Circle of Trust


It’s getting close to that time of year where we tend to take a look at our lives, think about what’s working and try to come up with some solutions as to what’s not.  It’s inevitable, and it’s a good thing.

If all we do is go year after year with no reflection or no change, congratulations…you’re a 40 year old 18 year old.

We evolve. We learn. We recognize that some of the “status quo” ways of dealing with things ain’t working for us anymore.  Cuz we’re adults now. And not that kind of adult where we learn that paying our bills may infringe on our Mai Tai night’s sucks monkey ballz (*COUGH`Za`COUGH!)  But the kind of adult where we take the bull by the horn and deal with our troubles head on. We don’t hide them away in a drawer, we don’t drink them away only to wake up and find even MORE trouble.

We just…deal. Adult stuff. Growth.

But what if we surround ourselves with folks who don’t want to grow? Hmmmm, but they’re so much fun iKNOWright?!?!! They bring out in us the very thing we should be letting go of. I’ve had these friends. It’s hard for me to look back and realize that so much precious time of health and peace of mind were lost only because of who I surrounded myself with. Folks I thought were there for me through thick and thin (I haven’t been thin since the fourth grade but anyway) were actually there for me through dysfunction and frustration.

It’s a vicious cycle. I stayed in a bad place for too long knowing full well these “friends” were there for me but didn’t get out of situations that could have been easily solved had I just stepped away and gained some objective (which I eventually did.) Because had I walked away from them then I wouldn’t have friends so I need to stay in this muck. Mind boggling.

Just stepping away from these people brought me perspective. And objectivity. And peace. And health. And strength. And a really fantastic group of healthy friends who not only expect me to be the best I can, but THEY BRING OUT THE BEST! Yes, just being a part of their lives improves mine.

Holding on to unhealthy relationships purely out of habit is bullshit. Don’t do that. You deserve better.

And here’s something else…family is included. There are so many of you out there who are fortunate enough to have grown up in a loving, supporting home. There are many more out there who didn’t. Not even close bud. I’m always struck by those of yous guys who say, “Family are the only one’s there for you when you need them.” Uhhhhh, that’s your experience. That’s good. I’m glad for you. But if you walk through life with some type of horse blinders on thinking this is how EVERY one grew up…you’re an idiot. Really. You ARE aware that there is a whole world out there where bad things happen to good people or people who have no voice to stop it, right? No? Ok, go back to your happy little life and stay there. Don’t step out cuz it’s actually really scary out there. True story.

Family is what it is. That’s all. It’s not a magic pill. Some families all get along. Some don’t. Some have siblings who are closer to each other than others. Some have cut ties for various reasons. Some may not understand that but quite honestly, it’s not for you TO understand. At no point do I feel obligated to share why there are family members I don’t have a relationship with. That’s between us. I’m not plopped down on this earth to attempt to make YOU understand anything about me. Love me or don’t. Don’t care.  I’m too busy over here investing time into people who bring out on the best in me and that I know are there for me EVEN IF IT’S TO TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T WANT TO HEAR. 

But they do this in a way that is positive. Growth. You want to constantly criticize me in everything I do, every move I make, every step I take in hopes that you can lay YOUR insecurities on me? Nope. I bungee jumped off that bridge long ago. Whether it’s unhealthy friendships or relationship within a family structure, let ’em go.

If you’re stuck in a rut and the only thing keeping you afloat each day are friends who magically appeared as you entered the rut…let ’em go. If good and healthy friendships have turned sour and unhealthy, let ’em go. There is no hard and fast law that says people are placed in our lives to be there forever so even if it sucks we stay put. No. Sometimes folks come in our life in intense ways for short amounts of time and then we all move on. It’s ok. Because we were there for a specific reason and now it’s time to go. Just let ’em go.

Are you a positive person who recognizes good things in your life and brings good things in other friends lives while they positively impact yours? Hold fast. And then go eat poutine together…cuz that’s what solid friends do.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.


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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