Friday Jams: Connect

In all my 51 years on this earth, I have learned that we all get to walk through this thing called life as we wish. We have choices. We can choose to be sad and miserable because of the past or fucking thrive in spite of it. We can choose to stand around and demand that people around us feed our insecurities or stand in our own power and feed ourselves. We can choose to consume or contribute.

We can choose to get caught up in non-essentials or plow through life with meaning. We can choose to never fully look in the mirror or accept the challenge of change. We can choose to complain about all we don’t have or be filled with what we do. We can choose to insulate ourselves from the needs of others or we can choose to connect.

I dunno, I hope I don’t even have to say what my choices are, I try to live them. When I fall short, I make it right and move on (if it’s worth it.) Yup, worth it. My energy, ALL of my energy, goes into the people; work, and events that contribute to the overall good. And holy shit, there’s a lot of good out there.

We can choose to connect and contribute. I choose to connect and contribute. This doesn’t mean getting along with everyone, in fact, quite the opposite. Because there are a lot of people out there who want to consume to fill the emptiness in them and that’s just not going to happen around here. I choose to surround myself with the most amazing people the world has to offer and thankfully, they find enough value in me to want the same. I am inspired daily by those who contribute in ways I hadn’t even considered and know my talents fall short of doing so. Our entire summer is mapped out to connect with our Highland Games friends and while we feel so fortunate to be able to do these things, we just choose not to live differently. Both Matt and I have done miserable in our lives, miserable sucks. Do happy.

In all my 51 years, I’ve never been more excited to roam the earth and I am so very proud of those around me. I hope I’m blessed with another 51 years…some 102 year old  chick has just set some track records that I have my eye on. Kidding…

…but not really.

Jack White, Connected by Love.


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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