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My Early Musings Of Sports

Oct 9, 2007
Today I feel like musing about the early years playing sports. A few moons have passed since the old boy got completely dirty in the red dirt of North Texas, but my mind is still clear about our fun!

Wayne House basically established the baseball league in Iowa Park. He has always been an idol of mine. He set up games and practices at a diamond with no grass even close to the field and no fence. It was a dirt field completely. We did not have game jerseys or shirts with numbers to show for which team we were starring. We had two bats and a few balls with the catching equipment ready for any that were brave enough to play the catcher position.

Our practices were after school and into the summer. The afternoons from late May through the middle of July were blazingly hot! We always practiced at four o'clock while school was still in session and then at five o'clock when school let out for the summer. Usually at this time of day, the temperature was around 105 degrees. The practices were miserable with no shade to cover our heads except Mesquite trees that were fairly close to the diamond. What made practices worst is that our coach rarely ever showed up for the practice. Being eager we would show up early with anticipation only to be disappointed by the no show! He did show for the games, but the practices were just hot and boring waiting for nothing. We killed time playing catch, chase, and usually a boy named Bobby Tatum would appear and we would watch him get excited as he picked -up the cigarette butts and smoked them.

Baseball got better through the years thanks to Wayne House and I had a great time playing under the hot sun at Iowa Park, Texas.

As I grew older, some of my class mates became interested in weights. The fellows did not call the exercises weight training, but just simply weights. Are you lifting weights today they would ask? The first weights I remember seeing, was a bar with two 25 pound plates. I believe the total was 75 pounds. Not exactly what we call a complete weight set today! Coaches Carter and Howington had spent their own money to buy this bar and plates for the shot and discus throwers. Also, they were to be used for the football linemen. A classmate named Jimmy Gillespie was the first to actually lift and use this heavy weight.

I still hear him asking if I could lift the 75 pounds over my head. My knees were trembling; there was lots of doubt whether this request was possible. I answered Jimmy telling him I did not know. The lift was successful! What a relief! From that point onward, staying away from the weights was a priority. 1962 was the year. It would still be years before the benefit of weight training would explode into popularity.

The 1973 year found me helping my dear friend Robert Hailey begin a weight program at Calvert, Texas. Robert is an extremely intelligent person who holds degrees from Rice University and Texas A@M University. Robert is a forward thinking man with a desire to achieve the best in any endeavor.

We had a foundry in town and they helped supply weight plates and bars. They were helpful in everything we asked. Soon, we decided to do a local fund raiser and purchased a Marcy Gym with the money earned. This was successful! Our kids lifted and worked hard to develop their bodies. No one else in our area was lifting at the time. We were several years ahead of the other schools! Our lifting success was only possible because Robert Hailey saw the big picture and had a helper (me) that wanted kids to develop properly. We taught not only weight training, but proper nutrition as well.

History is an important subject to me. I like to look back to see how I can improve upon my current situation. I have learned this from important men in my life. Men like Wayne House, Robert Hailey and Coaches Carter and Howington. These forward looking men accepted challenges that were not very popular and pressed the issue to success! You know, looking back to see which way to go forward is really an awesome idea.
Men, thanks for the road maps laid out for me to travel upon! You are the best!
.
About the Author
David C. Brown holds a Master of Education from Texas A@M University in College Station, Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas. He writes about sports and muscle building at http://www.sportsjock.mobi and http://www.musclebuilding-supplements.com.
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