What I Did on Christmas Vacation

What I Did on Christmas Vacation

What does it say about me that I can be on the back of a horse in the Poconos and think, “I bet I can make this into a workout”?

Pre-Warm Up

Text from BC: “Can’t make it to Clyent Dinner because I’m stuck in traffic.” But he’s playing hoops in his driveway when I swing by?

Scout the place, even though I know I’ve seen every place there is here. Little pre-run to loosen the hips and see what events are going on at Cuthbertson that I will need to audible around. Fortunately, nothing happening at the middle school.
I return to the start to find ZERO cars. Huh. The mind and body both present their options: go home or do the work. I opt for the work.

There’s a guy in a green Blazer on the far side of the parking lot, but he’s on his phone. Not stretching or anything. Assume he’s waiting for someone. Another truck pulls up – “Great, Carb Load is here!” – nope.  It’s a couple bringing their dogs to school to walk?

At 5:31, Floppy Disk pops out of the Blazer & yells, “Is this where Clyent Dinner meets?” I say yes, but think, “I’m dressed like this, stretching in front of your car like a slo-mo scene of the cheerleaders’ charity car wash, what else did you think this was?”
“Great! Come on out kids, this is the place!” I get to meet the famous Orange Justice, who had a dance named after him, and the soon to be named Backbend (a great gymnast).

The Warm Up

Since this is a Yuletide story, I had to get in the 12 Burpees of Christmas.
Mosey to the alcove that we have NEVER been to (because I’ve never seen it before [also because there’s too damn many of you at Cutty to use the alcoves; figure out where Asylum & Diesel meet, people!]) for 12 burpees at one end, 11 at the other, 10, 9…At the 6 burpee mark, we added a burpee marker in the middle of the path to speed up the burpees. The 2.0’s finished early as you’d expect. So I taught them Balls to the Wall; just didn’t teach them the name, since Backbender is a smart young lady who would ask more questions than I wanted to answer in front of her Dad.

The Thang

Mosey to the lacrosse(?) field behind the MS cafeteria. It was an absolutely perfect day to be on the grass! Pointed out the 2 giant light poles. At one pole, do 29 SSH, making sure to get the overhand clap in there; at the other pole, 23 CDD. Repeat 4 times.
While spending post-Christmas (Kwanzaa?) in NJ with in-laws, we watched the Clemson / Ohio State game. Score: 29-23; Clemson is 4-0 all-time against OSU. I wish Rubbermaid had been there, but I love Dasher too much to have done this if he had attended.

Mosey to the HS steps. Pause about halfway for some Pick Up the Squats.
Run up the steps, touch the door at the top. Where the sidewalk splits, do 10 Dolly’s. At the bottom of the sloping sidewalk, do 10 Heels to Heaven (but not before yelling “Whee!” all the way down). Run back to the steps for 10 Supermans. Repeat 3 times. We just pretended we were on a water slide!
One night the youngest & I went to the indoor water slides of the Kalahari. This was better than Great Wolf (sorry Hollywood) & Massanutten. Made even better that it was a fraction of the people I expected. The downside is that as soon as you finish your slide, you can run back up 5-7 flights of stairs to go right back down again. We did that for about 5 hours. It was brutal but fun. And great 1:1 time with my youngest, who I often feel doesn’t get the same amount of my time & attention as my oldest did at the same age.
At the beginning of the water slide night, my 2.0 was just sticking to the kiddie slides and wasn’t even considering the bigger slides. Partly out of getting him out of his comfort zone (& mostly for not feeling like I wasted cash having him go down kiddie slides for 5 hours), I was able to convince him to try a bigger ride. He loved it, and we kept trying bigger rides throughout the night. At one point, he saw a FlowRider & said he wanted to try that. We headed over to stand in line together. I’m just keeping him company in line until it’s his turn to ride. I can tell he’s a little nervous when he asks me if I’m going to ride it after him. I don’t want to. I don’t like to try new things, especially if I can’t guarantee a high probability of success (or low probability of humiliation). But I can do the #DadMath – how can I encourage him to try new things, even when you’re scared, if he never sees me do the same thing?
The boy hops on and does really well; much better than I thought he would!
My turn. I’ve seen other men bite the wall hard. They pop back up with a bruised ego (the hardest injury to overcome). I hit the wave, and it doesn’t hit back! Almost enjoying it, the instructor mimics what tricks I should do next, including merkins on the board. I do everything he asks, and still no wall! He points to his watch to signal my time is up. I’m utterly astounded. Still, just typing that, I can recall all that pride in myself and my son. I’m going to need to remember that in future days of fear.
But that is also a tribute to you, brothers. There’s a ton of really stupid stuff I have done with y’all that lowered my barriers to risk. Then there’s a ton of really smart things I have read, seen and heard from y’all that raised my necessity to be a better role model. A better dad from being around better men.

Mosey to the alcove at the front of the middle school. Again, a place many of you have never seen because there’s too many of you (not asking you to stop showing up, but to try another site). I can be a jackass on a trip, so we can do a JackAss Webb: 1 Merkin, 20 Donkey Kicks; 2 & 18; 3 & 16; 4 & 14; 5 & 12. Kudos to Floppy Disk who really found another gear to lead him & his family (& me) through that. That sucked.

Mosey back to the start with a few minutes left. The whole point in us going to the Poconos was to take the boys skiing for their first time. The lack of cars gave us plenty of room to do mogul jumps across the parking space lines. Finished with curb agilities to simulate shaking the snow off the skis after a long run.


  • There are several other parts of this trip that I didn’t get a chance to reenact. So, Fuse, your favorite exercise is still waiting for you.
  • Floppy Disk has some awesome kids. He’s planning to bring them back out to the next Clyent Dinner. He’s gonna love F3Dads when it kicks back up!


Mark This Moment – Father/Daughter dance Ballantyne Hotel – Friday, March 6 http://www.markthismoment.com/

Shop Dawg is starting up a new Q Source on Friday, May 1. For those who came to Site Q School, you received a free copy of the Q Source manual. This would be the time to either use it or give it to someone who has an interest in going. The entire manual is here, too: https://f3nation.com/q-source-index
While you can hop in at any time, some think they need to start at the beginning. OK. So it will start with the first topic at the Cuthbertson McDonald’s from 6:30 – 7:00 AM. Some can’t make it so early on a Monday, like at Asylum. OK. If you have a more casual Friday schedule, he’s built it for you. As I go through this for the 2nd time, I still learn something each time. There is always a gut punch that stays with me throughout the week. But reading the book or blog will only get you 1/3 of the way there. It is the other men who open up, and those who allow me to open up; that’s what makes this Q Source special.

It’s Speed for Need season. What’s that? Only the best thing you’ll love coming in second place for, after giving it your all. Listen to this podcast (https://soundcloud.com/f3nation/roundtable-nash-scabby-talk-speed4need), then go to the calendar (http://speedforneed.org/calendar/) to pick a date you commit to. Most of the first ones are within 30 minute drive times. Ask for a show of hands who’s done one during COT. Then talk to them.

Want to run in a cheap 5k or 10k for purely selfish reasons? Try the Laps for Lancers at USC-Lancaster. March 21. With pancakes & sausages as your reward! https://runsignup.com/Race/SC/Lancaster/LapsforLancers

How’s my job search going? Pretty good, I’d say. Several Pax have really been great, all in different ways. Bratwurst, Rudy, Delta, Fuse Box, La-Z-Boy, Damascus, Recalculating, Hooch, just to name a few. Some have been outright job leads, others helping with my resume, and others with connections. You never know which one is going to fall all the way through the search funnel, so everything is chased down as far as it can. As a reminder, I’m looking for titles like Solutions Consultant or Pre-Sales Engineer in the software industry. Think about the software you use at work (other than Microsoft, Google, or Apple), then let me know. If you haven’t connected to me on LinkedIn yet, that would be a great boost as well. www.linkedin.com/in/abrianstephenson. It’s not who I know, but who YOU know, that helps.

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