3 Kisses

Whenever I travel, I want to embrace the locals. To go somewhere new and not take in the culture is a travel sin and the gods know I do enough of that already.

We arrived in Helsinki Wednesday afternoon and walked to the mall for some lunch. When we asked if we should Taxi over, the front desk clerk looked as if we just grew a head. We’re in Scandihoovia, you walk.

We ate dinner later at the hotel and again, did as the locals do. We ate Reindeer and fish.

I quickly noticed that smoking hadn’t gone out of style yet in Europe and told Bigg that I’ll probably smoke while there. Cuz it’s local. I was lucky enough to find a fellow English speaker in Laurence Shalaei’s girl, Liz. Liz is my new English BFF. Honestly, she’s quite awesome and the two of them remind me of my Bigg guy and me.

Anyways, Liz rolls her own fags and after she heard me joking about wanting to smoke, she rolled me some throughout the day and there ya go.

Photo: When in Rome!!!!

The only deal was that every time I smoked, she had to take a hit of my Korskenkorva. As Liz said, ‘we’ll each bring something to this.’ Heh. I smoked enough that by the end of the evening, she started rolling one up and I said, “I’ll share.” My smoking is definitely behind me. But it was very fun to be local.

My first taste of Finnish beer was in Helsinki and reminded me of a combination of Miller Light, Budweiser, and Milwaukee’s Best. In other words, yuck. But I’m in Finland, so I’ll drink it. Karhu is the most popular beer in Finland. Huh. We’ve brought home two Karhu glasses (the Bear logo is pretty cool) and I enjoyed a Black Iron in my Karhu glass. Iz goood.


The first Finnlander I met was Ilkka, one of the Champions League developers and promoters. I went to shake his hand, leaned in for a cheek kiss and started backing away when he went for the other side. Two kisses? Hokay. I thought I’d be ready for the next introduction with two kisses. Later, when I met the other half of Champions League, I went for two kisses with Marcel when HE went for THREE kisses. I was confused enough to ask about it and he told me Europeans do 3 kisses. Three kisses it is, I’ll be ready next time.


Fucking Americans.

Most Europeans.

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to jep6095@gmail.com 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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