Author Archive Posse

What I learned from MASHing

First back-to-back Q’s ever for me. Looks like I got the sites mixed up because my boot camp at The Body Shop didn’t make 1 mile, but Diesel goes almost 1.5 miles.

Having a broken pinkie toe for the last 6 weeks and rolling with the MASH crew allowed me to experience & create exercises for the non-runners. Also, in the early Covid days, Fuse & I were working out with Popeye whose knees were occasionally problematic. Creating tough workouts without running was a good challenge to keep the noggin sharp. Today’s workout was my Ted Talk.

Warmup

Swimming motion & backstroke to loosen the shoulders. I called for Michael Phelps, & Fuse immediately drops into this, which was a fair but unexpected interpretation of what I was planning.

The Thang

From here on out, we would be using either 2 bricks | 2 blocks | or 1 block.

Zombie Walk / Pull (2 bricks)
Hold brick in each hand as you walk from one end of the parking lot to the other. At each island, do 10 squats with bricks still held with arms out straight. Then flip to Zombie pull, where you lift your arms with bricks as far behind you as possible. Switch between the two at each island. Down & back.

Captain Morgans (1 block)
Stand block up on short edge so it is as tall as it can be. Put one foot on block. Do a squat. If plant foot is beside the block, you feel it most in hip flexor. If plant foot is behind the block, you feel it in the hams/glutes. Did it both ways.

Up, Over, & Out (2 bricks)
Do a military press (up), iron cross (over), & standing bench press (out) in succession.

Farmer Carriers & Fire Hydrant Foot Release Squats (2 blocks)
Farmer carry 2 blocks to an island. Place blocks together so you can do a foot release squat on them. When standing, lift one leg out to the side with a straight knee to work on hip/glutes. Repeat around the parking lot.

Tricep Extensions / Kickbacks / Halos (2 bricks)

Curls (1 block)
Bottom half of curls to 1st island; top half curls to 2nd island; full curls to 3rd island. We were hurting pretty good at the end, so I had to audible for a Bear Crawl Block Drag in the grass to take our minds off our biceps.
Get into Bear Crawl stance with block between your feet. Reach down & pull block up & in front of you. Bear crawl until you get the block between your feet again. Repeat. We went until it looked like most people got bored (Fuse) or gave up (Brutus).
Then back to the curls for the 2nd half of the parking lot.

LBC’s (1 block)

Puppeteer (2 bricks)
Flutters with a brick in each hand matching the motion of the feet. Do it yourself & you’ll get the name.

Butterfly Run (2 bricks)
Everybody gets a parking space to themselves. Pax 1 in the back is doing flys as he walks to the front of the line. Rest of the Pax are holding plank with various brick positions: out to the side, out front, out back, 6 inches (L & R). Lots of good mumblechatter for guys to walk faster. Brutus took glee in seeing me shake & sweat.

Gas Pumpers (2 blocks)
Have both blocks stacked on top of each other. Hold on to the bottom one so you feel anchored doing Gas Pumpers. You can feel a difference between this & the regular ones.

Press the Alphabet (1 block)
My crowning achievement. On your back, do one bench press. While keeping the block up, imagine you are holding a paintbrush between your feet as you “paint” a letter of the alphabet. Press, A, Press, B, Press, C… I hate the letter W. Others hate Q. Still others wrote love notes to me, starting with the letters F & U.

Moleskine

Just like yesterday, I had a 2-page weinkie, and only got through about 1/3 of it. Plenty more for next time.

What I love about Diesel is the insane amount of mumblechatter. I can’t remember what was discussed, but it was taboo subjects. And guys are hilarious. It’s the most 2nd F 1st F AO out there. Part of me wants everyone to try it, but another part of me hopes you never post so I can keep this jewel to myself.

<SOAPBOX>
MASH has become a critical piece of our region, and you need to know about it. Right now, MASH is for those experiencing an injury such that a regular Bootcamp would not be a good choice for the Pax. It COULD be used for FNG’s who don’t feel comfortable running; we just haven’t found the guy to test that theory. The longer you work out in F3, the more likely you will spend some time MASHing. It is a matter of when, not if.

Most guys will simply stop posting when they get hurt. This rings true if any of the following is also true:
– Only do workouts (no 2nd or 3rd F participation)
– Hasn’t opened himself up to create friendships with other Pax
– Has too much pride in his physical abilities (he IS his mile time; he IS his Iron Pax accomplishments)
– Doesn’t feel “seen” or “missed” when he normally misses a workout

Centerfold deserves the highest kudos for making MASH a daily thing. There’s a channel where MASHers discuss where to post the next day (https://groupme.com/join_group/59312229/ykakZLOb). With multiple AO’s every day, they work to rotate around ALL AO’s so Pax can see them still getting after it. They are also showing that when the injury comes for them, they should already know that most injuries are not an excuse to stop posting.

The first thing we as men do when tragedy strikes is to turn inward. If we’re honest, an injury is usually the least tragic thing to occur to us. When we learn to stay with our group when things turn slightly hard, we will see that they will also be there for us when things get really hard. But you’re going to need to put the time in on the slightly hard side so men can sense when things are getting more difficult for you.

Each MASH workout is built around those attending. Mayhem talked about physical therapy for his shoulder that his doctor was pushing him to do, but he wasn’t feeling it. We asked what the PT was, then incorporated those exercises when he showed up.
Legalized is coming with a foot broken in multiple places. He’s on crutches. Still coming to work out. His upper body is going to get swole while the foot heals. Still able to accelerate despite the injury.

Tell a MASHer that you are glad they made it out. Normalize that everyone is out there doing what they can. Help a man discover there is more that he can do.
</SOAPBOX>

Announcements

I have a Plan B now

As part of my DiCCS, I added that I had no Plan B if the rain picked up beyond the drizzle we felt at the start.

The Warmup
None. No opening mosey. No stretching. Just getting after it (with MASHers joining in).

The Thang
We’ve all done Webbs before. Even some workouts that were just going from one station to another doing webs. I wanted to spin that one more way. I took all the Webbs I knew and combined them. All the 10 & 40 reps are done at station 1; all 9 & 36 done at station 2; and so on. In planning this, I thought I needed a plan B in case we ate through all that before 45 minutes was up. But I was wrong. We only got through 3.5 rounds. Don’t think we even clocked a full mile.

Merkins (10)
Air Presses (40)
Squats (40)
Lunges around the World (40)
Bear Crawl (40)
Dry Docks (10)
Big Boy Sit Ups (10)
American Knockouts (40)
Mike Tyson (10)
Donkey Kicks (40)
Bobby Hurleys (10)
Speed Skaters (40)
Heels to Heaven (40)
Rosalitas (10)
Burpees (10)

If there was a (10), then we took one rep off at each station; (40) had us take 4 reps off.
For merkins, I added some variety: round 1 = low slow; round 2 = T; round 3 = hand release; round 4 = wide arm

Stations 2 & 3 had rock piles (there are a bazillion rocks at The Body Shop!). So when possible, we added rocks to the above exercises.

Stations 1 & 4 were with the MASHers.

Moleskine

Virtually no chatter because practically everything was done in some kind of cadence. I was prepared to do exercises over again to ensure Pax respond to my cadence calls. Thankfully, though, Site Q’s Point Break & Das Boot were leading by example. Still, if you’ll allow me a
<SOAPBOX>
If you are not responding to the Q by not counting “1” to his “1, 2, 3”, I would encourage you to change your ways. I would also assume you don’t Q that much, either.
* This call & response is a way for the Q to hear that you are engaged and you are with him, even when he can’t see your face. If everyone starts strong & the voices fade, the Q can tell the exercise is working and he knows when to wrap it up.
* If you have a Q who’s pushing himself by pushing you, your responses give him the energy he needs to keep going. This also applies to the man next to you. If he hears you answering the Q, he is likely to have more energy to complete more reps than struggling in silence.
* Being able to speak (even if only a single syllable) while exercising will build your aerobic capacity while helping you control your own breathing.
</SOAPBOX>

Afterward, I asked DB & PB to give me some feedback on my Q. They pointed out that some of those exercises were counted out too fast, resulting in bad form. They were absolutely right. I had internally felt like some of those exercises went on too long, so I was speeding the cadence to hurry it up, thus resulting in bad form. This gave me something concrete to change for next time. When I do this again, the lunges, donkey kicks & speed skaters will start at 20 & go down by 2’s to help with form.
Giving feedback is a difficult but necessary part of the Site Q / Q relationship. We’re great with giving attaboys, but that rarely improves our Q-bility. This was difficult for Das Boot because he asked me to Q 2 days ago. Maybe he feels like he owes me, so he can’t give me full, honest feedback? This was difficult for Point Break because he came to Q School last quarter. Maybe he felt he couldn’t criticize one of the guys who taught him how to Q? Yeah, it’s difficult. And they did a good job when I put them on the spot like that. As Site Q, it doesn’t matter if the Q is way more fit than you, or has more years of F3 than you do; you owe it to him, to your site, and to your region to make him better for his next Q. Maybe he has a blind spot that no one has ever called him out on (in love)? Maybe he thinks he’s doing better than he really is because no one will give him feedback?
Giving feedback is a skill, not a talent. It can be learned & it can be improved. See Site Q School announcement for how to start or how to improve this valuable ability.

While it is still a work in progress, this weinkie will now be my Plan B whenever I need to step up to Q at the last minute. That’s gonna save me some time on the BB writing, too!

Announcements:

  • 100 Pax challenge: La-Z-Boy has graciously donated a La-Z-Boy (or much better equivalent) for a raffle to take us to the $10k mark (just north of $8,200 now). Raffle is open to Pax & non-Pax alike. If you don’t want the furniture, you can get credit with his company for another piece. See Centerfold, Recalc, BottleCap, or Foundation for details.
  • Waxhaw Spartan Race set for this Saturday may have to be changed in any number of ways: scope, size, time, date, etc. Pay attention to social media for details.
  • Site Q School July 18th. See Chastain and sign up here: https://bit.ly/f3siteqschool 
    If you have been to Q School, this is your next step in leadership. We have more sites to open and other Site Q’s ready to roll off. This free workout thing doesn’t work without everyone contributing. Tap men to attend, like Schneider & Legalized.
  • Q School July 25th See Chastain & sign up here: https://bit.ly/f3qschool
    Everyone can benefit from going to Q School, especially if you haven’t Q’ed very much.
    Tap men to attend, like Wrigley & Ricky Bobby
  • Friday’s Q Source location has changed tomorrow only from Cuthbertson to Diesel (5 Stones). Same 7:00 AM time. Link to tomorrow’s topic: https://f3nation.com/2019/02/17/king-q1-3/
  • Friday’s Impromptu location has changed tomorrow only from Cuthbertson to Floater (downtown Waxhaw)
  • Don’t know what’s happening to Swarm tomorrow. See Site Q School announcement 4 bullets above.

What I Did on Christmas Vacation

What does it say about me that I can be on the back of a horse in the Poconos and think, “I bet I can make this into a workout”?

Pre-Warm Up

Text from BC: “Can’t make it to Clyent Dinner because I’m stuck in traffic.” But he’s playing hoops in his driveway when I swing by?

Scout the place, even though I know I’ve seen every place there is here. Little pre-run to loosen the hips and see what events are going on at Cuthbertson that I will need to audible around. Fortunately, nothing happening at the middle school.
I return to the start to find ZERO cars. Huh. The mind and body both present their options: go home or do the work. I opt for the work.

There’s a guy in a green Blazer on the far side of the parking lot, but he’s on his phone. Not stretching or anything. Assume he’s waiting for someone. Another truck pulls up – “Great, Carb Load is here!” – nope.  It’s a couple bringing their dogs to school to walk?

At 5:31, Floppy Disk pops out of the Blazer & yells, “Is this where Clyent Dinner meets?” I say yes, but think, “I’m dressed like this, stretching in front of your car like a slo-mo scene of the cheerleaders’ charity car wash, what else did you think this was?”
“Great! Come on out kids, this is the place!” I get to meet the famous Orange Justice, who had a dance named after him, and the soon to be named Backbend (a great gymnast).

The Warm Up

Since this is a Yuletide story, I had to get in the 12 Burpees of Christmas.
Mosey to the alcove that we have NEVER been to (because I’ve never seen it before [also because there’s too damn many of you at Cutty to use the alcoves; figure out where Asylum & Diesel meet, people!]) for 12 burpees at one end, 11 at the other, 10, 9…At the 6 burpee mark, we added a burpee marker in the middle of the path to speed up the burpees. The 2.0’s finished early as you’d expect. So I taught them Balls to the Wall; just didn’t teach them the name, since Backbender is a smart young lady who would ask more questions than I wanted to answer in front of her Dad.

The Thang

Mosey to the lacrosse(?) field behind the MS cafeteria. It was an absolutely perfect day to be on the grass! Pointed out the 2 giant light poles. At one pole, do 29 SSH, making sure to get the overhand clap in there; at the other pole, 23 CDD. Repeat 4 times.
While spending post-Christmas (Kwanzaa?) in NJ with in-laws, we watched the Clemson / Ohio State game. Score: 29-23; Clemson is 4-0 all-time against OSU. I wish Rubbermaid had been there, but I love Dasher too much to have done this if he had attended.

Mosey to the HS steps. Pause about halfway for some Pick Up the Squats.
Run up the steps, touch the door at the top. Where the sidewalk splits, do 10 Dolly’s. At the bottom of the sloping sidewalk, do 10 Heels to Heaven (but not before yelling “Whee!” all the way down). Run back to the steps for 10 Supermans. Repeat 3 times. We just pretended we were on a water slide!
One night the youngest & I went to the indoor water slides of the Kalahari. This was better than Great Wolf (sorry Hollywood) & Massanutten. Made even better that it was a fraction of the people I expected. The downside is that as soon as you finish your slide, you can run back up 5-7 flights of stairs to go right back down again. We did that for about 5 hours. It was brutal but fun. And great 1:1 time with my youngest, who I often feel doesn’t get the same amount of my time & attention as my oldest did at the same age.
At the beginning of the water slide night, my 2.0 was just sticking to the kiddie slides and wasn’t even considering the bigger slides. Partly out of getting him out of his comfort zone (& mostly for not feeling like I wasted cash having him go down kiddie slides for 5 hours), I was able to convince him to try a bigger ride. He loved it, and we kept trying bigger rides throughout the night. At one point, he saw a FlowRider & said he wanted to try that. We headed over to stand in line together. I’m just keeping him company in line until it’s his turn to ride. I can tell he’s a little nervous when he asks me if I’m going to ride it after him. I don’t want to. I don’t like to try new things, especially if I can’t guarantee a high probability of success (or low probability of humiliation). But I can do the #DadMath – how can I encourage him to try new things, even when you’re scared, if he never sees me do the same thing?
The boy hops on and does really well; much better than I thought he would!
My turn. I’ve seen other men bite the wall hard. They pop back up with a bruised ego (the hardest injury to overcome). I hit the wave, and it doesn’t hit back! Almost enjoying it, the instructor mimics what tricks I should do next, including merkins on the board. I do everything he asks, and still no wall! He points to his watch to signal my time is up. I’m utterly astounded. Still, just typing that, I can recall all that pride in myself and my son. I’m going to need to remember that in future days of fear.
But that is also a tribute to you, brothers. There’s a ton of really stupid stuff I have done with y’all that lowered my barriers to risk. Then there’s a ton of really smart things I have read, seen and heard from y’all that raised my necessity to be a better role model. A better dad from being around better men.

Mosey to the alcove at the front of the middle school. Again, a place many of you have never seen because there’s too many of you (not asking you to stop showing up, but to try another site). I can be a jackass on a trip, so we can do a JackAss Webb: 1 Merkin, 20 Donkey Kicks; 2 & 18; 3 & 16; 4 & 14; 5 & 12. Kudos to Floppy Disk who really found another gear to lead him & his family (& me) through that. That sucked.

Mosey back to the start with a few minutes left. The whole point in us going to the Poconos was to take the boys skiing for their first time. The lack of cars gave us plenty of room to do mogul jumps across the parking space lines. Finished with curb agilities to simulate shaking the snow off the skis after a long run.

Moleskine

  • There are several other parts of this trip that I didn’t get a chance to reenact. So, Fuse, your favorite exercise is still waiting for you.
  • Floppy Disk has some awesome kids. He’s planning to bring them back out to the next Clyent Dinner. He’s gonna love F3Dads when it kicks back up!

Announcements

Mark This Moment – Father/Daughter dance Ballantyne Hotel – Friday, March 6 http://www.markthismoment.com/

Shop Dawg is starting up a new Q Source on Friday, May 1. For those who came to Site Q School, you received a free copy of the Q Source manual. This would be the time to either use it or give it to someone who has an interest in going. The entire manual is here, too: https://f3nation.com/q-source-index
While you can hop in at any time, some think they need to start at the beginning. OK. So it will start with the first topic at the Cuthbertson McDonald’s from 6:30 – 7:00 AM. Some can’t make it so early on a Monday, like at Asylum. OK. If you have a more casual Friday schedule, he’s built it for you. As I go through this for the 2nd time, I still learn something each time. There is always a gut punch that stays with me throughout the week. But reading the book or blog will only get you 1/3 of the way there. It is the other men who open up, and those who allow me to open up; that’s what makes this Q Source special.

It’s Speed for Need season. What’s that? Only the best thing you’ll love coming in second place for, after giving it your all. Listen to this podcast (https://soundcloud.com/f3nation/roundtable-nash-scabby-talk-speed4need), then go to the calendar (http://speedforneed.org/calendar/) to pick a date you commit to. Most of the first ones are within 30 minute drive times. Ask for a show of hands who’s done one during COT. Then talk to them.

Want to run in a cheap 5k or 10k for purely selfish reasons? Try the Laps for Lancers at USC-Lancaster. March 21. With pancakes & sausages as your reward! https://runsignup.com/Race/SC/Lancaster/LapsforLancers

How’s my job search going? Pretty good, I’d say. Several Pax have really been great, all in different ways. Bratwurst, Rudy, Delta, Fuse Box, La-Z-Boy, Damascus, Recalculating, Hooch, just to name a few. Some have been outright job leads, others helping with my resume, and others with connections. You never know which one is going to fall all the way through the search funnel, so everything is chased down as far as it can. As a reminder, I’m looking for titles like Solutions Consultant or Pre-Sales Engineer in the software industry. Think about the software you use at work (other than Microsoft, Google, or Apple), then let me know. If you haven’t connected to me on LinkedIn yet, that would be a great boost as well. www.linkedin.com/in/abrianstephenson. It’s not who I know, but who YOU know, that helps.

It’s Like Rain on Your Weddington Day

It wasn’t official, but some good Pax decided to kick the tires on the next AO to open in Waxhaw. I truly didn’t expect anyone to show. At most, maybe one other person, & we’d just test the limits of the campus: what’s locked, what’s muddy, what’s visible at 6:30 AM, etc. So when people started showing up, I had to start making up some stuff. I’ve never done that before. Every other Q I’ve done has been overly planned & overly fussed over. #NewSiteNewStandards, I guess?

 

Just barely misting rain at the start, but I wanted to show off that Homecoming has plenty of sheltered spaces to work out. Let’s go under the massive portico for 

 

Warmup

 

SSH

Mountain Climbers

Squats

 

The Thang

 

Mosey to the Elementary School portico, which is a mirror image of the Middle School’s portico. Gerber was visibly impressed, “Whoa! I didn’t even know this was here!”

This is also the car rider line with numbered stops. Run to the end of the brick wall & come back to #3 sign for 3 burpees. Repeat to the 4th sign, all the way to the 8th sign.

 

Eh, it’s been a couple months, and this BB is for demo purposes only. 

 

I do remember we went to the top of Deal road & ran down the road to the gate, being sure to surround Speed Bump. Went to the brick pile to do some gear work. I pick the smallest bricks, while Mad Dog & Gerber pick the biggest bricks. Hmm. So we do all shoulder work.

Morrocan Night Clubs

Side Flies

Front Flies

Triceps

 

Now the rain is really coming down, but I was ready to do some more work outside. Like a real man. Then Mad Dog says, “My wife is gonna kill me if I come home sick from working out in the rain!” With great admiration and respect for my fellow Weasel Shaker, we make our way back. Let’s be clear: in no way am I saying I’m tougher than a Marine. But I’m also not saying that.

 

Came back under the portico for Lt. Dan & Jack Webb.

 

Moleskine

 

I’m just putting words here so it looks like I had a lot to say when really, there was nothing to say. This is basically an Easter Egg in the video that if you actually pause to read it says more about you than it does about me. Really? If you have time for reading this, then come talk to me. I’ve got half a bajillion projects around the house that I need help with. Did you enjoy the video? Two thumbs up? Are you planning to stay for the end credits?

 

Announcements

And check out the Rooster: https://www.f3rockhill.com/2020/01/10/preblast-rooster-iii-the-rooster-crows-again/ I did it 2 years ago & had a blast!

8 for 8

Or, if I had gotten this BB out before our 2nd F lunch, it would’ve been “Smoked Shoulders for a Pig Pickin'”.

Warmup
Got Gloves? DiCCS?
For the S, I did make a special shoutout to the Form Police. Normally regarded as nitpicky, jealous types watching from the back, here at Diesel & Chiseled, they are protectors of backs, knees, & shoulders. I called forth the Form Police to be your Brothers’ Keeper. If you see bad form, gently, lovingly, helpfully, correct that behavior. These kinds of workouts are so great to build true functional fitness. There were no counts to any reps on purpose. Full incentive to do full extension of every exercise. Also a great mental assessment; with only one person at each station, could you push yourself to keep going the whole time?

The Thang
Stations
1 – Tire flip from light pole to light pole (timer)
2 – Moroccan Night Clubs with Bricks
3 – Dips (or bonus Crab Dips)
4 – Bench Press with Coupon
5 – Big Boy Situps with Slamball
6 – Halo’s with Rocks
7 – American Hammers with Dumbells
8 – Abyss Merkins / Dry Docks

Round 2
1 – Broken Farmer Carry from sidewalk to trees and back (what makes it broken is two different objects, of different sizes & weights, so your core has to engage) <timer>
2 – Front / Side Flys with Bricks
3 – 21’s with Coupon (7 curls halfway up; 7 curls from halfway to top; 7 curls full extension)
4 – Skullcrushers with Coupon
5 – Slamball Lunge Bucket Brigade
6 – Thrusters with Rocks
7 – Romanian Dead Lifts with Dumbells
8 – Shoulder Taps on Coupons

Round 3
1 – Tire Flip (timer)
2 – Full Extension Brick Hold from the top
3 – Bent Over Rows with Coupon
4 – Lunges Around the World (with coupon, do front, side, & back lunges)
5 – Paint the Alphabet with Slamball (on your back, holding up slamball, hold your feet together; pretend you’re holding a paintbrush between your feet & trace the alphabet)
6 – Military Press with Rock
7 – Tricep Kick Backs with Dumbells
8 – Negatives with Coupon

More important than the workout at Diesel is the playlist. As Chastain & Goodfella figured out, it was a tribute to Neil Peart, the drummer from Rush who passed away from brain cancer last Friday. It appears only Chastain & I could tolerate 45 minutes of Rush, so I dropped in a second theme. Been a tough week at work (culminating in the anger of not being able to attend 2nd F lunch today) so I threw in some passive-aggressive tunes about working for The Man.

Tom Sawyer – Rush
Couple Days Off – Huey Lewis & The News
Limelight – Rush
Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive
Driven – Rush
Bang the Drum All Day – Todd Rundgren
Freewill – Rush
Workin’ for a Livin’ – Huey Lewis & The News
Fly by Night – Rush
Working for the Weekend – Loverboy
Spirit of Radio – Rush
Workin’ Day and Night – Michael Jackson
Closer to the Heart – Rush
A Hard Day’s Night – Beatles
Rhythm Method – Rush

If you never understood how a person could be considered the greatest drummer ever, since all they do is just keep the beat, I encourage you to watch this video.
https://youtu.be/4zhFbi_t4c8
Yes, it’s an 8-minute drum solo. You’ll thank me the next time you see me. This is the final song of the playlist as we were putting all the gear away.

Moleskine

Turnbuckle’s already posted about this on his Facebook page, which has substantially more eyeballs than this will ever get.
The tire flip was a little much today for TB. That’s OK, cause I saw everyone had at least one exercise that was a little too much for them. That’s a good sign of being on the other side of your comfort zone. That’s where progress is made.
It wasn’t that long ago when he would see a similar event as a failure. Now, it’s become a new goal. He’s already learned so many of the things he thought he couldn’t do were simply lies believed for so long.  A switch has flipped for him and I’m excited to see his progress. I know we all are.

Announcements

Wedding Singer’s Sayonara Saturday, Jan 25, from 3 – 5 PM at Queens South

Plant the seeds & spread the word – Site Q School Saturday Feb 1;
Q School Saturday Feb 8

Hurry up & wipe, Goodfella is on Q at Homecoming; J-Wow at Commitment; Pax are running trails at the WhiteWater Center; still more Pax heading to the Gremlin CSAUP

And check out the Rooster: https://www.f3rockhill.com/2020/01/10/preblast-rooster-iii-the-rooster-crows-again/ I did it 2 years ago & had a blast!

Sometimes we doubted; sometimes we were confused, but we helped each other and keep going forward. Because of Faith.

It was raining. I cannot see the box’s lock number. I first time felt my eyes were so bad. Glidah and Mayhem showed up to help me. Big 10 arrived early to help me set up. Fuse Box is out of the town, he plans to find some people to help me. It was cool, but that keeps me warm.

The most successful part of my plan is 20 seconds Mosey warm up. It did not break Big10’s record. The worst part is in the end when I sat down on the group. Nobody follows me, including Mayhem. He always said I am his good friend. My heart is hurt. But they are right, it was wet and cool.  It is not necessary to get wet in the last 2 minutes.  Sorry, my bad.

I am so happy, all Pax looks like understanding my Waxhaw-Texas-Chinese style English very well.  There are many exercises need to explain. I knew Pax was confused. When Highhat did ‘Band Side Pull’ and said “If I keep the center and then pull, I felt different”. You did right!!! When Carb Load  did “Stop Talking” and said the dump ball should be light. You are right!!! It is very hard to exercise. The timer “King Walk” with Band is targeted Gluteal muscle. Did you felt it?  Loafer did it very professionally. “Whale Tail”, “Imperial Plank”….. Modified it.

Dougboy is a good partner. Turnbuckle did a great job, he did his best. His smile is a charm.

Thank you all support. Two years ago, in the Christmas season, my older brother took his life by himself. If he had F3, then things maybe been changed. He said to me “It is good You have Faith” and “Workout can make me happy. But I cannot do it anymore.”. He was a good judge in his city. I am lucky. We are lucky.

Warm up

Let’s Mosey! We just did a 20 second Mosey and then circle up. All Pax likes it. This is the most only successful thing this morning.

10-SSH

10-Imperial Walkers  (Dougboy corrected my English. I cannot remember what I said)

  5-Potato Picker

Merkins * 10  IC

10-Calf Stretch 10 seconds.

6- Power Squat  (Ricky Bobby did it great.)

The thang:

Merkins over there. Merkins????  Sorry, it should be Mosey. But everybody Mosey over there. Good English understanding.

1.       Flap tire;

2.       Merkins + whale tail;

3.       Shoulder Press  + Front Squat

4.       Band Slide Pull

5.       Stop talking + Jump

6.       Imperial Plank + Mountain Climber

Some modified option on the back ( I did not say that).

Timer: King walking.

Circle up: Sat down Balance exercise.

COT

Announcement:

1.       September 5-12, 2020.  Mayhem will co-lead a mission trip to Nicaragua to work on the kitchen at elementary school.  Friends, family, and strangers are welcome.

2.       Every Sunday morning OPEN DOOR BIBLE STUDY. 7:00-8:00 FIVE STONE office second floor.

Extending the Second Death

A few months back, I came across Fishwrap’s backblast out of Metro (http://f3metro.com/2019/07/03/killing-fishwrap/) and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. If you don’t want to click on the link (not going to be on the toilet that long?), he talks about the concept that there are 2 deaths. Your first death is your physical release from this mortal coil. Your second death is when your name or memory is no longer mentioned in this world. Barring you do something really (in)famous, everyone dies twice. At some point, no one on this planet will ever know you existed. The time between the two deaths may be a good indication of what kind of legacy you leave. If that’s given you the bad kind of tinglies, might I suggest hopping into the final quarter of Q Source, beginning this week? These final months will talk about the aspects of Leaving Right (Get Right → Live Right → Lead Right → Leave Right). Mondays after Asylum or Fridays after Cerberus.

Why the heavy words today, Posse?

My Dad, Dallas, died from cancer about 9 years ago, while my wife was pregnant with our second son. Today, my Dad would have been 94. So all the reps revolved around his birthday (10/9/25) or 94. In addition, I tried to do or create exercises to memorialize him. An active eulogy, if you will. The Pax didn’t know it until now, but they have helped me push my Dad’s second death a little further down the road. 

When I first came up with this workout idea, I was hesitant to follow through with it. Then, in the middle of the night last week, I was persuaded. My oldest son, also Dallas, was making some noise in his bathroom. Walking in on a teenager in those circumstances is always dangerous, but I was more angry than anything that he woke me up & was about to wake the rest of the house. I open the door, just about to whisper-yell, when I see he is sobbing. I don’t say a thing. “I was thinking about Pop Pop. With everything I’ve been doing, I just want him to be proud of me. The way that you and Mom have been comparing us, I love that I carry on his name; but sometimes I struggle to live up to that level.” 

“I feel the same way, son.”

Wow. A 14-year-old is able to crystallize what I’ve been feeling for decades about my Dad. Maybe you have similar sentiments. That’s when I committed to this Q. 

The Warmup

Stolen straight from The Fort’s Tesh when I was canvassing for the #Launch-vergence, this Highland Games-esqe activity lines up with the Scotch-Irish lineage on my Dad’s side.
Teams of 3 line up, picking a suitable kettlebell. Give it 5 swings and release it as far as you can. Then do 10 squats and 9 merkins. By the time you finish, it’s your turn again. Go to the end of the field. Planned on having a return trip, but the aim of these guys was already starting to worry me.
Bring the KB’s back to the start.

The Irish Walk – Teams of 3 by weight. Gotta get to Mount Chiseled, but one Pax cannot touch the ground. Everyone has to be in this no-ground position at least once. #PaxGear It is genuinely mentally uncomfortable to be carried when you feel you are perfectly capable of getting there yourself. Most men are fine carrying someone else but hate when they have to be carried. For these few seconds, reflect on what you’re thinking/feeling. Your level of discomfort is probably a good reflection of how willing you are to open up when you need help.
My Dad would have enjoyed being the carrier and being carried. He probably would have acted like a king when it would have been his turn to get carried. He always had an infectious, carefree attitude. I am a worrier and an over planner, but I’ve been getting better at tapping into that mindset.

Collapsing Bridges – On the backside of Mt. Chiseled, plank up elbow to elbow on the steep side of the hill. I start at the bottom sending sandbags under the bridge of humanity. If you’re not pulling sandbags, do shoulder taps. I’ve done the Tunnel of Love a couple of times, and certain non-Damascus Pax tend to get creeped out by it. The sandbag version seemed to accommodate the Personal Space Pax.
Once all the bags are at the top of the hill, flip on your back & flutter kick while they come down. Now face the opposite direction to use the other arm in dragging it up the hill. Repeat for the Bridge of Hate.
Back when my son, Little D, was around 4, we would play this game where one of us would be the bridge, and the other would be a bus going under the bridge. At some point, the bridge would collapse on the bus, to the delight of all. When I told Big D about this game, he said he wanted to play! So we have pictures of both D’s, at 83 & 4, playing the bridge game. My Dad never lost his playful spirit. There was always a fun way to look at any circumstance. In his final days, when I had to tell him that his cancer had returned and had it had spread throughout his major organs, he responded, “Well, I guess I’m walking the green mile…”
Subsequently, we made sure to put the fun in his funeral. Hate you missed it. You would have had a blast.

Head back to the start, but 2 Pax have to have a handle on each sandbag, lifting in cadence. If you don’t have any gear, sprint to the start and then back to the six. Take their gear.

The Thang

Station work with One Horse Open Slay or Broke Farmer Carry as the timer

Dips
American Hammer with KB
Lateral Raises
Lateral Ladder Squats
Abyss Merkins on Blocks
Snow Angels with Bricks

The 1HOS is a Christmas remembrance of my Dad starting a charity at our church. Here’s my favorite story about that.

In 1986, I was involved in a program called Salkehatchie.  Salkehatchie is like a Habitat for Humanity for mostly South Carolina Methodists.  He saw how I was so changed by that week in the summer that he thought those same people needed to be visited again around Christmas time.  So he called it CHRISTmas HANDS. He got the church to collect up donations of food and clothing to go back to those families in Columbia who were helped during that Salkehatchie week.  So here we are, a caravan of several cars filled with food & clothes. We were just about to leave the church parking lot for Columbia when a woman calls the church, asking Dallas if she could bring a kerosene heater for us to take down. Something like that was not on our list, but Dallas said: “Sure, we’ll wait for you.” When he hung up, he wasn’t too happy about having to wait or trying to figure out where he was going to put it.

We get to Columbia, and as we were unloading items for one family, a man across the street came over and asked, “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have a kerosene heater in there, would ya’? I have no heat in my house.”

Stunned by the request, my Dad reached into the back of the truck, pulled out the heater and handed it to him. He then reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a $20 bill that someone else had handed to him in the church parking lot (also at the last minute), and gave that to him so he could afford some kerosene.

My Dad must have told me that story 10 times in his last year, and we cried about it every time. When you think about how many people had to listen to God AND obey Him so that THAT man could have heat for the winter, it’s just overwhelming.  It was such a wonderful illustration of being a channel for God’s love and in the process, everyone gets wet.
I’ve been shown time and again that listening to those faint nudges is God’s way of lining me up with His work. And being immediately obedient to those nudges has helped me hear those subsequent nudges easier. Positive feedback loop.

Partner up by opposite ability
94 Tricep Extensions
94 Bench Press
94 Curls
Other partner karaokes/side straddles to island and back

Frisburpee – All plank except 4, who are throwing a frisbee to each other. If it’s a bad throw or no catch, the group does a burpee. If the pair does any kind of trick shot & makes it, they are exempt from the next time a burpee is called. 
Carb Load now has a standing invitation to come to my house to throw the frisbee. Gotta get you ready for CanJam season.

My Dad worked in a plastics factory for all my childhood. On his feet all day in a hot, cement warehouse. Smoking a couple packs of Camels every day. And yet, almost every day I asked (which was most days), he would throw the frisbee, football, baseball, whatever, with me after school. I was always amazed when my other friends said their dads didn’t play with them nearly the amount mine did. And most of their dads had office jobs. But I still didn’t fully appreciate that until I had kids. I vowed to play with my kids every chance I could. I know it’s had an impact on my oldest. By the time he got into 5th grade, he asked that we not throw anything in the front yard; that we should throw in the back yard. He said he was tired of his friends coming up and either asking him to go do something else or wanting to throw as well. Now that he’s in high school, our throws are getting less frequent, but I know he values them when we do. Not near as much as I do, though.
I’m not doing as well with the second child. But this new job is providing me with the afternoon time I needed to get the critical playtime we both crave. I encourage you to do the same. Taking them to a practice is not the same as playing with them. Coaching or critiquing every throw is not the same as playing with them. Talking about what’s on their minds as they throw IS playing.

I know it was not a brutal ending to a workout that you may have wanted. But I had so much fun in those last few minutes with you guys! I hope you can reflect on today’s workout not so much with sore muscles, but with a happy heart.

I took us out slightly differently than normal. Before the prayer, I asked everyone to think of 2 people who have had a major impact on their lives – one dead & one alive. They cannot be historical figures, but ones you knew personally.
For the dead one, I encouraged the Pax to memorialize that person TODAY, whether it was donating to their favorite charity, eat at their favorite restaurant, etc. For our family, we are going to McAllister’s tonight for a French dip, potato salad, & sweet tea. My Dad ordered that after church every Sunday for years.
For the living one, go tell that person TODAY what kind of impact they made in your life. Be specific. It’s a good bet they don’t even know.
Mine is going to the youth director who got our church involved in Salkehatchie. My worldview would be completely different (certainly less compassionate) without her coming along in my adolescence.

Our extended family is split between Methodists & Baptists. We would attend each other’s church, but my Dad would make sure to poke a stick as he went. The irony of having this workout at a Baptist church demands that I wrap up with his favorite Baptist joke:
How do you keep a Baptist from drinking all the liquor in your house?
Invite two of them.

Announcements:

Speed for Need needs runners for this Saturday, 10/12 at Let Them Soar in Matthews. https://letthemsoar5k.raceroster.com/ Three runners have dropped and an additional chariot rider has come forward. SFN can even cover your admission if cost is an issue. Contact Rubbermaid or Gypsy for more details & training. Rockwell did, and he’s expecting you to be there with him!

Fusebox became Soapbox for 22 seconds ala War on Christmas style. Ask him for more details, but something about patriotism & Christianity being censored in sports. So reject political correctness and be more open about your patriotism and Christianity.

Clothes folding fun at Christ Closet this Thursday 5:30 PM. Wives & kids welcome. Going to Clyent Dinner? Swing by afterward! Get with Carb Load, Dana, or Ackbar (HBD BTW) for more details. They need to be folded for…

11/9 CSAUP in West Charlotte. http://f3metro.com/2019/10/03/west-charlotte-csaup/ Shop Dawg is Q’ing the Christ Closet giveaway & needs your help. All 3 F’s, but heavier on the 2nd & 3rd F’s than the next announcement on the same day.

11/9 CSAUP in Area 51 / SOB. The Vagabond http://f3southcharlotte.com/2019/10/07/vagabond-2019-csaup-info-pre-blast-and-t-shirt-order/ 13-ish miles across 6 AO’s with 15-minute workouts at each stop. If you don’t want to do all 13 miles, the link gives arrival times at each AO so you can drop in/out for your too low choice of milage.

Q School & Site Q School 11/2 Saturday at Chick-fil-a in Blakeney. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d49afac2aa6fc1-qschool If you don’t know what this is, then you need to go. Talk to me or others who have attended. Do NOT talk to Rubbermaid or Tupperware about it!



Sprucing up the Den

At least 23 (probably more) Pax participated in a #CNAUI (Completely Necessary and Utterly Important) by heading to Waxhaw Elementary for some manual labor kind of 3rd F.

Warm Up

About 10 days ago, I saw a tweet from the school, asking for help to clean the areas around the school. My M works there, so I checked in with her about it. “Yeah,” she sighed, “Not expecting a lot of turnout there. I can’t get parents to show for Field Day, holiday parties, or even PTO events. And with a new principal in place, there will probably be even fewer people.”
She’s awesome at her job, and loves most every day there, but the parental involvement has always been lacking since she’s been there. With our 2.0’s having been in Marvin & Cuthbertson cluster schools, we are well aware of what a highly involved community looks like on the inside.

So it seemed like a good time to do what I could to help.

Step 1 – sign up my family to volunteer.
We have a thing in our family called Super Summer Saturday (#protip: things sound more fun when you use alliteration) where we try to create a memory. It could be putt-putt, or a museum, or anything we can find. This would be our first time making S3 a service project (S4?).

Step 2 – Throw the idea out to the Pax.
Imagine my surprise when this #DancingIdiot gets the #FirstFollower in Bottlecap (see video for leadership explanation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ). With the speed of joining, we quickly move to…

Step 3 – Realize your bluff has been called. Go all in.
Now begins the Weasel Shaking Marketing™. Unrelenting BoneFrog-like announcements across every media, scattered throughout the day. Attend a workout every day to talk about it more. Call out positive deviants.

Step 4 – Pax raise the ante. Realize there is a higher level of all in-ness.
Now enough Pax have hopped on AND asked good questions I didn’t even think about, so I have to start calling the school every day to figure out if WXES could handle F3. They don’t know what’s coming.

Step 5 – Understand the Last Minute Larry
While we have gotten better as a region to commit to an endeavor before the last minute, it’s still in our DNA. Don’t fight it; invite it!
Unfortunately, that means having to attend Wolverine’s Q at Commitment. Even as I see others leave early to pick up family or tools, I know I need to stay for the final announcement. But it pays off – 15 of the Commitment Pax show up (6 of which didn’t fill out the Sign Up Genius)!

The Thang

The fam pulls up on Posse/Jingles time. SO MANY Pax! Dasher is already power washing; Spike, JWow, La-Z-Boy, & Legalized are spreading mulch. I can see an immediate difference between F3 & everyone else. We’re getting after it, while others are waiting to be told what to do. For example, I hear one person say, “Well, I signed up to paint the playground equipment. I’m just waiting here for them to tell me which playground and where the paint is.” Before F3, I could have seen that as a reasonable volunteer remark. Not anymore.

As I try to thank guys for coming out, I’m dismissed with a “What’s next?”
I don’t know. I’m just volunteering like you.

<Sigh.> I’m the Q here, aren’t I?

Even though I’ve never met or spoken to the Principal, I start talking to her to get a feel for what is on the list. I’ll just get the comz going until things settle down. Then I can dig into a task.

Before I get going to the other side of the school, Mad Dog & La-Z-Boy have already assessed there’s not enough mulch and are going out to get some more. This will happen again in another 30 minutes. MD is working the free angle with Lowe’s, but they only give it to him at cost. He’s out about $125. Others contribute cash on site. I say that only if you feel led to dig in your sofa for change.

Brutus, Rockwell, Rudy and others find every shovel in a 5-mile radius to plant bushes & trees.

As I go from one station to the other, I try to walk calmly & confidently. But I can’t stop picking up the energy you people are putting down. My non-adamantium legs are shot from Wolverine’s workout, but I HAVE to run. I didn’t have my phone with me, so I’ll guess I ran 48, maybe 49, miles around the school. I know I’m not fast, but I felt great out there.

People are coming and going. Now I can’t stop finding things for people to do. But we’re getting things done so fast, and we’re running out of supplies. #GoodNewsBadNews

In between some moments, I’m able to talk with Schedule C for the semi-first time ever. Great guy; is considering helping with the MASH stuff here soon (consider / maybe = Hard Commit).

My family has hit their time limit, and most of the Pax have taken off as well. But Shop Dawg is #NextManUp on the power washer. Dude was one of the Commitment / No SUG guys, and he’s STILL here working! #HIM

Radar shows up towards the end. I shake my head at Radar. He told me at Commitment he:
1. Doesn’t know where WXES is, but will head there to work.
2. Has an appointment out by the airport, but will be back to WXES to finish up.
I said, “You weren’t called a moron growing up, were you? Cause that’s a dumb idea. There’s no reason to do that.”
Now, I’m the one who’s the dummy. There’s a second power washer that can help Shop Dawg, and Radar’s the only one with experience left to do it. Together, they finish the main entrance to the front door. And it looks amazing!

Finally, some time to EH some Waxhaw PD & the Principal’s husband. The Principal lives in Indian Trail, but I didn’t tell him there are AO’s near him. #SorryNotSorry
I saw several other Sad Clowns who could benefit from F3. Hope they got an EH, too.

Moleskine

While I’ve tried to describe the events, I’m still at a loss for describing the amount of sheer pride I felt today. The level of energy, efficiency, effort – you were all so far beyond everyone else…it was chess vs. checkers. There was a level of camaraderie where we wanted to work together, and we knew how to work together well. It was addictive, and I wish I could have been a bigger part of that with you.

Regardless if you participated, I encourage you to drive by the school. It will be readily obvious what was done, both on the front & in the back. Perhaps a Floater Q could take you on a tour? Especially if you brought a 2.0, you should absolutely go by there. Help them connect what their effort, plus the combined efforts of others, can do to make a difference.

I’ve said to some of you my wife’s feelings about F3 – likes the results, just not the process. In other words, likes the extra energy out of me to play with the kids, do more stuff, etc. But doesn’t like that means a daily 4:37 AM alarm or working out while she gets ready for work. Today, though, she realized that the results that we produced at the school could have ONLY come from putting that work in every morning (or Thursday afternoon). It was a different conversation this afternoon, thanks to all of you.

If you ask my kids, they would initially say that SSS’s are boring / no fun / waste of time. I asked their thoughts after this sprucing: “This was the best one ever!” Your kids are like my kids; they want to feel useful. To have an impact. To make a difference. They have probably absorbed so much from screens (or just forced to be passive observers in general) that they yearn to do some work that matters (but not before yelling that they don’t want to do that [that’s the mumble chatter you’ve come to expect as a Q]). Just like when you Q, focus not on what’s said, but what’s being done.

Announcements

Officer Vic said that there was going to be some backpack giveaway going on at the school soon. Yes, a large portion of the WXES population is in a financially vulnerable spot. If I hear more info, I’ll pass it along.

The F3 Union County shirts that you saw just happen to be on sale RIGHT NOW:
https://f3.mudgear.com/collections/active-preorders/products/f3-union-county-pre-order
This order closes at midnight on 8/7/19. It will be 6 -12 months before the order will open up again.
Caveat Emptor, however – WUC’s new region name & logo will be coming out soon with a very small ordering window. If cost is a factor in your decision buying process, you may want to hold off just a bit.

Premature Q-Jackulation

7/9/19 7:10 PM
Rubbermaid: You want to Q commitment July 27
7/9/19 8:36 PM
Posse: Sure. I didn’t want to go to the Crane anyway.

Scouting & prepping for weeks to find something new for the Commitment Pax, I clutched my pearls when Run Flat rolls up in the literal 6:29 to say “I’m Q’ing today.”
“Dude”, I whispered, “I’ve already got some stuff out there…can you push to next week?”

RF disappointingly accepts, and I dispense the DiCCS in a more whimsical fashion than my previous monologue. Pax this time were hung up when I asked for a show of hands of who had BOTH the desire and certified knowledge to save a man’s life, even if it meant applying chest compressions and putting your mouth on another man’s mouth? To no one’s surprise, Damascus asked, “What if you have the desire but aren’t certified?”

The Warmup

Paula Abdul’s using the trees on the right.
2 trees up = 10 Carolina Dry Docks
1 tree back = 5 Diamond Merkins
I could tell most everyone was thinking this was going to be pretty easy. But by 6 trees in, the Diamonds were starting to cut.
J-Wow & Damascus crushed this pretty quick, so they already moved to the rock piles for our next event.

Pick a lifting rock. Most Pax are now skeptical when instructed to do this, so we did bench presses until everyone was in & on their back with a rock.
Walk 10 feet to see a drawing that looked like Sanscrit to most (because it took way to long to explain what to do).
The diagram had the rightmost building of the school displayed. To the right of the school are sidewalks that form a triangle. Rocks are going to be deposited at each corner. With 8 rock-wielding Pax, the fastest 3 will drop their rocks at the farthest corner; slowest 2 drop their rocks at the closest corner, etc.
Legalized, typically downplaying his fitness, is in the top 3 here! #GoodNewsBadNews
Regroup for SSH.

To keep the mystery in my madness, we don’t use the rocks just yet. Instead, we go to the hill for 7’s: Plank Jacks & Rosalita’s.
Where is there a hill? Next to the big set of steps connecting the school to the baseball fields. It is graded such that one side is at least twice the length of the other, so Pax can pick their position.
Because we started at the top of the hill, Pax believe it’s easy & fun (possibly). They didn’t realize that means they also make an additional climb to finish at the top.
Regroup back at the Boulder Triangle for Imperial Walkers.

25 bicep curls
25 tricep curls
25 thrusters
hot lap between each exercise – touch the yellow chain on the far side of the parking lot (1 route was longer for the gazelles)
When you finish all 3 corners, grab a rock & take it back to the pile. Fuse & I finish at our 3rd corner at the same time. I start to admonish him for taking the rock back from the corner that only has 2 rocks. He says, “But everyone else is done. They all have rocks, too.” I looked back to see it was true. Everyone had finished within seconds of each other, regardless of ability! Wow, I should really teach a class in keeping Pax together.

While we’re doing this, Mad Dog is doing his MASH with us (more on that later). I realize the next thing we’re about to do has some obstacles on it. During one of my hot laps, I ask him to head there ahead of us and take care of it for me. Ever the #ServantLeader, he does it. I still don’t know what happened to those obstacles, but I’ve learned to never ask a Marine how he makes his sausage.

Mosey behind the school, where there are 2 large & wide benches (formally topped with clothes). Pax follow me as we double leg hop over the benches.
We all know to not let Damascus be behind us during the workout. Unfortunately, Run Flat learned to not let Damasus be in front of him either. As we traverse down the benches, Damascus’ foot finds Run Flat’s face. Probably an honest accident, but part of me is haunted by Damascus’ question to put his desire into action today. Coffeteria would find a very bloodshot eye in the Flattest of all Runners.

Suicide Doors
15 American Hammers at door 1.
10 Bomb Jacks at the other doors around the building, in a suicide fashion.
Damascus leads Supermans while waiting for the 6.

Bears on the Ski Slopes
10 burpees just to get people spread out
Bear crawl up the ramp of each of 4 learning cottages
Rail walk down the ramp
Between each learning cottage, take a hot lap doing mogul jumps over a short playground balance beam.
Several questioned the safety of doing the rail walks. But I know the quality that goes into each UCPS railing & had full confidence in their steel.
Carb Load stepping up to lead LBC’s while waiting for the 6.

Swerkins (feet in a swing while doing merkins)
Partner by opposite ability
150 swerkins as a team; alternate with running to the rock
Partner transition included a handslap merkin that did NOT count for the 150. Twinkle Toes threatened me with partner carries if I didn’t recant the noncounts. #NoDice
My runs to the rock had me nostalgic for Saturdays to come.
I picked J-Wow as my partner, knowing I had a ringer. Then was surprised in my last trip that I had to finish the last 15 swerkins. He had a sly smile that had me thinking he went to 300 while waiting for me to return & just needed a run to clear the mind.

Mosey to the front of the school where we grapevined left & right to Mad Dog doing some dynamic stretches.

Continue mosey to the fields, where someone had placed cones the length of the soccer field in EXACT 10-yard increments. How could someone convert a soccer field to a football field with no measuring tools? Band.

Human Hurdles
Same partners. P1 runs to the 10-yard cone & planks. P2 jumps over P1 and goes on the next cone, where he planks. Repeat down the field.
This is one of my favorite things to do as a summer Q. Takes me back to when I was a latchkey kid and would stack pillows between 2 chairs and see how many I could jump over. For J-Wow, though, it must have been PTSD-ish, as he kept planking lower & lower every time I had to jump him.

Human Bridges
We gotta get back to the other side of the field. So this time you have to army crawl under your partner. Some Pax outright refused, choosing to bear crawl around their partner. Not accustomed to refusenik behavior. I’ll show you.

Tunnel of Love
Everyone plank up shoulder to shoulder facing the same direction. I begin the army crawl underneath each of the Pax, followed by everyone else. Fusebox was with me the last time I did this. And while he proclaims to be a non-touchy person, he made no attempt to army crawl under us. Choosing instead to do a simple crawl on all 4’s, resulting in his back collecting bodily fluids off the front of each one of us. I couldn’t even plank high enough for him as he carried me for a couple of feet until I slid off from excessive Pax lubricant. Me thinks he doth protest too much.

Bridge of Hate
Never done this one before, and it showed.
Everyone on their back, still in close quarters. Pax get carried down the line, ala crowd surfing / mosh pit surfing.
I go first to demonstrate. I lay on Run Flat, waiting for him to push me up & towards the crowd. All I hear are no’s. You people. I discovered the wrong kind of hate.

Fine, Jack Webbs. I’ll show you. Normally, I like the JW. This time, they called out the #AngryQ. I’m calling out the first 4 rounds with no one saying a thing. I have to remind them that unless they answer me, I can’t see them through my blind rage. They come around on round 5.
Just before the 10th round, I say “Halfway there…”. Twinkle Toes startles out of his own gloom for a moment. It’s fun to be taken too literal sometimes.

As we cross the street to the starting parking lot, Damascus marvels how we ended on the second of 60 minutes worked. Thanks. You don’t want to know what was next if we had any more time left.

Moleskine

Mad Dog is leading a MASH initiative in this region. If you are injured or recovering from an injury, it can be lonely staying at home, especially when you have sampled the insane fellowship F3 brings to men. Because we now have multiple workouts every weekday, most Pax can delay reaching out to someone they haven’t seen in a while, assuming they must have been in a different AO. The loneliness will cause you to spiral further down.
Instead, come on out with us. Walk the perimeter of the AO. Or walk to the stations the Q has set up. Do some stretches while others do exercises. Be the form police. I don’t care; just show! You need this as much as we need you there.
Reach out to the Pax you know are hurting, physically or mentally. MASH will not be nearly as effective when only 1 Pax is doing it. It takes a minimum of 2 men to do this.
You could even do this for the men who are so worried about their (lack of) fitness that they never post. Maybe a try it before you buy it?

I had a moleskine from my last Q to assess my 4 years in F3. It never got published because it was taking too long to complete it. With Commitment being my first ever posting, this is as good a time as any to reflect.

My 4-year story doesn’t print so cleanly as others.

  • Down 40 pounds the first year; now up 30 (& it ain’t muscle).
  • Definitely slower mile times than 1 or 2 years ago.
  • No significant gains in strength as shown by pull-ups, merkin varieties, etc.
  • Spartan Trifecta & 2 Sprint Triathlons in Y1-Y2 that I wouldn’t consider repeating right now.
  • While I love picking up the 6, I notice the 6 have moved on up. For almost all of you, we’ve spent time in the back together; now all I see is your back. And I couldn’t be more proud jealous frustrated with myself.

Maybe for some of you, a switch flips, and you’re off to the races. You’ve beaten the Sad Clown. Congrats!

Maybe you’re more like me, where you fight a gaggle of clowns each day. Different outfits. Different voices. Different lies. Struggling more than necessary.

The most prevalent lies lately have been “You have no value; you serve no purpose; you’re just taking up space.”

However, a couple of events have helped me just about wipe the makeup off this clown.

I was asked to be one of four WUC Pax to investigate forming our own region. I was honored, but the clown said, “Look at those other 3 guys; you don’t belong there! You just have longevity, not leadership!” But when the clown wasn’t looking, I said yes.
Meeting after meeting, I would contribute a little more. At one point, as they were describing the role of a Weasel Shaker, Mad Dog says, “Oh, that’s Posse.” I gave him my classic WTF look, but others were looking and nodding. I couldn’t see in myself what was obvious to others. #BlindSpot
But I will believe more about what others think about me than what I think about myself. By being around so many HIM, the clown is getting worn down. That voice is getting quieter. Clown’s got a case of laryngitis, and it may be terminal.

The other thing happened a couple weeks ago. I resigned from my job to go to a different company. On my next to last day of the old job, I sent an email to my team, describing what a few of them did for me on my birthday in San Francisco last month, and the impact it had on me. In opening up and showing that vulnerability, an overwhelming and completely unexpected wave of appreciation came back to me from them. I was told how valuable I was. How I was going to be missed.
On the last day, a different group of people came by, but with a similar theme – I had made the difference in their success at the company. The way I helped. The way I cared. I was valuable to them.
I floated out of there feeling such massive gratitude. This bubble of joy separated me from that clown. At least far enough to stare back and see the lies. I have a hand around the clown’s throat for once, and the squeeze feels pretty good.

The common thread is that I was in an environment that freed me to accomplish the mission with the full measure of my abilities and personality. Instead of thinking my true self needed to be hidden, my true self allowed me to be of most service.

I also realized if I had been more open about my struggles to others, I would be much further down the path of being more impactful. I opened up a little to a few who had shown their vulnerability to me (hmm…interesting concept). Each time it helped, and I am grateful for those conversations. But I held back because I didn’t think you could handle the dark goo that swirls inside me. And the last thing I wanted to hear were platitudes like “It’ll get better.” Instead, I was met each time by, “Yeah, I have that goo, too.” Or, “Here’s what I do when that happens to me.”

But even with these regressions in physical fitness, I was still accelerating in leadership, even if I didn’t see it at the time. I just chose not to focus on the positive. Or, I’d listen to the clown explain the positive was the anomaly and the negative is who I really am. If you’re going through the same thing, I’d encourage you to flip that around as well. No good ever came from a clown.

Announcements

  • Prayers for High Hat on the passing of his MIL
  • Mad Dog is passing Site Q duties over to Run Flat. Oh, today was gonna be your coming out party, huh RF? Instead, you get initiated with the traditional Site Q face-kick welcome? #GoodNewsBadNews
  • Fuse Box did a great job of F3 Dads after this workout. Several Double Dippers from Commitment showed. Need Q’s to keep this thing going. Just like everything else in F3. See Gerber.
  • Union County F3 shirts are on sale now. Here is the link.
  • August 1Q challenge. There are 47 workouts in our region for the month of August. We have enough Pax to have everyone Q only once during the month. #DeadwoodHandcuffs The Site Q’s are coordinating to ensure no double-dipping. Your name is on a list; I’ve seen it. You can either choose a time and location or get chosen. There are still 34 openings, in case you were hoping someone else would fill the void for you. The Site Q’s will also help you get prepped (that’s their job).
  • 3rd F opportunity for you, 2.0’s & M’s – Saturday, August 3 0800 – 1100 at Waxhaw Elementary School. Officer Vic (#HIM, even if he isn’t in F3 yet) has gotten Lowe’s to donate all the mulch, flowers, etc. to spruce up the outside of WXES before school starts. Just need manual labor. My M works here, while my kids went to Kensington & New Town. The level of parental / community involvement among the schools is analogous to being on the wrong side of the tracks. Except it’s literal as well. They have a new principal who needs the community to rally. Use this link to sign up. If you have power washing experience, you are desperately needed. Carb Load said that Waxhaw Baseball uses WXES fields, and maybe they could help. Now he’s Q’ing to get them involved. How I love F3. First comment = first volunteer.


Exhaustion in Plain Sight

Summer is my favorite time to Q; when I can run around buses without Diesel Death (from the bus; but your flatulence is just as deadly) or fear of vehicular manslaughter. But the Flash / Impromptu / Ignition buses are parked such that a Cheddar Weave is impossible. Others have used them as accessories; I wanted to feature them today.

Spike rolls in early and barely misses the Ignition crowd. I’m glad he chooses to stick with us.

DiCCS properly (if not semi-erotically) administered.

THE THANG

Last time I Q’ed here, I introduced the Turpee. I didn’t realize it would take off like that, but here’s what it looks like. With a brief demo, I asked the Pax to knock out 4 of them. They obliged, and thus unwittingly celebrated my 4th anniversary in F3. See Zin, you don’t have to show all your cards up front.

The Q juice kicked in on T4, and we I was off like Jason Statham in Crank (NSFW). To the front of the school for ascending / descending Turpees. One at the first light; 2 at the second, etc; up to 7, then work back down to 1. Added another element I call the Tortoise & the Hare. We would stop this foolishness when either:
+ The fastest person made it from 1 – 7 – 1
OR
+ The slowest person made it from 1 – 7.
The Tortoise won, which surprised me. Also, a surprise was not many lights between T & H. Final surprise, I didn’t get passed until light 3

Mosey to the 8th bus on the Middle School side. Plank while all come in. Point out to Pax that UCPS came out 30 minutes ago to draw a chalk line separating the 8th from the 9th bus.
Peter Parker right leg only while Pax ponder why.

Mosey to the 16th bus. Same kind of chalk line.
Peter Parker left leg only while Pax postulate if Posse is responsible for these and the Nazca lines.

Told to pair up by opposite ability. To help figure that out, we’re going to run backwards uphill the way we came. The first finisher will pair with the last, and so on. Pairs made; let’s head to the benches in front of the cafeteria.

  • Round 1
    • 150 Dips
    • 150 Derkins
    • Other partner is running to touch buses #1 – 8
    • Pick up other teams’ counts when you finish
  • Round 2 (move to basketball court)
    • 125 Bobby Hurleys
    • 125 Heels to Heaven
    • Other partner touches buses #9 – 16
  • Round 3 (move close to Rudy’s Porcelain Bus)
    • 100 Mike Tyson’s (without a wall)
    • 100 Donkey Kicks (without a wall)
    • Other partner touches buses #17 – 23

I realize in Round 1 Dasher & Mad Dog have paired up. T-claps to Mad Dog for triaging Dasher into MASH mid-workout. They’re doing yoga in the corner. Which one of you is Hawkeye?

Round 2, I cross paths with Big Tuna, whose complaint became today’s title.

Round 3, I hear the #OldManGrunt of Recalculating, and I know I’ve done OK.

And throughout the workout, I hear Fuse #QWhispering as he tries to fill his Chiseled calendar. Fish in your own pond.

Great work by those teams finishing early to help out on the reps in each round! My partner, Joy, was a beast like I have never seen from him before. At each handoff, he consistently had more reps than me across all rounds. Impressive!

To avoid the chain decapitation of Dromedary last week, I pointed out the bright yellow chain to step over to make our way to the field. However, I neglected to point out a hole just 1 step beyond the chain. Chainsaw found it with his ankle, sorry to say.

Up to the top of the field for the Tunnel of Love. Assumed it would be a first for many. Pax plank shoulder to shoulder while one end of the line army crawls under the group to the other end. #ManTouchMonday

Back to the sidewalk. Five jump squats at each light as we go back to start. SSH & IW IC while everyone comes in.

MOLESKINE

Yeah, I had a lot of stuff in here. That’s why it took an extra day. Ultimately I couldn’t write it without rambling. A story for another time, perhaps.

Announcements

Q School – If you have Q’ed less than a handful of times, you need it. If you’ve never had access to write a backblast, help is in the sign up as well. THIS Saturday, 7/20. Hands-on training to ensure your success. http://bit.do/qschool

Elevation Church is beginning Love Week the last week in July. Lots of 3rd F opportunities throughout the area. Don’t need to be a member to help. Mad Dog and others will be resources for more questions.

Swimmers is Q’ing Zero Prostate Cancer 5k Run/Walk in Ballantyne 9/14. Speed for Need will be there.

If you are a Site Q, and you are feeling like it is time to roll off, this is the perfect time. We just had Site Q School last Saturday, and there are some men ready to take on new leadership roles within F3. Talk to your co-Site Q.

See Legal Zoom about the campground revival down near Mineral springs. Equal parts preachin’, playin’, and puddin’ for the 3rd week in July.

F3 Dad’s still going strong on Saturdays at 0900 in Dogwood Park
121 Lester Davis Rd, Waxhaw, NC 28173
Nails is on Q this Saturday, but see Gerber to pick up your Q.