Author Archive Alf

The Green Monster

7 Men Showed up at WAMRAP this morning.  A record???  I don’t know, it was close.  McGee was out fighting a cold.  Gypsy was and HC but got turned around this morning due to a “Personal Situation”  He’s said it’s all good now.  So I’ll just assume what you all are already assuming: He had to drop a deuce.  So it was 9 PAX in spirit.

Disclaimer:  Wait 20 seconds as O’Tannenbaum comes in hot.  Go.

The Thang (See there’s no COP at WAMRAP)

Run over to the Green Monster in Rea Farms.  Basically a huge flat grass rectangular field that is at least ⅓ mile in perimeter.

First lap together, 5 Reps of each exercise.

Corner 1:  Dips

Midpoint: Jump Squats

Corner 2: Merkins

Corner 3:  Flutter Kicks

Midpoint:  Mountain Climbers

Corner 4: Burpees (unwritten WAMRAP requirement that there is burpees)

Now get after it.  As many rounds as possible, with an escalator clause.  Every round add 5 more to each excerise.

With 4 minutes left we ran back to launch.

Moleskine:

Most guys got to the 7th round, but all conveniently finished with not enough time to complete the 35 burpees at the last stop.

Flipper continued his half workout, half stretching, half recovery technique as he heals up from injury.  Glad to see you aren’t staying all snuggled up in bed at home through recovery and still come to join the PAX.

MAD is becoming a regular.  Hard to recognize him without the ruck, but he kept moving.

O’Tannenbaum continues to be our resident RESPECT out at WAMRAP with steady work and always a grin.  Looks like he’s up to something.

Turkey Leg and Squid hung tight.  Not sure if TL slowed down to perfect form with Squid or Squid finally gave in to the rest of us knuckleheads and let his idyllic form slide.

I hung with Purell, a combination of him slowing his running pace to make me feel good about myself and my short-arm burpee advantage.

If you haven’t been to a WAMRAP you don’t know what your missing.  Good fellowship, large AO, you vs. you vs. some other dudes to push yourself.  Plus we keep the group in a relatively compact area so everyone stays in the same vicinity.

 

Announcments:

Continued prayers for Huggie Bear and Cooter as they recover from surgery yesterday.

 

Thanks to Squid for the takeout.

 

-Alf

 

 

Integrity

18 men and one Shovel Flag posted for the Centurion.  Temps were a balmy 32 degrees and no wind.  A great morning before the massive onslaught of snow, ice, sleet, hail, lighting, fury, meteors, and general mayhem hits this weekend.  Hopefully you loaded up on bread and milk on the way home.  Some early chatter about temps and appropriate glove wear.  Mermaid has 6 sets of gloves.  The man’s hands stay clean, warm, and soft to the touch no matter what the conditions are outside.  Personally I go with lightweight gloves below 50, heavy weight mechanics gloves below 35ish.  Maybe some glove liners in the 20’s and full on ski gloves below 15.

Rapper’s Delight, with the metabolism of a 21 year old, kept it simple with just a light weight t-shirt and fingerless weight lifting gloves this morning.  At the opposite end of the spectrum you had Chelms who had a sheet, blanket, comforter, footy pajamas, and possibly also an electric blanket.  That’s what I am assuming, because he didn’t post.

5:29, light disclaimer, pretty much only veterans left this time of year.  5:30 mosey.

Run the ramps to the top of the deck for COP in Cadence.

  • SSH x 20 (The infectious skipping of the SSH continues to grow but I will not be deterred.  I’ll assume these same men are also installing hand rails in the bathtub at their house, just to be safe.)
  • Mountain Climbers x 20
  • Low Slow Squats x 20
  • Merkins x 20
  • Plank for instructions

The Thang:

Choose a partner.  Size does not matter.  Speed does not matter.  Integrity matters!

Mosey to small lot behind stadium.

Round 1:

P1 – Max WWII Sit-ups while P2 Runs

P2 – Runs around stadium

Confirm your rep count with partner.

Flapjack.

Round 2:

Repeat Round 1, but the race is on.  If runner returns before the other partner equals or beats his sit-ups then sitter-upper must complete 10 burpees.  If Sitter-Upper meets or equals his previous count then runner does 10 burpees.  Winning partner planks and watches the burpees with victorious glee.

Round 3:

Like Round 1, but with max merkins.  WARNING:  Don’t assume the rules are the same and sandbag your merkin effort!

Round 4:

(After a brief polling to gauge merkin effort, the target was set at 110 merkins.)

P1 – Must hit 110 total merkins between his first round and second efforts, prior to P2 returning from run.  Failure to complete 110 Merkins in time = 10 Burpees.   If completed P2 (runner) does 10 burpees.

Flapjack.

Winning partner planks and watches the burpees with victorious glee.

Now if you sandbagged the first round of Merkins the second round got that much harder.  Integrity!

 

Plank up, instructions were to find another partner between here and the time we mosey to the parking deck.

Starting in center of lower level, both partners complete 10 Hand Release Burpees, run opposite directions and up stairs, meet in the middle-ish part of the top level for 10 Hand Slap Merkins.

Goal was 3 rounds.  Didn’t make the final stair climb due to time, but did get in the 3rd round of Hand Release Burpees which there was much excitement about.  Hand Release Burpees = Integrity

Mosey back to launch, with and extra climb of the stairs for good measure.

Done.

Moleskine.

I stole and slightly modified the Sit-Up races from Tolkien last week.  A little friendly competition, even if it’s you vs. you maintains Integrity.  Sometimes it’s easier to just mail it in, but you aren’t accelerating.

Strong work out there by all today.  Guys run a lot faster out there when they know there is a burpee penalty on the line.  Lorax was smoking it.  Clearly not wanting to do Burpees.  Mermaid knocked out 90 Merkins in round 1 and then wished his partner Checkpoint good luck, as he only had to complete 20 more to be victorious.  Speaking of Checkpoint, he just got home from ~3 months in Annapolis (Fun Fact:  I proposed to my wife there.) watching Maverick play football.  Still a beast.  Also good to see Flutie back from up north.  This was basically summer temps for him.

The plus side of F3 Expansion to support more men is that I now have a few AO’s very close to my house.  The downside is that I haven’t spent as much time with my west side brothers as I should.  Will fix that for 2019.  Thanks to Margo and Mermaid for the invite and hospitality.  I look forward to my next opportunity.  It sounded like there was some disappointed PAX when I didn’t show up with plates or sandbags.

Lastly, with less than 3 weeks until Christmas, spend a little time today thinking about how you can fill the wish list of a child or family who is less fortunate than you.  If you need help in identifying a family reach out to some guys.  I can help as well as our 3rd F Q, Snowflake and 3rd F Emeritus, Hops.  Certainly others out there as well!

-Alf

Announcements – Dec 21 Centurion will either be a run or a Quality Control Check on Margo’s Christmas lights.   Follow slack and look at the calendars for adjustments.

Prayers:  Huggie Bear and Cooter both having significant surgery next week.  Also prayers continued healing for Hannibal’s M who just had surgery on Tuesday.

 

 

I’m pretty sure that’s what Tuck said.

It’s been a while since I posted at The Brave.  Always a good workout, but just a bit farther than my usual morning commute.  Plus you know, 5:15 and all.  On a Friday.  Anywho, after a date switch due to some conflicts at Cerberus, here it is in early November and it’s go time at The Brave.

I got a note from Tuck earlier in the week to confirm the Q.  He then followed up with this commentary.  “So the Vagabond is the next day, and well guys (me) want to take it easy and not really go hard on Friday.  So maybe you could make it easy with a heavy dose of imperial walkers  and maybe some cherry pickers.  Finished with 45 minutes of cool down, stretching, talking about our feelings and a book review of the latest best selling romance novel.  Also if you have a bluetooth speaker, I have the Michael Bolton channel locked in my Spotify favorites.   One last thing, I was thinking it would be great to start inviting women to the workouts.”

Maybe that’s not exactly what he said, but that’s what I heard.  And either way, I ignored it.

The Thing:

Keeping it simple.  Fast Mosey to the base of Murderhorn with a pit stop along the way for Merkins in the street while waiting on the six.

Grab a rock and take it to the bottom of the hill.

Pretty much stolen from McGee’s effort on 5 Knolls.

14’s on the hill with rock thrusters at the bottom and burpees at the top.  Starting with 13 thrusters and 1 burpee on top.

Most men got through 10 rounds.  Purell and Fraiser got 11.  Then we ran back with some Mary for the last 2 minutes.

Moleskin:

14’s was aggressive.  It’s a big hill and I wanted to keep the rep numbers a little higher to keep it meaningful.  Plus it was just enough to make you think you could finish without being disheartening.  In all cases, its a grinder.

Announcements:

A bunch:  SOB and A51 Christmas Party’s.  Great Wolf Lodge tonight. Vagabond tomorrow morning.  Genesis starts at Blakeovery location in Blakeny – 5:15 Monday.  Fire Hazard promised sandbags.  Turkey Jam workout on Thanksgiving Day.

 

-Alf

Wet Mary

8 men posted to get Monday off the right way.  Even if it was raining a bit.

Most PAX stayed in the dry warm car until about 5:29.  Not Firemen Ed.  He was out early warming up with a KB when I arrived.  Nice solid warm up.

The Thing:

Mosey around the parking lot a bit.  Circle up on the concrete headed toward the track.  Do some IW, Low Slow Squats, Merkins and Plank Jacks.

Partner Up.  Size, speed, good looks, don’t matter.

P1 Runs to bleachers for 15 supine pull ups, 15 derkins and 15 dips.  Returns up the stairs to meeting spot.

P2 Runs a hot lap around the track and returns.

Team combines for 30 old skool sit ups.

Flap Jack and continue the rotation for 3 rounds.

Peoples Chair with some arm raises as the PAX finish up the track/bleacher work.

Mosey to other side of parking lot for Plank Walk/Merkin bonanza.

10 Merkins, plank walk left, 9 merkins, plank walk right, 8 merkins, plank walk left – all the way down to 1.

Head back towards cars for team suicides along the basketball goals.  P1 runs to first goal and back, tags P2 who also runs to first goal.  Repeat for 2nd goal, 3rd goal, and end of the parking lot.  Goonie poured it on at the end of the race in an attempt at first place, came up 5 yards short to Smashed.

Find a nice wet spot in the lot for Mary.  Flutters, One legged Flutters, Other Legged Flutters, LBC and Freddy Mercury.

Done.

Moleskine:

I don’t make it to Base Camp often but it’s always a good time when I do.  And as for “moderate” they are sandbagging it.  All the PAX were out there crushing it.  Thanks to Goonie for the invite to Q.  Good to see Mailman and Smash, not sure I have posted with those men before.  Thunder Road was well prepared for some street running in a high viz sleeveless shirt, but we stayed all on campus today.  Hannibal was running strong and always the first man up from the abyss of the track when his group was on the hot lap.  Good to partner with MAD, might be the first time I have seen him without a Ruck on!

Announcments:

  • Joe Davis Run sign ups are live now – Race is in March
  • Vagabond is THIS SATURDAY – Hickory Tavern – all paces welcome.  13 miles and 6 stops for pain stations.  Bring a bicycle or join in part way if you can.
  • Area 51 Christmas Party – Seaboard in Matthews on December 1st.  $15 per head, includes Brown Bag dinner.
  • Let Me Soar – 5K Covenant Day High School with SFN – Saturday.
  • Get out and VOTE!

 

Thanks to Smash for the take out and the Prayers for Goonie’s business partner who lost his son to an over dose two weeks ago.  Just another reminder why the Joe Davis Run is a big impact on the community to break the cycle of addiction.

-Alf

 

 

Surprise! It’s leg day.

5:27 and 11 PAX slowly emerge from their cars to face the 38 degree temps for the first time this year.  A little chilly before the start, but easy to get warmed up on a beautiful morning.

What we did:

Mosey around the school and then to the back parking lot for COP:  SSH, Squats, Imperial Walkers, Freddy Mercury, and Flutter.

Mosey back to the track.

10 Little Haze’s (One legged step ups on bleacher) on the Right leg, run half a lap, 10 RDL’s, run back half of lap.  Repeat for 5 cycles.

I thought about moving on at this point but realized minds would have blown if the left leg wasn’t given equal treatment.  So do all that again with the left leg and in the opposite direction around the track.

Run down to small neighborhood with 5 side streets.

At each street do 10 jump squats.  At the end turn and run all the way back.  Repeat with 5 Deck Squats at each intersection.  Repeat with 15 Monkey’s Humped at each interaction.

Mosey back to launch for some protractor in the last minute.

End.

Moleskine:

I tweaked my shoulder last week and still letting it rest some, so all legs today.  Texted Rachel last night to let him know his bum shoulder would be welcome at The Matrix.  Actually I texted his wife, probably caused Siri being “helpful” and adding phone numbers from within emails.  Siri might be leading cause in marital arguments if it gets the wrong texts mixed up.  Lucky nothing inappropriate in my text and we got the sleeveless Rachel to post.  Orange Whip, also sleeveless, was out in front with Rachel the whole workout.

An all veteran group kept most of the PAX together.  Squid maintained impeccable form as always.  And McGee stepped in to give the takeout saving The Matrix site chaplain, Squid, from his duties today.

T-Claps to Pop Tart for dropping in the shovel flag this morning.

 

-Alf

Announcements:

Area 51 Christas Party:  12/1 at Seaboard in Matthews.

Speed for Need at Let Me Soar 5K on 11/10.  Launches from Covenant Day School in Matthews (Kevlar/Skunk AO)  See Gypsy to get involved.

Grab a lifting pumpkin

15 Men posted at Cerberus this morning.  An offer to Q was sent out last night.  No takers.  I reiterated the offer prior to launch.  Still no takers.  That just means you are stuck with me, so deal with it.

Thing.

Mosey to Whole Foods.  No camp gladiator.  Circle up for SSH.  Call was made to grab a lifting pumpkin from the huge pile in front of the store.  The youngest PAX, Job, reminded us this wasn’t a good idea.  Raising him right Astro!

Mosey around back for Low Slow Squats.  Bank around to the front for IW.

Head to the path and railing behind the bank.  14’s of Decline Merkins and Supine pull-ups.  With nearly 100 reps of each, form was failing quickly.  People’s Chair while everyone finished.

Mad dash to the parking deck and up the ramps.  Line up against the side wall.  Lunge Walk to railing, 10 old school sit ups, reverse lunch walk back to wall.  Repeat for 4 rounds.  Peoples Chair.

Mad dash to the 2nd round-about.  A little mary.  Find a crack (ahem “Expansion Joint”) around the circle and plank up.  10 merkins, plank walk right around circle to next crack, 9 merkins.  Plank walk left, 8 merkins.  Repeat to 1 merkin.

Mad dash to the Bankrupt Mattress Firm (RIP)  20 8-count body builders IC.

Mad dash to cars for 6 minutes of Mary – McGee happily jumped in to cover this.  He loves the official 6MOM at the finish.

Moleskine:

Finally the humid 70 degree mornings are gone.  It was great to have a solid group out this morning.  I can say this is my first post ever with two PAX having the same handle.  And both RESPECTS!  A strong effort was provided by everyone this morning has we covered most of the primary areas around Waverly.  One Star is going to need a bigger car if he keeps all this EH’ing up. Welcome Krusty who, like a good boxer, took a good beat down then looked at the PAX, smiled and said, “That’s all you got?”

Thanks to Astro for the take out.

-Alf

Announcements – Area 51 Christmas Party – December 1st – Seaboards in Matthews.

 

Asylum – 2nd Edition

2 weeks ago at Cerberus Transporter asked if I would Q his new UCo site starting up.  After I said yes he told me the bootcamp started at 5:15.  I might have changed my answer had a known that.  I enjoy that last 15 minutes of sleep!

Asylum defintion:

  1. the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.
  2. an institution offering shelter and support to people who are mentally ill.

I am not sure of the intent of the name, but if you came out this morning looking for safe refuge, you didn’t get it.  And to actually do this on your own free will might qualify for the 2nd definition.

The Thang:

Mosey around the building and circle up in the Pet Smart parking lot.  Seriously?  This parking lot needs zones noted on the light poles like Disney World.  How many customers does Pet Smart plan on getting?  Ambitious.

COP:  Some SSH, Low Slow Squats, and Merkins.  Hang out while a few PAX who thought it was a 5:30 start shuffle in.

Mosey back to the vehicles to unload 4 Sandbags and 4 45# plates.

Starting at the intersection for a 3 legged starfish of sorts.  Split up a bit and rotate through each leg.

Leg 1:  Hairburner down about 30 yards, curl the plate 5x, hairburner back.

Leg 2:  Shuffle down about 80 yards, 8-count body builders 5x, shuffle back

Leg 3:  Cary Sandbag 50 yards, thrusters with sandbag 5x, cary sandbag back.

Repeat, but in Round 2 10 reps of each exercise, then 15, then 20, then 25 reps for the 5th round.

Circle up for some LBC’s and freddy mercury with a few minutes left.

Done.

Moleskin:

I am pretty sure no one finished all the way through Round 5.  It was tough and still way to muggy for October.  Everyone was gaining and I think everyone finished round 4 or got real close.

Good to see Transporter and  Smokey came away with all fingers and no concussions after a head to head collusion on the hair burners.  Certainly this would have been called targeting a defenseless player in the NFL. I am just not sure who was more defenseless.

Radar came in a bit late but made up for the time with a lot of effort in the main event.

Damascus really enjoyed the tough workout.  He may need to be put in an Asylum.

Akbar wisely informed us of his birthday tomorrow after the workout was over.  Too late for burpees but he did more than 39 8-Count Body Builders so we will give him credit.  Happy Birthday.

Good to post with the “other” Radar.  The one who actually posts, unlike the original.

Nice to workout with some of the Western Union guys that also post at Cerberus.

 

Lots of room at this AO for some adventure.  We only hit a small part of it but with so much open parking lot space you could hit some solid gear workouts like in the days of Olympus.

 

Announcements:

3rd F at Brooklyn Pizza in Wesley Chapel tonight at 7:30.  Come for pizza, beer, fellowship and faith.

-Alf

Running and Rocks (Not running w/ Rocks)

Flipper was wise to sign me up to Q on a day he knew he would be elsewhere.  He’s smarter than he looks.

So I had my shot at Rock Zero.  Turns out to be the same day of Isabella Santos race in Ballantyne where Speed For Need brought out the whole armored division for this race.  I ran that race last year, very well done and a great cause.  Anyways.  I wasn’t sure who was going to post vs. running the race.  Turns out we had a sizable group of 14 men who don’t really care about supporting pediatric cancer.  (That’s a joke!!!   But it sounds like a conclusion most of our U.S. Senators would say these days about the other side)

Let’s get into it.

The Thing.

Mosey over to the library and circle up for IW, SSH, and Mountain Climbers.

Head out of library run to Dunkin’ Donuts and back with several stops on the way to plank, Mary, Monkey Hump, and Mountain Climb.

Circle back at the front of the Church and grab a medium sized rock.  Circle up.

Round 1:  25 OH Press, 25 Curls, 25 Goblet Squats, 25 Merkins

Repeat that set every 2:30 for 4 total rounds

Round 2:  25 Tricep Press, 25 Bent over rows, 25 Lat Pulls while lying on six, 25 flutter press.

Repeat that set every 2:30 for 4 total rounds.

Mosey to launch.

Done.

Skins:

I wanted to crush a long rock set today and the only way to do that AND run 3 miles was to just knock the 3 miles out right away.  So we did it, right out of the gate.  Some complaining, but it’s good for you.  The PAX were excited when I got to the rocks and promised no more running, until they just had to stand there and lift rocks.

Was happily surprise to have Spackler out.  Who would have thought that with the Ryder Cup on.  Good to see a couple of relatively new guys in Swiffer and Elsa.  Speaking of Elsa, we had a trifecta of Disney characters today with Mermaid and Marlin also in attendance.  Good work by Elsa, don’t worry you get better at it, just keep coming out.  Thanks to the Site Q’s Boerewors and Hoover to make sure there was no man left behind.

After watching the news out of DC this week, I really want to go through a confirmation hearing.  I want Senators to pull all my backblasts and ask questions like:  “Why do you always talk about Merkins?  I looked up Merkins on the internet and you must be some kind of creepy weirdo perv assaulter for always talking about Merkins.”  If your not sure of the alternate definition of Merkin, don’t look it up at work.

Announcments:

Reach out to Gypsy to put 2019 races on the Speed For Need calendar.

Follow F3Chimpote to hear more about the Mission Trip in Jan/Feb.  Even if you can’t go, there will be an opportunity to donate clothing and other essentials.  Plan is for 50 men to make the trip.  Each man can take 2 suitcase, 80 pounds each, to of donations.  That’s 4 tons of donations headed down there!

Sprockets has his VQ at Hawks Nest on Tuesday.  Come out and Jeer cheer him along.

Thanks to Mermaid for the takeout.

-Alf

 

Heavy WAMRAP

With the promise of McGee out of town I was able to rope in two site FNG’s to WAMRAP Wednesday at Waverly – Woohoo.  They were excited to be there.

A little warm up jog out beyond the Camp Gladiator crew and back to the cars.

The Thang

Every man grab a 50# sand bag from the trunk.  Much excitement now.  Haul it up to the top of the parking deck.  Start the cycle.

Run down staircase 1 and back up.  10 old school sit ups.

Carry sandbag down staircase 2 and back up.  10 bent over rows with bag.

Run down staircase 3 and back up.  Line up on parking line.  2 Merkins, plank walk left one space, 2 Merkins.  At the 5th space turn and plank walk right and repeat.  10 total stops and 20 total merkins.

Run down the ramp, 10 8-Count Body Builders, backwards run up the ramp.

Repeat.

With 3 minutes left we carried the sandbags back to the car.

The Thang.

Strong work out there, everyone kept it pretty much in the red line zone.  No Orange Theory at WAMRAP.  4-5 rounds performed by each of us.  Thanks for the effort Purell and Lex Luthor!

50# sandbags up and down stairs are a smoker.

8-Count Body Builders are Purell’s kryptonite (and bear crawls, but we didn’t do those).  I utilized the short arm advantage here to keep up with him through the circuit.

Lex encouraged us all to grab a ruck and go do a GoRuck Heavy and how easy Selection is if you keep your mind right and just focus on the task at hand.

Thanks to Lex for the takeout.

 

-Alf

22

7 men came out for Cerberus.  I wanted more, but hey, its better than the 2 we had on Wednesday!

The theme of the day was 22.  It’s the most important part of this backblast, but I will come back to that in the Moleskine.

The Thang:

Fast mosey out past the shopping plaza and Camp Gladiator, up the stairs and around the corner to the nice fire pit area of the apartment complex.  Circle up for 22 SSH and IW in cadence.

Had to be too quiet here so mosey out to the back street.  Circle up again for 22 8-Count Body Builders in-cadence.  Seems like these were enjoyed by all.

Fast Mosey up the first circle.  Freddy Mercury.

Fast Mosey to 2nd circle.  Carolina Dry Dock.

Circle of pain.  Partner up.  P1 planks along round-a-about and plank walks counter clockwise.  P2 does 5 merkins, runs around circle and back to P1.  Flapjack and repeat for 2 rounds.

Fast Mosey back up to other circle for flutter kicks and 2nd Circle of pain.  Same as the first except for a different partner and moving clockwise.

Fast Mosey to the bottom of the parking deck.  LBC’s.

New Partner.  P1 runs up left stairs, P2 runs up right.  Meet in middle of top deck for 22 Hand Slap Merkins.  Run back down the stairs you came.  At bottom P1 planks while p2 bunny hops over the legs for 11 reps.  Flapjack plank and hop for another 11 reps.

Repeat the cycle 5 times.

At the top of the deck after round 5 do a series of dragon flags (shout out to Tolkien).

Mosey back to launch and done.

Moleskin:

Pax quickly caught on to the #22 this morning.  I let them know it was in honor of someone.  A tough week in the small bubble that is the Lochridge world.  Found out last night that a young woman, 22 years old, who was our go-to baby sitter for 5 years while she was in high school and college had passed away.  She was a fantastic young woman who my daughters really looked up to and adored.  She volunteered to help the sick and elderly, loved god and her church, strong athlete and good student; a great role model for my girls.  While the circumstances aren’t clear, it appears she took her own life.  This is unfathomable to me.   Not that suicide happens, because it unfortunately does, but that it happened to her.  Depression is a black hole and can hit deeply those you would never expect, for reasons you don’t know or don’t understand.  All we can do is seek help when needed and be an active participant in our relationships with friends and family so we can get them help immediately when needed.  I think a few months back Mermaid asked us to go beyond the “How you doing?” question and ask our brothers, “No really, how are you?”  I keep thinking, if someone, anyone, just asked her, “No really, how are you?” maybe she would still be here.

Thats a lot, but there’s more.

My M and I support Alexander Youth Network for children with Behavioral Health issues (thanks to Joker for introducing us to them).  Many of these kids come from challenging family’s where abuse, drugs, neglect, and violence are more normal than you can imagine.  My M is a lunch buddy to a 12  year-old girl there once a week.  The girl is smart, an amazing artist, and street wise beyond her years.  Her mother isn’t fully capable of taking care of her so her Grandmother is her primary care giver.  Her sister committed suicide recently, at a very young age.  Her sister’s suicide is one of the reason’s she is at AYN and that she doesn’t value her own life like she should.  Well this week, her grandmother, her only real stable support in life passed away.  At this point we don’t know where she will end up.   Not sure if there is a capable family member or if she will be put into foster care.

I am sorry this is tough for a Friday.  But it’s real and it’s what is weighing on my heart today.

Please consider these families in your prayers this weekend.  They will need it.  Also consider how you can make an impact on someone else.  Maybe get involved in a cause like suicide prevention or Alexander Youth Network (I can share details).  Or do something with more immediate impact to your sphere of relationships and ask that follow up question:  “No really, How are you doing?”  You can’t imagine the level of impact that might have on someone.

Thanks Das Boot for the takeout this morning.

-Alf