The Blonde Bomber
The strength and physical culture world suffered a huge loss last week, as Dave Draper passed away on November 30.
Dave Draper, the Blonde Bomber, is my number one inspiration in the world of physical culture. A legend, an icon, a writer. Dave is introspective, brilliant, and hits you with combination of realism and romanticism that makes you want to be born into the golden era of bodybuilding on Muscle Beach.
Dave’s Weekly Column, IronOnline Newsletter
Dave wrote a weekly column, the IronOnline Newsletter, for years, which I read religiously. He helps me re-realize the joy of lifting during times of burnout. His writing is deep and real, but also hilarious and inspiring.
When he stopped writing his weekly column, I cried. I wrote him a letter thanking him for all the wonderful thoughts he shared over the years.
A Season for Everything
I used to screenshot my favorite quotes from his columns. Today I went back through the screenshots and found my favorites.
“You’re in a Slump?” is one of the best columns Dave wrote. My favorite quote from this one is,
“And the Good Book tells us there is a season for everything, reaping and sowing, pumping and burning.”
Poignant and humorous, and worth the read.
Paint Big Pictures, Delightful and Bright
My favorite quote from The Blonde Bomber:
“Sometimes we forget why we go to the gym and the driving forces — the countless reasons for lifting heavy with meticulous form and in relentless pursuit — are left behind, under the bed with the dust balls, in the closet with the dirty laundry or at work under a stack of papers. Get in the habit of recalling who you are and why you’re here: to be good to your neighbor; to cultivate high morals; to be loyal to your country; to eat your protein and to train hard, with undying commitment to health, strength and long life.
Board your craft, brothers and sisters. The sky is your canvas; your wings are the brush. Paint big pictures, delightful and bright.”
To Laree, should you ever read this, thank you so much for all of your work on the IronOnline Newsletter, and for sharing so much of you and Dave with us over the years.
About the author
Kathryn Alexander is a strength coach and personal trainer in Austin, Texas. She loves hiking, college football, and the feel of a perfectly knurled barbell. Read more about Kathryn here.