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How To Have Tourette’s Part 13 – You Just Do It: Guest Post By Adam T. Glass

Always, just when I’m on the verge of breaking down and writing a post that is full of selfish compliments—for me, by me—someone saves me the trouble.

I’m always happy to let someone else talk me up.  I get to pretend I’m modest and they get to say things in a way I can’t.  But seriously, today, it’s my sincere HONOR to have Staff Sergeant and professional strongman  “Unbreakable” Adam T. Glass on the blog for How To Have Tourette’s.

Adam is one of the few of you to witness many of tics firsthand.  He saw a lot of weird stuff in our week together.  He’s got a pretty funny story for you about our trip to Best Buy.

So tremble, agree, nod, and submit.

On second thought, I’m outraged that nobody assumed that I was the one hitting him, but oh well.  I just don’t look mean enough to be taken for a bruiser.

If you forgot to get me a Christmas Present, quit beating yourself up about it!  I’ll settle for you subscribing to Adam’s RSS Feed!


About The Author: Adam T. Glass is the owner of Unbreakable Fitness in Minot, North Dakota.  He is a professional, performing strongman and is rumored to be half-machine.  Please visit him at Walk The Road Less Traveled and on Twitter. Oh, and on Facebook

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  • Kris Wragg December 30, 2009, 7:24 am

    I saw this on Adams youtube feed the other day, it is a really heart warming video by him!

    I’ve just spent my lunch break going through the other 12 posts of yours, whilst stuffing my face of course, don’t think you can distract me from the joys of eating!

    It’s nice to get some real information on tourettes, most of what I’ve heard of before are like what you described your mother first read, about constant profanities and such. I don’t think the media have done a particularly good job on it really.

    What made me chuckle the most was your comment on how you started writing a book and it was full of angst, I went through the same thing myself several years ago. I spent most of my childhood being severely bullied because for one I was a boy genius, and secondly I have red hair. Now I can understand the envy some people may have had with the intelligence, but I didn’t and still don’t understand the hatred towards red heads in this country (the UK). By bullying I don’t mean the usual name calling that happens in schools, in the past I have been stabbed, set alight, hit with bats, pummelled by groups of people… not the most fun things in the world!

    So in my late teens I started writing a book about bullying, that then turned into a semi auto-biography, then I grew up a bit more and realised it was just me venting and I needed a better way to direct that anger because the book writing just wasn’t productive!

    Anyway, just thought I’d share a bit, like you I find its nice to share a little, perhaps even vent a little frustration. Even as a 24 year old adult I still get random abuse from strangers about being a red head, which is generally easily ignored although sometimes particularly irritating if I’m already having a bad day. I find the worst thing for me that really tips the scales is the odd occasion someone has insulted me and then spat at me… that’s like 10 steps too far!

    But kettlebells are a fantastic way to release pent up frustration, and I’ve just started on the path of steel bending 🙂

    Keep posting the blog, its nice to read a bit into other peoples lives. I really hope for your sake, and other tourettes sufferers, that they eventually find a way to cure it or at least keep it under control without bad side effects!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 10:01 am

      Seriously? My hair used to be red. Does that mean in England they would have stabbed me?

      • Kris Wragg December 30, 2009, 10:29 am

        I think I was just unlucky in the fact that I seemed to attract the attention of all the idiots that are now either in prison or doing very menial jobs. Plus I didn’t really go to the best schools in the world so a boy genius from a relatively poor background stuck out like a sore thumb!

        The way I look at it now is sure I had a hellish time at school, but in some ways that made me work harder because I wanted to go somewhere. I’m currently working on software that simulates drug interactions on virtual people (company is called Simcyp) so I’m not doing too bad!

        It took me until about 19/20 years old before I realised that looking back at the bad times stunts your growth and that the only way to grow and prosper is to just keep pushing forward and avoid obstacles as best possible, and I can see that you’re definitely doing that yourself!

        Surprisingly there is information on wikipedia on gingerism:

        This particular one is a good example of how little things can be irritating, nobody would have dared say something similar to this regarding other minorities such as black or Asian:

        “In December 2009 British supermarket chain Tesco was forced to withdraw a Christmas card which had the image of a child with ginger hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus, and the words: “Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones” after customers complained the card was too offensive.”

        Anyway, I’ve had far too much of a rant on this topic for today!

        How is the screaming going BTW? Has it subsided now or are you still debating the botox?

        • Todd December 30, 2009, 11:39 am

          Wow, I’ve heard of racism, sexism, but never follicleism. That’s nuts! It sounds like you’ve turned out well though. Our personalities shine on the hilltop after the tumbling in the valleys of life.

  • Henri @ Wake Up Cloud December 30, 2009, 7:55 am

    This was awesome. That best buy story was funny ;). Thanks for sharing Adam. I have no doubt that Josh is a cool dude, as we have seen over and over again on the World’s Strongest Librarian!

    Happy New Year, Josh!

  • Randy December 30, 2009, 10:36 am

    Intriguing commitment from Adam. I was sitting here thinking: if one suffers from tourette’s, is it like “you have tourette’s” or is it more like “tourette’s has you?”

    • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 10:42 am

      Randy, that’s a much deeper question that I used to think. For a long time, I said “My Tourette’s.” I’m sure I still do, sometimes. When I was in my teens, at one point my mom said, “Josh, you can’t let this thing make your decisions for you.” At that point I started thinking of Tourette’s not as a disorder but as a separate being living in me (kind of like that homunculus you love so much:). I was getting interested in girls so I named Tourett’e Misty short for Miss T, and much more appropriate for a horny young man than the “Mr. T.” I started out with.

      In most cases I think TS has the person. In my case, no. Misty belongs to me and when she throws a tantrum I make her sit in the corner by doing a bunch of deadlifts.

      • Courtney December 30, 2009, 4:09 pm

        Interesting comments, Randy & Josh. I get seizures. Early on I learned it is frowned upon to call someone “an epileptic”. “such-and-such has epilepsy” is preferred.

        The idea is that this minor linguistic change would make people with epilepsy feel more like they HAVE epilepsy, and less like they ARE epilepsy.

        I am a brunette, a wife, an American, a gamer. An epileptic. As a conglomerate, these things define me, but I don’t think the language used affects how I feel about it. I think what “epilepsy” or “epileptic” connotes to people is more important than whether it is used as a noun or adjective.

        I’m not really sure what my point is here. Sorry for the rambling. But it is interesting how characterizations of something like epilepsy or Tourette’s changes over time. I’m a computer programmer, so I picture seizures like a BSOD and automatic reboot. When I was younger I pictured them as sparks in a microwave. But it is not as life-encompassing as Tourette’s, either.

        • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 5:13 pm

          I got several points out of it, so don’t sweat it. Great comment. I’ve known a couple of epileptics pretty well. And one of them let it consume his life. I can fight my out of most things, but when his seizures hit, that was that. It took control for that time and he couldn’t do anything but let it go and wake up later. Fascinating stuff. For all the might and majesty and potential of the brain, you don’t have to cross too many wires before things get silly in there.

          • Jett March 17, 2010, 9:13 pm

            “….you don’t have to cross too many wires before things get silly in there.” made me all barky with laughter.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 10:45 am

      Randy, I agree about Adam’s statement. I’ll be very curious to see what they’re talking about.

  • Niel December 30, 2009, 10:39 am

    Adam’s videos are great, was watching a few last night. I need to catch up on the biofeedback ones! I stopped at part 3, but can’t wait to see the rest.

    Would have been awesome if there was a clip of that Best Buy scene. 🙂

  • Todd December 30, 2009, 11:44 am

    Well Josh, Merry Christmas, I subscribed to Adam’s RSS and followed him on Twitter.

    I have to tell you, I have learned so much from your blog. I have never met you, but I would like to.

    And Adam, I’ll be checking your blog out more today. Thanks for putting up such an honest video.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 2:06 pm

      Awesome. Adam’s info is the best there is.

  • Lori December 30, 2009, 1:08 pm

    Being a prior-military/Army vet chick – I can tell by how Adam talks that he’s a Staff Sergeant. Brings back memories, indeed!

    Great vid – Strong Man. Having Josh in your basement must have been scary – did his head clear the ceiling?

    I agree, Josh is a stud muffin – a masked man-hero for the chronic-disease afflicted (which includes me).

    Thanks – cool cats and cheers for a great 2010!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 30, 2009, 2:06 pm

      I wasn’t able to do any snatches in that basement. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear Adam say “Josh is a stud muffin.”

      • Lori December 30, 2009, 3:27 pm

        Funny – yeah, I don’t think “stud muffin” is in the military lexicon. It wasn’t in my SSgt’s lexicon, anyway! I mostly just had to do lots of extra push ups for loosing my weapon once and talking too much. (Surprise, surprise! – ha)

  • Rob McMurren December 30, 2009, 8:07 pm

    I like wehre adam says he doesnt feel sorry for josh.

    my 19 year old nephew has TS (and epilepsy) and these posts go a long way into helping me understand what he is dealing with. Most of the tics he has are a lotless severe than the tics i ve seen in Josh’s vids.

    thanks for sharing and helping me along the way

  • Kris Wragg December 31, 2009, 1:37 am

    Josh, I have a question for you.

    Are you allowed to drive?

    I know in the UK if you have epilepsy then you cannot drive unless you have been seizure free for 2 years. So I was just wondering if TS stopped you from being able to drive as a bad tick whilst driving would be, well, potentially dangerous?

    Just a random though that went through my head when reading Courtneys comments.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 31, 2009, 8:26 am

      Kris, I’ve never had a problem driving. Just like when I’m typing, talking, or playing the guitar or lifting, driving is pretty uneventful for me.

      • Kris Wragg December 31, 2009, 8:39 am

        So your brain at least gives some some respite to enjoy the fun things in life 🙂 What guitars do you own? I saw an acoustic in one of your videos! I have a nice Takamine acoustic and an Ibanez electric… they both make me happy 😀

  • Frank Hanagarne December 31, 2009, 10:48 am


    I enjoyed Adam’s comments about my son Josh. Adam has picked up on the fact that Josh is as tough mentally and emotionally as he is physically.

    Thanks Adam


  • Srinivas Rao December 31, 2009, 11:04 am


    This is a great post. I love the stuff on the library and Best Buy. I think I told you about my best friend who has tourettes who went to MIT. When I asked him “didn’t you ever study in the library?” he said to me “Dude, I make fuci#$#n noises all the time, how could I study in the library?” So I guess that makes it even more amazing that of all places, you work in a library. I still need to see if this “Tourette’s Convention” my friend talked about exists. He wanted to go there and make a new video for SNL.

  • Mike T Nelson December 31, 2009, 3:09 pm

    Great stuff as always here!

    Josh, it has been a true pleasure to get to know you and work with you this past year. Your passion and committent is second to none. You are an excellent writer, but you alreayd knew that! 🙂

    I agree with Adam as I believe there is a way to further the massive improvements you have made also. I will do everything I can to help of course.

    Best of 2010 to you as always my friend

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
    I do also find it comical that you work in a library. Interesting how things always seem to work out in the end though.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 31, 2009, 3:11 pm

      Thanks Mike. I look forward to the improvements, your help, 2010, and I don’t expect things to become less comical. Ever.