Anyone who has played a board game with me understands that I am a competitive person. Dunno why, guess I was just wired that way. Growing up, I was a confrontational softball player. Shocking, I know. When playing shortstop, I wouldn’t just tag a girl; rather, I’d wait for her to run into me and make sure that not only was she out, but she was on her ass in the baseline. Cuz that was fun. (True story, ask Sheila.)

Even in college intramural’s, we were all business for the 45 minutes it took to win until the clock turned to beer thirty. But then I grew older…and had kids. And got horribly out of shape. And forgot about that old competitive drive…or at least let it sleep for a bit.

THEN I found weightlifting. A sport where I could compete, in a weight class (75+ means no cutting, yeah 75+) with chicks my own age. Giddyup. The problem? I was a mediocre weightlifter. Oh sure, I did ok when judged across a board but I never found my groove and hated the warm up room. Snarky young chicks who had to strut their stuff and show ME how awesome they were. Uhhhh, you’re 20 years younger than me, you’re supposed to be awesome. Now give me back my plates and STFU.

When I did a Highlander Games in Wichita Falls, I found my niche. I got to throw a bit and strongman a bit. Huh? Fun stuff. The throwing went okay thanks to the help of Texas Belle Brittney Boswell.  See, Ms. Britt spoiled me on all future Highland Games events. She was kick ass; warm and friendly; and helpful. So of course I assumed ALL Highland Games chickas were as such. And for the most part, I’ve been right. For the most part.

The Highland Games has allowed my competitive spirit to come alive again and I love it. I don’t always do well, I don’t love that so much. Last August I was invited to Jason Clevenger’s Wisconsin State Games and did absolutely horrible. I almost killed him and a few others during the caber toss and that was pretty close to my best event of the day. Ugh. I had to apologize at the end of the day for not doing better for him. I felt bad. That’s me. Competitive. I don’t expect to beat the top throwers, but I do expect to do as well as I can and when I don’t, I’m pissed.

So I practice. And do drills. And practice some more. And do some more drills. And train. And watch and do everything I can to be as competitive as I can. That’s me.

And I’d be completely wrapped up in that if I were the only one on the field. But hey, guess what? I’m not. Hopefully I’m throwing with a whole awesome group of peeps whether it’s an Open class or a large group of women. That’s a special treat. See, throwing here in the midwest usually means a small group of us chicks so if there’s a big one, it’s awesome. Like Indiana a few weeks ago.

The dirty dozen. That was us. heh. Four in the Women’s masters and 8 in the open class. Some were new to the sport and some of us had been around for a whole year or so. Hardly old timers. Much like throwing with an entire new group last fall in Kirksville, meeting these ladies and spending a day on the field with them was a treat. As always, I learned a lot and made new friends.

Friends. See, whether I’ve known friends for years or for hours, you are treated the same. So when I hear after I’m long gone from the event that one of my new friends was told that she was never any kind of competition on the field that day, it makes me scratch my head in wonder. So, someone you just spent 7 hours with in the boiling sun; cheering for and supporting;  putting up with her constantly leaving the group and having to wait on her every turn to show back up, just called you out for not being any kind of competition?

Low rent. Low class. Hood. Mean girl mentality. Bully. STFU and say that when I’m around. All those phrases come to mind. Ya know what doesn’t go well with Highland Games? Mean girls. True story.

Now, here’s a little history on me.  I’ve never liked mean girls. The popular crowd in high school? They hated me. Why? Dunno. Don’t care. If I had the chance to tell them they’re stupid and to GFY, I would. So when I see the behavior repeated on the field from 40+ year olds? It’s high school all over again. It makes me angry and I will be the first to admit I don’t always handle my anger well.

So here’s the deal. As competitive as I am, it pales in comparison to how protective I am of my friends. It pales in comparison to how deeply I despise the behavior of mean girls. I don’t know what goes on in the mind of such a person, I really don’t care. All I know is that it has no business on a Highland Games field. As one of the volunteers stated as we were waiting, again, in the hot sun for the mean girl to show back up…”Be glad you’re not her.” Good point. Could be worse, could be clueless.

But hey, how about if we avoid all this uckiness? How about if we just behave and go by that old proven rule, if you can’t say anything nice, STFU and leave. At least I think it goes something like that.

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.

Mean Girls

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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1 Response to Competitive

  1. Mona says:

    Ewwww. Ewwww. Ewwww. My tiny brain has such a hard time processing this because, well, like you said… It happens so rarely. That when it does happen, and it does show up, it feels like even more of a slap. Like “stop messing with my world view cause I NEED you highland ladies in my life” kinda of world view.

    Kisses. See your competitive booty soon my friend….

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