Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
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!!!!!!