Thank You F3 Brothers: A Hopper Memoir

Thank You F3 Brothers: A Hopper Memoir

Gentlemen:  I accomplished a milestone today.  I wanted to share what led up to it and my appreciation to all of my F3 brethren…..for so many things.  The milestone is I posted at boot camps all six days this week.  In my 6.5 years as a F3 member, I’ve never done that before.  I tell you this not to beat my chest, but rather to reflect on why it was important to me.

This week a year ago I underwent rotator cuff surgery.  Doctors had to repair a torn tendon in my right shoulder and a torn tendon in my bicep.  The recovery plan was no running for three months, no lifting weights for six months and an expected full recovery in one year.  PT began immediately and was fairly excruciating and humbling.

What got me through those dark days of taking walks and riding a stationary bike on my own as I rehabbed were a) my lovely, unconditional wife who took care of me and b) you all!  My F3 brothers reaching out to me, asking me how I was doing, telling me they missed me, offering encouragement!  The names are too many to list, but you know who you are and I cannot thank you enough.  I still get brothers asking me how I am doing and if am I fully recovered.  The impact it has on me just makes me stronger.

Instead of the recovery times referenced by my doctors post surgery, I was running in two months  instead of three, I was lifting in four months instead of six and I felt fully covered within eight months instead of twelve.  The PT and the workouts helped, but what really advanced my recovery was y’all!  My F3 brothers!  The checking-in, the encouragement, the friendship… was and continues to be incredibly impactful.

I turned 50 exactly five months after the surgery and perhaps unwisely played two hand touch football at Hydra that day when Lewinsky Q’d a fantastic workout!  I felt like I was a twelve year old because I was with my friends laughing and talking trash.  It was a phenomenal way to ring in a birthday I had been dreading and again, I owe it all to you.

So, I posted six times this week because a) I wanted to prove I could do so one year after surgery, but b) because I wanted to have this moment… thank you for your friendship, for the examples you set for me and for the reason I wake up at 5:00 most weekdays… all make me better and I am eternally grateful.

So, remember these things, please:

  • You never know what is going on with the man standing to your left or right at a workout.  A simple “How are you doing, bro?” could change that man’s day more than you can imagine.
  • Just because you don’t see a fellow pax for a while, does not mean he has forgotten about F3 or you personally…, don’t forget about him.  Reach out to him, see how he is doing, and let him know you’re there.  Again, it will have much more impact that you could realize.
  • F3 goes way beyond the field where we work out.  We are not just a part of each other’s lives for 45 minutes!  We have a brotherhood, it is every minute of every day and it is something very special.

Thanks to Benny, Puddin’ Pop, Mailman, Slingshot, Tagalong and Sprockets…..the Q’s for all of the workouts I attended this week.  You didn’t know what you were doing for me this week, but you were champs just the same!

Again, too many pax to thank in this post, but a particularly huge shout out to Gummy, Hops, Lazy Boy, Cottonmouth and Blades of Glory who were the consistent, unwavering men who reached out to me during those darkest days of post surgery recovery last year…..lifelong friendships have been formed with each of you…..lifelong!

OK, thanks for hearing me out.  Hops was the only one who knew I had this mission this week and I didn’t tell him until after my 4th post.  The rest of you didn’t know it, but each of you added to it immensely….stuff like that is what makes F3 great, right?

All my best and thank you men…..for everything!


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Cheese Curd
1 year ago

So glad you posted this, not only because I truly believe everything you stated, but I was wondering why by day 4, you looked tired. Seriously, real tired. I thought about asking how you were doing, but the shoulder, your age…so many things could have been wrong, so I quickly moved to the front of the pax. 🙂

Seriously, thanks for posting…the comments. Really, take a day off now, maybe 2. Great to have you in the gloom!

1 year ago

Grateful for you, Hopper. Thanks for your leadership & encouragement among the pax. I’ve never posted 6 days in a row — #SixPack. Now to come up with a solid reason to do so 😉

1 year ago

The healthy 6 pack challenge! Hopper glad I got to do Base Camp Monday on your tour de F3. Have enjoyed our F3 journey as we navigate all things life. Through the ups and downs and our bumps and bruises, it is great to have pax to lean on when needed. Our morning attempts at humor and “that’s what she said’s” get us through the tough parts of the gloom – and life. Hopper – you bring A game character and we are all better for having you out there with us. Cheers brother!

Reply to  Bugeater
1 year ago

Is this come back for real this time? Miss your face Bugeater

Reply to  Spackler
1 year ago

Don’t call it a comeback I been here for years rockin my peers.

1 year ago

At your age, it’s really just amazing you’re still getting out of bed six mornings in a row. It was an honor to celebrate this milestone, unbeknownst to me, by carrying you on my back through a church parking lot. You, sir, are a gentleman and I’m glad to be your friend. We all go through so much stuff over the years. I’m glad to have Hopper and all of you guys to go through it with.

Reply to  Gummy
1 year ago


Chelms aka Tatertot
1 year ago

Men over 50 are not supposed to post 6 days in a row (making me look bad is why I say that).

Thanks for the post and so glad to hear a man over 50 can heal after surgery (and it was you who did it). Your energy and fellowship at workouts are alway a boost for me and now you are pushing me to post more frequently. For that alone, I thank you.

1 year ago

Hopper, you are a blessing to me and this whole dang posse. Proud to be part of your double-secret-probation mission this week.

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