Stronger. Together.


I had an interesting, and eye opening, talk yesterday with some friends about AA and it’s origins. One thing that really stuck to me was the idea that AA’s founders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, decided that together they could stay sober for a day. Not separate, but together.

Personally, I found that very powerful. To acknowledge that you cannot stay sober for a day on your own, but you and your buddy, huddled in a room together talking it out can keep you clean for a day. And then tomorrow they do it all over again.

It really dialed in a lot of AA concepts I had been aware of by going through different treatment programs with family members and I’m appreciative for the talk.

Stronger. Together.

A concept sorely lacking these days. We are so quick to throw each other under the bus, gawds, it’s almost comical how “offended” we can pretend to be for personal pettiness. We’re offended when people disagree with our politics (for the record, don’t talk about politics with me. I do care about them but in all likelihood disagree with you and am too nice to say you’re a fucking idiot to your face. I don’t care what politicians sound like, look like, dress like, or their latest verbal gaffe. They all have layers of governmental jizz on their face and they like it. Try to find one with enough wet naps in their pocket and there’s your guy.  ‘Nuff said.)

We want to be offended by friends, enemies, the coffee clerk, our silly friends (you don’t have silly friends? That sucks.) We want to be offended by what’s written on blogs. Hilarious. Seriously? You want to be so shallow and cunty that some blog interferes with your being a good person in real life? SRSLY? We want to be offended when we get beat. Fo realz. I have heard people come off the field/court/platform immediately bitching that they weren’t treated as well as the next guy. Hey, ya know what cures that? Getting better. You, work harder. Get better. But don’t blame the ref’s cuz the first thing you learn in sports is that if you leave it up to the Ref’s to grant you a win or loss, you’ll lose. If you didn’t you got lucky and if you’re going to leave it up to luck to succeed, well, let’s see how that goes for the long haul.

We join groups and committees and then bitch in them without putting a dent into the ideal as to why the group exists in the first place because we’re too busy fighting with each other. This, again, is why I’m hardly on the internet anymore. Forums, yuck. No thank you. Video’s of baby elephants playing in a kiddie pool? Yes please.

I have six days left of being 47 and I’m just too old to play these games. We all have different opinions and ways to go through life. If yours is unhealthy and you wish to circle the wagons to protect yourselves from the likes of me and all others who offend you, good. Contain that shit. I want no part of it. Because we’re busy over here building our tribe. The people who also recognize that together, we’re stronger. We can accomplish more, quicker, in a healthier way that benefits us all in the long run. We can forego our needs for the betterment of the tribe because we trust that not only will our needs be meant, but we’ll receive more than we could ever have imagined.

We understand that to be stronger together, we need to open up and talk it out a little more. Listen a lot more. Find common ground and build from there. And ya know what? It’s okay if we don’t find common ground. It’s okay if we’ve run the course of our friendship. That happens. People change, views change. I wonder why we have this belief that we have to be bfF’s…forever. We’re not 12 anymore, it’s okay when we go different ways. We’re old enough to recognize that our lives are enriched from a friendship that is no longer. We wish each other well and send off good energy when we feel the other needs it. And in our own spiritual way, that’s still together.

In my whole almost one year of marriage, this rings true more than anything. Sure, we can get caught up in what we’re NOT getting from our partner and find at least 100 offenses a day. Or we can realize that we’re stronger together and do whatever it takes to make sure that link stays solid. My first line of defense? The Bigg guy. Good luck with that. His? Me and I’m pretty sure very few of you have seen me in protective mode. You think everyday Juli is intense? Ya, not even close when you come after my husband. No matter who you are. Because as strong as we are in body, it shouldn’t compare to what we are in spirit. Together.

People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.

Vince Lombardi

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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