Author Archive Ice9

What are you doing with it?

7 men got fast, powerful, and mentally tough during the 2nd running of cowbell. They slung heavy bells, they sprinted, and never stopped. These are some of the fittest men in the nation. Yet at the end, some were literally unable to lift their bells for another rep. Others appeared to be swaying on their feet, breathing hard. These men were and are complete bad-asses.

Why inflict brutality on themselves this cold winter morning? To get fast, strong, and mentally tough, of course. Each man next to his brother knew he could accomplish what would be impossible alone. No matter what trial he faced later that day, it would seem smaller. These men do this most every day. You see, the men of F3 inflict trials on themselves for a reason. They know that trials produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character. With character, the really good stuff is right around the corner.

That brings me to Zinfandel’s semi-reluctant take out. For those of you who don’t know him Zin, he has one of the biggest hearts in F3. He urged us this morning to hug our neighbors, to think of them, to love them, and to think bigger than ourselves. Implicit in what Zin said was that each of us has been given a kind of power that most others are missing. We have the obvious: speed, strength, mental toughness, and the character that comes from it. And we have each other: other men to come alongside us with their own speed, strength, and mental toughness.

Let me ask you. What are you doing with these gifts? Consider your answer. And consider how to use your gifts going forward if you are not satisfied with your answer. Your brothers will support you. And when the world sees you and your brothers, using your strength, character, and relationships, acting sacrificially, in love, for others, without profit to you, they will ask WHY. Only good things come from that question. It is the 3rd F.

Ice9 out.

 

 

Fight or flight

9 men at the inaugural launch of cowbell prepared themselves for fight or flight with hundreds of reps and sprints totaling 3 miles.

The cowbell concept is simple: keep the body in constant stress and the heart rate up with continuous kettlebells movements interrupted only by sprints. We started with a minute on mechanics: in short, make sure you swing and push the bell from your hips and legs, NOT your back. Watch the form especially when you start to fail. Then we were off.

We lined up in front of the Petsmart and did a lot of the following exercises.

  • Alternate hands lunge
  • Gunslinger
  • High pull
  • Knees, waist, and overhead thrusters
  • Lawnmower
  • One handed switch swings
  • One-arm push press
  • Overhead (two-handed) press
  • Plank pull
  • Squats
  • Swings

Reps were punctuated by long sprints to the Brooklyn Pizza, the Chick Fil’ A, the Target, and, for rest, to the far curb and back. Leaders did swings until the six caught up, which was usually very quickly. Toward the end, we also took a break with a mini mind eraser with merkins and plankjacks when it looked like the troops would mutiny if asked to pick up their bells again. Also, a few idiots ran a couple miles before the workout, led by Hurry.

The workout was wheelhouse for Tool Time and Zinfandel: standouts for both speed and power. Tool Time was up front all morning. Zinfandel had some story about only being there because he overslept, but no one believed him. Every man pushed hard. Sadly, though, there was no merlot. So no man found his limit, leaving room for improvement next week.

Thanks to Bottlecap for taking us out with the word, and for his leadership as our Nantan.

Sign up for the blood drive, or they will find you. Christ’s Closet is loading up a truck for a giveaway in Wilmington, in place of the 10 year giveaway, and could use some strong guys like you readers to help load the truck Friday the 15th at noon on your lunch break. Great to be with these men this morning. Working out regularly in F3Waxhaw has been one of the many blessings for me from the trial of Covid.

Ice9 Out.

Time for some discipline

A fast team at Ignition did nearly 6 miles with mind erasers, leg and ab exercises, staggered races, and Indian runs to please Rubbermaid. Not everybody finished at 6:15, but all had fun. Really. They did. Special kudos to Sugardaddy, who is 2x as fast as a few months ago, and Tool Time, who admittedly benefited from Hurry #rainsacking.

Meanwhile, I thought you’d be interested in observations from tonight’s reading at #F3Sanctuary. We are studying the Christian disciplines, such as meditation, prayer, study, solitude, guidance, and celebration. Our author contends there are 2 main reasons to practice the disciplines:

  1. Spiritual competence. Being competent at anything requires practice and discipline. Think about your fitness and your job. Why would spirituality be different?
  2. Jesus did. And he is God. Jesus practiced the disciplines. Why would his divine self need them but we don’t?

This week’s discipline is #service. It is found in a lifestyle in relationship with God. True service loves hiddenness, doing small things, being indiscriminate, and meeting needs. I found particularly powerful the truth that service is one of the best ways to gain humility, especially hidden service. By choosing to serve, we achieve freedom: from pride, from needing to feel important, from the need to insist on our rights. And I found particularly insightful the observation that allowing others to serve us is a discipline itself: by submitting to allow others to serve us, we recognize their “kingdom authority” over us, receiving a spiritual gift that need not be repaid.

Thanks to Shake n’ Bake for his testimony at COT. In serving his community this morning, he was rebuked. But he gladly paid that price to do the right thing. I am thankful Shake is in my community.

Out.

“I shall be sober this afternoon”

14 guys at Asylum did about 4 miles worth of pearls on a string, with merkins, squat thrusts, SSHs, plank jacks, donkey kicks, mike tysons, rock hoppers, stump jumpers, wide arms, mountain climbers, jump squats, 180s, side squats, big boys, bicycle, heels to heaven, russian twists, flutters, and more.  It was a rather unpleasant group today, in a fun way. Lots of arguing, bickering, and repartee.

I told Smokey right off the bat that I cannot abide fools. He retorted, “apparently your mother could.” After that, we started running. Later, Blue Screen was arguing with Ralphie. He told Ralphie, “when I was your age, I talked just the way you are talking now.” Ralphie said, “if only I had known you when you were at your best!” Schnitzel accused Shop Dawg of being drunk. Shop Dawg replied, “but I shall be sober this afternoon and you, sir, will still be German.” (I was personally offended by that one.) Fuse Box said that Swimmers was a “modest person, with much to be modest about.” Swimmers said to the rest of us that Fuse Box “loves nature, in spite of what it did to him.” Showing the Dana the family photo afterwards, Posse said to him, “You’re really handsome in this picture, I didn’t recognize you!” Dana replied, “sometimes I need what only you can provide; your absence.” Then it started getting really ugly. Chatterbox told Flanders he was “a parasite for sore eyes.” Flanders replied that Chatterbox “can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” Loafer even bickered with Dilbert at Q source, asking, “must you fall asleep while I’m speaking?” Dilbert just smiled, “no. It is purely voluntary.”

Thanks to Dana for taking us out.

Announcements:

TAP for Hightower, his family, and the men of Grand Strand.

3rd F: Blood drive needs 20 guys to sign up today or shame and dishonor will be brought upon F3Waxhaw.

3rd F: Christ’s Closet folding party tonight, and giveaway hours Thursday night.

3rd F: Open Door Saturday and Sunday mornings w/ 3 options, currently in Romans. Sanctuary Monday nights to be starting a new study a week from today on the Christian disciplines.

Say hello to my little friends

18 men showed up for Ignition to get out of their comfort zones. Everyone grabbed a couple friends for the trip, explored some new territory, did some partner chases and exercises, and ended up with about 5.75 miles.

Spirits seemed good at the beginning of the workout. Hollywood announced at the start, “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Carb Load added, “fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” But Easy Button just grinned, ominously staring at his bricks, repeating “say hello to my little friends.”

As we started the partner chases, there was a lot of idle chatter. Gerber nonchalantly remarked, “one morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” His partner Glidah replied, “you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” Stinger knowingly nodded, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

Not everyone fully participated. Bottlecap kept yelling at people, “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” Cobbler empathized, “well, nobody’s perfect.”

In the middle, there was a lot of arguing. Smithers complained, “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” Goodfella raged, “well here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” Premature gasped, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Zinfandel menaced, “a Q once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some Dava beans and a nice Chianti.”

After we finished, a few seemed pretty pleased. Foundation just smiled and said of the workout that it was “the stuff that dreams are made of.” Cobbler said of Ignition, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Easy Button looked sideways at me and said, “why don’t you come up sometime and see me sometime?” This generally made me uncomfortable. Chastain kept looking at his bricks, calling them “my precious.”

Others were downright euphoric. Transporter exclaimed, “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small.” Dasher thought he deserved something for his efforts, hands in the air yelling, “show me the money.” Wolverine looked with pity at the rest of us, “you can’t handle the truth.” Not sure why Chastain kept repeating, “I see dead people.”

Unfortunately, others left with the apparent need for self reflection. Stinger said unfairly of himself, “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Glidah shuffled his feet, saying “I want to be alone.” Hollywide smiled confusingly, adding “a boy’s best friend is his mother.” Bottlecap pointed at me, spitting “nobody puts baby in a corner.” I would have apologized, but love means never having to say you are sorry. Whatever you do, don’t give up. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Give to the poor in the name of Jesus

Christ’s Closet is a ministry started by the men of F3Sanctuary. We give away clothes, books, furniture, and household gifts in the name of Jesus. Because He told us to. I hope He is telling you to join us.

Our next giveaway is Thursday, October 3rd, at the Petersberg Primary School in Pageland, South Carolina. 98.8% of the students are on free or reduced lunch. The poverty in their families is palpable. In past years, kids leave the giveaway with the first book they have ever owned, and the only “new” clothes they can remember receiving. God brings these families to us so we can serve and love on them in the name of Jesus.

You can help at any one or more of the below insertion points on Thursday, October 3. If you show, God has provided a free and awesome Christ’s Closet mudgear shirt for you.

  • Noon.  Load the truck at Christ’s Closet house at 6025 New Town Road, Waxhaw, NC 28173.
  • 3pm.   Set up at Petersberg Primary School at 326 N. Arnold Street, Pageland, SC 29728
  • 6-8pm.  Giveaway. Serve and pray with our guests.
  • 8pm. Load whatever is left back on the truck at the school.
  • 8:45-9:15(ish). Unload whatever is left at Christ’s Closet house at 6025 New Town Road, Waxhaw, NC 28173.

Don’t soil the field

Most of the time, gingers from Union County aren’t allowed in nice places like Charlotte Latin. I had a bad incident with a bouncer a few years back at Cranbrook I’d rather not talk about. Suffice it to say that Eminem and I have similar feelings about that place. But somehow no one stopped me when I rolled into Latin.

There is a really nice field at Latin. But McStuffins kept telling me, “don’t soil the field Ice.”  “Don’t soil it.” I said “what? What do you mean soil it?”  Doc responded, “you know what i mean. Don’t soil it, Ice.” At first I didn’t understand. But then I did. He meant not to get any ginger soil on the field. Man, that felt wrong. But I respected the Latin rules, and kept my ginger six off it.

So we stayed on the concrete, and did a lot of exercises. We did some abs (dollys, heels to heaven, flutters, real sit ups, JLos, dying cockroaches, maybe others). We did some chest and shoulders (merkins, wide arms, bearkins, dry docks, and maybe others), and we did some make-you-tired exercises (plankjacks, side-straddles, mountain climbers, etc), and we did some traveling exercises, like wheelbarrows, partner carriers, broad jumps, and broad jump burpees. No, I don’t know how many exercises. And we ran around just a bit. The Latin pax seemed a little defiant. I kept calling exercises and only some of the guys would do them. And some of the guys would stop before the end. I guess that goes with privilege.

The pax list is approximate, because they try to confuse Qs and mix the fast twitch guys and the Hawk’s nest guys. While most of the fast twitch guys were nekkid, not all were, and it was hard to tell folks apart. Doc says we had 22, but there are 25 listed on the pax list below. You are welcome.

Some good stuff coming up. The Sandbox needs bouncers (not like Cranbrook) for an event coming up.  Check out the Sandbox space on Slack (is it a “space?”), or see Transporter. Church on the Street is rolling for God, and needs you.  And some dudes are going to be drinking and running soon.  That is all.

Thanks to Juice for the takeout.

UC Kotter

15 men prepared themselves for Halloween consumption. Here is what they did.

Warm-up
Side straddle hops x100
Mountain climbers x75
Low flutters x50

Main Event

We mosey’d around both schools, with periodic stops for exercises: chest (merkins, diamonds, wide-arms, staggers, dips), shoulders (dry-docks, donkey kicks, people’s chair), legs (squats, sumo squats, jumping lunges, one-legged squats), and abs (heels2heaven, bicycle, dying cockroach, flutters, protractor, knee-ups, mountain climbers). All in all, it was a good day.

Moleskin

Love me some Union County. I’m on vacation through Thanksgiving, so looking forward to hitting it with you guys all month.

Great to have FNG Goodfella out with us this morning. Although a New Jersey native, and tough guy on the outside, there is no friend you would rather have. Always friendly, welcoming, and opening, this is the guy you know instantly, when you meet him, that you could call at 3am when you need to bury a body. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) And the man has some fitness! Most new guys would have been sucking wind out there today, but this wasn’t nuthin’ for Goodfella.

Dirty Bird is flat-out inspiring. Let me say it again: inspiring. We kept a decent pace today, and Dirty Bird never let us, despite carrying some extra baggage that he is soon going to shed. Feeling tired? Tempted to pass on those next few reps? Take a look back at Dirty Bird, who never quits, and think again.

And how about Posse? The dude is modeling underwear these days, and reports that he is down 45 pounds! That is some work. Work!

Lots of motors out there today, but sad to say I am still getting to know many of you. Look forward to it.

Announcements

Keep Transporter in your prayers, whose dad passed over the weekend.

We are starting a new book for our 3rd F group, #F3Sanctuary, which is moving to Monday nights at 7:30pm at Brooklyn Pizza. This is a group of badasses, looking to get to the next level with the Lord. I can barely make it through a week without time with these men, and hope you will join us.  Our tentative start date is a week from today, 11/7, but that is tentative since Transporter is our leader. Stay tuned on the website and twitter.

A bunch of guys did the Spartan Beast this weekend. Dasher was too tired to post this morning after it. Posse was not.

Brotherhood is love

I love the F3 #wasnow stories. Judge Hairy went from 365 pounds to flat-sexy. The Judge knew he was dead in 15 years if he didn’t do something. His knees hit the dirt, and he asked God for help. God gave him F3. Floppy disk lost 48 pounds and started being able to focus on others. Columbo was a 265 pound cop, moonlighting at a school during an F3 workout. Now the guy has logged 225 workouts in one year, and is closer to his wife and kids. No Help was struggling with purpose after leaving the Marine Corps, in a dark place, and even lost his faith. Yet with F3’s brotherhood, he regained his purpose, and his faith. In describing the difference it makes, he rightly notes that “Brotherhood is love, and YHC loves this brotherhood. Truly a blessing.” Kato was suffering dizzy spells in his 40s, and easily winded at any attempt to play with his kids. Kato reminds us that a leader needs to kick a new guy’s butt to show the new guy esteem. In each story, with new brothers, each man achieved what he could not alone. There is a lot of hurt in the world. As Cindy points out in 10 minutes, F3 is part of the solution.

At #Horsey today, 45 men shredded their legs. I needed that. But what really drove me was the men at my side. Stinger, my partner, was running his guts out. How could I do less? Posse, who had trouble running any distance a year ago, arrived from Union County with a full head of steam and never stopped. Stickbug, Mr. Brady, the Leg, Alf, Belly, Swiper, McStuffins – all killing it. And what can you say about my brother Fishwrap? The man has gone from awesome to inspirational.

Great to be with you all this morning.

God bless.