When the Z’s were younger, being good little Minnesota boy and girl, they played hockey. Zac turned into a defensemen and even at a very young age, had a keen eye for where the play was developing. Some negative ‘Association’ experiences had him leave it early and that’s on me to not handle it correctly. I so hated hockey parents and the “association” police. It’s not my first regret as a parent and certainly won’t be the last.

Zandra stuck with it much longer and had some good runs in the net. I won’t get into the absolute shit treatment goalies get from not only other parents but their teammates too. Today. That’s not the message for today.

One favorite term among parents of girls hockey is that, at times, other teams would play “chippy.” It’s said with disgust and anger as if it’s unpalatable to even utter.

Chippy, in girls hockey speak, means aggressive and dirty. Pushing the limits of the referee’s (we say ref’s, also with anger and disgust) in hopes that they don’t get caught and when they do they perform a European football sized display of shock and outrage that such a poor call was made. And this is at the squirt age. By the time they get to High School, they’ve perfected this trick good enough to fool some of the new ref’s into not making a call. The whole point of the act.


And that was something to throw shade at? When I was 14 I taunted a girl at a softball game so bad that she ran right for me (I played shortstop at that particular game) on a hit and I faced her, braced myself and let her try to take me down. She ended up on her ass and I ended up on the bench. I deserved it but hot damn was that satisfying. I was the poster girl of “Chippy.” I love aggressive competition. Helloooooo, hockey fan? I have tried so many times to enjoy non-contact sports and I just can’t. It’s so torturous. Pretend fouls; throwing tantrums; pretending you need 911 at every turn. How is that enjoyable???

Anyways. Chippy. Chippy, in our circles I guess, was undesirable. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the sentence “just play the game, leave the physical stuff out of it” I’d have enough money to buy at least one sports mom a personality. LEAVE THE PHYSICAL STUFF OUT OF IT??!!! It’s hockey! Leaving the physical stuff out of it means you’ve just become a basketball player. Foking duh!

So that’s me…at a very early age. Chippy. Not dirty, per say. But pushing the limits for sure. And I still compete that way. Oh, the chippiness (it’s a word spell check, stop redlining me) has gone away mainly because I’m not competing in that setting. Once this late winter, I missed a snatch in spectacular fashion and as I fell on my ass the bar hit the shit out of my shin. Shin ouchies demand lots of swearing. Matt was in the gym at the time and stood up wondering what to do and was helpless as I walked it off cussing my brains out. Now THAT made weightlifting a contact sport and the bar won. Well done.

But driving myself in competition is still there and, in most cases, I thrive in it. Except for now. Something is going on where I’ve approached the last two Games with a bit of a relaxed, “practice this”, attitude. It hit hard last Saturday and is annoying the ever living out of me. So, yes, the season is young. Throws obviously aren’t where I want them to be 3 months from now but that doesn’t mean that mentally I’m not in the Game. And I haven’t been.

Unacceptable. Not me. I’ve adjusted my practices to work on that and as of yesterday, it worked. There are a lot of mechanical things to relax and think about on a throws day but at Gametime? It’s time to shut it down, relax; prioritize, and attack. I haven’t done that and it needs to change.

That’s how I like to compete and I have fun doing so. I don’t have fun not doing so and the numbers these last two Games show it. Abysmal is the only word I can think of so back to the drawing board to mentally prepare for Games day and hopefully my next one (June) will show as such.


You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.

Michael Jordan

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s