They ask how he got them and he says, “Barbells”. Granny turns to Uncle Jed and whispers, “Worst case of barbells I’ve ever seen”. I remember watching that episode several times.
In 1977 I began to develop as bad case of barbells myself. I evidently didn’t get them as bad as Dave as I have never been mistaken for a Mister Universe but I think I have the illness as bad as anyone since I’m going on nearly 40 years of barbell training. Over the years I’ve joked about it being an illness and my case being incurable. Which brings me to my point.
I do have a bad case of the barbells. I enjoy training and when I’m not my world isn’t right. It helps me not only physically but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally as well. I don’t just train to achieve a goal I train because it’s a part of my life like eating, drinking, sleeping, and praying. It’s not really an illness. It’s a blessing. And over the years I’ve tried to be Typhoid Thom…and infect as many people as possible with the “illness”.
So, do you have a bad case of the Barbells?