Author Archive JRR Tolkien

SPARTA-n Sprint(s)

1 8 men were freaking cold… so we ran really hard and fast to stay warm. It worked, and no snuggling was needed (Gypsy and Madison were close).


  1. 12/20 Thursday at Charlotte Country Club is the F3 Nation “Come To The Table” Luncheon.  It’s free, and not just a Metro thing.  You can hear several inspiring speakers and learn about service opportunities. 2.0 friendly.  Watch the video to get you off the fence >>> Preblast and sign-up link >>>>
  2. SPEED FOR NEED … can you commit to participating or serving in 1 event in 2019? It’s easy… and you don’t need to be a fast runner to be a part of it.  It requires just two things: (1) a willingness to put yourself 2nd someone else in the community (2) and the ability to get to the event on time. Talk to the regional SFN Q, Gypsy for more details… he’s got it all and will plug you in.


  • 0515… no new FNG, disclaimer given, Go-time! Quick warmup of SSH, I/W, and MC’s.
  • AYG run from John Street Corner to Crestdale Middle bus lot entrance… .85 miles. This is now known as the Strava Segment “Sparta-n Sprint (to Crestdale)”
  • Mosey to the track for partner “races”. 1 AYG lap around the track (go in app directions), then perform a exercise at starting point. 4 laps, 4 exercises… 10 WW2 handslap situps, 10 Hand-release handslap merkins, 15 CDD’s, 1min of WW2 Situps + 25 6in LBCs
  • Head over to field, more partner work. Partner wheelbarrow, 5 burpees, backwards run back to start… next round. Rounds: 2 rounds wheelbarrows, and 2 rounds partner resistance pushes. Finish with 1min WW2 sit-ups + 25 6-inch LBC’s
  • AYG back to the corner of John Street Downtown Matthews from the Cresdale bus lot entrance. This reverse route is now known as the Strava Segment “Sparta-n Sprint (to Crestdale)”.
  • 3 rounds of hip-slappers on the corner. Head back to AO, 1min WW2 situps + 25 6-in LBC, run to stop sign to get the full 4.5 miles in. FINITO!!!


YHC puked phlegm 15 steps before reaching John Street tryin to chase down Turkey Leg and Funky Cold, who were running hard all morning (especially on the 400m track sprints).  Look for one of them to be the segment king on that route. Gypsy kept on trying to get Christmas to catch me on the AYG to Crestdale, which means he was wasting energy blabbering instead of running faster… smh. YHC wasn’t aware 10 counts mean site-Q’s do merkins, and there were a handful of 10 counts called. Trust me, YHC didn’t know about that rule.  Good to see Horsee McHorse Runner Tweetsie out there pushing hard, and still smiling the whole time. Arena is a strong dude, and was bulldozing YHC on the partner pushes. Did Madison finally actually wear shorts over his tights today? YHC refused to check, but maybe his partner in wheelbarrows can verify <bad visual>.

Have a great day fellas. Thanks for the opportunity to lead. 

Who Pushes Who? – Workout Edition


18 men from SOB (Ballantyne & UnionCo), Area51, and Metro converged upon Cerberus, the hottest free workout south of 485 within 1 mile distance on Fridays.  As Transporter mentioned, this site will take any man from any region,  and actually that’s the point, to bring men of all regions together. They’ll even let anyone Q there (as evidenced by YHC), so you should sign up to do just that… as the Nantan Alf mentioned by his math equation… “18 of you here, multiplied by 5 workouts you post at a week, divided by the the number of 2.0s you have, squared by the number of years your M has actually been happy with you in F3, equals you at least Qing 1 workout a month… do it.”  Anyway… we covered ~3.5 miles at a quicker pace when we were moving, and mixed in some of the Mongol’s favorite exercises.  Another morning of Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith.


  • 0530 Go Time! Quick mosey to the First Watch surface lot.
  • Part 1
    • SSH, I/W, & 40 up/down cadence Merkin Superset (reg, wide, diamond, R leg high, L leg high)
    • Partner up by speed & strength, and go 2X around half of the parking lot
      • alternating partner wheelbarrow
      • alternating partner carry
    • Partner exercise then RACE!
      • Perform exercise, then race the opposite direction around the lot… to see who gets back to the starting point first.
        • Exercises: 10 Handslap Pushups, 1-min of WW2 situps, another 1-min of WW2 situps
        • Head to parking deck, stopping in front of Whole Foods for some people’s chair while regrouping for the 6.
  • Part 2
    • Partner up, and run in the opposite direction as your partner up the staircases, crossing each other at top, and back down to the base. 5 partner hand-slap low squats.  Repeato to the next descending level (level 4, level 3, level 2).
  • Part 3
    • Head up deck, stopping at the pull-up ledge.  Do called exercise (Rd 1: 10 pullups Rd 2: 10 hanging knee-ups) then run in opposite direction as partner back to the start. Regroup, and do 10 slow dragon flag leg raises (abs) together. 2 rounds of these.
    • Race back to launch, by way of running to the top of deck, and back down stairs.
  • 0630 Finito!


Great work by everyone this morning.  As you heard from COT, YHC had a lot on my mind this morning so leaving off the mumblechatter today.  YHC saw everyone from the top of the pack, to the 6 pushing their limits, and their partners.  YHC always appreciates a solid effort when Qing and tries to reciprocate when not the Q.

There’s something special about partner work, because (in the right setting) it allows you to lean on the strength of another brother.  And regardless of a man’s size, strength, and speed, on good teams you actually cannot tell who is pushing who.  Is it the faster man pushing the slower man to give a little extra effort? Or is it the slower man actually the one pushing the faster man, because he is sacrificing personal accomplishment in his 3rd F, and showing the faster man there is more than a 1st F workout.

Thank you men for hearing my testimony this morning, and what’s going on in my life right now.  YHC will leave you all with this… it’s a “TED” Talk that YHC gave a few weeks ago about looking at yourself, and trying to find what you were meant to do… what your personal mission is. And this concept of WHO PUSHES WHO. It’s long, 20minutes, and if you watch it, YHC hopes that you will ask yourself these questions… Who would you push? Who would push you? Who Pushes Who?

(Around the 3:30 mark is where YHC is talking about all you and F3, without citing The Nation specifically.)

“TED” Talk Video Link >>>>>      Tolkien’s “TED” Talk – WHO PUSHES WHO (20min)


  • The 2019 F3 Nation Peru Mission Trip is approaching, and YHC is helping lead week 1 in Jan-Feb 2019.  It was one of the most impactful experiences of my life, and could be for yours too.  Even if not this year, you should consider going.  Watch the below trailer to see what it is all about.
  • W-AMRAP Wednesdays… YHC is going to start going. It’s not a workout just for bat-flippers, it’s for anyone who wants to measure themselves against themselves… not anyone else… and push you out of your comfort zone.  YHC will be starting to post there, and encourage all of you to try it out at least once as well. (McGee has no promotional video link, so this particular announcement will likely not be effective marketing)

Thank you to the site Q’s for giving me the opportunity to lead.  And grateful for you men for your support before, during, and after the workouts.


SFN Komen Race For The Cure 2018 Recap


To get a sense of how the race went, first you should find a quiet spot and watch the Event Video.

Says it all, right?  You would think so, but our Track Commanders have provided their individual recaps below and you really need to read them all to get the full experience ‘from the ground’.  Stick around to the very end, where we inserted a PARTING SHOT from our own Wexler.  Not gonna spoil it for you.

Just read it

Trust us.


Dawn Rippy-Brunton (SILVER) –

Dawn was diagnosed in July then major surgery in August then chemo and radiation since.  She rallied from not being sure she would be able to ride days before due to side effects to being there and enjoying her experience!

I think Dawn summed up her day in her comment in the video: 

“Cancer may be bigger than me,
But my God is bigger than cancer.” 

What I also remember about the day was when Dawn was talking about her dream of retiring in Hawaii and opening a restaurant.  Big Hopes & Big Dreams, for someone who was modest about her fight. Just her being there yesterday was a big challenge which was not going to stop her from showing her thanks to Molly for the kindness she had for Dawn.  It was a great moment to see her on stage with Molly telling her story at the end!

Honored to serve,

Carrier and Orlando


Catherine Gomes (RED) –

I spoke with Catherine over the phone the day before the race and from that conversation I knew it would be a special day for her. Her doctors finally removed all the cancer recently, but she still has to continue with the chemotherapy. Due to all the treatments, she hadn’t been out the house in a year.  

I picked her up from her car in the chariot before the race and from that moment she was ready to GO. During the run she gave us so much strength to push on saying, ”Don’t worry about me, I’m not fragile. Let’s GO!” All that joy and strength from her, I have no words for it.

Shake N Bake


Lynn Marie Longo (BLACK) –

Lynn Marie Longo is battling Stage 4 breast cancer.  She is an amazing woman who has been through a lot these past couple of years along with her husband, Dean.  Through all of the ups and downs, she has steadfastly held onto her faith in Jesus Christ.  It’s awesome to see how God uses Lynn Marie and Dean to help others grow in their faith.   



Cindy Adkins (ORANGE) –

Cindy Adkins is an amazingly strong woman. She battled cancer 14 years ago, but it has now returned, and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Cindy is not deterred though, and is facing this new challenge with a determination and spirit that greatly inspired McBeast and myself. She had a large contingent of family and friends there for support, and we felt the love these folks had for Cindy, and she for them.

Cindy and her friends are runners, and we all shared many racing stories as we made our way along the jam-packed route. Before we knew it, we had completed the 5K loop and had arrived at the finish line. The most memorable moment of the morning came then when Cindy got out of the chair and walked hand-in-hand with her friends across the finish line to the loud cheers of the crowd. The phrase “Who Pushes Who” printed on our pink SpeedForNeed T-shirts could not be more appropriate. McBeast and I will forever remember the small part we played in enabling Cindy to participate in this marvelous event.

SS Minnow


Jacqueline Leaf (YELLOW) –

YHC had Team Jackie in “The Smoker” YELLOW chair.  Supported by her daughter, brother and sister, this was Jackie’s 1st 5K she has ever been able to participate in.  Eight months cancer free, the spirit of Jackie was contagious as she encouraged her family and me to keep moving forward.



Diane Scharin (GREEN) –

Doc McStuffins & I were honored to assist Diane Scharin in this year’s Race for the Cure.  Diane was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.  Joining her this morning were her daughter and her daughter’s friend.  They provided a lot of encouragement to her before we got started and during the event.  They joked several times with Doc & I that we should take off & go as fast as we can.  That she would be fine & absolutely love it.  With the crowds being heavy at the start this wasn’t possible, but later in the event we did pick up the pace a bit.  Diane was able to meet several other ladies over the course of the morning who shared their experiences and gave her a lot of encouragement.  One of the riders from last year emphatically told her “I rode in the chair last year and I’m walking the whole thing this year – you & me will walk it together next year!”  Incredibly inspirational. 

As we approached the finish line, Diane walked the last 50 yards or so with other track commanders & her daughter.  She had a big smile on her face as the crowds yelled their support.  After crossing the finish line, Diane participated in the Survivors Parade and watched the events conclude from the main stage.  Again, Doc & I were honored to be a part of the day and have the opportunity to meet Diane and help her enjoy the event. 


Diane was diagnosed on January 2015 with metastasis to her bones, her first symptom was pain to her back and went for an MRI and that’s how it was discovered. She has been on hormone therapy since her diagnosis, she also had radiation all over her spine, humerus, pelvis and femur. They also had to put rods in her spine and right humerus. Currently she is on her third line of treatment which she had been on for a little over year and so far is going well.
As for her family she has two grown children Gregg who is 32 he lives nearby and has three boys, Diane also has a daughter Emily, 28, who actually came to the race with her.  Her kids are her world and they have been her support through this whole thing, she said  “I don’t know what I would do without them”.
She has never done anything like SFN before and wouldn’t have gotten involved actually if it wasn’t for her friend Julie Stone who unfortunately passed away a few weeks before the race, she said she did it in her honor, as well as many others that she knows who are either dealing with it or have passed. She is very grateful for SFN  as she would not have been able to participate otherwise as walking distance is difficult for her.  She had an absolute blast and met a lot of great people.
And as for me goes, this race was very emotional, last year I pushed Julie Stone on the same green chariot I pushed Diane, and I was looking forward to push Julie again this year, unfortunately her cancer was very aggressive and she died a few weeks before the race, I got to see her a couple of days before she passed, got to meet her parents, sister and ex-husband. I have participated in many SFN events, but I have never realised the impact that we can make not only on the people we pushed but also their loved ones. I never met her parents before, but I felt they already knew me through Julie, they told me that she talked and talked about last year’s Susan G Komen and Speed for Need to everybody, and she would watch and show the race video to people all the time. As Julie, her family was also looking forward to this year’s race, sadly Julie was not with us any more, but her family made it as they were planning before she passed and it was great to see everyone at the race. I talked to her dad after the Susan G Komen, he told me that although is heart was full from all the love everyone showed for Julie, this was probably harder for him to go through than her funeral, but he assured me that they will be there again next year. My heart breaks for her parents, her sister, ex-husband and this precious boys that will grow up without their mother, Julie was a total stranger to me a little over a year ago, and although it was painful to see her in hospice, and see her family’s suffering, I can only hope I was a little bit of support to them in this difficult time.
Doc McStuffins

Beth Lawing (BLUE) –

Beth was recently diagnosed with breast cancer just before school started this year. In fact, Saturday marked the completion of her first week of radiation treatments, so she’s still in the early stages of her battle. Beth is strong and very optimistic. She could’ve most likely pushed me over the entire 5k at this point, but we convinced her to enjoy the ride and scenery.  The enthusiasm, positive energy, and support throughout the race was very uplifting and impressed all of us in Beth’s corner.  We made some friends along the way and shared our stories with them and they shared theirs with us. 

It was a blessing and honor to be part of something so meaningful to people who need it most. It was like a shot of adrenaline and you could see it in both Beth’s and her husband’s faces and demeanor as the miles added up.

Mr. Bojangles


Jenny Klamforth (PINK) –

Jenny Klamforth has Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  She was first diagnosed in 2014, fought like crazy, and was declared Cancer free by the end of 2017.  During an unrelated back surgery, they found the Cancer had returned with a vengeance spreading to her skull, spine, and breaking her pelvis bone leading them to put a metal rod in her femur to secure it. 

Jenny is the breadwinner of the family and has had to continue to work through all her treatment to support them.  While we were in the race, Jenny kept asking us to stop to wait for her friends and family.  Even with her difficulties, Jenny was always the mom being more worried about her family than herself.




I just wanted to thank you all for letting me be a part of this.  Words can never truly justify what it meant to me or just how much I was affected by it.   When Exit 54 first approached me about the race in February and pushing my mom, she was battling her own Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  I showed her the video from last year and she was so excited and couldn’t wait to get in a Chariot.  She couldn’t believe she could have that opportunity after not being able to walk the previous seven months and was just so grateful.  She kept asking me to thank everyone involved and make sure they know what it means to her.

My mom had been diagnosed in 2014 with Appendicular, Colon, and a small dot of Stage 1 Breast Cancer.  She fought like hell and beat it and was declared Cancer free in Feb of 2017.  Her leg started hurting her in August of 2017 and an MRI showed her Cancer had returned to her bones as Stage 4 and broke her Femur Bone.  She had a metal rod inserted in her leg to stabilize it and started back up on Chemo.  Her new scans showed that her cancer spread to her skull and her spine.  The first chemo drug she was on didn’t touch the Cancer but made her very sick.  She was hospitalized in December 2017 with double pneumonia and blood clots.  She fought and beat that too.  

The new Chemo she was placed on was great and she started returning to her old self.  Her hair started growing back and she was infused with a new sense of hope.  In March of 2018, her leg pain became unbearable and a new scan showed the metal rod in her leg had broken.  My mom had additional surgery to replace that rod and she was put in a special Cancer rehab that she worked her butt off in.  After 3 weeks, she was very excited to get out and be back home.  Unfortunately, she had contracted a rare form of pneumonia in the rehab center.  We raced her to the hospital the night before Easter and within 36 hours she was gone.  As shocking as it was, I take great pride in the fact that Cancer wasn’t what ultimately beat her.

When I first met Jenny, she spread her arms out wide and said ‘I’m a hugger’ and wrapped me in a big hug.  My mom always met people by declaring she was a ‘hugger’ and hugged everyone she met including me every time she said hi or bye to me.  Jenny and my mom’s diagnosis and stories were almost identical.  This week Jenny’s son had to go to the school counselor because he was so upset Jenny would get hurt during the race.  Jenny just kept telling me how she knew she would be fine and that she was more worried about him.  I felt that was exactly how my mom would feel and probably feels about me right now.

Before the race, I had written my mom’s name in one of those pink squares that say ‘I am Celebrating Pat Glennon’ today.  I had it pinned on my back but I never really thought it would stay on for the race but I figured I could at least start with it.  It stayed on all day and right at the end of the race I heard a voice behind me say ‘Pat Glennon?  I know Pat Glennon, how do you?”  I told the woman I was her son and asked how she knew her.  Apparently she was my mom’s grief counselor after my dad passed and they had stayed in touch and became good friends.  She told me how much she loved my mom and how all my mom talked about were her kids, how proud she was of them, and how much she loved them.  She then went on to say ‘to be fair though, her favorite topic was her grandchildren and how much joy they brought to her life.’  

I was in a state of shock but the woman hugged me, gave me the biggest smile and continued on.  Jenny turned to me and said ‘you do know that that was your mom saying hi, letting you know she is with us today and that she is ok, right?’  I just smiled as I knew she was right and I wasn’t really able to say or do anything else in that moment.

After the race, I was frustrated that I had not asked the woman’s name or remembered it if she had told me.  I wanted to reach out to her and thank her and let her know how much it meant to me that we randomly ran into each other like that.  I just watched your video Tolkien and there, smiling in it and being interviewed, was the woman, Amy Thomas.  I pointed it out to my wife who said, Amy Thomas?  I actually have the phone number for a Grief Counselor named Amy Thomas.  Apparently our church had recommended Amy to my wife if I any of us ever wanted to speak to a grief counselor.  

My family calls ‘coincidences’ like that God Winks.  Just small (or in this case pretty big) things that let you know there is a higher power out there and those who have passed on are doing great and are still with us.  

My apologies for oversharing but I am still processing everything from yesterday as it was such a powerful and moving experience for me.  I will also be giving Amy a call tomorrow to thank her.  Thank you all for letting me be a part of it!  And per my Mom’s instructions back in Feb, thank you for letting her be a part of it as well!  It truly meant a lot to her!

See you in the Gloom,



The Brave ain’t SWIFT!


14 men made it to the lot at 0515 for the toughest workout of the week in SOB-land, The Brave. Mario and Doc McStruffins missed the launch and either went back to bed or to Centurion, and Rock Thrill and Turkey Leg smart/no-power sacked after inquiring the night before.  YHC actually led a workout without coupons, AMRAP, or a parking deck… imagine that! Well, it was mostly a run today… 6.1 miles +/- which YHC needed with NYC26.2 approaching in 24 days.  Good group today, and everyone had their game face on, and gave it their all from  the get-go. #Tclaps


  • 0515 … No warmup… Let’s go racing boys!!!
  • Segment Hunt the new “The Brave Mile (uphill)” on Community House to the entrance of Morrison Family YMCA (.95mi)
    • Get & encourage the 6, circle up, ad do several variations of merkins
  • Head to the soccer fields for a handful of AYG sprints, 6″ LBCs, burpees, side shuffles, squats, backwards runs, CDD’s, and shenanigans
  • Segment Hunt the new “Make America Great Segments” (0.37mi)
    • Partner up… AYG sprint in diff directions on the track 400mm… x 4 rounds . Hand-release merkins or full situps in between laps.
  • Segment Hunt the new “Make Segments Great Again”(0.37mi)
    • Set of merkin variations
  • Segment Hunt the new “The Brave Mile (downhill) from Morrison Family YMCA back to Ballantyne Commons Parkway on Community House (1.00mi)”
  • 1min WW2 situps at launch, 1 sprint around the parking lot, and jog it out to see how many miles you can get. YHC with 6.1mi
  • Finito! Thanks Chunder for stepping up to take us out at COT. Way to go buddy.


A lot of running today, and the required 4 miles was covered in the first 40 minutes. YHC was out of breath most of the morning, evidenced by dry-heaving three times on 4 segments, and didn’t get a chance to mumblechatter much.

  • Tuck got 8 miles with his 2 mile warmup… not too shabby considering he has 13.1 tomorrow.
  • Chunder is a rising star.  He challenged Purell on a tough segment on Tuesday at Fast Twitch, and despite not being used to running 6 miles… did it twice this week.
  • Keri was showing off in the mirror of Brazwells doing some handstand acrobat work pre-launch. Then he showed off his speed during parts of the workout.  Keep it up.
  • Fat Fire Hazard  is now cocky Fire Hazard as evidenced by his trash talking during field sprints… but like his typing, noone really understood what he was saying.
  • Purell won all the segments… period. Thin Mint wasn’t far behind, and it’s possible wasn’t even competing. Both threw down some sick mile times, especially on the downhill back to launch.
  • Wild Turkey claimed to be smoked on Slack… which reaffirms the strong effort that was seen out there on the course
  • Kirby has come a long way, and can now hang at The Brave as a regular is the rumor. Keep it up, and BELIEVE  you belong!
  • Now that Paper Jam is a runner, with a fancy GPS Watch, YHC expects him to take the speed governor off and start to put the pedal to the medal more regularly.

Love it or hate it, it was truly a pleasure to lead this morning. It’s been a while since YHC has been fit to Q, and the support and effort today was much appreciated, and YHC tried to reciprocate by my effort this morning. #WHOPUSHESWHO


  • Crane Relay… talk to Frasier ASAP if you (1) are interested in participating, but live under a rock and haven’s seen details about it (2) need to bow out of the relay.  They are in the final stages so speak up now!
  • Watch this… so proud of all teh guys who participated and helped these cancer survivors that YHC feels compelled to share, and hope you’ll be part of SFN soon. Just come to one race.

JRR Tolkien

Segment Trumping in Providence Plantation

20 bad hombres MAde Fast Twitch Great Again doing a conservative workout celebrating ‘Merican leadership in Providence Plantation. 9 segments were created (and if they were the same, they were renamed…. aking to NAFTA > USMexCanada Accord). Awards were given to the non-deserving segment losers in COT, in line with the Democratic principles of redistribution of weath.  Everybody wins today. Check Strava to see how well you did… or didn’t, do. No Strava? Your effort doesn’t count. Even Paper Jam is on Strava. Get with it.

  • ~6.5 miles were covered in total.  Either all out effort, or mosey to the next segment.
  • On one segment, Rachel’s arms and knees “Grabbed the Road by the p…avement” as he fell hard on the downhill bomb.
  • Keri made a comment that this was the fastest group of F3 guys he’s been around in F3 yet… AND that he really needs to stop smoking <facepalm emoji here>
  • Chunder nearly got Purell on the segment called Rocketman.  Ok it wasn’t close… but it was a solid effort anyway.
  • ZEE-RO segments for YHC. as expected. Even tried to make a #fakenews segment that wasn’t disclosed to the PAX, but couldn’t even win that.
  • Uncle Rico let YHC beat him on one or two segments, for fear that YHC would stop going to Brown Bag.
  • Rosie and Purell battled it out for the segment crowns all morning, followed by Citgo stealing one here and there
  • Prohibition led the first 20 feet of ‘Pocahontas’ but that wasn’t a segment.

Segment Names:

  1. Daniels Stormy (existing segment renamed, exact same route)
  2. Pocahontas
  3. Locker Room Talk
  4. Grab ‘Em – – –
  5. MAGA
  6. Rocketman
  7. Little Hands
  9. Crooked Hill-ary (existing segment, renamed, exact same route)


Thanks everyone for being a good sport about this morning’s workout. YHC was making no statement of political lean this morning, just like CNN or FOX news… totally impartial. If you are looking for another dumpsterfire of a qorkout, somehow YHC has the Q at The Brave Friday.

Honored to lead and thanks for the invite. And means a lot to be posting again in the gloom with you guys.

*If you missed SPEED FOR NEED at the Komen Race this weekend, and want to be inspired, please watch what is probably the best video yet >>> SFN at Komen Race Event Video


JRR Tolkien

Service Saturday at DaVinci


9 F3 brothers showed up at DaVinci, ran 4+ miles, and spent some time hearing how each other was serving in the community… I hope you read that short section below.

YHC didn’t have a weinke prepared for the workout… mostly because it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that YHC was reminded (by Doc McStuffins) that YHC was on Q.  It was a tough week… as two SFN Track Commanders got their wings well before their time, Julie (40yrs old: breast > brain Cancer) and Makayla (13yrs old: sarcoma cancer).  Doc and YHC were at the funeral for Julie, and it was tough to say the least.  Julie leaves behind three young sons without a mother, and another father and mother lost a daughter, who was only a year older than YHC 2.0, to a senseless disease called cancer.  Alf’s backblast (Read > ) was yet another example that life is precious, and that we call can and should do something to make a difference.  So YHC decided that this morning, the 1st F would clearly play second fiddle to other Fs. Though we got a good sweat in.


We ran around surface lots, did some exercises (merkins, dragon flags, reverse burpees, squats, etc) and spent a lot of time with plank holds, while PAX spoke about what they are doing in leadership service to the community.  What do you know? That’s actually in the mission statement of F3… to plant, grow, and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.

And it turns out, that EVERY PAX today is involved in some level of service.  YHC encourages you to ask these men how to get involved, and to ask yourself if asked at any point to speak about your community leadership, what would you say, or what would you like to say you are doing in the community?

  • Last year, Escobar gathered and shipped kids clothes donated by the PAX to his native country of Colombia.  He’ll be doing it again this year.
  • Soft Pretzel spearheads SOB/UnionCo support for The Sandbox and families with special needs.  Get involved with a weekend service project.
  • Alf and his M are involved in The Alexander Youth Network .  He also leads other men in his formal leadership position as A51 Nantan
  • Strawberry leads Church On The Street on Sundays feeding the homeless.  Go serve a hot meal to someone in need. Bring your M or 2.0.
  • YHC was inspired by the leadership of others to start SPEED FOR NEED , and continues to be inspired by all of your support for the initiative.  Find someone with a special need and help them participate in something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.  Racing not your thing? Come to an international mission trip to Chimbote, Peru… see below.
  • Choppa has helped others less fortunate get a second chance with culinary opportunities. Dora helps build individual contributors into leaders by mentoring them.  Cheddar has always been an all-around player serving fellow PAX, whether it has been Ragnar volunteer, or just lending a helping hand. And now has a mission of service to his M and 2.0 as a father.  Bucky and his M have supported Kenyan kids, and Bucky serves his fellow PAX as DaVinci site Q with Fredo.

YHC can list many many others, not here today and the positive impacts they are having on the community… encouraging you to be on that list. You won’t regret it.


  • 2019 SPEED FOR NEED Race #22 Hosted by SOB Region is the Isabella Santos Foundation 5K this Saturday at Ballantyne Corporate Park just steps from the Stonehenge AO launch.  Race starts at 0800 sharp.  We are pushing 4 kids with cancer, and 4 of their siblings, so 8 racing chairs total.  We have 44 members on the F3 / SPEED FOR NEED Team (the second biggest team currently). Come out and support the Track Commanders, F3, and your region!
  • 2019 Chimbote, Peru Mission(s) Trip Informational Kickoff Meeting is this Thursday 9/27/2018 6pm at Ed’s Tavern.  Last year 27 F3 Nation men went to serve, and this year there will be 2 trips of 27 men and we expect both trips to fill up FAST!  YHC went on the trip last year, and will be helping lead Trip #1.  It is open to all F3 Nation men, and is not just a Metro trip. Follow @F3Chimbote on Twitter for communications and testimony videos.  This trip will change your life.
    • Trip Date #1: 1/25/19 – 2/3/19
      • Trip Leader: F3 – GOP (Rudy Hayden)
    • Trip Date #2:  2/8/19 – 2/17/19
      • Trip Leader: F3 – Sauerkraut (Ruben Torres)


J.R.R. Tolkien

We Listened To The Toy Cop… (this time)

(missing 1 PAX… cobains. Update YHC and will update backblast)

20 Pax showed up at Stonehenge, but by the mileage total of ~4.2mi, thought they might have been at The Brave. Well, guess what… now all of you know you can post at The Brave, since you hit the mileage minimum for that workout. Try it out.  You too Loogie, hey if Paper Jam can be a runner, you can be a decent footballer one-day… maybe.

Plan was to run a Metro-style workout, with a bunch of running today… a lot of it, in the 8-story deck on Community House, affectionately named ‘Room 101’ by Tuck. But, a Toy Cop kicked us out, just before we ascended all the ramps… backwards. Paul Blart was actually cool about it, and said that we could run around the Premier campus, just stay out of the decks. Can’t blame the guy for doing his job.  We respected his wishes and stayed out of the other Premier Decks for the morning. Well, not really by choice… the PAX #refusenik on YHC attempt to just go up another deck.  Settled for Ballantyne Village Deck instead.  Hey, BRR is next weekend #goodluck, and YHC has NYC marathon in 10 weeks… which means running is necessary.  It’s also necessary to run off a bunch of pasta on vacation in NJ, right Gramatica?

Since YHC can’t do a ton of body-weight exercises to irritiate joints, or rather, YHC bodyweight is still elevated so exercises are much harder… we pulled out the green resistance bands as the coupon for this morning.  If used properly, it gives you a really hard workout. Well, unless you get the BLACK band, which Doc was given…. then it’s a soulcrusher. Great work McStuffins.

It was good to see BillyGoat and Cheddar out there pushing, after being in 10th gear on their 3rd F late the night before at The Sandbox Prom serving some kids who have been dealt a tough hand in the game of life. It was unequally nice to see Nard Dog out there (and the prerun no less), after being 4+ beers deep on Slack the night before. #HIM

Anyway, hope you all have a great holiday weekend.  It has been most of 2018 that YHC has been out of workouts, and at my old site-Q stomping grounds of Stonehenge, but great to see some new faces, some old faces, the same ugly faces, and … you get the point. Pleasure to lead, and thanks for the invite WT &ND.  Encouraging you all to sign up for some service opportunity, whether it be Speed For Need Race, Sandbox, or something else of service to someone else.  No need to post details below, because if you haven’t heard about any of these, then 1) you’re ignoring them 2) your memory is horrific or 3) you don’t care… Hopefully #3 isn’t the case.

And that’s a wrap! Back to spending the remaining 2 days of vacation before YHC goes back to work. BLAH!



New Strava Segment … Banzai Burnout

Actual Slack conversation, secretly recorded by Omarosa, and documented in her new book “Unhinged”. Buy it now, before it goes on sale. Be one of the first and only to pay regular price.

Poptart: “You’re good to Q the Matrix Monday? You are on the schedule.”

Tolkien: “Litto Engrish. Me no werkout toomach now big boi.”

Poptart: “Be there, and make sure you signup for paintball…. we have 30 guys signed up so far, spots are limited.”

Tolkien: “Banzai!!!”

The rest is history. Hey, when you havent Q’d a workout for exactly 4 months #TRUTH, the backblasts are as terrible as the lead. Will improve next time. 12 men showed up to the Matrix and got something a little different, in the form of covering new ground South of the AO.  With BRR approaching quickly, and the fact that YHC “muscles” haven’t been used for months, the goal was to focus a little more on the running… but of course, anyone doing the BRR would have just gone to Horsey McHorse, but whatever.   Overall 3 miles were covered, intercostal muscles were stretched (thanks to the therapeutic stretchy green bands YHC brought) and everyone got a little bit of hillwork in on a new segment, which shall be called “Banzai Burnout on Strava” forevermore, a .18mile 7% grade hill in the lush darkness of Chestnut Hill Estates. Lots of records set, well, because it’s a new segment mostly (Rachel wasn’t there).  King Of The Hill went to the determined Ocho Cinco, YHC took 1st place in the Mongol Category, and age-adjusted McGee got last… dead last #WAMRAP . We went up the hill a couple of times, and then ended with a brutal backwards run up, before heading back to the AO.  Luckily noone got schmacked and shalacked by a Mack Truck on the death stretch of running to the hill. But, hey a disclaimer was given so #clearconscienceifdeathoccurred .

Everyone put in a solid effort this morning, and thanks Smoky for the takeout in COT. For some fun Monday inspiration for the naming of the hill segment, watch this from F3-Dads Camp.  Honored to be given the reigns to lead this morning fellas. Have a great week.

Banzai Toast to New Segment ‘Banzai Burnout’

Tolkien’s Corner

Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, checkups, smack talk, and support for much of this year while I’ve been dealing with auto-immune issues. Please let me know if I can pay it back, and will certainly be looking to pay it forward.  As mentioned in COT, challenging you all to reach out to someone injured or just needs some encouragement.  Little things like a few words, or a text message, go a long way.

Also challenging you all to commit the mission of F3 to memory, particularly if you are a regular… we workout so our bodies are prepared in situations where we are called upon to act and lead.  Looking like Kid Rock is nice, but that’s not the ultimate purpose.  He’d even tell you that.

The mission of F3 is to plant, grow, and serve, small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.


  • Several SPEED FOR NEED races coming up to round out 2018.  Encouraging all of you to participate in just 1 to see what it’s all about.  Gypsy is your A51/SOB/UC SFN Q so reach out to him if you want to get involved somehow. We would love your leadership.
    • 9/29 Isabella Santos 5k/10k in Ballanyne (marquee SOB race… 60+ F3 Pax in 2017)
    • 10/6 Susan G Komen Race For the Cure 5K Walk in Uptown (very powerful service opportunity to push breast cancer fighters to the finish among 15,000 people)
    • 11/10 Let Them Soar 5K in Matthews (Tackling Dummy heavily involved in foundation)


JRR Tolkien

PB: 5/28 F3 Memorial Day Convergence + Patriot 5K w/ SPEED FOR NEED

Final Details (Updated 5/25/18)

Here’s the skinny for Memorial day… will keep it short, so you actually read it…. Original preblast on bottom of message.  Looking forward to it men!  We have almost 80 PAX signed up and likely many more will be in attendance post convergence on Monday.  This should be an awesome event and our 8 veterans, all of whom have served our country well in WW2 or Korean War, are pumped to participate and spend the morning with you all!

0630 - 0715   Convergence @ Symphony Park Shell - Checkpoint Q
0730 - ?      Patriot 5K (.5mi from convergence) - F32018 Disc Code
0815          "Extra(1)Mile" Run - FREE (run w/ shovel flags)

- Veterans arrive at race venue at ~0630 (we will be there at 0545). If you are not doing convergence, come welcome them and thank them for their service.
- If you don't want to run the 5K, the Extra Mile 1mile run is FREE and its a moderate pace run for 1 mile.
- If you have been assigned to Drive one of the racing chairs, you should have already gotten a separate email from Tolkien... mandatory training at 0600. Read it.  Didn't? email:
- Bring shovel flags... we will run with them for the Extra Mile for sure, and PAX choice to run with it during the 5K.
- You can sign up on race day for the race, but it will be the most expensive 5K ever. No discount code will apply.  Your choice. #FREE2spendmore$

Other stuff...
- Send best pictures/video post race to
- If you would like to be a Driver in a future race, lots of opportunities to help Q, Drive, or volunteer. Especially for our biggest race of the year, the American 4 Miler on 4th of July, the SFN 1YR Anniversary Race. #BETHERE
- Limited SFN swag sold at the race ($6 SFN Ruck Patches, $25 F3/SFN New Balance shirts or NEW SFN Shirts (UnderArmor).  Buy it at the tent and bring cash or be prepared to PayPal.
Track Commander          Service Branch         F3 Region            Chair             
Gene Blackmon (XL)              Navy                 Rock Hill 1              BLUE                     
Spencer Anderson (XL)          Army                 Rock Hill 2            SILVER                  
Don Hunt (XL)                         Navy                Gastonia                  RED                       
Frank Polito (L)                       Army                Metro 1                    PINK                      
Ed McPoland (L)                     Marines            Metro 2 (CORE)    ORANGE              
John Harris (L)                          Navy                 FORT                   BLACK                  
Dwight “Buzz” Benson (XL)    Air Force           METRO 3          GREEN                  
Fred Peterson (L)                   Coast Guard     Nation                   YELLOW             
Email with questions…. looking forward to amazing day all!
Thanks, Tolkien
P.S. Want the feels before the race? Watch the Veterans in the Charlotte Marathon in our video below…..

Original Preblast Below:

F3 Metro, F3 Area 51, and surrounding F3 Nation Regions !!! Coordinate your clowncars, bring your shovel flags, and lace up your shoes to remember our military veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Save the (modified) murph for another day!  This year F3 Nation has the special honor of escorting 8 WW2, Korean War, and other military veterans in the Patriot Family Festival 5K through SPEED FOR NEED, and they could not be more excited!  Don’t believe me? Well watch some of them in the Charlotte Marathon Relay and see what fun they had being honored.  Veterans Complete CLT26.2 Event Video

Here’s the deal… 0630-0715 Convergence followed by 0730 Patriot 5K followed by an additional “Extra Mile” for our military heroes.  Choose your own adventure for the race: Bring your family and run with them, run with one of the 8 racing chairs (many pace groups: fast, faster, fastest), or run your own race.  But whatever you do make sure to cheer these guys on, and all the other service veterans present, and thank them for their service, as they remember their fallen brothers and sisters with us.  The goal is to have all surrounding Charlotte regions represented, and just a great morning of Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith.  Here is the Event Video from last year… which was a great event: 2017 Convergenge and Patriot 5K


RACE EVENT: F3 Nation Convergence & Patriot Festival Go the Extra Mile 5K

WHO:       F3 Metro, F3 Area51 & surrounding F3 Nation Regions (driving distance from Southpark)

WHAT:     F3 Nation Convergence, followed by Patriot Festival 5K, followed by Extra Mile for heroes

WHEN:   Monday, May 28th 2018 / 0630-0715 Convergence / 0730 Patriot 5K

WHERE: next to South Park Mall / 2101 Rexford Road, Charlotte NC 28211 (parking lot at The Esplanade Building)

WHY:      Memorial Day is a day where we remember our armed service veterans who died for our freedom.  And celebrate those who have served our great country.


TEAM:     F3 / SPEED FOR NEED (Disc Code: F32018) . Price is $30 before code and goes up on 4/30



Questions? Message me @ JRRTOLKIENF3

See You all out there Memorial Day!

JRR Tolkien

Hanging Around in Waverly


16 bros chose Waverly for the three headed panda workout called Cerberus.  We focused on grip strength and abs, using some less commonly used F3 exercises, and threw in some sprints just to make McGee feel good about himself. Congrats on smoking the 40+ year olds young fella.  3 miles were covered.


We did stuff…. whoever attended knows, and the rest… well, show to know! Here’s some of what we did:

  • Merkin up/down cadence ladder on the artificial grass pet pee-pad in front of Co
    • #35:  5reg / 5wide / 5diamond / 5R-hand fwd / 5L-hand fwd / 5R-leg up / 5L-leg Up
  • 3 sets of Bulgarian split squats, 10 each side
  • In deck, 5 rounds: dead-hangs exercises on overhead cement ledge, then race around the deck level.
  • In deck, 5 rounds: 10 dragon flag ab lifts… for proper form watch this:
  • Top of deck, 2 rounds of alternating hip slappers on the top wall.
  • In deck, challenge longest dead-hang on overhead cement ledge
  • Series of AYG sprints outside, until we got back to launch
  • Finito!


After attending the launch, YHC was excited about the new Waverly AO and was excited to Q Cerberus for the first time.  The opportunity arose when Argonaut asked for Q’s a few weeks back.  Too bad Menchi’s isn’t open that early for some salted caramel soft-serve and infinite mixins!

Couple of musings, before work duty calls…

  • Doc McStuffins held his own <weight> on the parking garage ledge hangs. But not enough to take down Cottonmouth in the main event.  YHC got him once or twice… but who’s counting. He’s still the BROlympics Dead-Hang Champ until 2019, even with his cheating ginormous mits.
  • Yes, Nutter Butter (somewhat of a Frasier lookalike) was there for those of you looking at me funny when YHC asked him to 10-count.  It’s ok… YHC is used to funny looks, and looking funny.
  • No, it’s not Lazy Boy’s birthday yet, he’s still 49.  But thanks for making us do 50 reps of some exercises because of the supposed 50th birthday Cottonmouth.
  • Good to see BillyGoat back from a back injury. Not only did he pre-run but he lifted all 54lbs of Turkey Leg to reach the pull-up ledge.
  • Turkey Leg showed no ill-effects after crushing the Boston Marathon on Monday.  Sneaky guy found a way to ask me what my Kiawah Marathon time was(my PR), and wink at me that his 3:17 on a hillier course in the rain > my 3:16. Well played little guy.
  • Mentioning UFC rules on Slack, Mighty Mite showed up ready for a battle with YHC, but backed down when YHC mentioned he would get beat like a drum with my Shaolin Monk skillz.  You too can develop those skillz by watching the instructional video:
  • Always great to meet different F3 men, or men YHC hasn’t posted with in some time.  Nice meeting / seeing you Astro, One Star, Schmedium, CottonMouth, Zeke Face, Good Hands, Lazy Boy, Nutter Butter and thanks for coming today.


– Represent F3 Nation in your community by simply registering for 1 SPEED FOR NEED race this year. Pick whatever race you want of the near 50 events we’ll be supporting, run the race however you desire (alongside racing chairs, pushing a chair, solo for a PR, or with your kids). Be an example of male leadership in the community.  Check out our website at to see the event schedule.  If you’re unfamiliar with SFN, check out a video, or two, or three… LOOK, here’s the link to one:

Have a Great weekend men.
SYITG ~ JRR Tolkien