That’s A Wrap!


Pretty sure this will be the Minion’s Christmas Card photo for 2016.

My 2016 Highland Games season has just come to a close. Kinda.

Last weekend in Minnesota was my last Games as an open competitor. It’s Masters throwing from here on out. It’s pretty surreal that my first Games was in January and my last in July. How does six months fly by in a blink of an eye? It has been so incredible and I don’t want it to go away without some parting shots.


Not really sure what Nikita is doing here;)

Having a chance to be part of the East/West Games in Orlando was a huge treat. Festive would be the word of the weekend and watching these ladies do their thang became the highlight of the season for me. Also…


Pride was on the line!

…explaining the +100 dollar dinner tab to my husband when I got home. PRIDE WAS ON THE LINE! (He understood perfectly. My husband is cool.)


Even though I struggled with the plague of ’16, I had an absolute blast in Arizona both on the field and off. Spending time with Auntie and Uncle in Sun City West (be on the lookout for golf carts all over the road, for serious)  and Max and Yvonne in Scottsdale AND even a little time with Mike and Jolene Westerling. It was all a huge treat.

I learned SO much this season from so many of the best. I want to thank every single one of you that took the time to throw some world class advice my way. That you cared enough to help me do a little better goes deep. I ALSO learned that I can be too technical, especially on Games day. I heard it twice in the last four days and that’s not the first time I’ve heard it this year. SO, for these next few Games, I relax and execute. Fucking attack. That’s the plan.


Sunrise in Scottsdale. I’m trying to talk the bigg guy into New Years Eve in Scottsdale. I don’t know if Max and Yvonne will be there or not, I just want to be there;)

While I didn’t see the numbers that I was hoping for (or that I even see in practice sometimes) I’d like to think that I held my own here and there and at 49 (yup, I’ll get that in one more time. Deal) I’ll take that as a win. I’m very pleased that at this point in the season, I’m ranked at #20 and it’s a true #20. What I mean by that is that for some reason, scores with the 21# weight and WOB also get entered into NASGA under the Women’s scores which can skew the rankings. While I love seeing my name in the top 15 or better at the end of the year, we all know that the 50+ foot heavy weight and the 18′ WOB is with the lighter weight. I don’t need sunshine blown anywhere near my ass so a true #20 at 49? Yup, I’ll take it.


Okay, let’s just throw a weightlifting competition in there too while recovering from the plague. Sure, why not?

While each competition meant spending time with old and new friends; spending time in different scenery, and experiencing new gas stations to grab a Monster, few can compare to Victoria. I mean, I saw a small pod of Whales on the ferry coming into Port. That doesn’t happen in smallville, Illinois. Srsly.


The friends. The drinks. The food. The throwing. The beer tent. Everything from A to Z was perfect and that sums up the season so far. It’s pretty much been very Bill Medley and Jenifer Warnes and that I’ll still get to see these amazing athletes throw during my last Games helps me not be so melancholy that it’s coming to a close.

I want to thank KC Cummings and Susan Cummings (you too Jannet;) Michelle Crownhart, that we get to see each other and throw together yet this year makes me very happy. Jason Clevenger and Jeff Bryan. Our Wisconsin home crew of Big John McAdams and Robert. And a very special thank you to Ray Siochowicz for letting me play on that field in Victoria. You took a chance on an old lady and she broke your caber. You’re welcome.


Photo Credit: Douglass Sisk

Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life.

Billy Graham

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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