Monday Bacon: 12 Days


This weekend in Indianapolis wrapped up what has been a very long season…for one of us. But not me.

Early this summer, Matt and I threw in Fort Wayne, Indiana at Mike Huth’s Games and being there introduced us to a whole new group of awesome folks to throw with. Oh sure, there were a few familiar faces like Dawn Higgins (it is ALWAYS a treat to share a field with Dawn) and Ross and Victoria Bunchek but being around the Mills gang, O’Conner,  and Mike’s family was new for us and we’re very excited to see them all again. Last year I finished the season in Kirksville, MO which was ALSO tons of fun and I even got to spend some time with my BFF since the 7th grade but we decided to go east this year instead of south.

Also, this:


One of our favorite Craft brews is 3 Floyds in Munster, Indiana. Matt checked the map for a quick Indy route and said, ‘WHOA, we go right by this place. Let’s stop.’ And I said, ‘ya, buddy.‘ First off, having one of your favorite beers right out of the tap is nothing short of magical. We also noticed a big line in the off sale line and thought, ‘huh, something good must be selling.’ Yup.


Zombie Dust. We happened upon the brewery on the day they released cases of one of the best beers I’ve ever had (I had two just at lunch.) They had a two case max purchase rule but we only had room in the car for one. Damn. The good news is that we now know how easy it is to get there and we’ll be back. For sure.

As good as the beer was, the food was equally as mouth watering. The BBQ sammich I had could rival any Texas bbq (yup) and it almost brought tears to my eyes. The atmosphere is incredibly festive and even the music is old school…


…vinyl. Awesome. The heavy metal was played at a level where you could enjoy it, but still have a perfectly fine conversation. OH! When I brought out Gamesminion and asked our bartender for a shot of he and the taps, he told us about THEIR version of Games Minion. His name is Butcher Jesus and he travels the globe drinking beer and eating good food. I saw some pics of him, he’s cool. He can hang.

It was an awesome stop and set the tone right there for an amazing weekend, no matter what happens on the field.

On to Indy. Arriving around dinner time is much better than arriving around 1:30 am which is when we rolled into Ft. Wayne last June to throw for the first time with this group. We found a chill place to have a sammich for dinner and grabbed some drinks to take back to the hotel. OH! It was raining off and on during the evening and I was NOT excited about the idea of throwing in the wet and mud again on Saturday. Luckily when we got up, the sun was shining and it turned out to be a beautiful, October day.

The Games was tons of fun. Tents surrounding the throwing field with Clans; Beer; and Pies (which of course I didn’t get again. One of these days I’m going to get one of those meat pies when offered!) The crowd was really quite awesome. There are a lot of these Games where you just kind of do your thing and don’t get to interact much, especially when you have 60 athletes and need to be off the field by 4:45 for the awards parade. But everyone was so friendly and you instantly got a feeling of appreciation for your work from them. It was very cool.

Throwing one last time this year with Dawn, Tracey, Ashley, Elissa,  and Amanda; peeking over and watching Matt turn a caber or toss the sheaf over the bar; getting glimpses of Jeremy Gillingham either toss a stone or trash talk Matt (heh); hearing Mike Huth on the microphone ask Matt why “that girl” just gave him a kiss. Meeting new throwing friends AND seeing the dragon that Elissa’s grandpa got painted on his bald spot. That was lulz. ALL of this along with throwing one last time for the Huth’s who passed the torch over to John O’Connor for future Games. Oh sure, they’ll still be around but in a more supportive role instead of  throwing the whole party and John O’Connor will be great leading us throwers.

But I’ll say this, to be there for the Huth’s last one will go down as a special moment of the season. This is only the second time we’ve thrown for them but when you meet people who are so good; so fun; and take such good care of us from start to finish…well, you know you’ve been a part of something special. And I’m so thankful for it. It was a great day.


As for the throwing part, some ups and downs. Both Matt and I are hobbling into this off season as his heel is also giving him some trouble after about 12 hours of sanding windows for repainting. Ups were a 17’1″ twenty-one pound WOB. Downs were not hitting 18′ on the sheaf. Sure it was wet and kept sticking to the forks on us, but still. Turning the big dog Caber was tons of fun but struggling in the distance events was a buzzkill (but not really cuz I didn’t have my first beer until the Caber. Thanks again Amy!!!)

I learned a few things too. For example, when we’re flying from event to event with no break, plan accordingly with better food. I eventually had a banana but it was probably about 4 or 5 hours after breakfast. Unacceptable. Especially when we drove and I had plenty of opportunity to plan better. I need good snacks and lighter sandwiches that will help keep me feeling strong. More water although I was hitting the port O potty enough so maybe I was okay there (TMI? Not even close;) Better food the night before and breakfast. I strayed off the beaten path for breakfast and will avoid that in the future. Good meat scramble, some fruit, and a pancake. That gets the engines burning hot and stays hot for a while longer.

Next stop (last stop), Texas.

As excited as I am to finish out in Texas, I’m honestly looking forward to just being finished. March 2nd, that was the first Games of the season. In a snowstorm. With a fire alarm getting us out of bed and out of our hotel room the night before. It’s been quite a ride. Celebrating seeing our Games family again; meeting new friends; travels to the PNW to spend time with real family and more Games fun (which we’re hoping to expand next year if we are able to get into the Portland Games.) Of course Scotland, even MORE new friends from all points of the globe. It’s been so amazing and I kind of feel bad for wishing it over.

But I do. I’m tired and ya know what? I don’t wanna practice anymore (yes, I almost whined when I typed that.) Some things are clicking and I LIKE practicing that stuff. But many things still aren’t and though I know in time they will, they’re not and I’m just tired of not throwing those stupid hammers better. Or hitting a better open stone. Yup, when the whining starts it’s time to finish up. Two weeks. But for those two weeks? I’m on it. Best food. Keep moving with morning walks. Light training. Drills, drills, drills. Keeping actual throwing reps to a minimum since they’re wearing me out more right now. Good sleep (well, good for me anyway.) Stretch and roll. All in.

12 Days. I just need 12 more days.

Matt: So to summarize?

Me: To summarize…Windmills. Ebola.

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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