Music Helps.

Sometimes, life is hard. Music helps. At least, it helps me. When I visited family on Maui years ago, my cousin was dating a musician. We were sitting out on the patio and he asked me what song I’d like to hear. I said, somewhere over the rainbow. He says, “tourist, no way.” What I wanted to say was, “hey dipshit, you asked, now sing it. This song means something to me and made me feel better in dark days through life. Dipshit.” But I didn’t. Wish I woulda.

I like that Iz has made it part of Hawaii. It feels good. And today I need it.

I’ve pulled out of my Highland Games competitions for the remainder of the year. Sure, there were only a few but they were biggies and that I’d worked so hard for so long and received such amazing help from so many and, admittedly, I wanted to show them I was listening and I could deliver. Why isn’t a public thing. I’m not hurt and Mike Westerling is hard at work making sure I keep my mind and body as strong as I can right now and I’m so thankful for him.

But God, my heart hurts. I’m a competitor and to know I was so close to have a chance to make a dream come true and now will be sitting it out is devastating to me. And while I won’t pout, I will shed some tears. More tears I should say. I look at my implements in the gym and feel so sorry that I can’t make our hard work together pay off. I don’t know when they’ll be picked up again. It will be a while, that I know.

Anyway, to all of you who have made my season a beautiful one, thank you. Best of luck to everyone for the remainder of their season. Stay healthy and happy.

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment  of that hope never entirely removes.

Thomas Hardy

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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