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!

Josh

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