Monday Bacon: Just F’n Throw!

We had a beautiful throwing day this weekend in Cherry Valley, Illinois for Jane and Jason Clevenger’s Throw for the Cure event alongside Cherry Valley Days. The field was beautiful and the ladies (both young and Master’s) were teamed up with the Master’s and Lightweight men which meant the group was a bit big. We had already been warned that the registration was sold out and we’d have to keep things moving. Sheaf was going up in 3′ increments, etc.

The Men’s open class started over on the throwing events while our group started out on the Sheaf. Uh oh! I haven’t got the sheaf down exactly and though Jason gave me a very good quick lesson a couple of weeks ago, this was my first test. I was nervous, really nervous. After my first throw, a well intentioned friend pointed out things I did wrong. Yup. I knew I was doing things wrong. But here’s how I roll… give me a simple cue and I’ll try to do it if it makes sense. Point out various items that I’m NOT doing? Not helpful. Especially on game day. Eventually I settled in and hit 18′ again which isn’t great in the grand scheme of things but I’ll take it. Jeff Armstrong out of Wheaton Barbell was a huge help in he showed me what it should FEEL like at the block. This gives me something more to practice and I’m thankful for it. But the event got in my head a bit and I was certainly sweatin’ the small stuff from that point forward. It got  a bit long as our Sheaf group took over two hours to finish up but watching games Elite thrower Katie Steingraeber toss the sheaf was a treat.

Cherry Valley 010

I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to have thrown with Katie this summer. She is an amazing athlete and as a co-competitor? Fun, nice, funny and an excellent coach. She also knows how to roll on Games day. Towards the end of the day when she knew I was not on my best game she said, “On Games day, I just F’n throw.” Shut everything down and just throw. Her BF, Luke Crowley who is also a great thrower AND coach concurred. Yup. Shut everything out and just throw on games day.

This is the one thing I’ve struggled with this season. Stop practicing and launch the weights. I did it at Enumclaw; however; I noticed one main difference there. Since I was throwing with ONLY women, I didn’t have (VERY WELL MEANING) men throwing different pieces of advice to me. I just threw. That’s not to say I didn’t receive helpful advice at  the Claw, but it almost always waited until the event was over. Something to take home, chew on and practice. And this is where I need to change my games day environment.  If I have a question, I’ll ask. If a well meaning, helpful person wants to coach me as I’m throwing, I need to kindly say, “Let’s wait until I’m done with the event. My mind is already spinning and I just need to throw” or something to that affect. If you think of something better, let me know. It’s never my wish to be rude (on the field anyway) but I need to put myself first. No more coaching on games day.

I do want to say that the folks giving advice in between throws are clearly trying to help and that means a lot to me. That they’ve taken time during their throwing day to say something in between attempts to help ME throw better is beyond kind and I take it in the manner in which it’s given. But from now on, you just can’t give it during the event. Capiche?

I sought out Luke or Jeff or Katie or Master’s Hall of Famer Sue Hallen when I had a specific question and I received a concise, clear answer in return. Something I can take home and practice. On that note, throwing with fellow Masters ladies Sue and Ruth was a huge treat for me. I threw with Sue back in the snow flurries of April so we were appreciative of the warm sun this time around. Both ladies are a class act and Ruth was throwing even though she was a day out from some foot surgery. Badd. Ass.

I’m so thankful for opportunities to share the field with such great and fun athletes. I DO appreciate people wanting to help. But on Games day?

Just F’n throw!!!

I’m really exciting. I smile a lot, I win a lot, and I’m really sexy. 

Serena Williams

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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