People Are Cool

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Matt’s and my experience at our favorite restaurant, Ardent. While the food is inventive and delicious (inventive, like that one???) what I enjoy the most about going there is watching the experts create these amazing dishes. This is their thing, they not only love what they’re doing but they are made for it. Every time we leave I think to myself,

people are cool.

I thought about this again a few weeks ago when I saw a video of a man who’s gift is developing film that no one wants to touch. Damaged through time or circumstances, this man has the skills and patience to develop them. The video shows how he developed 31 rolls of film from a WWII soldier from the late 40’s. He works through water damage and rust and uses modern technology to bring this soldier’s memories to life. It’s amazing. All I could think of was the skills it takes to do such a thing. He seems like a younger man yet does something that is SO COOL!

And then I saw this…

This is a video of Associate Director Carrie Havel directing the cameras for a television live performance of ‘Grease.’ I didn’t watch the live show, if I never see Grease again I’d be okay with it. But I saw this the next day and again, thought of how cool people are. I like how her head is bobbing throughout the song too, plus she actually has a nice voice so her keeping melody throughout was pretty fun.

There are so many things I’ve wanted to do in my life that I have absolutely no talent to pull off. I’ve always wanted to sing like Ruthie Henshall. I’ve wanted to be a ballerina that could put emotion into movement like this:


I took dance for years and even got up on my toes for a couple of those but I was already too big, much too bulky. I wanted to race down ski hills like Picabo Street; fly above the ground like Florence Griffith Joyner…


…I’ve wanted to cook like Julia Child; keep a house clean like my old neighbor Cindi (she said she cleaned four hours a day. I’d take an hour a day but I’m still a work in progress on that one.)

Now, this is not a “whaaaaaa I’m not good enough” post. I do fine. I work hard at what I can to improve and am everlastingly (totally a word) thankful for the ability to put demands on my body and have it say, ‘okay Jules, we got this.’ 

But I love to admire the gifts of others and believe I can wish a little bit without demeaning my own talents. People are cool and that cesspool of a Facebook is even a little useful bringing these gifts to light. I wish we had a website named, COOL SHIT PEOPLE DO and avoid the other crap that’s on the FB.

This stuff, this stuff is cool…

If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.

Les Brown

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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