Author Archive Hopper

Sweet 16!!

At 8:00 last night, I received a text from Gummy. The poor fella needed a sub as he had a long night of work ahead of him and wasn’t sure he’d be fresh for Qing Base Camp. Being the gentlemen and scholar I am, I told him to get his much needed beauty sleep and I would take it. Granted, I did not have much of a plan by 5:29 this morning, but somehow it came together. Post the arrival of 11 willing participants and a stellar disclaimer, it went a lot like this…..

Warm Up:

Jog around the parking lot with high knees and butt kickers

16 IW, 16 low squats, 16 MC

The Thang:

Jog down to the track. We ran a lap, but stopped every quarter lap to do 16 LBCs. Once we completed the lap, we walked to the nearest sideline of the football field and lined up abreast (a word our boy Gummy loves). Orders were given to run to the opposite side of the field and conduct 15 of the stated exercise, run back to our starting point and do 10 reps, then run back across the field yet again for 5 reps of the stated exercise. I am “pretty sure” we followed that format for:

  • Heels to Heaven
  • Lunges
  • Dolly
  • Flutter

We then sashayed to the center of the football field for a starfish format. 16 of the called exercise, including:

  • Jump squats at northwest corner of the field
  • Rosalita at the northeast corner of the field
  • CDDs at the southeast corner of the field
  • LBCs at the southwest corner of the field
  • Merkins in the center of the field following every corner

After some planking and ten counting, we moseyed to the SCMS restrooms frequently used for pre and post F3 workout extermination. We did wall work with leg raises and arm presses. Then on to the baseball field and partner up. Partner one runs the steps and turnabout path while Partner two passes the time with an exercise. Flapjack upon Partner one’s return. We tackled:

  • Step Ups
  • Incline Merkins
  • Dips?

We journeyed back up to the parking lot, but on the way picked up a rock. Keep your partner and trade off either running to the third basketball hoop in the lot (or run into the CMS bus first) or lift your rock to complete:

  • Curls
  • Squats
  • OH Presses
  • Tricep Ext.

We couldn’t end on just dropping off the rocks so with 30 seconds left we ran one 50 yard gasser.

That’s a wrap!


We knocked out 2.6 miles this morning. This crew did not let up. Maybe it was all the veteran crew…..maybe it was because it was already 70+ degrees and extremely humid and everyone just wanted it to be over with…..or maybe we just had 11 studs who wanted to start off the week right. I’m bettin’ on the third possibility.

They were also a patient pax! I haven’t Q’d in over 5 months so I was a little rusty… BRR bro Hannibal had to remind me what an Incline Merkin is called and I was seriously huffing after the cadence of IW….not a good start!

So many great dudes out this morning! Some of my first introductions to F3 six years ago a la Smash and Fireman Ed….they are still at it and still strong. My bro Lazy Boy doesn’t look 50 as he is always in the front of the pax during any drill! Running in the thin mountain air of Boone helps HIPAA dust the rest of us when it comes to the 400 ft elevation of SCMS! Sardine was never far behind him. Boss Hog is the gentle giant, but something tells me I’d never want to tangle with the man. Clover was cool and didn’t laugh at his partner (uh, that was me) picking out a ten pound (maybe?) rock from the pile. Hannibal guessed my reasoning for the 16 count (to be explained un momento), proving he has Yoda like wisdom. Mr. Magoo was quick and confident with every exercises because, frankly, that’s the way guys from Ohio are wired! And lastly, Thunder Road, the consummate class act and site Q, allowed a chump who has taken a five month hiatus away from leading, take the reins today….thank you TR!

Oh, so great question…..why all the 16 counts?? Funny you should ask! I had rotator cuff surgery exactly 16 weeks ago today. If you told me even 4 weeks ago, I would be leading a F3 workout soon, I would ask if I could share the glue you are sniffing. But, fortunately, I am feeling much more like myself and I have the pax to thank for that, which leads me to…..


  • Starting on June 3, there will be a new workout, M*A*S*H. It is for men on IR who still want to connect with the pax and continue to be a part of the Fellowship of F3. We will meet at the Base Camp site at 5:30, then head out for a walk or some form of VERY light exercise. We will then meet back at BC for COT at 6:15. Coffeterias will be held often after the workouts if men are feeling up for it. This will be a great way to keep guys who need a temporary rest in tune with F3 and not mistakenly let them slip away. Trust me… need this when they are physically (and maybe emotionally) healing!!! More to come, but spread the word!
  • Memorial Day convergence with DMZ at Base Camp. 7:00 start!

Thanks for a great prayer and take-out, Lazy Boy!

Calling All Injured PAX: New Area 51 “workout” starting June 3! Name is M*A*S*H!

Four months ago I underwent rotator cuff surgery and was tasked with attending PT twice a week as well as self-administering PT twice a day to get myself back to bootcamp ready status! I am still in the midst of PT, but the discipline and consistency of exercise I learned from F3, and primarily the Fellowship I want to return to, have driven me to not miss a day of therapy. That said, it’s not easy being out of the gloom when that was such a high point of my pre-injury life!

So, why not rehab together? Starting on Monday, June 3, all IR pax join me at South Charlotte Middle (site of Base Camp) at 5:30 AM. We will fist bump a few friends before starting out to walk the streets of Raintree, etc. before coming back to SCMS for COT with the Base Camp pax. No injury is too big or too small (Equal Injury Opportunity Workout). We will enjoy the camaraderie that IS F3, but do it at our own walking pace. Coffeterias after are a strong possibility.

Slack messages and Tweets are coming leading up to June 3, but spread the word in the meantime!! Also, healthy pax who just need a break from being studs are welcome to join us!

More to come!


Pinky Promise!

13 studs showed up at OPE for another edition of Hydra this A.M.!  BONUS….We had two F3 visitors from other regions (Homeboy from Atlanta and Scratch and Sniff from Chicago……think that’s right in terms of home bases).  It was a seasoned group of pax so the disclaimer was quick!  I no sooner completed my schpiel when Runstopper raised his hand (the rest of you hoodlums should learn from him) to ask a question.  “Hopper, are those new socks?”  Indeed they were…..Under Armour camouflage socks to be specific.  I was flattered by Runstopper’s note of my fashion statement.  It’s not often I get complimented by another man at 5:30 A.M. in a dark, fairly empty parking lot.  Anyway, off we went…..

The Thang:

Mosey to the other side of OPE for warm up including 15 of each of the following:

  • IW’s
  • Plank Jacks
  • Low Slow Squats
  • Elbow Plank Peter Parker

We then ran up the infrequently journeyed side of Windyrush to Rea Forest and Sheffingdell.  We planked a little, then…..Partner up and split up.  One partner runs in one direction around the loop while the other partner runs in the opposite direction.  When you meet halfway around the loop, 15 derkins off the planked back of your partner.  Flapjack on the derkins when you meet back at the beginning.  Repeat the loop, but with old school situps while your partner planks and holds your feet at both the halfway point and back at the beginning.

Mosey back the  way we came on Windyrush to the Methodist Church. LBCs in the lot while we wait for the six.  Keep your partner and each of you chooses a rock… small and one large.  Partner one does stated exercise while being timed.  The timer is his partner running to the end of the church parking lot, cranking out 10 CDDs and running back.  Flapjack and wait on the six until the next exercise, including:

Large Rock:

  • Skull Crushers
  • Bench Presses w/ Flutters
  • Squats w/ Forward Presses

Small Rock:

  • Twisting Statue of Liberty’s

Now, Mosey back to the front school yard of OPE and grab a bench.  Two round of the following (15 reps each then 10 reps each):

  • Dips
  • Step Ups
  • Derkins

Mosey to the back plot in between all of the baseball fields.  We had time left for 10 gassers with 10 second count downs between each 50 yard dash.

Incredible time management as we moseyed back to the cars for COT.

That’s a wrap!


Fun facts about this morning:

  • Today was the second Bootcamp Hairball has posted to in 2018!  It ain’t cause the man is lazy….it’s because he has been running his tail off and breaking records at the Kiawah Marathon!  Thanks for coming out my BRR brotha’!
  • Speaking of the Kiawah race, Spackler dazzled us while warming up with stories of a man who lost bodily control during the race, yet continued to run.  Sorry I missed that!!
  •  Spackler wore these Everlast mock boxing gloves.  They kind of made him look like he was ready to take brownies out of his easy-bake oven!
  • Yesterday was Runstopper’s 20th anniversary (oh, and his wife’s, too). I respect any woman who has dealt with the ‘Stopper for that long!
  • Our visitors may have been non-regulars to Area 51, but they are no strangers to F3!  Homeboy and Scratch and Sniff crushed it!
  • I consider myself lucky to have made it to F3 this morning.  I lost a battle to a UPS package last night and split my pinky open while cutting the box top.  I went to Urgent Care to have it glued up.  It drew a lot of mumble laughter from the crowd, but I know deep down all of them consider me a hero!
  • I have a good friend who goes to Orange Theory and she gave me a few ideas for today’s workout (i.e. elbow plank peter parker, twisted statue of liberty).  So you got to experience some OT, but did not have to spend $150 a month to do it…..well, except for Spackler.   

Great group this morning!  Hydra is my personal favorite of the week as I can always count on a great crowd of friends.  Time for a public service announcement! Several of you know this, but 2018 has not been my favorite year.  My father was diagnosed with and treated for esophageal cancer, I had a brief health setback, I made a job change and my family and I moved to a new home.  Two of those occurrences were my decision (more or less) and two certainly were not.  Nonetheless, all four were stressful.  I found myself posting more in 2018 than I ever have as it brought me comfort and stability during some rocky moments.  I cannot thank you men (and even more appropriately, true friends) for helping guide me through those challenges.  You may have not even realized you did, but trust me……you did!!! Thank you! I would not have tackled those challenges without your presence, laughter and support!!


Continue to keep Huggie Bear and Cooter in your thoughts and prayers.  Both of their surgeries/treatments went well this past Tuesday and they are both recovering and handling their next steps with unwavering bravery!  No surprise!

Keep the family of Darth Visor in your thoughts and prayers.  He passed during a F3 workout and Homeboy asked we keep his family and pax in our continued prayers!

Hops, thank you for a great take-out prayer! 


Is that a new Mary Q car?

With a looming cold snap headed our way, 17 men decided to enjoy the last 50+ degree morning for a while by coming to Hydra.  Yesterday, in between Trump tweets of Sessions resigning and CNN reporters getting kicked out of the White House (that’s not a political statement by me…..just the facts), I let the pax know via TwitterFaceLinkedSnap that we would be off campus the whole time and to pack some running shoes.

Hannibal originally had been assigned Q today, but business travels took him to the Windy City.  Sprockets and I both volunteered to take his spot.  Rather than arm wrestling on it (Sprockets would win, by the way), we settled on Sprockets Qing the Mary and I would take care of the rest.

Here’s how it went:


  • 15 SSH
  • 15 Plank Jacks (Gummy pointed out a PJ is still a SSH, except you’re on the ground….gotta get up pretty early to fool that guy!)

The Thang:

We ran out of the OPE campus and started down Summerlin.  Along the way, we paused at each street light for 10 CDD’s (maybe 7 lights?).  At the intersection of Summerlin and Abbotswood, we did the following:

  • 15 box cutters as called by Sprockets (you could tell Sprockets did his homework and dug up some uncommon, yet challenging Mary…well done, boy!)
  • The OP Pipe!  Partner up and do 10 hand-slap merkins.  Separate and run up Abbotswood in either direction and stop at the top of either hill for 10 merkins OYO.  Run back to meet your partner for another 10 HS Merkins.  Conduct 3 rounds.
  • Mosey to the top of Abbotswood and Brynwood.  Sprockets Q’d us with 15 or 20 sweat angels.

We ran down Brynwood toward the high rent district of Rea/Colony.  While on Brynwood we stopped for 10 squats at each light post.  We planked a little then continued on toward Stonecroft Park.  Sprockets decided Turkish situps were the Mary du jour while we waited on the six on Stonecroft Park.

Continue our mosey to the medical building behind Colony Place.  We scared a CMPD officer who was parked behind the building.  He immediately drove away.  To be fair, the first person he saw was Spackler…….wouldn’t you immediately drive away, too?!

While in that parking lot:

  • Bear crawl Indian Run (lots of grumbling….blame Gummy as I got it from him).
  • Merkin Circle (even more grumbling!…..this is a Deep Dish favorite, though and as I was not going to disappoint my boy!)

Mosey to the traffic circle at Colony Place.  Grab some wall/chair/bench for:

  • 10 dips
  • 10 step-ups
  • 10 derkins


My watch said 6:03 at this point, so……Mosey back to OPE.  We had 4 minutes left at OPE so this morning’s version of Vanna White (i.e. Sprockets) took us through:

  • Rosalita
  • Flutter
  • LBCs
  • Freddy Mercury

That’s a wrap!


A few items I want to note right off the bat for summary:

  • Semi Gloss took off  his t shirt and ran with just a pullover on.  He also decided to not zip up the pullover, revealing plenty of unmanageable chest hair.  He looked like a modern day Andy Gibb since his shirt was unzipped so low.  Bold, my brother….bold!
  • Someone two pax ahead of me dropped anchor while we were doing the bear crawl indian run…..I had to crawl through that cloud!  I’d blame it on Puddin’ Pop…..but, let’s be honest….do you really think PP even did that exercise?!
  • Jet Fuel just got back from Japan yesterday afternoon and was suffering badly from jet lag.  He still looked like a Dad model in a Dick’s Sporting Good magazine with hair perfectly combed and t shirt tucked in.  I bet you the camera loves that guy!
  • Somebody called Thunder Road “TR” when he first walked up to the site.  I thought for a second the Area 51 Forefather Tiger Rag (anyone seen him since 1985?) was with us.  Did I need to call for hairburners if that was the case?  Anyway, it was just a misunderstanding.
  • Queen and One Eye are still fast and do not tire…..old news!

We logged about 2.7 miles and were only on OPE’s campus for about 5 minutes.  Aside from the mileage, we also tackled 115 merkins and over two hundred core exercises!  Not bad!  Marge and Queen, thanks for letting me lead this morning.  Men, it was and always will be an honor!  Sprockets, thanks for having my back on Mary!  Never done that particular type of Q share before, but it gave this old man a chance to catch his breath a few times!

Spackler, thanks for the take-out/prayer!


  • Holiday party is Dec 1 at Seaboard.
  • Vagabound is this Saturday….plenty of info on the Area51 F3 site!

Does this log make me look heavy?

14 pax (13 old dudes and 1 2.0) showed up at the sprawling Calvary campus for what is dubbed as “heavy day”.  I think heavy day just means there should be more lifting and coupons involved than the other days at Rock Zero…..hence, that’s what YHC planned.  It was also Tree Day at Calvary when the non profit Tree Charlotte sells discounted trees to Charlotteans to encourage green living and sustainability.  Great cause!  However, this caused two points of confusion for the pax: 1) it originally looked like the earth moving equipment and pallets Tree Charlotte brought were part of our workout….while that would be challenging and HEAVY, YHC is not that good of a coordinator or planner! 2) TC was using a good part of the lot we would normally use for COP and COT so we needed to dodge that area to accommodate….no biggie!  So off we went:


Jog to entrance #4 (near the big rock) of Calvary for:

  • IW
  • SSH
  • PP
  • PP reversed
  • Superman (lots of grumbling about this exercise, but it made a few Chatty Kathy’s quiet down, so point served)

Jog to entrance #1 but stop at each speed bump for 10 monkey humpers.  I rudely planted myself right in front of Geraldo at one speed bump.  Sorry for the view, bro!  Boondog led most of the way……he came to play!

The Thang:

We entered the front lot of Calvary.  We stayed there for a little while to endure the following:

  • Partner carries: Alternate who carries who at each island and also stop at each island for 10 squats per dude.
  • Plank a little
  • 45 lb plate hot potato: the pax circled up sitting down and shoulder to shoulder with backs to each other to pass around two 45 lb plates.  Fletch ran with a big a$$ log on his shoulders from one end of the front lot to the other as our timer: Kudos to you, bro!
  • AYG back to the start of the front lot.
  • Wheelbarrows alternating partners between each island.
  • Plank a little.
  • 45 lb hot potato with Purell running with the log as timer.  Kudos to you as well, Purell! (note to self……bald, bearded men always seem to be the fastest!)

Mosey to the soccer fields for a modified Beast.  It was modified because we only did 4 exercises instead of 6, but mainly because we split off in groups of three and someone in the threesome had to always be carrying a sandbag.  I understand from Flipper the bags weighed either 65, 85 or 100 lbs……ouch!  Exercises for the beast were:

  • CDD’s
  • Sister Mary Catherine
  • Flutter
  • HR Merkins

Resting recovery with some LBCs

Mosey to the baseball fields for a lifting rock selection.  Choose a different partner.  Partner #1 runs to chosen light pole while Partner #2 lifts rock for stated exercise, including:

  • Curls (McGee noted there is no point in doing curls anymore if you are married, so Boondog is the only one who benefitted from this given McGee’s theory).
  • OH Press
  • Squats
  • Tricep extensions

Mosey back toward entrance #4.  We did a few Mary exercises at which time McGee stated he and Sprockets has a score to settle on who is  faster.  We ran best out of three 50 yard (maybe?) dashes.  McGee did get two out of three, but neither of them counted on Purell who smoked both of them every time.  Again….bald guy with beard!

Bonus over/unders with your partner.  Lots of grumbling about this one, but come on guys!…..this is the stuff F3 did all the time back in the original days!  Get wet, get dirty!

Three more AYGs for 50 yards.

That’s a wrap!


We covered just shy of 3 miles!  I know that’s just shy of the RZ expectation, but I figured designated Heavy Day gave me a chance to back off mileage just a little.  The feeling in my shoulders and back this morning tell me we had a decent workout anyway….granted, that ain’t saying much!

As always, it was spectacular group of pax today!  Gummy cracked a lot of jokes, Runstopper provided encouragement, the bald and bearded guys were fast, McGee insulted people several times, BLC was a stud, Horsehead chose the exercises where he really wanted to participate… all just felt RIGHT!  If I didn’t mention you by name, it’s not because I don’t appreciate ya!  Really, phenomenal group of guys…..on and off the AO!

Side note, this week marked my 5 year anniversary with F3!  My second workout was at The Rock when Hops led about 30 guys that morning (Gummy led my first one at Ascent).  Great stuff!  I can’t thank y’all enough for what F3 has provided me in the way of fitness, personal satisfaction and accomplishments.  That said, the biggest gain has been the friendships which I am certain are lifetime in scope!  Cheers!

Thanks for asking me to lead Flipper, as well as offering the take-out prayer!


  • Vagabond is next Sat.  Launch is from Hickory Tavern.  RZ will be open as usual and will stay open a little late to welcome the Vagabond group.
  • Dec 1 is Christmas Party!  Seaboard is venue.

“I expect no burpees and no running on the grass since I wore my nice sneakers!”

The above words were quoted to me by Purple Haze as I was lacing up for my lead at 5:29.  Given Haze’s gubernatorial (that’s gubernatorial, not goober-natorial) status within A51, the pressure was already high and intense!  Via TwitterFace, I let the pax know we would be travelling this morning.  I then quickly disclaimed the 16 men who showed for the Anvil hump-day workout and off we went!

Warm -up:

Mosey to the front courtyard of Calvary.  15 IWs and 15 LSSs.  Runstopper tried to throw off my count, but he didn’t know I already had a cup of coffee and was sharper than I looked.

The Thang:

Jog to the front entrance of that swanky neighborhood across from Calvary.  We played Frogger by crossing Hwy 51 at a non-intersection, but it helps when there is no traffic at 5:33 A.M.  Stopped for Peter Parker on the way to the ominous Five Knolls hill.

Five Knolls:

At the bottom of the hill, I explained we would be running the “triple-triple”.  Five monkey humpers at the bottom of the hill and five jump squats at the top.  Run the hill three times.  I’m going to be honest, the hill seemed less steep when I drove it in my cozy car yesterday.  Couple of Mary exercises at the top of the hill to let the pax (mainly me) catch our breath.

We made our way back to Calvary a la a stop at one of the intersections for Parker Peter.  Hammer also veered off to complete an OSHA audit of one of the construction port-o-john’s.


I want to thank Gummy for politely and eloquently reminding me this exercise is called Grinders (scratch that, he degraded  me and made me feel small, but he was right that I could not remember the name of the exercise).  We  counted off in three’s in the front lot of Calvary and ran grinders while tackling the following exercises:

  • Regular/Garden Variety Merkins
  • Heels to Heaven
  • CDDs
  • Wide Arm Merkins

Two cop cruisers were sitting in the parking lot while we did the grinders.  I am surprised none of the pax were arrested as several of us were firing off air biscuits like we were the Hatfields.

Hot Box:

Three rounds of 10 step-ups, 10 dips, 10 derkins

Wall Time:

Alternating wall sitting with both arm raises and Frankenstein style while breaking to run AYG 50 yards or so to a street light and back.

Finish up with a Native American run and one last 50 yard AYG stretch back to our cars.

That’s a wrap!


We covered 3.25 miles this morning and A LOT of that was uphill!  We also got in a fair amount of upper body and core work in along the way.  Strong work men!  The mumblechatter this morning was abundant and awesome.  We had the primary instigators of Spackler, Gummy and Runstopper, but it was all welcomed and would be disappointing without it, frankly.  Interesting things we learned this morning: 1) Purple Haze owns more shoes than Melania Trump, 2) Spackler will be attending Orange Theory instead of F3 when he visits Nashville as he thinks his workout partners will be more qualified at OT, 3) In 2018, Hammer has yet to not visit a port-a-john while posting, 4) Runstopper’s Freshmen year roommate had awful hygiene problems and 5) Lorax does not need to use his arms to pick himself up from the ground after completing an exercise….he uses flatulence power instead.  Feel free to use any of these topics as good cocktail party ice breakers!

Lorax, thanks for the opportunity to Q this morning and Hops, thanks for the prayer and take-out!


  • Keep an eye and ear out for news on social media on how F3 will be helping Florence victims in the near term.
  • Keep Buckeye and his family in your prayers.  His family had a tree fall on their home during the storm.  Volunteer efforts to help him with clean up are in the works.
  • Lorax is accepting Q sign ups for Anvil for any dates after 10/15.
  • Dredd is speaking tonight at Myers Park CC from 6:00-8:00 regarding Leadership and Sacrifice.

There is no way hawks fly alone!

Fourteen men showed up 15 minutes after our Fast Twitch/BBR Running/Nut Job brethren gathered and departed Charlotte Latin this morning.  While the balminess and humidity lingered over the pax, they were all properly disclaimed and we headed off:

Warm Up:

Jog to the lower parking lot next to Swim Mac for:

  • 20 IWs
  • 15 Low Slow Squats
  • 15 MCs

The Thang:

Merkin Circle/Catch Me If You Can:

Jog to the football field and circle up near the 50 yard line.  Bring it in shoulder to shoulder for merkin circle (crowd pleaser and Deep Dishes favorite exercise of all time!…..I am pretty sure!)…..Q calls 5 paces to either left or right and pax pivots that many while staying in plank.  After pivoting, Q calls various types of merkins including normal (i.e. garden variety), wide arm, hand release and diamond.  After round one of the merkin circle, we did a catch me if you can loop on the track with the catcher performing 10 LBCs.  We hit the MC again, then did CMIYC with 7 jump squats.

Bleacher Work:

Quick mosey to the stadium bleachers.  Partner Up.  Partner #1 runs up and down half of the stadium stairs while Partner #2 does stated exercise.  Flap jack upon partner return.  We covered CDD’s, standing lunges, flutter and rosalita. I also nearly face planted at the step down from the track to the bleachers. #oldmancantsee!

Pebble Detail:

We moseyed from the stadium to the clear other end of the Latin campus that fronts Providence Rd.  Recent construction has left a pile of small rocks so each pair grabbed two small rocks.  Partner #1 did wall sitting (I think that’s a bathroom building) and lifted both rocks (dumb bell style) while Partner #2 ran to nearly Providence Rd and back.  Flapjack. Pebble detail included overhead presses, arm raises and butterflies.

Four Corners:

We moseyed to the soccer fields that border Providence and are just above Swim Mac.  We did two round of four corners including dollys and heels to heaven.  I learned two things during this circuit: 1) The pax decided after profusely sweating for 35 minutes, they didn’t want to “get wet” by laying on the ground.  Give me a break!, and #2) Professor Semi Gloss informed me that Hawks (the Latin mascot and the name sake for our weekly work out) tend to fly solo rather than in a flock.  Hard to believe given the brothers of F3 never fly solo at an AO (although I kind of wish Semi Gloss was solo when he decided to float an air biscuit during our wall sitting time….gracious!).

Mosey back to the cars to meet up with the Fast Twitch thoroughbreds.  That’s a wrap!


We racked up 2.7 miles today!  I did some recon work yesterday after the Base Camp convergence as the Latin campus is one I have only recently started to get familiar with (i.e. I am a product of the public schools….shocker,  I know).  The rock pile the construction crew left us was a bonus.  I also found a larger rock pile on campus I am going to tuck away for next time. The academic portion of the campus is torn up right now due to construction so it was easier to stay on the periphery.  Interesting factoid…..every person, with the exception of Hops, who reacted to my Twitter or text comments last night about my Qing did not show up for the workout.  I won’t name names, but there is a LOT of arm chair judging going on out there!  Just sayin’!  Thanks to all who did come out.  Great group of dudes and the pax stuck together well.  Hops and Doc, thanks for letting me lead!  SG, thanks for the prayer and take-out!



  • Good luck to BRR boys this Friday and Saturday!
  • Paint Ball on 9/15.  Area 51 vs. SOB.  See Pop Tart for more details.


My sandbag is heavier than yours!

The fall-like air brought on a lot of mumblechatter for this group of 11 men.  It was a lively, chatty crew…..but a tough one just the same.  It was designated as “heavy” day at RZ which means the pax should expect to be lifting “body weight plus” as defined by site Q Flipper.  So, after being told I was already one minute late in getting started (again, it was a talkative lot), I delivered an eloquent disclaimer and off we went:

Warm Up:

Jog to front Calvary yard.  There was a mob sized number of geese in the front yard who looked hungry so I decided to not run all the way to the front Calvary sign where most  of them were claiming turf.

  • IW
  • Low Slow Squat
  • Plank Jacks

The Thang:

Merkin Circle:

Jog to the front court yard of the church.  Form a circle and get in the plank position.  Shuffle while staying in the plank position either 5 paces to the left or right based upon YHC’s command.  When finished with 5 paces, drop for 5 merkins of stated variety.  I think we fit in garden variety merkins, HR merkins and diamonds.  Two notes on the merkin circle:  Spackler was lined up to my left and quickly told me I was shuffling toward him too quickly…..I guess I made him nervous.  Secondly, Deep Dish REALLY liked the merkin circle thing.  He called for it no less than a dozen remaining times throughout the hour….glad you enjoyed it DD!

Sand Bag Duty:

Jog to the front parking lot.  I commandeered 7 sand bags from both Flipper and Hoover.  The bags were waiting for us at this location.  Grab a partner and while partner #1 runs the distance of the islands at the front lot and back, partner #2 uses the sand bag for called exercise:  1) squats and 2) bench presses.  The third exercise was a team combo of alternating lunges and running the distance between your partner and the end of the islands.

LOTS of feedback occurred during this exercise.  Spackler insinuated my lunges looked more like a feminine curtsy than a lunge.  Rude!  Gummy also protested that his sand bag was heavier than anyone elses. Um……Whatevs!

I originally planned to call partner carries back to the starting point of the front lot, but Deep Dish was SO smitten with the merkin circle, I called it again for him!  You is welcome DD!

The Beast:

Jog to the soccer fields.  Line up abreast for a F3 classic.  Six cones were lined up across the fields.  Run to each cone for 6 of the called work.  I believe we did flutters, jump squats, LBC’s, CDD’s and Sister Mary Catherine.  The talking certainly didn’t die down here either!  Lots of threats of mutiny if we did burpees……lots of discussion about Hillary Clinton…….lots of statements of “we don’t like you, Hopper”.  It’s ok….feedback is welcomed, just not necessarily listened to!

The Plates:

Jog toward the church.  Flipper and Hoover also leant me some 25, 35 and 45 lb plates.  Partner up with new sidekick.  Partner #1 places plate on the planking back of Partner #2.  Partner #2 planks and/or does merkins while Partner #1 runs to chosen light post and back.  Flapjack.  Presses with plate with rosalitaing and curls were also incorporated at this station.  Prohibition had his own version of the rosalita press which was a combo of a dying cockroach and an ice capade on her back.  It will take a LONG time before I can get that image out of my head.

Wall time:

Jog to the restroom hotbox and grab some wall to sit.  We did leg lifts, raised arms and arm presses alternating with AYG sprints to designated light post.  A guy who looked a lot like Purrell (but, obviously was not Purrell since he is only BRR training and not showing up at boot camps), led the AYG sprints EVERY dang time.

Run It Back:

We lined up and Native American ran it back to our starting point taking the long route of the outer perimeter of the parking lot.  We then finished up with a couple of Mary exercises.

That’s a wrap!

Despite  many “suggestions” made throughout the hour, we made it through.  Man, the weather was beautiful and it gave us a glimpse of what the morning will truly feel like in another month or so.  Just awesome.  The pax was great and candidly it would not have been the same or fun without the mumblechatter that was shared.  Rock Zero (fka The Rock….gratuitous plug there Pro) will always feel like my home AO so thanks for letting my lead Flipper and Hoover!  Thanks also to the ten pax who showed up and made it worthwhile!


  • Aug 31: Sandbox Evening to Believe: Formal Dance Event which needs volunteers. Details are on preblast on F3 Site.
  • Crane Relay sign ups end today.
  • Isabella Santos Speed for Need race in end  of Sept.

Hoover, thanks for the great take-out prayer!






A lesson on Cousins…..

13 mighty men gathered for another edition of Hydra this morning.  It felt slightly cooler at 5:29, but by 5:32 we were sweating like John Candy in a sauna.  After a proper disclaimer (Spackler called it “cute” because I said I would be with everyone in spirit….I thought that was a nice thing to say, but whatevs), we headed on:

Warm Up:

Jog to opposite side of OPE for:

  • 15 SSH
  • 15 LS Squats (Curd noticed I slowed down on pivoting as the count went on….#oldmanhips!)
  • 15 IWs

Mosey across the street to the never ventured south side of Windy Rush.  Stopped at first stop sign and partnered up.  Both partners do 10 hand slap merkins to start, then split up and ran the loop in opposite directions.  10 HSM’s again when you meet each other on loop and 10 again at the end of the loop. A few people called for a second loop, but we had to move on…too much planned.

Mosey and Cross Rea to the often ventured north side of Windy Rush.  Stop at each street light on the left for 5 CDD’s until we hit Foxborough.  Stop for some LBC’s.

At Foxborough, triple nickel with 5 air squats at bottom of the hill and 5 HR merkins at the top.    One Eye, Queen and Marge led the whole dang time!  Sweet work, boys!  I led from the back…again, I care about your safety!

One Eye took us through a little Mary at the bottom of Foxborough.  We then headed into the woodsy pathway that connects Foxborough to the back fields of OPE.  It was at this time that Spackelr started holding court and telling us about “animal cousins”.  F3 bylaws and human decency require me to stop there with the explanation, but ask Spackler at his next post…..probably have to wait until November or December!

Once at the back football practice field, partner up again for a variety of partner carries, forward running, backward running, wheel barrow partnering, bear crawling, etc.  We did a little planking and Mary back there, too.  Lots of moaning and groaning, frankly.

Mosey to front baseball field and partner up again.  Partner 1 runs the bases while Partner 2 does stated exercise.  I believe we did WA Merkins, Russian Twists, Garden Variety Merkins and maybe Freddy Mercury.  We finished up that with some additional Mary.

Finished up with six gassers at the open field near the batting cages.  I asked several guys for a ten count in between gassers…..Bugeater got cut off on the second to the last count so he got another chance for the final count…sorry bro!

That’s a wrap!


We covered 3.1 miles today!  Love this workout and the men who attend.  This is one I rarely miss each week because you can count on the same banter, but tough, griddy workouts.  Thanks for letting me lead Queen and Marge!  We definitely had some standout performers today, but the pax really stuck together which makes Qing a luxury.  Thanks for being easy on me boys!


Marge is sending out the Hydra Q schedule for the second half of 2018.  (note to all…turn off your g mail account).  Bugeater is on next week!

Revlon is having a second baby.  Wife due next week.  Congrats, but get rest now bro!!

Jet Fuel….excellent take-out prayer!  Thank you!

Field Trippin’

Imagine how flattered I was when I pulled into the parking lot of OP  Elementary and saw two large buses and about 30 cars in the parking lot…..Wow!  Bus and car loads had come to Hydra to witness me Q….or they were there for a fifth grade field trip to Charleston…..easy misinterpretation!

The Thang:

Even though I was deflated, YHC provided a stellar disclaimer and we headed off toward the Harris Teeter at Rea/Colony where we warmed up with some SSH and IW’s.  We jogged a little further to the medical building just behind HT for:

Merkin Circle: Circle up close and each man gets down in a plank position.  At YHC’s command, the pax moves five paces to the left or right (imagine a spider man sideways crawl) then performs five of said merkin….it went like this:

  •  5 paces to the left, perform 5 regular merkins
  • 5 paces to the right, perform 5 WA merkins
  • 5 paces to the left, perform 5 HR merkins
  • 5 paces to the left, perform 5 regular merkins

Rinse and repeat

Partner Up: Partner #1 runs around the medical building while Partner #2 does said exercise until #1 returns: Flapjack.  Exercises included:

  • LBC’s
  • Rosalita
  • Squats
  • Flutter

Jog back to OP campus and head to the playground behind the school.  Keeping partners, Partner #1 runs to either the track or concession stand while Partner #2 does said exercise:

  • Pull-Ups
  • Dips
  • Jump squats
  • LBCs

Jog to cars for final two minutes worth of gassers (6 total).  Lots of scratches on the start line, but the work out was almost over so no penalties granted.

That’s a wrap!

Lots of hard work this morning!  The Hydra men are a fun crowd and today was no exception.  Some good laughs and support all at the same time.  We logged 3.2 miles and did a ton of core and upper body mumbo jumbo, so YHC is certain he will be sleeping well tonight.  Queen and Marge, thanks for the honor!


F2 Pizza Peel at 6:00 tonight

5K on 9/24 at McAlpine Park