Monday Bacon: Fire & Ice

The HotHunkyHubs and I were talking this morning about various topics that landed on the current state of healthcare. It’s a mess, if you didn’t already know. It wasn’t great before the shutdowns but mass layoffs; shutting down most areas of healthcare save for Cofid treatments; and the administrative “streamlining” that has backed up nearly every aspect of healthcare, including mental health care, has taken a toll that you don’t realize is there until you need healthcare.

It’s a mess. We’ve gone from, “Let’s talk about mental health” to “Everyone has some type of mental trauma and concessions must be made for each individual.” It’s non-sustainable, kowtowing to every person’s whim. This is why there are general rules for society. Don’t kill people unless they’re trying to kill you. That’s one. Drive on the right side of the road at a proper speed. That’s another. Don’t wear jammie pants on an airplane, just to name a few of the critical rules.

In general it’s helpful to see someone and their idiosyncrasies as a representation of a population group. It helps to prepare you on how to deal with people of similar nature. If you know someone who is extremely immature and self-centered and life forces you to interact with them, you’re going to know how to generally deal with others like them. It’s useful. It’s going to be up to you to decide how much bullshit you’ll put up with but overall, the more experience you have with different personalities, the more prepared you are to know what to expect.

After talking about a particular friend’s current situation, I reminded Matt that they represented a general group of people and would we allow more like them (yes, I’m being vague) in our lives? If the answer is no, why are we allowing this person to wreak havoc on our peace? You can take a few steps back without saying an outright goodbye, unless a goodbye is needed. I then asked Matt, “What do my characteristics represent?” Matt, being a very smart man, said he had no idea. I told him that sounded more like, ‘I’m not touching that’ and he finished by saying, “with a 10 foot pole.” So I had to finish the thought myself and I came up with fire and ice.

Not really, I actually said, “Harshness and Kindness.” I’m often attracted to others with some type of harshness. That doesn’t have to mean boss ass bitch but it will come with a tenacity to not sit still. High achievers? Maybe but I don’t know that I consider myself a high achiever, I just “achieve” here and there. Each one of my closest friends have walked through a fire or two. They’ve chosen to allow those fires to make them stronger and not limp through life because of burns or scars. My closest friends also have an element of kindness to them. My fab fav WonderWomanPollyPocketSavannahSister, Sheryl, is one of the most patient people I’ve ever encountered. I have no idea how she does it. She gets bombarded every week by at least one Masters weightlifter and where my answer would most always be, “I dunno, you’re over 35, figure it the fuck out” she takes the time to walk someone through their inability to apply critical thinking to help themselves through life. She’s cool that way.

See, when you have fire you need the ice or you’ll burn yourself and others out. It’s the tricky part of friendship, when you see fire taking over someones existence but since they’re smart adults, there’s only so much you can do to be helpful. If you’re my friend, you’re going to get the truth. Sorry not sorry. The harshness that will attract me to you must hold kindness or you’re just a hateful hag who burns with every touch. Not good.

Getting back to Jules, harshness and kindness. See, most who know who I am can recognize the harshness. Believe it or not, it’s better than it was. If you consider me telling you truths about a current situation ‘harsh’, then I’ve gotten worse. The kindness is less seen, at least I believe it is. In general, I don’t talk about works, I just do. I’m not interested in getting public points for shit I do, I’m more interested about how my heart feels at the end of the day. I can be harsh and I can be right (usually am by the way), but if I’m not kind then I’m just a hateful hag who bitches her way through life. Sounds gross, hard pass.

Years ago, I competed in Scotland at my first Masters World Championships for Highland Games. It was amazing, incredible, awesome, mind-blowing fun. It was the first time our age group, 45-49, was throwing a 21# weight as heavy weight for distance vs. the 28#. Which meant that the first throw was a new world record and if you threw a bit more than the previous world record, you have a new world record and with each new WR, the thrower wanted a picture next to the WR marker. It was kind of fun, kind of annoying because I wanted to throw an actual WR and win the event and I was the last thrower for the event. After my first throw (you get 3 throws plus extras if you win the event), the judge (an Angela Lansberry look alike, Elsbeth was her name) didn’t even look up from her clipboard and said, “Okay, go get your picture with the marker” as I was walking away. I gave her my ‘no thank you, I’ll get a picture at the end of the event if I’m still the WR holder” and looked up to see her nod of approval. I was the WR holder at the end of it and I got a picture with the group of women who were the 1st to throw a new implement at a World Championships. I was very proud of my World Record but I didn’t need to take a picture and post it if I didn’t have it by the end of the day. I’ll smile at others having fun but I don’t need to apply their approach to me. Sorry not sorry.

I don’t want to talk about it unless I want to talk about it. I’ll talk about the highs and lows of life and competition, but I’m not going to give you a rundown of all the old ladies I helped across the street each day. (Truth be told, I’m the old lady now.) At some point, I’m going to have to accept that while I have fire in me, I also have some ice to cool things down because I’m friends with some of the most amazing, smart people on the planet and I’m not just a pretty face.

So I have characteristics that represent a population of people and if you can get along with me, chances are high you can get along with others like me. That’s useful. Recognizing these traits about yourself is good, recognizing these traits in those closest to you is vital. Matt is far more social than me. He’s found camaraderie in a nearby gym, MKE Muscle. The owners, Bill and Bradley are amazing guys who’ve built up a black iron/body building mecca in the Cream City suburbs. Great energy and top equipment, a super nice and focused clientele, and Matt has his home away from home gym. I like to go with him here and there and then I remember why I love to train at home, my gym doesn’t have other people in it.

My bigg guy needs other people around and I need my bigg guy to get what he needs. Because I don’t need a lot of other people around has nothing to do with anything. I couldn’t say, “well I don’t need people so you don’t need people.” That would be rude and nonsensical. We’re not some robot couple, we each have individual needs and wants and working to get those in life makes us a stronger couple. Also, since I’ve worked and played alongside Engineers of different sorts for over 30 years, I understand characteristics that makes you want to pull your hair out in individual strands if you happen to be married to one. Heh.

At the end of the day, be you and work to be a better you. If your fire is burning too hot, allow some ice to douse the flames.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Zig Ziglar


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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