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How To Have Tourette’s Part 15 – A Wonderful, Miserable Weekend in Minneapolis

It was this kind of a weekend

Believe you me, Earthling, it’s a weird feeling to walk out of a room full of strongmen so you can have a good cry in the hall.

I had waited for months to attend the workshop and now I was here. The flights had been difficult and the cost hadn’t been cheap, but I would have flown ten times as far and paid ten times as much for what I would learn in this room.

Except I had to get out of there. The tics were horrible. I was having a hard time enjoying something I’d looked forward to for a long time.

Some of the strongest people I’ve ever met were in the room. A world record holder. People I look up to. People I love and admire.  Some of my greatest mentors and best friends. And plenty of new friends as well.

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  In the hall, all the frustration of the morning’s tics just poured out.

A weird feeling

I got it over with quickly and went back in.

If anyone had walked out into the hall while I was getting it out of my system, I would have been mortified, even though they would have understood. But none of them came out.

When I returned, I stayed in the back of the room for the next five hours and listened. Alone but calm. Apart but under control. And that’s always the story. We are each alone in our own heads and bodies. No matter how many friends we have. No matter how many people love us.

There are times when it’s just you and you and me and me. It’s a good thing to like yourself, incidentally, since you have to spend a lot of time with yourself.

That has always been one of the hardest things for me to deal with, as far as Tourette’s goes: it can get very lonely.  At times it feels like nobody can step into these shoes, and that’s all right–they’re too big for most people, anyways.


And the whole workshop was being recorded for a DVD!  A DVD that many of you will probably buy when I review it.  This will potentially reach tens of thousands of buyers this year, and I’m in every minute of it, barking my fool head off and chewing my mouth to pieces.

I like to think that I sound like a mastiff, but it’s probably going to come out like some yappy little nightmare from the Eukanuba cup.

Did I mention that it was a wonderful workshop?

Some things I learned and overheard

I can’t go into 1/100th of what I learned, but I’ll give you the broad strokes from GripNRip 2010 in Minneapolis.  Some of these are profound, some are just funny.  I can’t even begin to recreate the context:

  • The knowledge of the typical trainer is beyond pitiful.  It’s so bad that I don’t even know how to talk about it.
  • I don’t like your aftershave.  Wipe it off.”
  • Bending horseshoes is really painful.  I may have to post a picture of my bruise.
  • Never underestimate the power of stupidity.  I can lock most people in a room with no furniture or exit.  I can give them two steel balls, come back in 30 minutes, and one ball is lost, the other’s broken”
  • If you must work your core, there’s no better way to do it than sitting next to Adam Glass and laughing after he’s drank 100 ounces of Guinness.
  • Brad Nelson is the Einstein of mobility work.  The day is coming when I will be cured of Tourette’s. He will be one of the reasons why
  • There is no reason to wait months for results that can be had in seconds
  • “Every 18 year old in America wants to be a UFC fighter or a Navy Seal”
  • Most people do not honor their bodies or their biology
  • It is each of our birthrights to be better all the time
  • Hard work is not the same as dedicated, smart work
  • Hard work is not the answer
  • Here is a year’s supply of 100 glow sticks.  Go have fun.”
  • Better to be a master than a martyr
  • Nobody is qualified to coach you but you
  • suicidedevice.com is not going to be a big seller
  • …and he always wears that ball gag, so he’ll never respond to your plese for mercy, so quit dropping the weights…”

The best, the worst

It might be the most fun I’ve ever had in a weekend.  It might also be the most misery I’ve ever packed into an eight-hour stretch (on DVD!) on the day of the workshop.

But I saw a lot of good friends and made some new ones. I got stronger and I ate good food.

And most of those friends would have tracked me down and murdered me if I would have left because I thought I might be distracting them.

That’s when you know you’re loved.


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  • frank February 10, 2010, 1:48 am


    How do your tics affect the muscles in your shoulders and back? I have tourette’s, but it’s mainly just the shoulder shrugging. My shoulders and traps hurt like hell, which really puts a damper on any workout. Do you have any tips?

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 8:36 am

      Frank, it depends. My tics are all over the map. Sometimes they hurt my shoulders and back, sometimes my neck, sometimes my face, sometimes everything. I’ve got a really extreme case, and as you know, what works for or applies to one case might not have anything to do with another. Tips? Never back out of something because of tics. Not a workout, not a job, not a life.

  • Kris Wragg February 10, 2010, 5:24 am

    Sorry to hear the tics came back with a vengeance at the Grip ‘n’ Rip!

    I wish I had the cash to have attended but having bought my first house recently I am broke as hell, but I will be putting some money aside to attend the next one! 🙂

    I’m sat impatiently waiting for my Gym Movement DVD to arrive, damn international flights and customs! Probably will buy this DVD too once its out so that’ll be another anxious wait!

  • B-Rad Nelson February 10, 2010, 7:22 am

    Thank you for the insight on the weekend. You are a true warrior. Thank you for being open minded to learning AND teaching myself (and others) about Tourette’s. I appreciate your kind words and your inside jabs!

    Crank it!

    P.S. Diesel awaits humping your leg anytime you want to crash at my place 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 8:34 am

      Sooner rather than later. I miss Diesel already.

  • Amy February 10, 2010, 7:29 am

    Your right, Josh. We all walk alone and deal with our own shit. Lucky for most of us, our shit doesn’t reveal itself audibly as yours does. As distracting as you may think your ticks are, they really aren’t. I was concentrating on what was being presented and on figuring out my own body. I wish you didn’t have to feel isolation ever.

    It was an unbelievable joy to get to meet you and get to know you a little bit more. I hope we have many more opportunities to train and learn together in the future. Your journey is incredibly inspiring to me. After this weekend I feel a kinship with you and all the fellow Grip n Rippers.

    I have a sneaking suspicion we were part of a shift, and we can say, “I was there when it happened.”

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 8:34 am

      I think you’re right. And I’ll take audible over the punching any day, so that was a plus.

  • Patrenia February 10, 2010, 8:03 am

    You got me all teary eyed with this one! Yes, we are alone in our own little worlds filled with problems, insecurities, joys, happiness, sorrows, etc BUT we are still loved. I just wish everyone across this world would remember that. Thanks Josh!

    p.s. You are an awesome writer. When I read your posts, I feel like I am actually there. I can picture every scene.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 8:33 am

      Thanks Patrenia. I’m still glad I went!

  • Amy February 10, 2010, 8:09 am

    I would like to second that the knowledge of the typical trainer is just wow. In graduate school I taught the exercise physiology labs and it was sad. I had many students who wanted to be personal trainers, and some who wanted to be PE teachers, who struggled to learn basic things. They got upset with me when they didn’t earn their A. Honestly there only one of my former students who I would use the services of.

  • Heather February 10, 2010, 8:29 am

    Bummer about the tics, man, but your funny is absolutely spot-on priceless! LOVED the quip about human stupidity and the 2 balls in a room with no furniture and no exit! That’s some funny fecal matter! Don’t worry about the noise on the DVD, they’ll get A Sound Guy to edit that out. So when’s this thing coming out? I have a little wiggle room on a credit card and being a typical stupid human, this’ll be fun! Glad you had a mostly-pretty-good time! Welcome back!

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 8:32 am

      That was Adam’s quote. I laughed about as hard as I ever have. That’s on the DVD too.

  • Srinivas Rao February 10, 2010, 9:44 am


    Based on this description I have to get my hands on the DVD and check it out. I always find your courage and the way you deal with all of this admirable.

  • Helen Hoefele February 10, 2010, 11:03 am

    The more I read about the fitness journey you’re on, the more intrigued I am. I’ve started focusing on getting in shape myself (since Thanksgiving) and have found that your posts, and this Adam Glass guy, always get me thinking.

    Also, solitude has its benefits. While we may train with others (and I’m glad you’ve found such as great “fitness family” to be a part of), strength training is something that I believe we ultimately do for ourselves, so I can relate to how important it is to enjoy our own company.

    Regarding trainers that don’t know much, I wouldn’t totally underestimate their value…being able to push someone to do more than they would on their own isn’t entirely a bad thing.

    Anyway, with all that you’ve learned, when will we be able to sign up for a “Josh Training Camp”?

    Take care!

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 11:09 am

      Helen, I do agree, but keep in mind: The role of a trainer is not to make you do something hard. My toddler could tell you to do 25,000 jumping jacks and murder you. That doesn’t make him a good trainer.

      The first role of the trainer is: Do no harm. From then on, it’s whether they can help you reach your goals. Having someone text for 40 minutes after telling you to run on a treadmill and happily taking your money while flexing their skinny, barb-wired tattooed biceps in the mirror is reprehensible on many levels.

      As to my camp: the way things are going, sooner rather than later:)

      • Helen Hoefele February 10, 2010, 11:41 am

        Josh, True. I don’t disagree. There is a whole range of competency levels of trainers. Those that are “just collecting money” should never be tolerated by any person or institution. I wasn’t thinking about the worst. I was actually thinking more of those that may not be the best of the best (yet?) but are still decent (not to say you wouldn’t outgrow someone like that eventually anyway though.)

        Glad to hear your camp is in the works. I’m ready to sign up. Be sure to have a little mercy on us beginners. 🙂

  • Jessica Marie February 10, 2010, 11:44 am

    Awesome post. I think I get lost in my head quite a bit and it keeps me apart from others. We are all alone and yet we can have companionship with family and friends that can pull us through.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 3:27 pm

      Thanks Jessica. It’s been a while since you’ve popped in!

  • Justin Matthews February 10, 2010, 12:21 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time. I can’t wait to see the DVD. I want to bend horseshoes too.
    Your quotes are great. Welcome back!

    • Josh Hanagarne February 10, 2010, 3:27 pm

      Most of those quotes are from Adam. Most quippy person I’ve ever met.

  • Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny February 11, 2010, 1:01 pm

    Oh man…your story is funny, but then it’s not funny. We all have things we do that horrify us when other people notice. But most of us don’t have to see our unfortunate happenings on DVD – over and over again. God must have given you a terrific sense of humor. And yes, you are loved that much. mwah! happy Valentine’s Day, Big Man.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 11, 2010, 1:11 pm

      Thanks Cheryl. I think some people would tell you my sense of humor comes directly from the Lord of The Underworld.

  • Adam T Glass February 11, 2010, 11:10 pm

    Last weekend was the most fun i have had in months. Being out to instruct you guys was a blast. Since so few people want to believe they can get better each day, we will just upsell them on my rants during lectures

  • Rachael February 12, 2010, 4:26 pm


    We all have reasons that we don’t feel like we fit into a particle group. However, in my experience it’s usually more self exclusion then anything else. Be assured that the day would not have been the same with out you.

    Adam also talked about how “the elite” makes hard things look easy. It was easy for me to hang out with that many alpha males, nor three females weighing in at less then half of my current weight? Boy, did I feel every extra pound and every extra inch. I tried very hard not to need any special considerations. But when we got to the animal movements, (most of which I had tried and failed to do @ Brad’s Boot camp) that was my time to sit alone and watch the workshop move along without me.

    I hope my personal discomfort over my physical issues were as un-noticed/insignificant as I found yours to be. Yes, the tics were there. Did I care? No. Was it distracting? No.

    To me you seemed at ease in the group. A little distance during the lectures but during the demos you were right there with the rest of us. And I can not count the number of things you made look easy.


    Now if you had the habit of saying “like” every other word, I may have had an issue. 🙂

  • Mike T Nelson February 17, 2010, 9:18 am


    Perception is a very interesting thing. To you, you probably felt out of control and creating a distraction. I feel pretty confident that most in the room did not notice much at all and not to the degree that you felt. I know I barely noticed while I was there.

    While not the same, I have a huge scar on my chest from open heart surgery as a kid. I literally don’t see if 99% of the time when I have my shirt off. It is freaking huge and about a foot long. I always get startled when changing at the gym and some guy goes “What did you do?” I look around at my hands and feet thinking I am bleeding somewhere or have a new bruise.

    Then they ask about the scar and I am reminded of it. It did not enter my head even when I looked directly at it until someone brought it to my attention again.

    Perception is a funny thing.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)