Hug It Out Bro’s

We have a car wash up the street from us, Wash Brite, who was very very busy yesterday when the mercury topped off above 50 degrees. I take Trixie (my Tahoe) up there for a few different reasons. A) It’s close. Obviously, a block and a half away. 2. The folks there have some of the best customer service in Wauwatosa. Seriously, if only they’d set up some food and a Guinness tap we’d be there most days. Good customer service is hard to come by in ‘tosa and we appreciate it all the more when it comes from somewhere unexpected like a car wash and auto shop. I see the same crew waiting outside to vacuum the cars before it goes into the wash. In the hot summer sun, in the 5 degrees winter cold. There they are, working harder than most wait staff in this neck of the woods and earning honest pay at the end of the day. I have a lot of respect for these guys and girl, they’re awesome. They speak to you with respect and even brought in an exploded bottle of Monster from underneath the back seat and asked if I wanted to keep it. Uhhhhh, no thanks (and both Oz and Bigg got a talking to about leaving full cans of anything in my car in the winter.)


Matt and I were running errands the other day and turned down our street when I noticed two of the car wash employees, men, talking. One man had his hand on the other’s shoulder and the other hand on his opposite arm. They shared a word or two, the other man nodded and then they hugged. Now, obviously I have no idea what was going on. We passed them going a few miles an hour and it was just a blip of our day. But whatever it was, it had meaning. It was a moment, and it touched me. I told Matt about it and we enjoyed the fact that two dudes have no problem hugging it out in public. It was pretty cool.

Now, anyone who knows me for more than five minutes knows I’m a hugger. Thems the rules. Hug it out dudes, it’ll make even sad goodbyes better. Happy hugs are happy and the standard, nice to see ya Hugs are good too. There are moments when all we have is a hug and no words are needed. I’ve come up against non-huggers and while I try to respect their space, I’ll still give the arm a little squeeze. 

I love hugs from my guy; my kids; my dogs; my loved ones; my Carm and Gabe; Delia and Desi (who stopped mid near-temper  to stop and smile and hug me the other night-that was a sweet moment.)  I like hugs from new friends and in moments where I am floundering. I like celebration hugs and I like ‘awwwww shit, at least you tried’ hugs. I like unexpected hugs and when I see old friends for just brief moments, I treasure that hug. Bigg gives great hugs cuz I can just rest my head on his belly (the belly that lifts over 400# of log, skip the fat jokes.) There are lots of times I want nothing to do with people and just sit and hug my dogs. Those are good hugs. All hugs are good, but the bro hug at the car wash the other day? It had meaning, something went down and someone got lifted up. That’s the sign of a good hug.

I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.

Shel Silverstein

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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