10 Years of F3. Wow. I’m old…Respect just around the corner. Suppose I didn’t want to stay fat into my 40’s, so I tried this F3 thing at age 39. My belt and my shoes were screaming. A pax named Longhorn EH’d me at a Christmas party in between bites of my third red & green M&M cookie.
And while I dropped about 35 pounds (have added 20+ back!), my F3 journey has not really been about the 1st F pursuits. Sure – there were the 5 or 6 mud runs (lost track, and I don’t spreadsheet everything in my life a la Mermaid, Bugeater, etc. – ha!), 3 BRR’s (4th one I drove which was, by far, my favorite), several 5K’s…in which I always finished just behind Prohibition as well as countless others..
F3 South Charlotte didn’t fully exist 10 years ago. There were whispers of Joker, Tiger Rag, Stone Cold and others starting an AO or two, but frankly the first few AO’s were farther from my home than several of the Metro workouts – so my first’ish year in F3 was spent in Cotswold, MPHS & Freedom Park.
Launched The Rock, DMZ and Hawks Nest with Runstopper, MallCop (remember that guy?), Skywalker, and Doc McStuffins.
All that being said, where God really impacted my life was in the 2nd & 3rd F categories. But you know what, category is a bad characterization. Fellowship & Faith should impact all of our lives. They are not compartments or pie pieces, rather, they should be at the center of everything. More like the hub of a wheel if that makes sense.
But God surprised me. I came into F3 knowing I needed to “skip rope” and “skip some dinners” – the 1st F.
I was selfish. I thought to myself, I already have plenty of friends but I do love meeting new guys and hearing their stories, so “OK” to the 2nd F. And I certainly didn’t think I had anything to learn in the 3rd F category. Boy was I wrong!
He inverted the order of F3 in terms of importance for me. Faith, Fellowship & Fitness. Thankfully, that’s still now the case for me. God expanded my view of what His kingdom is, and my role in it.
I love writing backblasts. I know…that’s weird. And I could write a lot (aka too much) with respect to F3 and the impact you men have had on me and my family. I should thank all of you individually, and I’ll do so in time.
I’ll close with this prayer:
Father God, thank you for F3 and the men who have become my dearest friends. Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me and the truths you’ve impressed on me in and through F3. Give me and these men continued courage to invite other men to what we’ve found in F3, and to point them to you. Thank you that you are our ultimate Hope, and that while this world seems to spin out of control, yet you promise to never leave us. Make us thankful for the Giver more than for the gifts as the gifts can and often are taken away, but You will not be taken away from us.
May the exhortation spoken by your son centuries ago become life-giving reality for all of us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind….and love your neighbor as yourself.”