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13 Days of Darkness Part 9 – Life, Death, And Kettlebells In Monterey

Monterey is beautiful, but like the little towns in David Lynch’s films, there are dark, sinister forces roiling beneath the idyllic surface.  The faint scent of savagery, menace, and insanity blow hither and thither on the salty sea air.

This is my destiny...remember me fondly...

This is my destiny...remember me fondly...

I was minding my own business on Monday afternoon, standing in a sunbeam in the field across the street from my hotel. I was doing a hard workout with two kettlebells and having the time of my life.  Things were so pleasant that I almost expected a baby deer to run out of the trees and do a tap dance just for me.

Suddenly, someone was yelling at me.

“Dude!  Move!”

I looked around.  Three guys in really tight shirts were standing about fifty feet away.  My vision is not great, but I sensed that the tips of their hair were frosted.  Never a good sign.  I could also tell that they were stuffed into their clothes like sausages. Oh, and there was a girl in short shorts with them.  That’s probably why these gents were feeling so ferocious.

It was four to one.  Hopelessly outnumbered…

So this was my life…did I do so badly?

“What?” I yelled, setting down the kettlebells.

They started waving their arms and shouting what sounded like, “Four!  Four!”

Four?  What the crap?  Four what?

“All right, man!  You asked for it!”  Something was flying through the air towards me.  I finally realized what was going on.  I was in the middle of a game of frisbee golf.  I was doing my thing near one of the holes–a chain link bucket.

A New Definition Of Terror

Now another of the fussy little guys was yelling about something.  He was very upset.  It was probably because the girl had folded her arms and was jabbering about something.  He couldn’t let this outrage stand.

“Dude!  Get out of our way!” Now they were all flapping their arms so hard I thought they might zoom into the sky.  Monterey was displaying its terrifying, frost-tipped underbelly.

I wondered why I wasn’t terrified.  Then it hit me: I’m not the toughest guy in the world.  I was really trying to be intimidated, but I couldn’t figure out how to feel scared of miniature frisbees  Especially not when I’m 20 minutes into throwing heavy kettlebells around. Maybe I shouldn’t have started to work out.  Then I would have been exhibiting an appropriate level of knee-knocking quakery.

I put the bells down and yelled, “Play through!”  I went back to work.  If I am to die today, I will die upright, on my own terms, doing kettlebell snatch and press ladders.

Now they were seriously agitated.  As they shrieked and fidgeted, I noticed that they stayed well within earshot, but well out of headlock range.

The field was huge.  If they were accurate enough to hit me with their frisbees on the first toss, then they would have finished their game much sooner after hitting nine straight holes in one.

Patient Zero

If you’re reading this, I’m still alive, if you can call this living.  I see their frail frames and chilling Frisbees every time I close my eyes.  I escaped their wrath and their egos and their frosted tips and their too-small shirts.

But they infected me with something.  There must have been some sort of toxin on one of their toys.  Who knows what I’m becoming?  Even now, my hand strays to my head every couple of minutes, wondering if it is slowly turning blond.

This shirt…this shirt feels so tight…can’t brea…


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  • paulandrewrussell October 29, 2009, 5:55 am

    This made me laugh out loud, Josh. I’m really glad I popped on to your blog this morning. You made me smile. Thank You.


    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 9:40 am

      Thanks Paul. I’m glad you stopped by too. I just wish I could have made you smile without going through such a harrowing ordeal.

      • paulandrewrussell October 29, 2009, 4:50 pm

        Well you did survive a terrible event, so I take my hat off to you.

  • Heather October 29, 2009, 6:00 am

    If your hair does suddenly get all Frosty with it and you have a sudden desire to do The Safety Dance with kettlebells (or even, perhaps, sans kettlebells), will you film and post, please? Halloween is almost upon us. And yes, I’m still giggling uncontrolably.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 9:40 am

      Heather, yes. I will. It would probably deserve its own reality show.

  • Daisy October 29, 2009, 9:53 am

    I’m envisioning these panicky souls trying to get the Big Weightlifter and his Kettlebells out of their way… hilarious. If your hair really does sprout frosted tips, please post a picture.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 10:37 am

      They didn’t try very hard. I probably would have moved if they had asked nicely, and they probably would have asked nicely if that girl hadn’t brought out their savage alpha maleness.

  • pseudosu October 29, 2009, 11:23 am

    The really ironic part is that their display of rudeness would just repell any girl with half a brain. I can’t stand frosted tips on guys. I am the one who’s supposed to be hair obsessed– not them!
    Oh that you could have sprung into the air and snatch one of their frisbees in your teeth and then chewed it up and swallowed it.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 11:25 am

      Sue, that is the funniest thing I’ve heard today, and I’ve been saying funny things to myself all morning:)

  • Al in Vancouver October 29, 2009, 1:31 pm

    Immovable Josh. Or Josh “Immovable” Hanagarne. That could be your new nickname or your fighter name.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 3:46 pm

      I don’t know Al. I kind of like “Darth.”

  • Armen Shirvanian October 29, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Hey Josh.

    This is cool stuff here. Monterey sure is one of the nicest areas I’ve been at. This is hilarious about the frisbee golf. I play it once in a while with my friend, and sometimes I end up in a place where the people playing behind us want me to move just like you described here. I usually move, though, but I get what you were saying.

    I had a friend that worked out with kettlebells, and at first I thought he was doing some random Russian weight technique, until I found out more people were doing it.

    Good call on your attitude and response as to how you would stay standing there and risk getting hit. Also, working out can make us feel invincible.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 3:47 pm

      Thanks Armen. It was pretty funny. I don’t get too irritated by anything, as long as it gives me a good story to tell.

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? October 29, 2009, 6:02 pm

    Hi Josh – This made me laugh out loud too! Thanks for bringing that unexpected joy to my afternoon. BTW, I love all things coastal, Monterey included. I grew up slightly north of there, and have many fond memories of Monterey visits with my mom.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 7:16 pm

      Patty, I’m sure the good memories come fast and furious in that place. I miss it already. The LA airport isn’t nearly as fun as the Monterey beach.

  • TV David October 29, 2009, 7:49 pm

    Maybe Stuffed-Shirt Frosted-Tip Boy is actually Monterrey Jack. After all, he was acting cheesy. Besides, you could always alter one KB exercise to the “clean THE jerk.” Three reps, and you’re done.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 11:38 pm

      Oh man, David, when the puns start flying, they fly with authority around here! I do like cheese, and meeting Monterrey Jack would be a pretty auspicious occasion for me.

  • sandy October 29, 2009, 9:22 pm

    My favorite read on my feed again today. Does your mom blog? I think a middle-aged mom-ish version of you would be the only thing I’d like better.

    And “Play through!” — as a metaphor? Now, that could be high yield for use in real life.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 29, 2009, 11:37 pm

      Sandy, a lot of people have gotten a kick out of “play through!” My mom doesn’t blog, by the way. She is pretty classy and cool, though. You’d definitely like her better than you should like me.

  • sandy October 29, 2009, 9:28 pm

    Not that your experience wasn’t real life. I just meant the non-frosted-Frisbee-golf parts of real life. -s