A journey of 1,000 miles begins with 1 step.
I started the year like anyone else, with a vague notion of doing better than the year before. But better at what? I wanted to lose inches off my waist, stop always being the 6, get into the rucking thing. I’m not really sure I remember what I wanted, but I think it was forward momentum. Just not standing still.
And so, 2018 began. I remember training for the Joe Davis 10K run and treating it like it was a big deal. I had run 10 kilometers before, but something about this race was different. Maybe it was a huge F3 presence, or a chance to prove to the F3 pax/myself that I could run that distance at a respectable pace. A sense of accomplishment.
I did it, and then that race was over.
I had a great showing (IMHO), but there I was in the middle of January. The rest of the year ahead of me and it was time to decide on the next goal.
The next goal was a half-marathon, then it was SMR, Pathfinder ruck training, BRR, Go Ruck Events. After each of these, I found myself craving another goal just beyond the horizon. Working for that next CSAUP. After the half-marathon, I was sitting in a diner, ordering healthy food, and thinking about the next thing on my list. My family was happy, and proud, and kept congratulating me, but they were looking at that moment as the accomplished goal. I had already moved on to the next goal.
Maybe it’s because the destination isn’t the goal. The goal is the journey. The destination is just a chance for you to stop, look back and say, “Wow, that was an amazing accomplishment (or not).” Then keep moving forward.So, for 2019 I have more goals. This time the big one is to complete 100 miles a month, rucking or running, participating in a scheduled event or just at a workout. Pathfinder training for class 018 is almost done (a month ahead of schedule) and I’ll start class 019 in February. I’ve already scheduled 2 Go Ruck events and will be signing up again for the Joe Davis 10K.
I have so many people to thank for this, and I wouldn’t be able to remember them all in one sitting. So, here’s a thanks to everyone. Anyone who’s congratulated me, encouraged me, provided an uplifting comment, and even if you’ve thrown some shade my way, thanks. Although this is my journey, it’s not one I make alone.
Total Mileage: 1,008.6 miles of rucking or running or (sometimes) both
– First timed 10K (Joe Davis Run for Recovery)
– First ½ marathon (BB&T Corp Cup) – completed with a 30# ruck in under 2:30:00
– Ran #4 spot in the Smoky Mountain Relay, 9-man team, F3 Up ’n Over
– Ran #1 spot in the Blue Ridge Relay, 9-man team, F3 Up ‘n Over
– Crane Relay, Team Clean-Up
– Enrolled in 4 Pathfinder ruck training classes (2 Forward and 2 Endure classes)
– My neighbors (and my family) think I was crazy for walking around the neighborhood at all hours of the day (and night) with a backpack on and doing various exercises in the cul-de-sacs
– Go Ruck Light: Operation Red Wings
– Go Ruck Light: Carolina Ruck Club Battle (1st place team)
– Go Ruck Tough: Thanksgiving
– Go Ruck Light: Santa Ruck 2018
– Completed the Travis Manion 5K under ruck in 3rd place
– Completed the Let Them Soar 5K under ruck w/a track commander
– Q’d 15 F3 workouts across 2 regions
– Countless pre-runs, post-runs, pre-rucks, and post-rucks
If you’re looking for me in 2019, I’ll be that guy in the gloom always looking towards the horizon.
A lucky (or unlucky) 13 posted in the gloom at Covenant Day School for this week’s episode of SkunkWorks. A quick observation by Tweetsie that YHC wasn’t waiting in the parking lot with a kettlebell lead some to speculate on the many dangers that may await. YHC proved to be a brief master of suspense when I led everyone across the parking lot to let the madness ensue. A quick disclaimer for the veteran pax and then we were off.
SSH x 50, Two-handed swing x 30
IW x 20, Two-handed swing x 30
Plank up – mt climbers x 20, Peter Parkers x 10, and Parker Peters x 10, Two-handed swing x 30
Goblet Squat, Merkin, Sumo Deadlift, Two-handed Swing
x 20, x 15, x 10, x 5
Circuit 2: (single sided)
Snatch, Reverse lunge, Lawnmower (reverse grip), cleans
x 10 each side, x7 each side, x 5 each side, x 3 each side
Curls, Upright row, Overhead Extension, double OH press
X 20, x15, x 10, x 5
40 Two-handed swings, 10 OH presses and 10 Tricep Extensions
30 Two-handed swings, 10 squats and 10 good mornings
20 Two-handed swings, 10 curls and 10 up-right rows
10 Two-handed swings
If you’ve ever been to a Meathead or Diamondhead (Metro) workout that I’ve Q’d, you’ll recognize the format. Lots of reps designed to burn out the muscles. The only good news is that the rep counts are descending. If the pax did all of their reps then they would have finished 240 swings, 60 curls, 60 up-right rows, 60 squats, 60 deadlifts, 60 OH presses, and 60 tricep extensions. Plus 50 merkins, 50 snatches, 50 lawnmowers, 50 lunges … well you get the point.
As for the pax it was a solid effort. Mumble chatter died off after the first 10 minutes of the workout and YHC had tunes going the whole time. This was a 0.0 workout which is a change-up from the Skunkworks that I remember but some pax felt it necessary to squeeze in a pre-run this morning, so they got to count some mileage at least.
Smokey left at exactly 0615. He didn’t even stick around for COT. Maybe he was hoping not to get credit for the beatdown or he had somewhere more important to be …
Stone Cold said he won’t be washing his hair today after that workout. YHC is betting that’s a regular excuse.
Solid effort this morning by the pax. Thanks to Tulip and Funky Cold for the chance to lead.
Thanks to Chin Music for the take-out.
8 men made it to South Charlotte Middle School for this week’s edition of Base Camp. YHC was on Q and promised a low(ish) mileage beatdown. YHC kept it simple but effective. So after a brief disclaimer and setting up some tunes, here’s how it went.
Run around the parking lot, Circle up x25: SSH, IW, Merkins,
Hold plank for a 10 count, then High knees (in place) x 25, butt kickers (in place) x 25
Mt. Climbers, Peter Parkers and one more loop around the parking lot
5 SLOW burpees (pause at each place in the movement and make the movements slow)
Partner up find someone you know well:
P1 runs the loop, P2 does the exercise
— or —
P1 holds plank, P2 does exercise x 20
Carolina Dry Docks
SLOW Flutter Kicks
Carolina Dry Docks
Outsourced Mary and a plank for the last 20 seconds
YHC wanted to hit the football field for this workout but with all the rain we had last week, it was probably a muddy mess. So YHC opted for the parking lot. 7 of us started in the lot and Floor-Slapper dropped in during our warmup. Both he and Sardine proceeded to ask when the warmup would be over and the workout would begin. This was while they were catching their breath from the “warmup”.
YHC offered a little choice for the pax, since I was told this was a moderate workout. The optional plank was thrown in for anyone on injury who didn’t need to run as much. There might have been a pax who took the option but most preferred to run.
Welcome to FNG Bunny Ranch (Goonie was stuck on it). Hope to see him in the gloom again soon.
Christmas Party – Next Friday
Joe Davis Run – March
Metro – Turkey Drive: $20 or donate a turkey to CMR
Thanks to Insomniac for the take-out.
Pretty sure YHC should be doing work or studying for the PMP, but enough of that. Meathead needs a backblast and YHC has fallen out of practice. If you read the pre-blast, then you know this will not be witty or epic but the workout was (epic).
9 men met at Elizabeth Lane Elementary for their downpainment in the weekly workout that is Meathead. As per the usual, we circled up, music was queued, disclaimer, shovel flag, and we were off.
SSH x 20, Two-handed swing x 20
IW x 20, Two-handed swing x 20
Plank up – mt climbers x 20, hold plank for 20 seconds, Two-handed swing x 20
Circuit 1: all 4 exercises represent one set, and reps are descending per set. As reps go low, weight goes high
Goblet Squat, Merkin, Sumo Deadlift, Two-handed Swing
x 20, x 15, x 10, x 5
Circuit 2: (single sided)
Clean and press from ground, Reverse lunge, Lawnmower (reverse grip), one armed swing
x 10 each side, x 7 each side, x 5 each side, x 3 each side
waiter/rack/suitcase carry across the parking lot. Start with right arm, come back with left.
Curls, Upright row, Overhead Extension, double OH press (thanks Mighty Mite)
X 20, x 15, x 10, x 5
one arm swings, Snatch, OH presses, diamonds merkins
x 10 each side, x 7 each side, x 5 each side, x 3 each side (or X 20, x 15, x 10, x 5)
The ‘warmed up by the end of the first set’ Moleskin:
Workouts always look easier on paper. This is no exception. The idea was not to focus on one area in a circuit and slowly add in extra weight. The killer here is the number of reps. We got 100 2 handed swings in today, 50 standard and 35 diamond merkins (circuit 4 got cut short due to time constraints), 100 single side OH presses and 50 two-handed OH presses, 50 squats, 50 sumo dead lifts, etc. I struggled at the end of the last sets of OH presses with a 53lb bell, so I know I was smoked.
Pax were in good spirits, mumble-chatter was light-hearted even if the music wasn’t. YHC did get some comments about his song selections from “that sounds like a teenager, whose voice just dropped, yelling at his parents because he can’t go to the party” to “i’m feeling angry now”. Overall, great effort out there. Thanks Voodoo and High Tide for the opportunity to lead and for High Tide with the takeout.
Crane Relay – Tomorrow
Vagabond – November 10th, Hickory Tavern, 13 miles, 6 AOs, t-shirts are available. Check the pre-blast.
Christmas Party – Dec 1st, 6:00 PM, Seaboard in Matthews, food by Brown Bag
Santa Ruck (2.0 friendly) – Dec 1st, not at 6:00 PM
Metro has a turkey drive going. They want any donations this year to be turkeys delivered by pax to the families that they are donating too. See Deer Tick in Metro for more details.
SOB is hosting a Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving day. Trash talk is aimed at Area 51, for a highly contested win in a previous year. Smething about hurt feelings (i.e. SOB wasn’t invited back, boo hoo). So Area 51, as per an SOB guy, “if you want to come to the varsity game, come out to that one.” All this from a SOB pax who is boycotting SOB so he can come to Area 51 to trash them ahead of the Turkey Bowl. Riiiiiiiight …hopefully SOB won’t shut it down like they did Foxhole. Too soon?
Winter gear orders are coming. Help High Tide keep his role as gear Q and order something.
Joe Davis Run is in March. Get the lowest price by registering on or before October 31st.
And now, your mornings playlist
Filter – Hey Man, Nice Shot
Helmet – Milquetoast
Snapcase – 20th Nervous Breakdown
Madball – For my Enemies
Deftones – Headup
The Hope Conspiracy – Youth and It’s Burden
Paint it Black – The Beekeeper
Sick of it All – Disco Sucks, F*** Everything
System of a Down – Sugar
Faith No More & Boo Ya Tribe – Another Body Murdered
Rage Against the Machine – Sleep Now in the Fire
Social Distortion – Don’t Drag Me Down
Red City Radio – 50th and Western
This hasn’t happened in a while. A pre-blast by YHC and a pre-blast for Meathead.
If you were hoping for dry, witty humor or some level of epic writing, then find something written by Ickey Shuffle or Horsehead. YHC is simply here to let you know that tomorrow will be tough. You will have trouble screwing in light bulbs after this workout, your legs may fail you when you try to get up from your desk later in the day, and your ears will never forgive the onslaught of aggressive sounds of the 1990’s – 2000’s.
Playlist will include: filter, helmet, sick of it all, clutch, deftones, madball, rage against the machine, paint it black, red city radio, social distortion, system of a down, the hope conspiracy, snapcase. it won’t be a white zombie workout, as disappointing as that sounds.
Bring light bells and heavy bells, expect high reps and low reps. And grab a protein shake, you’ll need it after we’re done.
The title of this back blast is an actual quote from today’s workout. And it’s all YHC’s fault, since YouTube posted videos with the “13 Exercises That are Better Than Burpees for Fat Loss”. And YHC doesn’t do burpees, so there you go.
Anyhow, 7 men gathered in the parking lot of Charlotte Christian Academy for the Friday beat-down. And here’s how it went.
Run to the center of the field
High knees in place (x20 IC)
Fast, Deep, Squats x15
Merkins x 10
CDD x 10
Mosey to the score board goal post and partner up. P1 runs down the length of the field and back to
P2. P2 does called exercise until P1 comes back to them. Goal is for both partners to collectively make it 100 yards with the called exercise.
Mosey to Grandma’s mountain
11’s 7’s, bear crawl up the mountain, reverse bear crawl back down:
Plank jacks & Parker Peter (4 Count)
Mosey to the 50 yard line, ½ the group goes to the other side of the field and partners run on the sidelines and meet at the goal post for called exercise.
Hand-slap merkins x 10
Low five/high five squats x 10
WWII situps, foot to foot, slap hands at the top x 10
Mosey to the playground behind the bleachers
7’s at the playground
Reverse grip pull-ups and tricep dips
Impromptu Mary (thanks Chin Music)
Protractor (somehow in cadence)
Dolly x 10
Mosey back to the cars (the long way back)
Hold squat in the parking lot for 1 minute
There’s something to say about our staggered arrival. YHC arrived about 6 minutes early to find just Boerwors in the parking lot and Chin Music’s truck but no Chin Music. At about 5:28:30 Yeti and Smokey arrive and YHC thinks, “Good there’s four of us, it’s a workout now.” At precisely 5:30, YHC delivers the disclaimer and two runners come hot into the parking lot hot, Funky Cold with FNG in-tow. Said FNG claims to be Funky Cold’s neighbor. Disclaimer re-delivered, now we’re six and this workout is on. Then on our way to the field, Chin Music pops out from behind a building looking like he already ran a few laps without us. Thankfully, he saved us the need to break in open the gate, and fell in with the group.
So the workout was designed as an alternative to burpees. Burpees suck. Let’s all agree on that. So YHC looked online and YouTube provided workout gold. “13 Exercises That are Better Than Burpees for Fat Loss” and “70 Bodyweight Cardio Exercises” were the inspiration for this madness. Somewhere around the bear crawls up and down Grandma’s Mountain Boerwors promptly exclaimed, “This is why You Tube has a terrible impact on society.” And he might be right.
Overall, the pax delivered. Plenty of painful mumble-chatter (and a little second F) told me I had accomplished my goal of a challenging workout and YHC’s shoulders are in pain right now as a reminder.
Welcome to FNG Hammy. Somehow he ran back home with Funky Cold. T-claps to a pre and post run.
Thanks to Smokey for the takeout.
Convergence on 06/22 with Kevlar at Joust. Be there.
Come to the Charge on Wednesday. It’s like Joust but right up the road.
AG Middle School needs a new field and F3 is raising cash for it. Donate if you can.
Rock Zero is looking for Qs this summer. Let us know if you’re interested.
This was a week of second chances for YHC:
Second chances are a valuable thing. Not having one is a limiting factor in life. Not giving a second chance to someone is effectively closing a door to a future that person may never experience. And I would wager most of us in F3 are only where we are today because of at least one second chance in life. There is a saying, “Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder”. So I took the second chance with a last minute Q request and worked harder.
But you’re here to read a backblast about a sweet Meathead Q so here we go…
7 pax plus one FNG showed up for this week’s episode of Meathead. YHC pulled out some old favorites from the days of High-T and added a few new tricks to keep the pax on their toes.
Two-handed swing x 20, Merkins – x10
Two-handed swing x 20, Mt climbers x 20
Two-handed swing x 20, Clean and press with bell x10
Two-handed swing x 20
Supersets and High Intensity Sets:
12 reps or AMRAP up to 12: Goblet Squat, Good Morning
Snatch with an Overhead Press (x5 each side) & Clean and press with bell x5 – (repeat the whole routine 3 times)
12 reps or AMRAP up to 12: Chest press, Lawnmower (12 each side or double it up for more fun!)
Snatch, Overhead Press (x5 each side) & Clean and press with bell x5 – (repeat the whole routine 3 times)
Overhead Farmers Carry across the parking lot (right hand, return with left hand)
Flutter kick w/bell press x20
Leuganis (bell behind head starting position) x10
Freddie Mercury (no bell) slow x20
American Hammer x15
20 & 5
15 & 10
10 & 15
5 & 20
Exercises included: chest press & lawnmower, squat & good morning
The second moleskine:
Great showing by the pax today. Monday’s DH crew set the bar pretty high and today’s crew stepped it up to their level. Blazing Saddles quietly crushed the routine and was one of the early finishers on our supersets. Purell and Bulldog decided to partner up at one point and pulled doubles on the chest press keeping the pax encouragement train running. Between Voodoo and High Tide we had enough bells that a security guard from Carolina Fitness slowly crept around the parking lot to see if any of those bells still had the security tags on them. Wild Turkey impressed YHC by picking up on a somewhat obscure punk band (Refused) that was on the playlist which led to some name dropping of punk bands and record labels from the 90’s and 00’s. YHC brought the ruck because the ruck gets lonely at home.
Voodoo also EH’d a FNG from Connecticut (F3CT coming soon?) who actually Ubered it in. That must have been a hell of a fare coming from Connecticut. A big welcome to Uber (seriously that’s his name), enjoy the pain and welcome to the fold.
05/15 – 6 year anniversary of Skunkworks. Get there and celebrate with a kettlebell cake.
Memorial Day: Patriot 5K. Speed for Need will be in attendance.
Gear Orders: get ’em in. All the fun colors are back. Black and neon green/yellow.
05/11 – FNG/Kotters day at Cerberus. Bring an FNG or just come out and support your fellow pax.
YHC had the take-out.
For your obscure listening pleasure, here’s the playlist:
Tool – Forty Six and Two
Alice in Chains – Them Bones
Sick of it All – Disco Sucks, F*** Everything
Bigwig – A War Inside
Clutch – Unto the Breach
Paint it Black – The Beekeeper
Deftones – Swerve City
Filter – Welcome to the Fold
Monster Magnet – Powertrip
Bad Religion – 21st Century Digital Boy
Paint it Black – Atheists in Foxholes
Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come
Disclaimer (for any mildly offended snow-flakes): This back-blast was written before the workout began. It was written when someone dropped a #neveragain bracelet in the parking lot of Providence Day School. Because let’s face it, you can’t leave something so sensitive in a parking lot where a bunch of pax meet in the gloom and not expect it to be referenced multiple times in the workout.
To be clear: YHC supports the right to free speech, whether that means walking out of a classroom or staying in your seat. Just remember kids, actions have consequences. That’s a lesson many so-called adults should be reminded of.
That’s all I will say on the matter.
Four (then five) men looked for a dry spot on a wet cold day at The Charge. Luckily, we found a new parking garage but decided the smart decision was not to start the workout there. After discovering a #neveragain bracelet abandoned by the cars and declaring that the backblast will practically write itself, the disclaimer was given and we were off.
Mosey up towards the school (not towards the field) for some COP
SSH x 25, IW x 20, Merkins x 15 all IC
Mosey back to the cars to grab “the ladies” and a wayward Monk. The ladies consisted of a 35# kettlebell and 2 35# weight plates. Monk was unlucky enough to show up late and run around in the rain looking for us.
CMIYC from the car to dry parking garage with P1 running with weight and P2 doing 10 merkins then chasing P1.
“In the garage, I feel safe …” from the rain maybe but not the pain. #neveragain will they let Hoover lead. (Bonus points if you know the song I just referenced.)
Once in the garage everyone put down the ladies and broke the first rule of handling the ladies. Nobody puts the ladies on the ground. Everyone does 10 merkins. #neveragin did they put the ladies down. Then it was time to work.
P1 takes a lap around the parking garage while P2 does a called exercise until P1 relieves them then flapjack.
Alternating Lunges (weight overhead)
Afterwards we all sat in a circle facing outwards and passed the weights. First clockwise and then counter-clockwise. This caused some grumbles.
Next the pax lined up for a Jacob’s ladder plank-o-rama. Using the parking spaces pax planked up on the lines between each space, then the first pax ran to the first open space and signaled for the next pax to run to the next open space. This continued until we made a circuit around the parking garage.
Onto the Mary: LBC’s x 20, Heels to Heaven x 20, Freddie Mercury x 20, Protractor (outsourced to the pax for the angles. We went wide a few times, it was terrible for the pax and the spectators.)
Head back to the cars for the COT
Moleskine: I took the Q yesterday after receiving a text from Boererwors that he needed a substi-Q. Apparently there was an injury. YHC stepped up to the plate to deliver a downpainment.
It must have rained last night, like a lot. I slept right through it, had no clue it would be in the 30’s and raining until the alarm went off at 4:45. There was a moment of #neveragain regret for not checking the weather but then it was go-time. YHC was asked to lead and you don’t back down from that.
As pax were assembling in the parking lot, Carrier found a bracelet memorializing the recent hashtag that all the kids are wearing these days #neveragain was found on the ground. After a brief moment of pax introspection the decision was made … #neveragain will we assemble in the rain when the temperature starts with a 3 to have an outdoor workout … instead we’ll hit the parking garage.
And hit it the pax did. I pulled a workout down from the library of past Q’s that should have left everyone crying in pain. Instead the pax seemed to take it all in stride. Maybe it was because the pax knew the option was to go outside and lay on the cold wet football field, maybe the ladies were too light, maybe the pax were just that good, and maybe it was the confidence from standing outside in the cold wet gloom and realizing you’re surrounded by pax that also embraced the suck today and didn’t fart-sack it. So it can’t be that bad, right? Whatever the reason, #neveragain will I underestimate the pax at The Charge.
Solid effort by everyone and we stayed (mostly) dry.
The Charge needs Q’s, contact Boererwors if interested
The Irish – Friday, March 16, 2018 (St Patrick’s Day Eve)
Mutha – ship … the Muthaship.
Ruck – I refer to it as “the art of putting on 30 pounds to lose 30 pounds”.
This is a night-time ruck to the Muthaship on Friday, March 16, 2018 (St Patrick’s Day Eve). The ruck will encompass a 15 mile round trip starting at Providence Day School to the Muthaship and back. The route will take us up Providence Rd to Thompson Park/The Captain Jack Statue where we’ll take 4th street up to Caldwell. We’ll return on the same route. As these are busy streets we will be utilizing sidewalks and pax should wear reflective gear. Lights are also encouraged.
Creative coupons are welcome, but keep in mind we’ll be walking into Uptown Charlotte on a Friday night. Keep it discrete.
We will climb to the top of the Muthaship. Coupon creativity is key here, certain coupons can be emptied/consumed at this point to lighten the load going home.
Launch time scheduled for: 20:00, expect 5 – 6 hours total. Tell the M’s it will be a late night out with the boys. Your stumbling home is a result of rucking too much and not drinking too much.
What you need:
HC by following the link here and signing up. All regions and all levels of ruck experience are welcome.
If you’re doing Pathfinder training this counts as the overnight ruck challenge. Total distance is 15 miles round-trip.
Eleven decided their arms were only good for one thing today and that was slinging some iron. YHC did his best to deliver a painful beatdown and Q’d the workout under a 30# Ruck.
SSH x 20, Two-handed swing x 20
Merkin x 20, Two-handed swing x 20
Mt. climbers x 20, Two-handed swing x 20
Circuits: 3 sets 12 or AMRAP up to 12
Goblet Squat, Good Morning
Snatch, Overhead Press (two handed)
Deadlift to upright row to overhead press, Calf Raises
Diamond Merkins, Lawnmower
Single arm high-pull, one arm swing
Burnout Sets: Reps go 20 &5, 15 &10, 10 & 15, 5 & 20
two-handed swings / curls
up-right rows / tricep extensions
10 good mornings
Moleskinny: Good showing today, saw some faces that I haven’t seen in a while. Including (but not limited to): Fletch, Tackling Dummy, and Prohibition. Maybe I need to make the rounds a little more often. Mumblechatter was looking strong this morning when YHC didn’t have the volume pumped up enough for the pax. Comments were made about the size of the speaker vs the volume output and yet somehow they ended there and didn’t veer off into the gutter. Maybe we are a classy group after all … on second thought no we’re not. YHC didn’t want to wake the neighbors with such awesome tunes. Once the workout was underway mumblechatter died out quickly. Must have been those three sets of 12 (or was it 12 sets of 3?) Pax were crushing it today,
Since when did Meathead become more popular with the runners than Devil’s Turn? #RunningIsBoring
Thanks to Voodoo, Witch Doctor, High Tide, my job, and my alarm clock this week for letting me Q. Always a pleasure to be home and to lead my favorite workout.
Announcements: Bro-lympics Saturday 02/24, Run-Jen-Run in 10 days get registered, Rock Zero need’s Q’s
YHC had the takeout today