Good Advice

I’m not a church go-er but I have a church. It can be found in most large bodies of water but the shores of Lake Superior are pretty special for me. I get my Zen on there. We spent some time near Grand Marais many winters ago and listening to the shoreline ice form at night while the waves were hitting against it was very, very cool. The next day, the balmy 2 degreed or so sunshine would melt off the ice and the night time would bring it about again. This has been happening for, oh I dunno, about 10,000 years worth of winters.

I tend to stay away from churches in order to stay away from the hypocrisy many of it’s members live. Not all of them, I know a handful of people on the planet that when they tell me they’ll pray for me, I get a warm fuzzy.  Many high profile church go-ers are having a Hay Day (and getting lots of press for it, not a shock) for their OPINIONS as to why they believe good, innocent people were gunned down last week. SRSLY? Fuck you.

Now, that’s not going to make some people I care about proud. I’m sorry. I really am. But I have no other response for how I feel about these people. James Dobson? I hope there’s a special room reserved for you in Hell. It’s likely I’ll be going there too but at least I’m real. What a weighty piece of shit. (Again, I apologize to the good people who don’t cuss.) I grew up with my parents praising this man for his good work on building Christian families. This is Christian? No thanks. I”ll take my chances with the church of Nature, thankuverymuch.

Everyone had reactions to the shootings, here’s the one that spoke to me…

Be sensitive, be kind, and dangit just Love one another! Do something nice for someone else today, just because… 

Dan Ristrom

Dan is a Minneapolis musician who belongs to longtime professional entertainers Diane and Reuben Ristrom. I grew up with Diane at the helm of the Chancel Choir and she was the organist in church. Her music shines and when I am homesick for my youth, I find a church with a bangin’ organ and it reminds me of her. Anyways. I babysat Dan when he was a tyke, he was a handful. Though I haven’t seen him in years and years, I appreciated his advice and I followed it.

And just so you know “Dr” Dobson, you CAN pray in school. Anytime you want. You can also read the Bible. Anytime you want. Will they provide it? Nope. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it. We did not kick God out of our schools, I believe He’s probably there now. But that’s not convenient thought for the rhetoric of your hate. Carry on.

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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