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“Whatsup dude. You interested in Q-ing Sparta on Feb 20th?” – Christmas
“That would mean I need to run 4 miles.” – Tolkien
“4.5 … I got you down.” – Christmas
“#voluntold. I have a month to get in shape.” – Tolkien
Well, YHC never did get in shape, but was honored to cover miles 50-54.06 of 2020 with my F3 brothers. We also did 4.06 miles on the Strava, not 4.5 miles so it was a #fail. Route was inspired by the first snowmageddon, and a set of hills across from Crestdale Middle. CMS was so awesome to let the kids out of school early, but closed down access from Sam Newell Road and had parents park in the neighboring apartments to go get our kids. Genius idea, if everyone knew that, and noone did. So the point was to make a workout just as much of a trainwreck as dysfunctional as CMS decisions. Mission accomplished. We ran around back streets, forwards, sideways, and backwards, did a bunch of merkin variations, lots of WW2 situps, burpees, and even a set of Dragon Flags. Awesome to see Cage outperform most of us as a double respect. Gypsy didn’t break both ankles again. He’s undefeated W16-0L against humans in fights but 0-2 against potholes. Christmas bit for the Strava crown which I didn’t create. Benny had flashbacks the entire workout of his leg getting absolutely slammed by a car, while Madison ditched him and ran the other way… again. Sorry for crossing so many major streets brother. Retread and Jazz hands caught YHC by the end of the workout. Solid work by all, and enjoyed being out with you all, even though it’s been few and far between lately. #Mammon
Won’t you sign up for 1, just 1 SPEED FOR NEED race this year? You won’t regret it… check www.speedforneed.org for the calendar, and let someone know. On slack there is a #speedforneed channel. Thank you in advance
(missing 1 pax… let me know who and I’ll add later)
As Milli Vanilli so popularly lipsang in 1989 “Blame it on the rain!”, only 8 PAX showed up to Centurion. But you say… “it didn’t even rain?”… No, it didn’t but the rain from the prior night effectively ruined Halloween and left Trick-or-Treaters at home and not going house to house for handouts. This left Ickey, Champagne, Purple Haze and all the other regulars at home binging on Milky Ways, Red Vines, Nerds, and Whoppers and sucking down lollipops to wash it down. YHC should have just announced a coat drive, so Chelms would show… (and to upgrade my current winter gear).
But we had fun… it was cold… and we did not need to cuddle or burn leaves for warmth. Instead we ran up the Little Avenue hill to the shopping center, lined up and did side squat lunges, bear crawls and crab walks with lots of mumblechatter. Then we headed back to the deck for some backwards elevation, AB PT tests, and more mumblechatter. Finished off with the staple of a Tolkien Centurion Q, the Mongolian Dragon Flag. We did some other stuff, that mostly hurt our tummies… not from the aforementioned candy. Finito!
Had fun out there this morning. YHC has been delinquent in the bootcamp category for some time so it was nice to change it up from running LSD with Tuck, just to take an epic and disturbing STRAVA picture. Thanks Margo for asking me to Q!
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~ JRR TOLKIEN
18 men came to Cerberus to make sure that we could drown out the rising # of Burn Bootcamp Parking Lot Players 64 stalls to the West. Victory was had, and none of us paid $25+tax for the class.
Sorry for the late backblast, but YHC was consumed making videos and recovering from the upper ab beat down YHC gave myself. Not a lot of mumble chatter this morning which YHC was pleased with on this morning. Needed to get my rear in gear so hard work was the plan for the morning, and YHC appreciated your effort which also pushed the Q. Thanks Turkey Leg for helping everyone up on the pull-up ledge. #HIM (Height Impaired Man).
It was an honor to lead. C u in the gloom.
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~ JRR Tolkien
9 men showed up in the gloom to see if the non-bootcamping JRR Tolkien could make it through a bootcamp… his own. Here’s what they did….
Rough morning for YHC. Have been sick, not sleeping much, and with plantar fascia as of late… all excuses that don’t help improve fitness. The bigger problem is attending no bootcamps, just long runs (thanks Tuck). But, Inspired by the 81 men who finished GrowRuck 16 in Naperville, IL this past week, YHC promised to give a good effort today whether it meant spilling merlot or not… (dry heaved twice).
The plan was to do some version of the same PT test the GRW16 guys did, which was 75 squat thrusters, run 1 mile, 35 squat thrusters, run 1 mile in under 30min using their 40+lb rucksacks. Yeah right…. that was ridiculous to witness. Thankfully, YHC forgot my 30# rucksack. So we did some other stuff.
Couple of other musings…
And here are a couple of lessons from GrowRuck that I was reminded of. 1) To lead effectively, you must be willing and able to follow. 2) When you think you’re gassed, you always have more in the tank 3) Form matters. If the leader is willing to cheat, then the followers will as well, and there is no standard.
WHO PUSHES WHO ~ JRR Tolkien
Cliffs Notes – YHC signed up to Q Sparta because Madison asked. No, he was not there. But 4 other guys and YHC were. We covered 5.2miles without getting hit by a car, and went home.
Moley – Sorry for the late backblast fellas, but hey YHC got it done. Gypsy blinded everyone with his
light vest all of the morning. The work for marathon training is paying off. Funky Cold crushed the backwards run uphill, carrying on a full conversation with YHC without raising his heart rate. Wild Turkey also was showing his endurance off from all those 20 mile trail runs. And he didn’t fall once! Christmas looked like a Greek God this morning going #shirtless…. especially, when standing next to YHC and #pandabelly in the gloom.
Announcements – guys, lots of SPEED FOR NEED races coming up, and YHC will really appreciate it if you could come support just one. We’re being asked to do a lot, and it takes a village. Reach out to me @JRRTOLKIENF3 or Gypsy. Upcoming are Isabella Santos 5k and St Jude 5k on 9/28 and Komen the week after.
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~ JRR Tolkien
Well, you know it’s bad when you have to switch Q dates with Benny, that’s a 25 minute conversation for a 10 second ask. Threw out my back a few weeks ago, and have had some trouble getting limber enough to un-fartsack. Mr. Brady also threw out his back, but he’s turning 60, and he’s been used to letdown for some time #libido. Would have liked a more creative workout, but concerns over keeping up with the PAX were real. So we did some hill training, to totally hurt whoever ran Horsey yesterday, and to help all zero people training for BRR get some elevation work in… YHC had 860ft elevation over 11 laps. Hey, we could have ran around the track like a bunch of drunks at Swift over and over…. oh wait, that’s the beer mile Friday.
So we ran a hill AMRAP in Berkeley and tried not get lost, as Purple-Fletch mentioned always happens. Maybe it’s because home-boy took off with Astro for a little bonding detour before hitting the main event.
Rosie lapped me at least twice, before he got bored and showed off his Goodwill shorts and 6 goatee hairs to the neighbors. He still crushed all of us, and so this segment, Derry Hill Place, shall be known as “The Rosie OD” from now on. Why? just wanted a honorable name with the word Rosie in it for the champ… nevermind that it’s short, wide, nothing pretty to look at, makes you want to throw up, and to get there you need to go down on Alexa.
Gummy probably didn’t register any Strava segments this morning for stopping at the manhole cover each time. Hope that teaches you a lesson for not running 2.6feet further.
Oh, and paintball is cancelled #shocker . It will be rescheduled later on, so it can be cancelled once again due to lack of interest. Want to not sign-up again? Talk to Poptart.
So, if we ever do this again. you can try to beat the # of repeats you got today… or not. The record stands at 14 I think? Whatever Rosie did and what Alf didn’t. Tolkien Out.
YHC would say thanks for allowing me to lead, but that would be untrue. No-one else wanted the Q and Purell was freezing breast milk at home. Tolkien out.
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~ Tolkien
YHC hasn’t done a bootcamp in 31 days… if you even consider Black Widow a workout #shotsfired . Check Strava, like Shakira’s hips… it don’t lie. You have to go back to Jan 28th to the last time YHC led a workout, and that was in Peru… where none of the PAX were over 5feet tall. Does that even count? ” Uno, dos, tres!” Nevermind…. Been mostly 2nd and 3rd F, with a lot of 4th F lately (fartsack) for me, so it was nice to be forced out of bed and called upon to lead a real workout. Was trying not to puke as the Q, or fake-dry heave like Ice9, so pretty focused for me this morning. Lots of big guys, fast guys, and guys YHC hasn’t seen in a while which was a treat. It was nice to see I.N.T. crushing the workout instead of waiting for his pops to leave the house, and play Fortnite when noone was watching. Gisele and YHC left our cheer pom-poms at home after driving all the way to Hickory yesterday to watch 2.0 gymnastics competition. Thankfully we got to sit together, give high-fives after their floor routines, and even shared a bag of Rap Snacks Chips… they taste sooo good. The Reverend Agony was not there. smh. That’s a wrap… unemploy-retirement is hard work and YHC can’t figure out if its nap-time or worktime. Thanks Aquafresh for the invite and everyone for coming and giving your all.
Announcements / SPEED FOR NEED Request:
Coupon Code: F3SFN Team: SPEED FOR NEED
Registration Site: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/Charlotte/TheSarcomaStomp?remMeAttempt=
SPEED FOR NEED Race Calendar: https://speedforneed.org/calendar/
JRR Tolkien ~ Fightin’ Mongol ~ El Chino Guapo
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).
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.
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.
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)
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.
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~JRR Tolkien
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
PARTING SHOT FROM WEXLER –
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,