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My Encounter With The World’s Strongest Librarian – By Brad Nelson


Brad Nelson staring down his cameraman..

Note from Josh: This is a guest post from Brad Nelson. Brad is a good friend. He also runs America’s most successful kettlebell gym. He also does a lot of funny videos in an afro wig as “Nitro.”  He also has a lot to say about the first time he met me.  I had no idea that I was being tricked into staying at his house. This is his version of the post I wrote about GripNRip 2010.

by B-rad Nelson

WSL readers…you may or may not know who I am…nor may you care.  That’s OK.  I put my pants on the same way you do.

I am writing you today to share my first in-person encounter with the World’s Strongest Librarian.


WSL arrived at Minneapolis on Friday afternoon.  His expectations of Saturday were probably spot on.

However, on Friday, being picked up in a private vehicle for 4 dudes was the jumpstart for the weekend. (It was a hummer).

I knew WSL was tall…erector set tall.  And he has become very strong in the last 4 months collaborating with Adam T. Glass.

And he fit the billing as a librarian with his modern Drew Carey-style glasses.  Then came the tics.

Kind of like this

I was surprised by the randomness and nature of his tics…something like a real-life cartoon character.

A fascinating condition

Now I have been around people with Tourette’s.  It’s a fascinating condition because every person, every situation is unique.  And that is what intrigued me.  I am a fairly blunt hombre so when I have a question I ask.

It’s not about being touchy feely.  I want to know.  Because when someone is “open” (to possibilities) I can usually offer some ideas.

I wanted to know what made Josh “The World’s Strongest Librarian” Hanagarne tic (pun intented :))

Josh shared his history with me and his understanding of Tourette’s:

Way back when

“I’ve had it since I can remember and ‘they’ (the ‘educated’) don’t have a clue for the cause of Tourette’s.”

Awesome starting point.  Imagine living with a physical condition that you have no idea how or why it works.

This is going to be an educational weekend.  We are going to get along just fine.

The experiment

Brad:  Need a place to crash?

Josh:  Sure.

All a plot to begin my experiment.

Off to a restaurant.  Entering the restaurant.

5 guys.  Every one of us has a rare form of human structure (fit…a new concept). 5 alpha males.

Tall guy = cartoon character.

yes. I love that people are watching.

We need to experiment with this sort of thing more often just to witness reactions.

Here’s what I learned

On with the conversation.  I found out a lot about WSL.

He’s a stand up guy with a wife and son.

He wants to learn.

He has a dry, subtle sense of wit.  Always spot on at the perfect moment.

He’s writing a book.  Gut tells me it will change a lot of perceptions. (no pressure 🙂

He doesn’t realize how strong he is.  Both physically with what he has accomplished in a short period of time, and mentally with what he endures on a minute by minute basis.

Racked out at 1am.


WSL already blogged what he witnessed on Saturday at Grip N Rip.  8 hours of information and application.

We experience ourselves and what is in our own heads.  He was concerned tics as background noise (of which I heard about 1).  I was concerned with my verbage and helping people get the most out of the day.

Guess it’s time for both of us to get out of our heads.


Saturday dinner.  Sitting 180 degrees across the conglomerate of a makeshift table, Josh and I are already on the same mental plane after only being in each other’s presence for just over 24 hours. The guy is flat out funny.

Saturday night / Sunday morning.  Racked out at 3am.  And what was discussed is Jedi tactics for Tourette’s.  Stay tuned.


One more trip to the gym.  Josh’s comment leaving the gym was:

“Your gym makes me want to move here and train with you…or at least visit more often.”

WSL that means a lot coming from you.

Sunday airport drop-off.  I am happy to have encountered the WSL…tics and all.  I know there will be many more encounters as our work has just commenced.

WSL:  YOU are a True Warrior and I’m honored to call you “friend.”

Crank it!


About The Author:

Brad Nelson is the owner of Kinetic Edge Performance, America’s most successful kettlebell gym.  Please visit him at Bradrants.com, where he yells about stuff and masquerades as “Nitro.”

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mark Wilson February 12, 2010, 6:06 am

    Well done Brad. I will agree 110% about Josh being a stand up guy and a True Warrior. After hearing how Josh dealt with his ticks on the plane ride out, I couldn’t wrap my head around what he deals with day in and day out having Tourette’s. Your a great guy Josh, I happy to have met you.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 12, 2010, 10:36 pm

      Thanks Mark. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other in the next couple of years. I can’t wait.

  • Heather February 12, 2010, 6:47 am

    Brad, this was a great post! Josh, thanks for having him over! Jedi tactics for Tourette’s—you guys need to start a web site and maybe even write a companion book. Awesome stuff!

  • B-Rad Nelson February 12, 2010, 7:52 am

    Thanks for reading! You are on to something that we may just have to put together.

    Crank it!

  • Srinivas Rao February 12, 2010, 9:53 am

    Awesome stuff. I’d love you to write a post about the Jedi tricks for controlling tourettes.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 12, 2010, 10:36 pm

      He could do it. I’ve seen Brad do things I would never have believed possible.

  • david February 12, 2010, 10:13 am

    Hell YES. Great post!

    If you think Josh is a good writer or good story teller on a blog, wait until you hear him make a dry joke at the exact right moment. Perfect every time.

  • Jessica Marie February 12, 2010, 11:53 am

    Excellent post. Everyone should get to meet Josh. (I hope to meet him at his book signing sometime in the future.)

  • Justin Matthews February 12, 2010, 1:00 pm

    I too hope I get to meet josh one of these days. Maybe I will stalk him at work. He has been one of my biggest blogging inspirations since I started in December. And I got to his site through another via kettlebells. Paraphrasing Homer Simpson, “Kettlebells. Is there anything they can’t do?”
    Great post giving insight to our favorite Librarian.
    Josh, I am coming.

  • Mike T Nelson February 17, 2010, 9:01 am

    Spot on B-Rad as always!

    Too bad I missed the fun on Friday night as I forgot that your home is in a black hole for cell phones!

    Josh, I too will be working with B-Rad, Adam, Frankie and other very smart people to find a solution for the tics long term involving Jedi mind tricks. Once we get there, we can back off a bit to make sure you keep your character 🙂

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
    If you are in the Minnesota area, you NEED to check out B-Rads torture chamber (er, gym). It is a special place indeed.