History has shown… at some point, all great empires fall. NO. YHC isn’t talking about the results from the elections. But what’s up with Maxine’s parking lot bootcamp outpacing us for # of PAX this morning?!?!? Haha, good to see people exercising outside, even if it still costs $30 a class when it’s free over by the Viva Chicken. Just sayin. Anyhoo… 11 compadres showed up at the 3-headed dawg for a beatdown. Here’s what transpired..
0531 Wait… come back to the lot for One Star
0532 – 0614 run up and down 2 decks, lunge, crab walk, bear crawl, pull-ups, knee ups, wall sits, single leg squats, and dragon flags oh my!
Good group of guys as usual this morning, and lots of solid mumble chatter. Has been a while since YHC has been to the site, so great to see some familiar faces and some new ones. YHC has been working like a dawg lately, and haven’t gotten a good routine for posting. But this was 3rd Q in 8 days, so small acceleration. Thanks Alf for voluntolding me on the schedule a while back. Taking the easy way out on BackBlasts since time-constrained, but posting the BB for my lead at MIP Saturday. A good reminder for all F3 Nation PAX to remind ourselves of what being in F3 Nation means. Have a great Sunday all.
WHO PUSHES WHO ~ JRR Tolkien
11 PAX chose not to run 10+ miles, exercise in Halloween costumes, or eat fried chicken and soda for breakfast at Blakeney.
0600 – Let’s Go!
Head over to the Tony’s Pizza parking lot to see count many restaurants were shut down by the pandemic. Warmup exercises, lots of merkins, and move along. Head towards Lochness Lake and stop to do some ab exercises. Make our way around Lochness with lots of other exercises. It’s all a blur. The only thing YHC can remember was this bad idea to grab a rock from the pile, carry it around, do a bunch of exercises with it, and don’t let it touch the ground for a long… long… time. Finally 0700 hit and we all gleefully headed back to the lot.
Great work by everyone this morning! Focus of the day was to stick together, and not worry about the Strava mileage. It was great to workout with some new faces and of course see some of the guys I have been working out with for 6+ years.
During the workout YHC asked you all to think of what your life was like before C19. Some of us may have thought of positives, like being able to watch live sports, and how that isn’t broadly possible now. Then YHC asked what positives have come out of C19, and everyone voiced something that they gained despite the pandemic. YHC heard better relationships with wives, opportunity to find meaningful work, more family time, etc. it was great to hear. Sometimes we get caught up in seeing only the negatives of 2020, and there have been many. But it’s the negatives that allow you to understand how special and good the positives of life are. Now may not be a season to crush it, knock it out of the park, but maybe just persevere, don’t quit, keep moving, grind it out. Kind of like picking up a rock and refusing to put it down which none of us did this morning. Hoping that each of you keep on adding to the positives of 2020 through the rest of the year.
MY SHORT GIVE 2 GIVE STORY
Was great to be back to the old stomping grounds of Stonehenge AO. It has been a while. A lot has happened since the days of being co-site Q with my good friend Wild Turkey. Back in those days, we would overload Twitter on Fridays with as many
inappropriate memes as possible, berade Tuck and the DaVinci site, troll whoever was Q’ing with photoshopped images, and guys literally were forced to create secondary Twitter handles for F3 and for personal/business. Then we’d throw down an epic weinke, with coupons (giant logs, rock buckets), games involving Nerf Guns, tug-o-war ropes, and give everything we had for 60 minutes on Saturday, after posting Monday through Friday. We never did let Wild Turkey force us to do leg wrestling though. It was a great time, and we all got to know each other week after week. For me, it was the season for physical acceleration and FITNESS, and the start of my transformation.
Eventually I founded a nonprofit Speed For Need, and rolled off as site-Q at Stonehenge to focus on being at Saturday races. I felt this yearning to look outward, to focus on helping people who were in the race for their lives get past the finish line, instead of worrying about my own ranking as I had for 42 Spartan Races and others. Many of you have participated in SPEED FOR NEED races, and are the reason it ever became a thing. A worthy thing. Heck, I have only pushed in 2 races of the 90 races that was have had and 300+ riders. I got to know many of you and your families a lot better than just the workout. To see your compassion and heart to push, guide, and lead someone else in the most unselfish of ways. To literally push someone across the line to finish ahead of you. It was a season of FELLOWSHIP, and I hope we can get back to these races.
Having everything a man could possibly want, being in great shape, having an awesome healthy family, lots of friends, and financial freedom, there was something missing, and for me that thing was FAITH. I found a way to exit my toxic job at the end of 2018, and made the decision to align my new work with God’s purpose for my life. In F3 speak, to find my D2X. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s been a journey that I did not expect. But it has also been the best two years of my life, personally, professionally, and in my walk with God to seek truth… even through a global pandemic. I am truly a blessed man. And when I look back at all of the people I have helped in my video business, almost every single one has been a result of a relationship I’ve formed directly or indirectly through F3. I worship with a community of F3 men at Waypoint Community Church, and just got back from a Men’s Retreat which I was honored to help lead. It’s a season of FAITH for me, that has been the best season ever.
So when I think about it, there hasn’t been a single part of my current life that hasn’t been impacted by being a part of F3 Nation. And it’s you, the men that are a part of F3, who have helped shape me and my life for 6+ years. It’s been Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith with all of you. Giving monetarily isn’t the only way to contribute. But give what you can, time or treasure. The man you help will be the man who helps you. Think of all the men that you know of who could use the principles of F3, regardless of if they put on the black t-shirt. Many of you knew me at the beginning of my F3 days, and my transformation could not have happened without this organization and you men in it. Help another man write their own transformation story in a backblast one day… that man could’ve been you or me.
Thats why I participated in the Give 2 Give Campaign and hope you will consider doing it too.
YHC is leading the workout Mission I’m Possible at The Charlotte Rescue Mission this Saturday 11/7/2020 at 9:00AM. It’s a 45minute workout with the men of the Rebound Program who are going through recovery for substance addiction. We have had 40+ men there the past few months and it has been an amazing experience. YHC has brought my almost 12yr old 2.1 son Will (F3 – Simba) and he absolutely loves working out with me. It’s one of the best hours of my week as well. Disclaimer: This isn’t a F3 dads workout (and probably not the best workout to bring 2.0 daughter either) but it’s not a super intense workout either. It’s low mileage, lots of mumblechatter, but work as hard as you want to. Let me know if you have any questions. email@example.com
If you have winter gear, shoes, socks, anything that someone less fortunate could use to survive the winter, bring them to a workout and someone will collect it for The Charlotte Rescue Mission, Roof Above, or another facility that can get them to people who need them. Thanks Lex Luthor for mentioning and being willing to collect.
WHO PUSHES WHO ~ JRR TOLKIEN
“11 for Centurion @jrr_tolkien tour of never been places. Ton of ab work, and we made a video.: Fun, hard morning.” – thanks Mermaid for effectively writing the backblast on Slack for YHC!
In a nutshell, we went old school bootcamp. 2.5 miles of grinding exercises. Plank jacks, makhtar ndiaye, lots of big-boy situps, decline situps, dragon flags, a
$$ to the curb squats, merkin ladder (regular, wide, diamond, leg raised), wall sits, air presses, boat/canoe, burpees, reverse burpees, sprints, proper lunges (forwards and back) and some hard running. It was beautiful.
Well, YHC tried finding somewhere hidden, cool, and never explored by the men in black but it was tough. Centurion is surrounded by busy roads, not much elevation, and oh yes… the Charlotte Catholic deck, which is a workout favorite. But we gave the deck today. Rain held off, and the ground wasn’t overly wet. We visited the “Hearing and Balance Center” … two things PAX don’t do well, in our newfound location off Johnston Road. #supportlocal A bit underwhelming of a location, but new nonetheless.
YHC was busy trying not to pass out calling cadence, so the observations from the morning looked like Snuka and Point Break out front, Madison mildly complaining (as usual), and the rest of us pushing pretty dang hard as we all were grouped together the whole time. Honestly, it’s been a long while since YHC has Q’d as solid a group as this one, who came and flat out put in the work. It was appreciated and encouraged me to see. As always it was an honor to lead, and thank you Margo for the invite.
We finished off the COT with a impromptu little video for F3 and F3 Foundation with a short video selfie message of what F3 means to us, as support for the Give 2 Give campaign coming up. Encouraging all men to spend some time reflecting on what F3 has meant to them, who we’d be without it, and what the impact on the people surrounding us has been. If you feel like it, post your own video testimony on Twitter. There are so many amazing stories of change and impact … 11 of them at Centurion today in fact.
Have a great weekend all…. and oh, my abs are sore to the touch today!
Remember the OLD Brave? YHC does… barely. Good thing we have backblasts, so we can #relivethememories . Back in the day we’d run the Ballantyne Village parking deck, which is, um… tiny. We had guys from all different F3 regions come down to do the workout. We did sopping wet shirtless partner carries up steaming stairwells, well, Mario and YHC did. We did AMRAPs and challenges, and week after week Q’s would try to crush the souls of PAX right before the weekend. There was no LSD on Saturdays which required tapering on Fridays. If you wanted one of the toughest workouts in F3 Nation, you posted at The Brave. PERIOD.
Not sure why YHC mentions this, other than a stroll down memory lane. Truth be told, YHC wouldn’t be able to handle the old workouts anymore anyway. But they were great memories… which is why YHC has written a backblast for 100% of the workouts Q’d, regardless if BB are en vogue or not. Here are two of them from the archives…
Anyway… back on track here. 9* brothers showed for YHC’s annual Q at The Brave for the past three years (according to WordPress history). Let’s get on with this…
Couple of morning musings…
#WHOPUSHESWHO ~ JRR Tolkien
THANG: 11 brothers defeated the fartsack and posted at Stonehenge on a chilly morning. A few preran the workout (Wild Turkey, and Cheese Curd?) and the others rolled in right on time. Plan was to keep mileage low and get an all-around total-body workout. So we went to the rockpile by the lake, and integrated that rock for most of the workout. Did some other stuff, but for the purposes of this backblast, really not that important.
Frehley’s and WT reminded me of the first time YHC Q’d Stonehenge, which had to have been ~5 years ago. Can’t find the backblast, but YHC brought freshly cut tree logs and buckets of rocks to incorporate in the bootcamp way back then… pretty cool these guys still remembered. That’s a long time ago… and some things have changed, but other things have remained the same. No coupons from home were brought, but we did use the stone pile that was by the fitness trail. We used the same grassy area as 5 years ago. And many of my same F3 brothers still post, maybe more, maybe less, but we all come out because F3 has been a big positive part of our lives. That hasn’t changed.
Obviously YHC hasn’t been in the gloom as much for the past year. It’s been tough. Starting a new business, and going to sleep at midnight make it tough to answer the bell at 0430 day after day. And while the 1st F may be suffering, there’s a reason there’s 3 F’s, and in this season, and thankfully because of the guardrails YHC has worked hard to install, the other two F’s have been going strong. How things have changed… before F3, if my fitness was shot (injury, laziness, etc) then YHC would have nothing to fall back on. Now? there’s a few more pounds on the belly, and a little slower average pace on a posted Strava LSD, but life isn’t a downward spiral. And that’s the power of F3. Now YHC isn’t making excuses for hitting the lack of workouts. The point here is to ask yourself if F3 is just a workout FITNESS, or do you have the Fellowship and Faith to bolster you when times get tough? Do you have it for others, if not yourself? YHC hopes so.
So as we lifted stones / rocks this morning, and it seemed like an unintended metaphor for life, and what through F3, we have to help us through life. Just a couple observations / thoughts that you can relate to your life however you like (may make more sense to the guys who did the workout).
Borrowing from the QSource which Dredd wrote, the Stone is the instrument that refines a Blade. The mentor to the mentee. And so in this case, it’s fitting so much can be learned from the stones from the rockpile we used this morning.
Life is tough. Make sure you have someone in your life who can help you persevere in all seasons, and do the same for the next person.
ANNOUNCEMENTS : asking all pax to support just 1 SPEED FOR NEED race this season. 1-2 hours of a morning one time. Race Schedule on www.speedforneed.org and first race is 3/7/20 RunJenRun 5k at Symphony Park with Frasier on Q. We’ll be pushing cancer fighters and survivors in a race benefitting them.
Thanks Wild Turkey for inviting me to Q in the old stomping grounds.
XOXO ~ JRR Tolkien
<actual text message chain>
“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