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From The Desk Of Clarence Bass

Quantum Strength Author, Patrick O’Shea, Gone at 74

Pat O’Shea, taken during bike tour of Ireland  
March 10, 1930 - October 30, 2004

Active to the very end, sports-scientist and Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University, Pat O’Shea collapsed after a workout and never regained consciousness. What a shock. So lively and fit, it seemed that Pat would live forever. It sometimes took us a while to get his jokes, but he was a wonderful and attentive friend. Carol and I came to like and admire him greatly. We’ll miss his frequent emails, notes and calls—and the wine from his Shea of the Hills Vineyard that he shared with us at Christmas time.

As many of you know, Pat was the proud author and publisher of Quantum Strength Fitness and Quantum Strength Fitness 2 (which you’ll find listed on our products page). His training philosophy, as lovingly and expertly explained in Quantum 1 and 2, was that athletic-type lifting is the most effective method of achieving total strength fitness. To Pat, other forms of strength training were secondary. (See articles 5 and 12 on this site.)

I knew about Dr. Pat O'Shea long before coming to know him personally in the last decade. I read about his lifting prowess in Strength & Health magazine years ago. I was aware of his landmark textbook Scientific Principles and Methods of Strength Fitness, which introduced strength training to many thousands of people in and out of college. And I learned about his genius as a teacher, in 1989, through an anonymous mention in Dr. George Sheehan's extremely popular column in Runner's World.

Sheehan wrote about a friend who taught a much-in-demand fitness course at a state university. The protocol was not unusual, weights one day and jogging the next, yet students rarely dropped out. The reason, Sheehan explained, was because it was a mountaineering course. The students were preparing to climb Mt. Hood. "The mountain transformed this fitness program into a challenging experience," Sheehan wrote. "It changed something boring into something exciting." Sheehan's point, of course, was that you need a goal to give meaning to your training. Otherwise, as Sheehan put it, you "started to feel like Sisyphus forever pushing the stone, yet never arriving at a goal."

I've used this story many times, in writing and speaking, to illustrate the critical importance of goal setting, but it was some years later that it dawned on me that Sheehan's friend was one and the same as my friend Pat O'Shea. A modest man, Pat let me figure this out entirely on my own. Even though I sent him a video of a speech I made to a Boy Scout group prominently featuring the reference to his course, he didn't say a word. Only after I put two and two together and asked him point blank, twice, did he admit to being a longtime friend of the famous Dr. George Sheehan.

Pat was a great athlete, great teacher, great man, and a great friend. Along with his family, students and many others, Carol and I will miss him greatly.  

  Pat with Clarence during a visit to NM in December 1999

For full details on Pat’s life and his family, read the glowing obituary published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times: http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2004/11/04/news/obituaries/thuobi02.prt

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