Monday Bacon: Go! Go! No!


When I was 16, we packed up the family station wagon along with a borrowed pop tart camper and hit the road for the Western Rockies. Now, we’d already been on a few Griswold family vacations which, as torturous as they could be, really instilled in me the love for road trips and seeing funny shit along the way.

This particular time, we made a pit stop in northern Minnesota and picked up my sister who had spent time at a Swedish camp. They did a little program for us and then we hit the road again. It’s the first time I saw such a staggering display of the Northern Lights which was so bright that my dad turned the car lights off briefly (not long enough for me but long enough to freak out my mom. He liked to jack her up sometimes, it was lulz.) Since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I was prepared. Smallish boombox with my top favorite tapes ready to go and huge headphones in hand. I pretty much rode the Journey/Rush wave all the way out to the mountains.

When not smoking pot, my brother just pretty much slept the whole time. Fine with me. Once we got to our home base in Banff he met some hikers (read: more pot smokers) and we pretty much didn’t see him unless dad made him come with us to various jaunts. Still fine with me.


It was so beautiful. I could have just sat and stared at the mountains all day. They bring a peaceful yet majestic strength to the world. I adore them.

The problem with traveling with the Peterson’s is that there’s no time to just sit and look at the mountains. We gotta go. Up early in the morning, quick breakfast and clean up and back in the car to drive and look at another mountain. I tried a full on revolt at Lake Louise when they wanted to hike a mountain to a hilltop cafe. I just wanted to sit and look out into the lake. It still remains one of the most beautiful spots in the world I’ve ever been to and I hope to go back (is there a Banff Highland Games????) My revolt fell on deaf ears and into the woods to hike I went.

Now, there are worse things in life than being forced to hike up a mountain to get to the top and grab a soda. I know. Not the point of today. The point of today is that on summer vacations we were go, go, go. We did very little “sit and read a book at the campsite” and jules really likes to “sit and read a book at the campsite” time. True story.

All of that sets the stage for how I travel now. I always want to BALANCE go time with sit time. If we need to sleep, we’ll sleep…to a point. Matt likes sleep time on vacation so HE gets to balance that with go time. It’s been tricky but we’ve got it down pretty good now. (We were visiting my wonderful cousin and her family this weekend, she made a Brazilian dish with staggering amounts of meat in it. At one point we were talking about marriage and how well they mesh with each other. I had made a comment that “it’s awesome cuz marriage is hard sometimes.” I was a little shocked at how defensive the boys got with that comment. But my opinion is that marriage is hard sometimes so the more we figure out as we go along, the more we’ll stay married. Dunno why that’s a scary thought for people. If your marriage isn’t hard at times, god bless ya. You’re rare. Put on a clinic. People love clinics.)


The point is, we’ve been able to strike up a nice balance of go time and chill time. We did it as best we could with what little time we had in Iceland. We missed things. Damn, guess we’ll have to go back. We have learned how much go time we can have before it gets to annoying together time (add hungry and we’re toast.) So we hit the Blue Lagoon upon arrival and then hot stepped back to our flat to chill a bit before dinner. Saturday’s weather dictated that we be outside, not in a car driving around with bits of fresh air here and there. I want to walk. Outside. Hopefully with fun food and booze stops to break up the exercise.

However; we missed something that I did want to see and that was some track and field events that Petur was coaching at. On Saturday there was a contest with fielder’s throwing the Javelin. Cool. I’ve never seen that live before and it’s such an amazing event. But I forgot to get the address for the stadium and truth be told, we didn’t want to get back in the car again (didn’t all day actually.) We saw this though:

Iceland 039

It’s the menu from the Lebowski bar (“where’s the fucking money shitheadddd?”) I dunno why, it just really cracked me up that the Nihilist’s got the Chicken wings. Kind of like, duh.

We saw a wedding party try to get through town where a street was completely blocked off by people after a record store randomly set up a dj out on the sidewalk and played annoying as fuck loud techno music.

Iceland 037

But no javelin throwing. We also opted out (kinda) to watch some shot and discuss on our last night. Petur gave me the address but it was cold and rainy (such babies) and after swinging by his place to get pictures from the Games we were kind of tired. But then, as we drove back into town, we went by a stadium and decided to pop in to see if that’s where he was at. Nope. Well, hey, there’s another stadium let’s look there, nope. (Yes, I could have looked on my phone but the message was on the Facebook and I couldn’t access it without wi-fi. Struggles abroad are real.) We kinda tried to see some throwing but missed it. Double damn.

So we’ve learned that a well placed flat is very important because chances are we’ll mix some go, go, go into our travels but have to equally throw in some no, no, no to keep it working for us. Even if you miss out on some awesome throwing.

Hastag travelingtoawesomeplacesandnotseeingeverythingproblems.

I think you’re all fucked in the head. We’re ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. You’re gonna have fun, and I’m gonna have fun… We’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’re gonna need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ out of your assholes! I must be crazy! I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!

Clark Griswold

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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