Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Sep

The Unconquerable Dave: Still Unconquerable

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Back in January I received an email from an all-cap typing, keg-throwing, tree-climbing Primal enthusiast with a grizzly beard and an indomitable spirit that blew me (and eventually Mark’s Daily Apple readers) away. His name? PAPA GROK, aka DAVEMAN, aka The Unconquerable Dave. If you haven’t read his original story take a gander now.

I get emails from MDA readers fairly regularly telling me how they were moved by his story and asking for an update on how Dave is doing. I reached out to Dave a couple weeks back and he graciously sent me the following report and pics. Many thanks to Dave. GROK ON, BROTHER!

HELLO MARK …DAVEMAN CHECKIN IN…

WANTED TO DROP A NOTE TO YOU AND ALL THE PRIMAL / PALEO CLAN OUT THERE. ITS BEEN A FEW MONTHS AND WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW HOW I AM DOING. THE BIG STORY IS THE FOOD… IT WORKS!!      I NOW KNOW THIS BECAUSE  MY EXERCISE IDEAS TOOK ON A CHALLENGE ALL THEIR OWN THIS YEAR..And it seems the FOOD foundation held up GREAT!

SOME FOLKS ARE ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE.. WHICH I ALWAYS SUPPORT WHOLEHEARTEDLY.. ITS CALLED A CHALLENGE FOR A REASON..ITS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS FOR MANY..BUT I AM ONE WHO WILL BE THERE TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THE REWARDS FOR ACCOMPLISHING IT…AND MORE..HERES MY TAKE ON THE LAST 120 PLUS DAYS OF A CHALLENGE THAT I DID NOT SEE COMING>>>

THIS PAST JANUARY I HAD A SERIOUS PRIMAL ENCOUNTER WITH A LARGE MALE DEER( I did dispatch said Deer and eat it) THAT REQUIRED SOME SERIOUS SURGERY. This was shortly after that pic of me in the flip-flops in the snow. ..This LED TO MY CURTAILING OF SERIOUS EXERCISE AND OTHER HEAVY LIFTING THINGS..I WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO ALL THAT DETERMINED EFFORT I HAD JUST PUT INTO MY LIFE BY HAVING TO SPEND MONTHS LETTING MY BODY HEAL UP..I HAD BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT SIDE ABDOMINAL WALLS TORN UP AND SPENT 4 HOURS IN SURGERY GETTING MYSELF REBUILT AND RESEWN BACK TOGETHER…ROBOTIC SURGERY IS A WONDER OF MODERN MEDICAL SCIENCE…BUT I WAS PUT ON THE INACTIVE ROSTER FOR MONTHS AS FAR AS WHAT I COULD AND COULD NOT DO….ALL I CAN SAY IS IT DOES INTERRUPT ONES “PLAYING” WITH BIG TOYS….NOT FUN….OUCH!

I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT EXERCISE IS ONE THING..BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT THE FOUNDATION IS THE FOOD…YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A FANATIC AND DO RADICAL EXERCISE ROUTINES OR GO TO A GYM FOR ELITE FITNESS OR ANYTHING AT ALL FOR THAT MATTER…JUST GET UP AND MOVE AND DO THINGS THAT REQUIRE A LITTLE MORE THAN USUAL EFFORT….AND IT WORKS!!…I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY REVERSAL AT ALL!!…I CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO GET WITH THE FOODS… THE PROPER FOOD INTAKE WILL KEEP YOU SOLID AND FREE FROM WORRY ABOUT WHETHER YOUR GOING TO “ENLARGE” AGAIN…LOL… I CANT SIT STILL..I LOVE TO MOVE AND WALK AND CLIMB TREES AND DO THE STUFF I DID AS A CHILD AGAIN…I PLAY LIKE A KID SET FREE OUTDOORS AGAIN ..AFTER BEING LOCKED UP IN A HUGE NON FUNCTIONING BODY FOR YEARS…THIS IS GREAT!!!…So I encourage any and all activity that you can do..especially walking around anywhere..Its what people used to do all the time,walking around is a foundation stone in the rebuilding of yourself.

Heres a 6 pack of pics from the last few months…just to let you see the continuity of body size!

PIC #1 IS MY USUAL SELF HOLDING MY KEG UP…AND THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL… This pic was taken in February of this year. 1 month after the surgery I was lifting 40-50 lbs carefully. I was so healthy and strong the doctor let me have my own leash and told me to manage myself and not be foolish and hurt myself again(PRIMAL RULE).

So it was my toy to play with. I just motored around and ate GOOD PRIMAL FOOD and watched my intake and output..I was the “test steak”..always testing what was happening to me. I simplified my cooking and cut down on the elaborate fancy dinners. I was concerned about my output of energy that was not up to the usual …Even though ALL OF MY FOODS WERE PRIMAL..I WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WENT TO a more SIMPLE,FRESH,NON-ELABORATE MEAL…MORE PURE AND NOT SO MANY INGREDIENTS ALL AT ONCE.

I continued to see NO CHANGE in weight but was always wondering about loss of strength. The real test of muscle loss due to a lighter schedule would come later when I was able to Go after the big toys..

I keep very good track of what I eat and Dont eat>>> I found out for sure it’s THE FOOD IN GENERAL (Because I really switched it up a lot as far as complexity and variety went)..NOT ACTUALLY HOW YOU PREPARE IT that is what WORKS!

Pic #2 .After a while I could carefully lay back and lift the log rounds(70-90bs). I had to be careful! The grok in me was on the lookout big time. I had to do something so I was careful and holding the log in and then rolling it up and pressing it was safe and I was in control. Hugging the log felt good, the abdominal support of tucking it in was a great way to actually control what I was doing. It was nice to feel my body heal up and start to be able to do the Daveman thing again.

Pic #3 Is me with a GROK stick I made for an Army Special Forces buddy of mine. I still made nice things while recuperating…THE CARVING KEPT MY CORE SOLID AND MY ARMS AND HANDS STRONG…I dont like to sit..I only sit when I eat or drive..Im actually standing here at the machine writing this..I built a shelf on the wall for the monitor and a riser for the keyboard and mouse.

Pic#4…by May/June I got the release papers and went back to active duty there…That “stick” is over 10 feet long and weighs over 100 pounds..I went straight for the real stuff….BIG>>>THE BIGGER THE BETTER…MY WEIGHT WAS STABLE AND MY MUSCLE MASS WAS STILL INTACT…EVER PIC UP A BIG STICK?? ITS NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS..THAT TESTED MY CORE AND ABS WHILE DOING THE  BALANCING ACT AND I WAS DOING GREAT..still being watchful but SO GLAD to be able to go out and pick up large awkward items again.

Pic#5….Onward I went..eating the correct foods and and working my way back into the zone of the massive things..I love the big toys! I think I am solid again..thats a 300 lb tractor tire I am walking away with…MY newest TOY to play with..not really a rock or stone..but it does pass as the LARGE HEAVY THING..LOLOL

Pic #6 …this was taken on September 30th of this year. thats the Daveman/PAPA GROK holding a 12″ x 24″ slab of one of our favorite things. You can see that the lifestyle I chose BY FOLLOWING in your footsteps has been very good to me. Injury/recovery/rehab in the PaleoGym… through 120 plus days of change in me and weather and life itself..And there I am. Strong/Healthy/Solid. This IS what the Primal/Paleo way of eating and exercising will do. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT ACTIVE AND CANT GO FULL OUT WITH THE EXERCISE THE FOODS WILL MAINTAIN YOU PROPERLY. OVER 6 MONTHS AS TEST STEAK FOR ME..FROM NO EXERCISE AT ALL TO PLAYING WITH 300 POUND TIRES..THE LIFESTYLE SUPPORTED ME AND MY BODY AND I DID NOT GAIN OR LOOSE ONE POUND. I AM 6’1″ TALL AND WEIGH 205 POUNDS AND SLIP RIGHT INTO A PAIR OF 32 INCH JEANS…..THIS WAY OF LIFE WORKS!…MY BEST WISHES AND REGARDS TO YOU AND EVERYONE WHO STEPS ONTO THIS PATH…IT IS SUSTAINABLE, IT WORKS, IT IS THE WAY..

P>S>   I am Active on Facebook with the Primal/ Paleo movement. Many people have found me due to the success story from your blog. They continue to find me. I am “inspiration” as they call it. They have even given me the nickname of “PAPA GROK”.

I continue to support the efforts and guide as best I can, all who come my way. I have learned from many..and I am walking the center of the path. The variables in human nature and what they like and want to do are vast..So I make sure there is room for them to pass on both sides and support them all in their endeavors. Learning is something I will do forever and this way is a great place to learn..to live..to experiment and find your space that works for you…And it all started with a 30 day challenge 2 years ago….I never looked back.

and I owe you many THANKS MARK..

YOUR GROK BROTHER FOREVER

Daveman…aka PAPA GROK…….YAWP!!!!!!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Simply amazing. GROK on Dave!

    Rachel S wrote on September 16th, 2011
  2. Oh, Daveman…promise me you will never change. Love everything about you, even WHEN YOU TYPE IN CAPS. I’ve got a smile so big my face is cramping.

    Ginger wrote on September 16th, 2011
  3. I love where Daveman lives. It either snows or is sunny mid-summer.

    Mike wrote on September 16th, 2011
  4. As if Dave’s story wasn’t already inspiration enough…he’s goes and blows us all away again! He is the real “Super Dave”!

    iGrok wrote on September 16th, 2011
  5. THANKS EVERYONE>>>HERES THE DEER STORY…A nice 7 point buck was flushed out by some other hunters and I was in the middle of the path he wanted…Dressed in CAMO..very hard for Him to see until the very last moment..
    Lucky for me I had a long gun in front to block the impact but I took the antlers in the lower mid-section..both sides and this bad boy just threw me to the side…NEVER underestimate the POWER a wild animal can have. I did not get penetrated by the antlers due to the gun and the heavy clothes..but ended up with a torn Ab wall on both side on my body..I rolled over and raised the gun and shot him…dropped him right there before he could get more than 30 yards away. Adrenalin is a strong compound…Two friends of mine came by after the incident and cleaned the Deer for me and helped get me and it home… I knew I was hurt pretty good…The deer was cleaned well and hung up to age and I went to the surgeon….My son Ian skinned and processed the critter…then we ATE IT…AND YES!!!…IT WAS REAL GOOD..
    GROK ON>>>THE DAVEMAN – PAPA GROK>>>

    Daveman wrote on September 16th, 2011
    • Only would happen to YOU Dave!!! Your are the ultimate primal dude!

      Peter wrote on September 16th, 2011
    • You da man, Dave!

      Octavio wrote on September 16th, 2011
  6. I love this man.

    And why is it his ALL CAPS are the only ones I read as enthusiasm and not yelling?

    Awesome.

    Karen P. wrote on September 16th, 2011
  7. This is awesome! What a beast!

    dani wrote on September 16th, 2011
  8. Yay Dave!!

    Anne wrote on September 16th, 2011
  9. Caps lock is autopilot for cool.

    Laconophile wrote on September 16th, 2011
  10. Thanks for the update! It appears you are doing well even after the incident. Like a lot of people, the first thing I ever read on this site was your story, which was linked to by someone promoting the Primal Lifestyle. Thanks for being the catalyst that started me down this path!

    Pooka wrote on September 16th, 2011
  11. Aww Dave is so wonderful. I love all his support and he is so motivational for the newbies. I am working on getting my boyfriend’s father to read these stories so we can keep him around for a long time. Thanks again Dave for encouraging me everyday on Facebook. You are great! Grok hug!

    Christina wrote on September 16th, 2011
    • Please post the link to his facebook page.
      Tried looking for it but didn’t find it.
      Thank you!

      Nancy wrote on September 17th, 2011
  12. DAVE = BADASS

    Jason wrote on September 16th, 2011
  13. Epic, just epic! On that last photo surely you meant August not September 31 this year? Or do you have a time machine?

    Johnc wrote on September 16th, 2011
    • Ha! If anyone had a time machine, it would be the Unconquerable Dave!

      Karen P. wrote on September 16th, 2011
  14. LEAD THE WAY, DAVEMAN!!!

    Dasbutch wrote on September 16th, 2011
  15. We love you, Papa Grok! Keep Grokking and inspiring your little Groks!

    Cin wrote on September 16th, 2011
  16. Way to go keep kicking the asses of the logs, have no mercy on them they deserve it.

    rob wrote on September 16th, 2011
  17. Thank you, Papa Grok, for your enthusiasm and inspiration. You have made my week.

    T Hut wrote on September 16th, 2011
  18. It’s definitely all about the food and just simple activites like walking. Works for me too!

    Great follow up!

    Todd wrote on September 16th, 2011
  19. You’re gonna have a hard time topping this story on next year’s update; perhaps you can wrestle an alligator. (“…AND THEN I PULLED HIS SKIN OFF WITH MY BARE TEETH.”)

    GO PAPA GROK GO!

    dragonmamma wrote on September 16th, 2011
  20. Love the way Dave puts it: “I am walking the center of the path. The variables in human nature and what they like and want to do are vast..So I make sure there is room for them to pass on both sides and support them all in their endeavors.”

    Dave was one of my original Primal inspirations (after mark, of course!). Keep on living, my friend whom I have not yet met!

    Jeff Herron wrote on September 16th, 2011
    • I have to agree that was a great quote. I put it on my Facebook page.

      Alison Golden wrote on September 16th, 2011
  21. You grok my world!! Keep inspiring!

    Primal Toad wrote on September 16th, 2011
  22. Thank you, thank you Daveman! Your original success story was one I read, re-read, shared, linked to talked about again and again. Now reading your update, I’m doing it all over again. All the inspiration I could ever hope for heading into the weekend our dear friend!!!

    podunk primal wrote on September 16th, 2011
  23. That was a tease. I want the deer story.

    IvyBlue wrote on September 16th, 2011
  24. Awesome story and transformation. Thank you for sharing and inspiring all of us!

    Paul Bourret wrote on September 16th, 2011
  25. Dave’s an inspiration of that there is no doubt.

    205lbs and a 32in jean. Holy heck.

    Guy Thompson wrote on September 16th, 2011
  26. Once again he inspired someone, I have been trying to get onboard with this and have had a reluctant spouse. Not anymore, I think it hurt his feelings to see how in shape Dave got when all my hubby needs to do is lose 10 pounds and workout a little. I on the other hand…..

    Echo Zard wrote on September 16th, 2011
  27. “I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT EXERCISE IS ONE THING..BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT THE FOUNDATION IS THE FOOD…”

    Dave, thanks for confirming that it really is all about the food — and the general primal lifestyle attitude of which you are definitely a phenomenal example!

    It was wonderful to hear what you’ve been up to lately – and thanks for proving that it really is all quite sustainable.

    PrimalGrandma wrote on September 16th, 2011
  28. Dave (aka Papa Grok), you are a hoot. I like your style! Thank you for filling my inbox with inspiration and laughter today. Glad to hear you are reunited with your “big toys”!

    Shay wrote on September 16th, 2011
  29. Dave is pretty much the man. Absolutely brilliant in what he does. He can capslock all he wants, he earned it.

    dragan wrote on September 16th, 2011
  30. Dave makes me want to go outside and play!

    Erin wrote on September 16th, 2011
  31. Thanks Daveman. Now I can better imagine what cavemen must have looked like 10,000 years ago. Grok on PAPA Grok!

    Rob wrote on September 16th, 2011
  32. LOVED THE ORIGINAL POST AND LOVE THIS. (The caps make it even better, btw.) Papa Grok, you’re an incredible inspiration. Showed your story to my husband, who is just beginning his Primal journey. Thanks for sharing! Best wishes to you!

    Jen wrote on September 16th, 2011
  33. Love the Daveman. His enthusiasm just bubbles out of him and is infectious!

    Reilly wrote on September 16th, 2011
  34. Mark
    Thought you would like to see this…
    http://www.holistickid.com/rendering-lard-the-forgotten-superfood/

    Susie wrote on September 16th, 2011
  35. STILL love reading about Dave!!

    Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple wrote on September 16th, 2011
  36. thanks mark and dave for the story. Here i was feeling great on passing on the movie treats – not that they were treats or anything. why don’t they offer celery and carrots instead of poison?

    hiker wrote on September 16th, 2011
  37. “I have learned from many..and I am walking the center of the path. The variables in human nature and what they like and want to do are vast..So I make sure there is room for them to pass on both sides and support them all in their endeavors.”

    Dave was my very first intro to Marks’ Daily Apple. And I love him. Half Grizzly Adams, half Kwai Chang Caine. (can you guess when I grew up?..)

    James wrote on September 16th, 2011
  38. He is such an inspiration!!

    vanessa wrote on September 16th, 2011
  39. THIS IS A MAN WHO COMES FROM THE SCHOOL OF “HARD GROKS”…LONG LIVE THE UNCONQUERABLE DAVE!!!!

    Dennis wrote on September 16th, 2011
  40. DAVE / PAPA GROK: You are an amazing inspiration to all of your PRIMAL friends! Thanks for sharing your story of the deer encounter and the aftermath. I keep telling many of my fitness friends/enthusiasts, and people who want to lose weight – that exercise is a small part of the equation, but FOOD is the biggie! You are truly proof of this fact that Mark has helped teach to so many. GROK ON FOREVER!

    Condor wrote on September 17th, 2011

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