Be That Dad.

Ever look up to someone? Look up to them while thinking, “I want to be that guy/gal.” What characteristics draws you to them. They are secure in themselves? Funny? Stronger than you? What do you see in them that you don’t see in  yourself?

My cousin Denise’s kids out in Woodinville, WA are two of my most favorite people in the world. Gabe and Carmen have been a staple of love and entertainment in my life even though I only get to see them once a year or so. They live with unashamed joy, and I admire that about them. Of course my cousin and her hubby have something to do with that but Carmen hit the latest homerun so I get to brag on her.

While trying to talk daddy into a final night time game on the I-Pad and getting a stern ‘No’ she pulls this one out…

“Dad, when you were my age and your dad said ‘No’, did you ever wish you had a different dad, one that would say ‘Yes’?” Dad:  “Probably.” Carm: “Be that Dad, dad.” Boom. 

There’s been a long list of people I wanted to be other than myself through the years. Princess Leia for the obvious reason that she had a dashing boyfriend with a Wookie. I wanted to be the girl across the aisle from me in Accounting class who understood that crap without a blink. There’s always been people with “more” of what I wanted but didn’t believe I had. Be it money, friends, ability, beauty or brains.

It took a while to understand that all I had to do to be like those I admired, was to live a life I admired. Now don’t get me wrong, I fail… a lot! But overall, it’s been a while since I’ve played the “I wish” game.

As much as we joke about not “being that guy”, ya know, the one that curls in the squat rack? We don’t talk enough about ‘being that guy!’ The one you admire and don’t think you can be. Cuz why not? Wouldn’t you rather admire yourself more than others?

The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world.

Robert Penn Warren

Training Log

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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