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World’s Strongest Librarian Is One Year Old

One year ago today I pushed “publish” for the first time. I didn’t know what I was doing. (still don’t). In that year a lot has happened. Lots of posts. Lots of readers. Lots of tics. Lots of comments. Lots of fun.

You’re the reason.

Here are the highlights from year one.

1. Seth Godin notices the blog

Waking up to see the email from Seth that said, “You should be writing a book, I’m forwarding this to my agent” was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had. It was topped only when that agent became my agent.

2. The Knot

I started writing The Knot back in 2001. Nearly 10 years later I got to hold it in my hands, flip through the pages, and think to myself: “You are really, really an odd one.”

And you bought the signed copies. Those first two days were two of the most fun of my life. I’ll be getting 50 more copies in on April 23. All but 7 are spoken for. If you’d like one, please let me know.

3. One day without tics

14 hours. 14 hours. 14 hours without a tic.  I had spent nearly 27 years chasing this, and it had finally happened. When it was time to go to sleep that night I was so shook up that I just laid there and trembled. I can’t describe it very well.

I was really, really emotional, but it was an emotion I had never felt. It was bad, and to call it good is to cheapen it with a word. And words are just sounds. And…well, you were probably there with me on the blog, so you know how much it meant.

But!  If you’re just getting here, here’s the post, Sitting Here In Silence.

4. Social Media Awards Night

I won a Utah Social Media Award. I almost didn’t go when they said I’d been nominated because I thought it was a trick to get me to buy an expensive dinner. But I went, it was real, and I met this 10 foot tall woman with a zillion pearls. I also got a pretty cool plaque and I had some cheesecake that wasn’t very good. I didn’t even think that was possible.

5. The Mighty Atom

I wrote a book review about a book that changed me. The Mighty Atom. The author contacted me last week and my autographed copy arrived in the mail last night. I can’t really express how much this book means to me, but I tried in this review.

6. Kettlebells

In June of 2009, I became an RKC certified kettlebellinstructor and I got to meet another of my heroes and mentors, Pavel Tsatsouline. Here’s the writeup. This is when I actually started training people. It was a wonderful weekend.

7. Dear Weakness

From the lowest point of the year came this post. Now it looks (to me) like a scared man frantically trying to assure himself that he was going to make it no matter what. But it helped. This was a turning point and it was what I needed to move forward. A lot of you liked it, so win win win.

8. Adam T. Glass and my first starring role

Strongman. Air Force Tech sergeant. A man hard enough to run a prison in Iraq. For his troubles, he got his skull crushed in a riot and was stabbed in another. A giant, profane, tattooed monster of a man who just happens to be my best friend.

The transition from Adam becoming my sort-of coach to becoming my brother happened fast. We have so few things in common, but it doesn’t matter. Sometimes it just works. We’ve all heard people say “That book or that person or that movie changed my life.” But they don’t always change.

Adam is helping me cure my Tourette’s. Enough said.

I attended a workshop in February where Adam and Brad Nelson taught us about the future of strength training, fat loss, and physical progress. Here’s my writeup. The average attendee was not some monstrous athlete or strongman. They were all just people. We all changed that day. But I got to be on the DVD! Movie Star!

When Adam released the DVD last week, it sold out almost immediately. 100 copies, just like that. Today they’ve decided to release a few more between 10 AM and 12 PM. Please take a look. At ten Eastern Time, the waiting list will magically turn back into a sales page for a short window. I’m not sure how many they are, for those of you who have asked me.

9. Lori Franklin

People said I inspired them many times over the past year. I won’t argue away a compliment, but I will say that my greatest source of inspiration came from Lori at Jane Be Nimble.

I know I wrote about her yesterday. I don’t care. I could write about what she’s going through (and overcoming) every day and be a better man for it.

10. The business card

You just have to go look at it. It makes me laugh every day.

11. You (the part that really matters)

365 days of blogging, most of them with at least moments of absolute joy. The joy comes when I sit down to write. When I begin to type and I see you in my mind. When I try to guess at what will make you smile. What you want to hear. What might help you (and me) today.

I try to listen to the things you say. I try to see who you are in the comments and in our emails. We have spent a year creating a community that is bigger than me and bigger than you. I suspect the results a year from now will surpass any predictions we can make.

Does this sound cheesy? Saccharine (great word)? Are you going into diabetic convulsions at my sappy, cloying words? Sorry, words are the best I’ve got.

Just like when I say that it felt “good” to not have tics for an entire day, it doesn’t really do it justice to say “thank you” to you who read. But words are what I have, and I give them to you without strings attached. Without pressure or expectations, although I will occasionally beg you to buy things.

I do it because I love it and because you are my friend.

I am here for you, and I know that you are here for me. And when someone tells me that blogs are silly, I think about the next time I will sit down to write something for you.

And what that person will never understand is that it is the part of my day I look forward to the most.

Silly? Silly blog?

You tell me.

Here’s to another year together. Now go do something nice for yourself!


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  • Dave (MisterGoodGuy) April 9, 2010, 7:10 am

    Hi Josh, every day I have doubts about what I’m doing and where I’m going. In my heart I know that what I’m doing is right for me but it doesn’t stop the doubts. Seeing your own progress inspires me to continue through the doubts.

    Thank you for visiting my site the other day – you have no idea how much I needed to hear what you had to say.

    Congratulations on your incredible year!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:18 am

      Dave, certainty is boredom. Find whatever scares you and rush towards it. That will usually be something you can turn to gold.

  • Henri Junttila April 9, 2010, 7:53 am

    Hey Josh!

    Congratulations on 365 days of glory. I haven’t been commenting much, but I have been lurking and enjoying myself. There’s something about your writing that captivates, motivates and provokes a smile in me, so I keep coming back for more.

    Rock another year!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:18 am

      Thanks Henri. Congrats on all of your own progress. You’re definitely one to watch.

  • John April 9, 2010, 8:18 am

    Congrats Josh! I love the links to some of the “greatest hits” from the past year. Some I had missed, and others were great for a re-read 🙂

    Can’t wait for The Knot to arrive so that I can move it to the top of my reading list. Thank you for the courage to share good and the bad every day, and for inviting all of us “strangers” into the most personal moments of your life.

    I look forward to the inspiration and the humor every morning when I fire up my computer.

    Here’s to another year!

  • Srinivas Rao April 9, 2010, 8:19 am


    Congrats on a year of great success. It’s really amazing how many things can happen in a year. If you accomplished this much in the first year of blogging, imagine what this post will be like next year :). Also, awesome on overcoming the tics. That’s incredible.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:19 am

      Amen to all that. Thanks Srinivas. You were one of my earliest supporters. You don’t need my help, but I’m determined to drag you to the top with me, kicking and screaming or not:)

  • Lori Franklin April 9, 2010, 8:22 am

    I find it difficult to articulate how fun and inspiring being along for the WSL ride has been.

    For the record, I’ll list my top three WSL moments:
    1) You wearing Janette’s pink blouse, willingly
    2) Discovering you can speak through music, too, during “Name That Song”, published Oct 5th (you have mad skills, Mr. H!)
    3) Watching you sit in silence (feeling absolute joy for you!)

    Congratulations, Josh. Here’s looking forward to WSL: year 2080!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:20 am

      Willingly is not quite the word, but…well, willingly is not quite the word.

  • Gary Berenbroick April 9, 2010, 8:29 am

    Happy Birthday WorldsStrongestLibrarian.com!

  • ami April 9, 2010, 8:34 am

    Congratulations for making it – tho’ there was never any doubt. You’ve taught me much about authenticity, humor and courage (not to mention blogging). Please keep it up!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:20 am

      Ami, I will. I’m not sure what else to do.

  • david April 9, 2010, 8:55 am

    Great post. Not like the “great post” kind of fake comment “great post”, but really, great post.

    Let’s see what happens in the next 365.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:21 am

      Thanks D-man. Indeed, let’s see. Can’t wait to see you soon!

  • Steph April 9, 2010, 9:06 am

    You know what they say Josh… lots of crap in the middle and at the bottom, but plenty of space at the top! Congratulations librarian!!!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:21 am

      Steph, is that what they say? I’ve never heard that before. But I accept your congrats, regardless:)

  • Congratulations on your one year anniversary. My blog is nearing its first anniversary as well and although it has been good to me so far, it has not reached the level of success that you have grown in such a short time.

    Would you mind sharing with us some of the things you have done in order to get your name out there in this past year? How did you launch your blog in a way that got you noticed by Seth Godin?

    Again, congrats!

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:25 am

      Hi Josh. There was nothing special. I launched quietly with no plan and no explosive moment. I kept writing and mentioned to a few people that I had a blog.

      Seth found it because he is Seth and his talent is to see what nobody else can. So on that note, you’d have to ask him:)

      What I can say is that I wrote a lot, I did a lot of guest posts, I never did anything for money, even though now I am finally making some. If there is one thing I have done that I would have stand out, it is this:

      I do whatever I want. I do what makes me happy. I would not change it whether I had a million readers or zero. I do not care at all about conventional blogging wisdom and that’s why I’ll probably never be a rich blogger.

      I refuse to obey the rules because nobody has convinced me that I have to. And once they convince me, I’ll just ignore it anyways and do what I like:)

      • Jason April 9, 2010, 3:49 pm

        That’s the best blogging advice I’ve ever heard.

        Great life advice as well. 🙂

        Congrats on the anniversary, Josh. You deserve all the credit you get!

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} April 9, 2010, 9:23 am

    Oh Josh,
    Congrats congrats congrats!
    Its been an awesome ride…I can see how much you have grown as a writer and as a person with each post you publish. I might not be here often to comment..but you have got to know I read your posts FIRST in my reader 🙂

    My favorite parts of your year were:
    1) when you wore your wife’s pink blouse and made a video about it ;)…got i laughed so loud that day….
    2)When you asked me to guest post here on WSL :)..my funnest guest post ever!
    Youre awesome Josh! You deserve all the success and then some …
    Lots of love for many many more successful years ahead.
    p.s. I completed 1 year on april 3rd too :)..and self published a best of ebook. Will send you a copy by email.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:26 am

      Thanks Zeenat. It was more of a light lavender blouse. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that everyone remembers that post:)

  • Nicki April 9, 2010, 9:36 am

    Congratulations, Josh!

  • The Naked Redhead April 9, 2010, 9:39 am

    Congrats, Josh! I loved this line: “I do it because I love it and because you are my friend.” Awesome.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:26 am

      Double awesome. I’m very happy that we’ve met.

  • Ryan G April 9, 2010, 9:39 am

    Congrats on 1 year, Josh, and thank-you for creating a forum that is always informative, relate-able and real. Recently, my appreciation for your blog has moved beyond quoting you online to using “World’s Strongest Librarian says” in daily chats. (After-all, if someone wants to counter the point, I just refer to the world’s strongest title and they usually can’t come back.) I look forward to reading your blog for a long time to come, and if you ever want to do another Guest Post marathon, I’ll be in the mix right away.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:27 am

      Thanks Ryan. I’m still trying to finish up the first marathon:)

  • Square-Peg Karen April 9, 2010, 9:47 am

    Congrats! Love the year’s highlights included here – and can’t wait to get to all of them (I’m a World’s Strongest Librarian newby, so I have some catching up to do!!).

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:28 am

      Thanks Madame Square-peg. You made it here, that’s what counts.

  • Jodi Kaplan April 9, 2010, 11:15 am


    I’m not into fitness, I am into books, I don’t know much about Tourettes – no marketer in her right mind would think I’m your audience – but you’ve taught me a lot, including the right way to wear a cape.

    I somehow missed the pink blouse post. Gotta go find that now!

    @Joshua Black: How did he get Seth’s attention? He got it by being unique and remarkable. You can’t be “him” you have to be “you.” Or, as Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 11:28 am

      I’m still going to get you into fitness. One day I’ll say the right thing and you’ll cave in. I love Dr. Seuss. You might enjoy his biography, Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geissel.

  • Jodi Kaplan April 9, 2010, 11:23 am

    Darn, can’t find the post. Anyone have a link?

  • Jodi Kaplan April 9, 2010, 11:54 am

    Ah, thanks!

    I do wish you had stood up though. What was the bet (if you’re willing to share)?

    I bet you (uh oh) that I will never, ever get into fitness. I do have my own built-in “fitness” program though: four flights of stairs, 56 steps up and 56 steps down.

    @Joshua Black: Thanks for the comment on my blog. I’m glad you liked the Seuss quote. 🙂

  • Tim April 9, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Hi Josh:

    Happy blog birthday and thank you for sharing your favorite moments…you’ve had a lot of them and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. But to learn about your 14 hours without a tic is especially awesome to read about. Yep, it has been a great journey from your book reviews to guitar playing vids to your strength training. Thanks for a year’s worth of interesting thoughts and best wishes for many more!

  • Janette Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I can’t believe I didn’t get a single nod in this post. It’s like Mrs. World’s Strongest Librarian didn’t say “okay, honey, I’ll support you in following your dreams” every day this past year.

    Congratulations. Your other baby is 1 year old. Oh how both of them have grown in the past year.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 12:56 pm

      Janette, it was your punishment for the nonsense about the pigs and the truffles and the European woodlands last night.

  • Randy Hauer April 9, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Congrats Josh!

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 5:10 pm

      Thanks Randy. See you next week!

      • Randy Hauer April 9, 2010, 9:51 pm

        Dude, I’m so excited I bought a pair of VFFs for the occasion!

  • Boris Bachmann April 9, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Nice work Josh – it’s been quite a year here. Looking forward to many more.

  • Joe DeGiorgio April 9, 2010, 2:22 pm

    You’ve had a great first year. Something to be very proud of.


  • Picsiechick April 9, 2010, 3:04 pm

    Josh, I know I’ve come late to the party, but I’ll still raise a glass and have a slice of cake in your honour! I’m grateful that I’ve found you and your blog, richer for it, and I’m looking forward to the next year!

    Hugs and ecstatic, erratically flying, brilliantly coloured butterflies,

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 5:11 pm

      How is 3 Pm late to the party? Wow, those are some scary sounding butterflies.

      • PicsieChick April 9, 2010, 7:32 pm

        ah, I was meaning I’ve missed most of the year, I have a lot of catching up to do!

        And yes, nothing but fierce butterflies for Josh. Nothing wimpy about them!


  • Joy Tanksley April 9, 2010, 4:01 pm

    WOW! Happy blog-iversary!

    Seriously, though, bad cheesecake? I’m not sure I can trust you on anything ever again.

    Josh, my sincerest congratulations on what sounds like a hell of a year (in a good way). I managed to enjoy some of the highlights in my relatively short time as a reader, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

  • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Joy, it’s true. It wasn’t very good. Anyways, I’m glad you like it here. I like having you here.

  • rob sellen April 9, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Congrats on the year Josh, and looks like you have had an interesting one at that 😉

    I will be back, you got a great blog here. 😀

    • Josh Hanagarne April 9, 2010, 5:44 pm

      Thanks Rob, I’m a big fan, glad you’re here!

  • Patrenia April 9, 2010, 5:55 pm

    WOW!!! Only one year? Somehow it seems as though you have been at this a lot longer. I love that you are so unpredictable. Sometimes I come here I get a laugh…others I leave touched and inspired.

    So, congratulations on your great year!

    p.s. The “Goose Ladies”? story was hilarious!!!

  • Daisy April 9, 2010, 6:13 pm

    Only one year old? And so wise already! Congratulations on the anniversary.

  • Christopher April 9, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Congratulations Josh! I came across your blog from your postings on Walk the Road Less Traveled, and I’m now highly enjoying your writing. It’s become a part of my day I look forward to!

  • Logan Christopher April 9, 2010, 6:45 pm

    Amazing what can happen in one year isn’t it? Did you imagine all this would happen when you wrote that first post? And where do you think you’ll be one year from now?

    P.S. You’ve got email

  • Robin of My Two Blessings April 9, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Congratulations on your one year blogoversary. I recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. The post that caught my attention: one day without tics. It was very poignant. I’ve added The Knot to my wishlist and look forward to reading it some time this year. Will be following.

  • Candace April 9, 2010, 9:53 pm

    Congrats!! I have enjoyed reading your posts. You are truly amazing! Onward and upward, here’s to another educational year.
    So glad to have found your blog,

  • jenn April 10, 2010, 1:43 am

    I came across your blog by accidentally googling “RKC weekend” a few months ago. I knew within minutes that I had found a gem. Despite my too full reader (and lack of sleep) I keep coming back here because you are a “bad ass” with heart and soul.

    Congrats on one year!!!!

  • Hilary April 10, 2010, 5:08 am

    Hi Josh .. fantastic you’ve done a year – many congratulations .. but what a year?! Did you ever think … no … what an amazing ride – & I’m so pleased for you – as you’re doing so much for so many others .. long may it continue. Looking forward to being around with you for the next year .. go well and enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

  • David Cain April 10, 2010, 5:19 am

    Josh! The year has flown by.

    You could say we met in class (blogging class!) I remember checking it out, and when I found “Do We Remember the Event or the Story?” and I knew I was reading an exceptional blog.

    You’ve wowed me with your across-the-board progress this year, not just with your blog but with your quest for world domination, your tics and with your steady stream of strength training PR’s.

    The second of many mind-blowing years is underway.

    We will shake hands someday soon.

  • Paul "Coach" Wade April 10, 2010, 5:53 am

    Real strength is about fighting demons. (Maybe our triceps get larger along the way.)

    You epitomize everything good about strength training. Congratulations on your new book and year one of an awesome blog.

    Josh, you are the THE MAN.

  • Kami Lee April 10, 2010, 11:34 am

    Guess what just came in the mail? My amazon.com copy of The Knot!!!!!!!!! I’m holding your book! And not a whole ton of printed out pages. YAY! Congrats, mister.

  • mk akan April 12, 2010, 8:55 am

    congrats…man,…i guess, its been a long road but well worth it…am encouraged by your achievements …well done
    am coming right behind you…wish me luck/..

  • Brad Johnson April 12, 2010, 5:44 pm

    Josh, if I could be half the man you are, I’d count myself lucky.

  • Fallen Monkey April 19, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I’m backlogged in my blog-reading, so a belated happy 1st anniversary! Your achievements over the last year have been extraordinary, and since I’m fairly new to your blog, I enjoyed this year-in-review to help me catch up! Thank you writing with meaning and humor when those are two things that people need most to get on day to day and embrace life.