Let’s cut to the chase (or is it chaise?) here, Cinco de Mayo is about as much of a holiday as Administrative Professionals day. No offense to any administrative professionals reading this backblast. I’m sure you do an exemplary job of being some over-paid executive’s work spouse and/or legal guardian but to offer up a holiday to you and not to say first responders, teachers, and/or the dude stocking your groceries in aisle 11 is a bit of ball tap IMO. But I digress.
Cinco de Mayo is not a real holiday, settled. But we Americans are loathe to pass up an opportunity to appropriate someone’s culture, bastardize the hell out of it, and then somehow claim it’s about freedom and independence. Yeah, well you put a man on the moon six times and all those countries using the metric system can suck it. So what is the reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? One word, losers.
Settle in for a brief history lesson here kiddos. You see, back in 1858 two political parties in Mexico couldn’t get along. They were named, wait for it, the liberals and the conservatives. I shit you not. Since these groups couldn’t get along, they decided the only way to settle their differences was through
kumite civil war. IMO, roshambo would have been a far more efficient way to get things done but what does a middle-aged white guy in America with the power of the internet know?
Getting back to it, wars are expensive and like any self-respecting country you take out loans you’ll never repay. The post-civil war Mexican president placed a moratorium on Mexican debt payments after the civil war which upset the loan sharks known as Great Britain, Spain, and France. All three converged on Mexico like a bunch of fat kids at an ice cream buffet. Great Britain and Spain were cool with just getting paid later and worked out an agreement to that effect. But France had a different idea.
Like the ole bait and switch tactic that Napoleon III used to go from being elected president to declaring himself emperor. France stated their intentions were X and then decided to do something else. Like invade a country with the intent to install a monarchy. What could go wrong?
As one might assume, this went over about as well as the Q calling burpees at Hydra.
Enter May 5th, 1862 or Cinco de Mayo if you haven’t been following along. France has gone from loan shark to invading army, with a fighting force now at the metaphorical gates of the city of Puebla. The French general approached the city and, dismissing the opinions of his men, attacked from a weaker position. By mid-afternoon that day, the French fighting force at Puebla had exhausted all of their reserves, in both men and material. The French general fled the battlefield by 4 PM that same day, having taken a beating so bad he would return to France in disgrace.
Therefore, Cinco de Mayo is not about Mexican independence, but instead about the French losing one battle to the Mexican army.
But not the men of Hydra, no losers out there today. No sir-ee. Here’s what went down.
Warmup: IW, Merkins, Mt Climbers, Peter Parker, Parker peter, low slow squat
Run to the church, partner up. Grab one lifting rock for both of you
Partner 1: run the loop around the church
Partner 2: called exercise
Curls/Tricep Ext/Presses/Squats/Good morning
Go back to the school, line up abreast at the end of the parking lot just past the trees, on your bellies,
AYG to the other end
People’s chair, 25 air presses IC,
20 jump squats
Mosey back to the trees
We did this twice
Mosey back to launch for some Murray.
17 was the magic number and a good crew today. It should be noted YHC flummoxed a perfectly
regurgitated rehearsed disclaimer, and we had an FNG (poor guy). Sprockets was also back in town #kotters(?). YHC must have done something right during COP, because 100% of the pax did the first exercise. Imperial walkers, but still it was 100%. #winning
The nonsense at the church was a true time killer, but YHC also was able to AMRAP each exercise with the distance of the loop. Either that or my partner was just slow. Brandy and Foghorn were on fire today, lapping just about everyone of the pax.
Our FNG was named Marty. After the actual Marty from Ozark because he’s a financial planner. And I’m sure he launders money for the Mexican
government cartel to keep the loan sharks French away.
Thanks to Cottonmouth for the take-out
Post credit scene: Upon the return of the French general to France, he urged Napoleon III to withdraw from Mexico, cut losses and consider the dream of the second Mexican Empire dead. Eventually, Napoleon III listened. But only after 30,000 troops were dispatched, a puppet monarch installed, and the U.S. began providing political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French (which meant we were about to go full Mike Tyson on a plane f*ck around and find out mode). The installed monarch was eventually defeated, captured, and executed. Losers.
It should be noted that this was the last time any army from another continent invaded the Americas. Because, you know freedom and independence. (and tacos)
Disclaimer: This is YHC’s second backblast in two days. I’m turning to the Waxhaw-side.
YHC was tapped to Q one of the three Wednesday workouts that all occur within 1 mile of each other. Because, I dunno, it’s F3. Why not have two gear workouts within walking, rucking, or running distance of each other. Meanwhile the bootcamp workout just stares at you from across the room thinking, “we were here first and everything was fine until you guys had to show up with all your gear. There are perfectly good rocks that you could lift and carry, but oh no, gotta spend inordinate amounts of money on iron things measured in kgs or overpriced backpacks with hip belts and matching duffle bags filled with sand. Call us old fashioned but we were just fine with our rocks and running 2 – 3 miles. No one still alive complained about bootcamps and no one was stealing the hotbox on rainy days. Now you guys have earned a view of our superb monkey humper form.”
But I digress, back to the assignment of the Q. YHC was voluntold to Q SACS because he called out a certain site-Q’s expert Q schedule planning strategy during COT at Centurion. Said strategy is a copy/paste of that sister gear workout Meathead, corner someone on Slack and tell them they’re the Q. Vague references to public shaming. That’s it.
So at 0511 YHC rolls into the parking lot. Cheese Curd was already there. Likely running away from his fatherly duties to the new puppy. His M and 2.0s
shamed him into getting convinced him it was a good idea (spoiler alert, it’s going as well as one would expect a new puppy in a new home would go two weeks in). As YHC stepped out of the car, Wild Turkey, Flipper, and Geraldo all pulled in like they planned it. One after the other, like they needed YHC to take the brunt of the puppy whining before they showed up.
The crew gets out of their cars and starts slapping sandbags on the ground like the large phallic-looking items they are. All this talk about who’s carrying what, mine’s bigger than yours, look at this someone’s carrying a whale dick.
YHC corrals this rag-tag group of part-time ruckers and full-time slackers into something resembling a workout. Comments are made about who didn’t show up *cough* Focker *cough* and then we ruck-up and head out of the parking lot for a 1 mile warm-up of the route for the challenge. As we exit the parking lot, a CINTAS truck comes in on two wheels. We all have the same thought, that guy is lost.
Never mind, it’s Rousey. Wild Turkey, meanwhile, floats a story about Rousey tricking pax into unloading his truck during a workout all in the name of “fitness”. More like, someone found a group of suckers. That’s a #promove Rousey. Well done, sir.
Once Rousey’s ruck was packed with starched uniforms, resume the route. All the way down Strawberry Ln to Rosecliff, turn around and ruck back. It’s .5 mile one-way. So 1 mile round-trip there, math majors. Ruck weight was standard 30 pounds. After, the pax went through some dynamic warmup moves and stretching. We did a few laps upping the weight, each time, as we went. Had to get a strong warmup before kicking off the main challenge. Two notable events occurred during these laps:
Like the light at the end of the tunnel that is a train, it was time to begin the main event. Pax loaded up with their own choice of weight. See below:
* Cheese Curd and Wild Turkey, switched up at some point and again later in the mile. YHC supervised and assisted in the transition. To Wild Turkey’s credit, he was managing the ruck + sandbag, with a kettlebell in one hand. Throwing off one’s balance and the sandbag kept shifting off his shoulders. To Cheese Curd’s credit, he switched with Wild Turkey, and carried the kettlebell against his chest to minimize the weight shift. It was a struggle, but these guys pushed through and completed another Pathfinder class this week with a smoking APFT score. Smart, strong, and efficient. T-claps, men.
At the end, no one was happy with the challenge. There were groans, curses, strange noises not heard in the daylight, and the group felt the pain all day. But all we’re stronger for it. We completed the challenge. Welcome to SACS, “concept … walk with heavy stuff is a weekly occurrence. Some days we walk longer than others … ”
Oh yeah, and Flipper sucks at fantasy football. We all learned that today.
11 skunks stayed in their cars until 0529.30 this AM and reluctantly got after it in the 39 degree temps. This was the first time Baby Steps attended Skunkworks, so a full disclaimer was required to ensure all the legalities and liabilities were covered. That out of the way, the skunks got down to the work.
25 two handed-swings, Imperial Walkers, 25 two handed-swings, Sharon Towers, 25 two handed-swings, Peter Parker/Parker Peters, 25 two handed-swings
Cleans 10 x per side, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Lunges 10 x per side, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Lawnmowers 10 x per side, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Squats 10, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Merkins 10, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Swings 25, run to the end of the parking lot and back
Pax did this whole complex 2 times
Voodoo Complex Pyramid: 3/2/1/2/3
Left side start, descending on the reps, then back up the ladder
swing, high pull, snatch, clean, squat, and press
Murray to run the clock out
Rocky’s far less Italian second cousin, Stoney (aka Stone Cold), reached out to YHC to cover the Q. Everyone’s favorite Tennessee fan, Smokey, had a conflict and couldn’t make his scheduled Q. Which according to Horsehead, this Q schedule is expertly planned out with the same amount of precision and forethought that one can expect from CMS planning for inclement weather (aka: snow and ice). YHC, of course, was glad to fill in so as not to interrupt the Q schedule flow. It does push the half-marathon training off, but afternoon/evening runs can be added to the menu. #ThatsAMeProblem
The playlist was recycled from the Meat-SACS-vil convergence of 2021. A few key highlights from the song selection:
Lots of swings on the menu today as well. Pax would have gotten to 172 if they did all the reps. The Voodoo Complex was a real crowd pleaser, and by crowd pleaser YHC means the mumble-chatter died out after the first round.
Thanks to Tweetsie for the take-out
Holiday gatherings, the time honored tradition of cramming ourselves into an enclosed space during the annual global pandemic that is flu season. Like watching aircraft try to land at Cheese Curd’s house due to the excessive volume of overly festive lights that confuse red-eye pilots coming from Vegas, it’s a train-wreck waiting to happen. But who doesn’t love the Festivus-inspired airing of our grievances while imbibing on expired eggnog or a keg of classy beer like Schlitz Malt Liquor. And why should the SLT of Area 51 deny pax an opportunity to gather and celebrate the holidays in style? So as the dually appointed 2nd F Q of Area 51, I present to you the Area 51 2021 Holiday Kegger, or Holiday Gathering for the grown-ups that have to sell this to their Ms.
It’s an opportunity to catch up with people you’ve only seen in the dark at 0530, so you won’t recognize them in the harsh halogen infused light of a rented space with dropped ceilings. And since Thanksgiving is close enough in our rearview that the “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” disclaimer isn’t warranted, our super-spreader turkey gatherings have enough time to process the Omicron variant and gear up for another classy super-spreader event. Because how could your holidays get any worse? Take a look around you, Ellen! We’re at the threshold of hell! So let’s get some alcohol and put it to work killing the germs it was designed to kill.
Here are the details that you need to know:
The Area 51 SLT will graciously be providing the following.
And remember, your donations are going towards a good cause shoring up the Area 51 paypal account. Not just a lift kit for Purple Haze’s truck. Because nothing says over compensating like needing a step-stool to get into your mid-size truck.
T-Claps to High Tide for pulling some strings and getting us these sweet digs. More details to follow.
Looking forward to it, men.
What did you do when your parents went out of town for the weekend and abandoned you at home with a bag of Doritos, some frozen pizza, and vague threats not to let them find out you did something stupid? You throw a raging party like the abandoned children that you are. Find 21 of your closest friends, get a keg, put on some loud music, and hope the cops don’t show up.
This is an accurate representation of what happened in the parking lot of Calvary church for the Meat-SACS-vil convergence. 20 men showed up to a plethora of bells, bags, a keg, and assorted gear. They endured lots of bad ideas from the three-headed Q of Unplugged, Wild Turkey, and YHC. Floorslapper finally showed up in the middle of COP to make it a legal drinking age, 21.
The plan was simple, and hatched by Unplugged while he was “teaching” (i.e. playing a VHS tape to his high school class, and making sure they weren’t lighting fires with the Bunsen Burners in the back of the classroom). Since our rival site Q’s (Voodoo and Cheese Curd) were DR it was time to question how said rivalry was hatched up. Likely this was to keep advertising single digit attendance workouts that consist of Dora’s Pathfinder WODs or a spreadsheet that changes names just not content every 6 – 10 weeks. Both of these serve as the perfect excuse to not come up with an original weinke which is a win-win for anyone unlucky enough to be cornered in a dark parking lot and asked to Q next week before the sun rises and you’re still seeing stars.
As readers of YHC’s non-existent online journal, which YHC refuses to call a “blog” because it sounds like something that lives on a riverbed and communicates through farts, will attest; these Wednesday workouts have created an effective contrast. Like riding a bike down a long and peaceful country road and every other hundred yards the bike turns into a bear. One Wednesday you’re standing still holding heavy objects listening to the flatulent sounds of an old man bark about how bad the music selection is and asking yourself “Why am I here?” and the next Wednesday you are walking around a dark track with a heavy object on your back listening to stories of “this one time at GoRuck” and asking yourself “Why am I here?”
Of course, if you’re a regular pax at Anvil this is one of those situations where you’ve decided the convergence would be a healthy alternative from the series of frying pans and fires that are your typical boot camp.
But back to the lecture at hand, this workout flowed better than the clunkily strung together Thanksgiving Turkey hand collage found on the wall of a kindergarten classroom. It started with a little COP from Unplugged who taught everyone how to lift a kettlebell by clapping their hands. No seriously, you should try it one day. Just put your hands on your hips and clap in cadence. Now you’re a professional strongman, go pick up a Volkswagen Beetle. All of our collective lower backs are are still trying to figure out when after clapping you actually lift something heavy. It was during the
clapping lifting lesson that Floorslapper decided to grace us with his presence.
Wild Turkey was up next, using EMOM to crush pax under the heel of 20 reps per minute of the foundational kettlebell exercises. No snatches to Mighty Mite’s vocal disappointment, but he may be used to that by now (the no snatch part and the disappointment that accompanies it. #Boom #MicDrop) The fun part here was that our plethora of bells acted as “stations” where we shifted every minute to a new weight. And by “fun”, YHC means you were either lucky enough to get 20 reps of goblet squats with a trailer hitch of a kettlebell or unlucky enough to have single leg lunges with the 70 pound “Large Marge” bell courtesy of Unplugged. The groans of the un-initiated gear pax were only barely audible over the rocking sounds of YHC’s bluetooth speaker, until they weren’t because the “battery died”. Lucky for the pax, YHC is always prepared and had a backup. Frehley’s Comet was so relieved.
After the Wild Turkey special, pax were instructed to move the kettlebells to a parking space, lest unsuspecting visitors to the church decide that these were newly installed speed bumps that must be thoroughly tested. YHC was now in charge. Pick up all the rucks, sandbags, the keg, Twig, BOS, and both sets of twins. All pax had to carry something and move to a designated point. At said point, rotate coupons to a random fellow pax and do a called exercise. Then keep moving. Pax all moved in the direction of the Hot Box with one more swap before arriving. At our arrival, pax unceremoniously dumped their coupons on the ground and took a seat against the wall. YHC, having planned nothing, decided that the coupons needed to move from their current location to the other side of the Hot Box. But please, gentlemen, stay in your seats, we can and will do this while seated. And remain seated we did. 19 of the 21 coupons made it from one side of the Hot Box to the other. Then YHC realized the error of his ways and had all of the coupons trucked right back to where they started. The pax were pleased, especially Turkey Leg who is still recovering from his Philly Marathon. Nothing says easy marathon recovery like burning quads. Once coupons were back in their original position pax recovered grabbed their gear and headed back to the cars.
Unplugged took the reins for his second run at Q, because clapping wasn’t enough to get the pax blood flowing. But sprints on the other hand … let’s just say there’s a reason Meathead is a 0.0 workout. Running sucks. High Tide tried sprints once and pax are still looting and rioting in the streets because of that bad decision. But of course if you’re an Anvil or SACS regular you know covering distance is expected. So sprints were on the menu, preceded by some called exercises. After which it was time for some Murray (for overweight middle aged men) as opposed to Mary for single guys still sporting at least a 2 pack in the abs department. And that was the best hour of your week right there.
It was, by all accounts, the best convergence in Area 51 all week. It will be followed by two other convergences on Thursday and Friday. Neither of which will have as many Q’s or as much useless stuff packed into the trunks of their cars.
Thank you to all the pax for showing up today. YHC wasn’t expecting so many pax but was honored to be part of the leadership of this
train-wreck well thought out and expertly planned convergence. Here’s to hoping all pax have a Happy Thanksgiving.
On a very personal note, YHC is thankful for this group and for all the Hallmark Holiday card reasons that accompany it. But above all others, no matter how rough life outside of F3 is going, this group of men is a constant beacon. YHC can show up anywhere in the gloom and find others who have shed the trappings of our daily lives to put in work and enjoy 45 – 60 minutes away form it all. Thank you, men.
In the background of all this madness, were the kick-a$$ sounds of a stellar playlist curated by YHC:
Kiss: Detroit Rock City
American Sharks: Overdrive
Motley Crue: Kickstart My Heart
Living Colour: Cult of Personality
Airbourne: Back in the Game
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Higher Ground
AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
Clutch: Fortunate Son (Creedence cover)
Pink Floyd: Run Like Hell
MC5: Kick Out the Jams
The Clash: White Riot
Neil Young: Rockin’ In the Free World
Coheed and Cambria: No World for Tomorrow
Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tears
6 men showed up for the battle of the bands, 70’s v 80’s edition of Meathead. It would have been 7, but someone slept in. We won’t name names, we don’t do that here, but YHC can confidently say that said person can expect a Foo Fighters playlist of KISS songs coming soon to a workout near him.
But YHC digresses, the men in attendance took on week 3 of the Wolf. For those just tuning in from home, The Wolf is the third gospel of the Meathead bible. How it was developed can only be summarized in these immortal words from Martin Luther, “I think you received these ideas in your pipe dreams.” (From Defense and Explanation of All the Articles, pg. 56 of Luther’s Works, Vol. 32)
Battle of the Bands was an idea submitted by a pax on Slack the day prior to the workout. YHC had planned an aggressive punk covers playlist for some fun with the pax but quickly switched gears once the request line was opened. Battle of the Bands was suggested and one of those pipe dream ideas from Martin Luther popped into YHC’s head. It might be more of a Battle of the Decades but the approach to the playlist was to take rock artists from both decades and play a track from the 70’s and a track from the 80’s back to back. It worked for the pax present, unfortunately, at least one pax missed out altogether. But the pax in attendance paid tribute and rocked on, Detroit City style.
Warmup: 25 swings, IW, 25 swings, Sharon Towers, 25 swings, Prying squat, 25 swings
The Wolf: DFFS, DMP, DCL, DFFS 3 sets of 5. 1 minute on, 90 seconds off
Double Deadlifts: 3 sets of 5
Merkins / Lawnmowers: 3 sets of 10
Voodoo complex increasing reps: 2, 3, 4 per side
Double carries, alternating positions – rest in between
Waiter / rack
Farmer / rack
Waiter / Farmer
Static holds 30 seconds each
The Wolf is a no joke program. The double squats bracketing the exercises really forces pax to push themselves, YHC worked with double 40’s (not the drinkable kind) for two sets and double 53’s for the last set. That will take the wind out of your sails. Thankfully, the pax will only be subjected to this madness for a few more weeks before moving onto the next
book spreadsheet in the Meathead gospel.
Good group of pax as well. The usual regulars were out these with a drive-by from the Anvil crew. No monkey-humpers this week. Pretty sure
the playlist Mr Magoo’s beatdown by the baseball fields kept them busy and too tired to show their (no eye contact) monkey humper form.
Was really looking forward to getting some solid feedback on the playlist this week. As mentioned in previous backblasts, YHC delights in setting off the grumpy old snowflakes with select choices of loud and aggressive (some might say angry) music. This week YHC leaned into the idea of 70’s v 80’s playlist in the hopes of some epic musical mumblechatter. Of course the risk with this is always finding out who had what done to them in various concert parking lots across the United States. Some stories
are better left at home will live on infamy (or disgust). Frehley’s Comet may not ever live this one down.
Finally, thanks to Voodoo and Unplugged for the opportunity to lead. Always enjoy subjecting the pax to my bad ideas, and they all seem to think they get better for it.
Thanks to Unplugged for the take-out.
And of course, can’t forget the playlist:
12 did what the rain hasn’t done at 0530 all week, they showed up and put the work in. YHC was making up for his
lackluster Q performance complete fartsack from two weeks ago, by taking the Q this week at Centurion. #cotters
The focus for the workout was to honor the 19 soldiers lost during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, 28 years ago. Inspiration was provided by GORUCK’s MOG Mile events and the MOG mile WOD which called for sandbags in the workout. But this ain’t SACS and YHC wasn’t bringing the coupons so we modified to partner work. Here was the inspiration for the weinke design.
Quoting US Army Ranger Keni Thomas, “We all came to peace with it – if I die here, I die here. But I’m not going to let it happen to the guys around me. That’s what it became about. We weren’t fighting for the flag, or the nation or freedom. I wasn’t even thinking about my family. All I thought about was that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to the guy on my left and the guy on my right.”
Reflecting on that, and focusing on the numbers 19 and 28, YHC was prepared to deliver the beatdown.
Pull into the parking lot at 0527. See the relieved look on Snowflake’s face that YHC actually showed up this week. Spend a few minutes handing out fist bumps and chatting with the pax. Cheese Curd and Sable apparently had a hot date mile prior to the workout. Pre-arranged on Slack for all to wonder over. At 0530 a thorough disclaimer was handed out to the pax and we were off for a jaunt round the parking lot. We found a tractor trailer parked opposite from McDonalds with the back open and crates of pumpkins nearby. Someone found a long/oddly shaped gourd to which Puddin Pop commented something about pills that can help with men that problem. What strikes YHC is that we could have each grabbed a pumpkin and no one would have known. Even more surprising there were still intact pumpkins on the premises. If high-school Hoover had pulled into that lot, there would have been the smashing (of) pumpkins.
Warmup by the pumpkins, SSH, IW, plank on that wonderfully smooth parking lot for shoulder taps, peter parkers, and parker peters. At this point pax were commenting about how smooth the parking lot and the impacts to various pax’s hand model careers. As soon as we were ready to spend the full 45 minutes on this comfortable asphalt, YHC decided to move on down the line … or across the street to the old parking deck at Charlotte Christian. Gather around the parking deck entrance and partner up. YHC explained weinke’s the connection to the Battle of Mogadishu. To start pax would complete BLIMPS (Burpees, Lunges 2=1, Imperial Walkers 2=1, Merkins, Plank Jacks, and Squats). The rule was to stick together for the BLIMPS start at the bottom of the parking deck do 1 round of BLIMPS. Then run to the next landing for 2 BLIMPS. Continue up to the top and back to the bottom for 7 total rounds with ascending reps each time. By the time pax hit 7 rounds, that made 28 reps of each exercise. Back at the parking deck entrance. Stay with your partners for 19 hand-slap merkins, 19 WWII situps with partners holding each others feet, and partner wheelbarrows 19 paces out and 19 paces back.
From there pax ran across the parking lot to the back set of stairs. 19 jump squats then up on flight of stairs. 19 heels to heaven and up to the next flight of stairs. 19 more jump squats and up to the top for 19 Boone crunches on the left and 19 Boone crunches on the right.. From there, run down the parking deck, out the door and over to the Wells Fargo parking lot. Plank up for the 6, cross the street and get back to the start for some Mary. As we were mid-Rosalita Crocodile Dundee rode by on Pee -Wee Herman’s bright red bike mumbling something about a group of men doing Lamaze exercises. We politely but firmly corrected him. We were doing Kegel exercises.
That wrapped up YHC’s first Q for Centurion. Come back in 2 weeks for part 2 of the Hoover Centurion Q extravaganza.
Thanks to Puddin Pop for the take out.
Blood Drive – 10/29. Mighty Mite has the details and like an elephant will remember if you don’t donate blood.
Beer Mile – 10/15. See the #beermile channel on Slack for more information.
Centurion needs Qs. You can signup here or catch Snowflake at a workout.
Thanks for the opportunity to lead.
9 men got their money’s worth on this week’s episode of Meathead. YHC was tapped on Monday in the parking lot after Swole thanks to the expert planning of the site Q’s. Good strategy on their part to EH pax for a Q spot immediately post workout and as they are getting into the car. This expert strategy almost always guarantees success for two reasons: 1) the targeted pax is likely to agree to anything because they left their common sense somewhere on the asphalt and 2) EHing pax for a Q spot as you have one leg and arm in your car saves you from hearing if said pax has any objections or second thoughts about taking the Q. These are veteran moves expertly utilized by Voodoo on most Saturday and/or Monday mornings. Or at least this has been YHC’s experience with Qing. Back to the matter at hand.
The day before YHC posted to Slack about the upcoming Meathead Q, and as most pax know by now the workout is driven by the
holy scripture spreadsheet expertly engineered to keep pax on a kettlebell routine and keep things from going off the rails, which leaves the choice of music as the key to defining any good Swo-lympus-head workout. This, of course, means that the trash talking mumble-chatter can get started early and get lively before the main event. And based on the “Kettlebell Surprise” playlist from Frehleys Comet’s Swole Q on Monday, we had plenty of material. For those of you trying to keep up with the weekly music drama, let’s recap quickly.
Using the Reader’s Digest version of “a dummy’s guide to selecting music for your workout” authored by Frehleys Comet:
Now that we’re all caught up, YHC announced on Slack the intention to Q Meathead. Workout theme would be 5 sets with a heavy Monty Python reference thrown in for good measure. (1, 2, 5) As a good Q should, YHC opened the line for music requests. And boy did they come in. RATM, millie vanillie (who the hell is that?), Monster Mash, and Gaslight Anthem were the responses. YHC suggested some Smashing Pumpkins, mostly feeling nostalgic as a gen X’er. Ickey Shuffle pointed out the contradictory efforts of Tom Morello to both fight the capitalist imperial system while selling guitar lessons on the side. 10 minutes for YHC to slap the weinke together and about 45 minutes to curate a playlist. Onto the main event.
0528 – pull into the parking lot
0529 – realize Mighty Mite isn’t there to hear his requested music choice
0530 – give a
disclaimer explanation about what to expect and kick it off
25 swings, IW, 25 swings, windmill, 25 swings, prying squat, 25 swings
5 Supersets of 5 reps: Double cleans, Double freaking front squats (FFS), Double swings and give ample rest time between each set (time for lots of
bitching feedback about the music choices)
Merkins/Lawnmowers 5sets of 5 reps
Standard merkins, Wide-arm merkins, Diamond merkins, off-set L side merkins and off-set R side merkins with 5 lawnmowers per side after each set of merkins
High Pulls/OH Press 5 x 5
Waiter carries, Rack Carries: 2 light posts, switch sides and come back
Murray: Heels to Heaven, Plank, Flutter Press, Hollow Body hold
Blame it on the rain-skine:
The first part of the workout was tough. Those supersets took the wind out of a few sails. But that was by design, FFS are not easy or fun exercises and sandwiched between double cleans and double swings left many a pax glad to put down the bells after. The rest of the workout was lower intensity, but kept the pax moving.
Then there was the
bitching feedback about the music selection. 30 seconds into a live version of Pearl Jam’s Porch was where it all started. Honestly, I was surprised it took that long, must have been the vigorous supersets holding everyone back. But not surprisingly, Frehleys just doesn’t relent. This is why I secretly look forward to Qing a workout with him in attendance. Nothing like a triggered old man to get your day started right. To which I share this nugget of wisdom from the morning conversation mid-rack carry. A DJ once shared with me that most people peak defining their musical tastes between approximately 18 and 27. That would have put YHC at the bottom of that bell curve at approx. 2006. But did YHC rest on the laurels of a life well listened to? No. Absolutely not, in fact one could argue that at 27, YHC was just getting warmed up. Think about all the angst still to come in 15 years plus the constant retro unearthing of eclectic one-hit wonders made popular by current day movies and TV series. The resurging popularity of vinyl collections and cassette tapes is like the second coming of Christ to some music lovers out there. There’s plenty of great music still to be discovered and YHC can’t wait to force old man Frehleys and the unwilling pax of Meathead to listen to those choice nuggets.
The title for the backblast was a quote from Ickey shuffle, muttered as we walked with our bells in the various carry positions. YHC was either the only one to hear it or the only one to appreciate it. That rapier-like wit is always welcome and seldom to be trifled with. I imagine it makes for some interesting conversations at home. But it did take us down the path of how most (not all) music/cinema/art is generated by liberal or left-leaning individuals. Which really says something about why there is a perceived (and yes, inherent) liberal bias in the media. Apparently the right has country, western, Kid Rock, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, and Fox News. That’s it.
One final note before signing off, great to see MAD back in the gloom. A retired rucker, pretty sure he still wants to throw on a ruck but his doctor (and his M) would have some strong disagreements. Take a lesson from this man, do what you can where you can. Do let something hold you back, even if that something is common sense and your annual deductible.
I leave you all with this quote from a band called The Hold Steady, “Everyone’s a critic and most people are DJs” That about sums up the morning shenanigans in a church parking lot before sunrise.
Thanks to Unplugged for taking us out.
The Playlist causing so much angst:
Monster Mash – The Misfits
Geek U.S.A. – Smashing Pumpkins
Porch (Live) – Pearl Jam
Paperback Bible – Screaming Trees
Down – Stone Temple Pilots
Tire Me – RATM
A War Inside – Bigwig
Whatcha Got? – Red City Radio
Arms Aloft (Live) – Pearl Jam
Drive – Gaslight Anthem
I Don’t Wanna be an Asshole Anymore – The Menzingers
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
Love a Liar – Red City Radio
12 men showed up to the Calvary parking lot for a cool Saturday morning. The workout was advertised as a salute to the 246th anniversary, to the day, of General George Washington’s acceptance of the command of the Continental Army. This little factoid was shared with the assembled Rock Zero pax at 0700. The Olympians, much like the Greeks in the 18th century, were too far away to hear and too pre-occupied with their own business to be bothered.
Not many people know General Washington’s war record, and so it was shared that morning with the assembled pax and the assurance that this workout would honor 6 wins, 4 ties, and 7 losses. As one might surmise by this record, if General Washington was a coach in today’s modern sports world, he might have been out of a job. And in an effort to keep our Alabama-Snowflake pax satisfied, if Nick Saban were a redcoat Washington would have been toast. Thankfully, Washington was more like Mike Ditka he had his wins, he had his losses, and retired a hall of famer.
But enough about Ditka, let’s get back to the workout.
Mosey around the parking lot towards the Hot Box. Circle up for the typical warmup exercises. After that we hit the Hot Box to celebrate General Washington’s wins. All 6 of them. For this, pax completed
6 4 rounds of called exercises and ran down the hill of trash cans to the bottom and back. There was much debate on going to the end of the sidewalk or taking the three extra steps to get to the garbage can ON the grass. After the 4th round, the OTHER workout showed up and started making fun of us. The other workout being two middle aged women with 15 pound dumbells. Apparently, Runstopper’s half zip sleeveless vest did not impress these ladies and they commented profusely on the pax need to stop and breathe actual oxygen after 4 rounds. Pax wisely moved to the front of the Hot Box for some wall sits with air presses and story time balls to the wall. Today’s story, how Runstopper got his F3 name. After both rounds, pax ran to the light pole in the parking lot and back.
Move onto the Avenue of the Trees. One day this will get a proper LOTR/Ent reference but until then … At the avenue of the trees we contemplated the 4 ties during General Wahsington’s career. Such contemplation could only be completed with 4 rounds of 5 reps of a called exercise at each tree. After the 2nd round we stopped for some Murray (because Mary is for young guys and Murray is a proper representation of fat middle-aged men trying to get a 6 pack in the summer). After this, the pax wrapped up the final 2 rounds. Head over to the Rock Pile to contemplate Washington’s losses.
YHC’s instructions were to grab a lifting rock and the pax were informed that losing sucks. So grab a lifting rock and head to the adjacent lot for descending 7’s. Start at the first island and do 1 overhead press then mosey all the way to the last island with your lifting rock and do 6 rock squats. Come back to the fist island and complete 2 OH presses then mosey to the second to last island for 5 rock squats, rinse and repeat. Each time pax got closer and closer until we wrapped up with all pax cursing YHC’s good ideas. It should be noted that Runstopper had a strong lead on the pax all morning until now. We needed Proehl out there to keep him in check. There were many comments about choosing a lifting rock for running but this is where YHC reminds the pax that losing sucks. It sucked for General Washington and it sucks for the assembled pax.
With just under 10 minutes to go, pax replaced their rocks
gently, back where they found them by throwing them as far as they could without approaching the Rock Pile. Mosey across the parking lot to the cemetery and the circle up at the flag pole for the Pledge of Allegiance. For whatever reason, Calvary church has left the cemetery gates open alot. Time for someone to take advantage of that extra strip of asphalt. It’s not like the current residents are getting a lot of use out of it. Head back to launch and round up the Olympus pax to join us for COT.
Solid group for a cool Saturday morning. Wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of numbers with the 4th of July weekend upon us but the pax in town did not disappoint.
The pax were treated to a history lesson between each set of rounds. Here’s the breakdown for you on the wins, ties and losses of General Wahsington.
Siege of Yorktown
Battle of Princeton
Battle of Trenton
Battle of Second Trenton
Battle of Harlem Heights
Siege of Boston
Battle of Monmouth
Battle of the Clouds
Battle of Whitemarsh
Battle of Long Island
Battle of Kip’s Bay
Battle of White Plains
Battle of Fort Washington
Evacuation of Fort Lee
Battle of Brandywine
Battle of Germantown
Crane Relay, plenty of spots still open to run
Thanks to High Tide for the takeout
The following is equal parts Thang/Moleskin-age and the ramblings of a guy about to go on vacation who has mentally checked out … you have been warned.
3 dudes, who may or may not all be GRTs, made it to SACS today. Not surprising the low number considering Cheese Curd and Wild Turkey were both DR (separately of course). But not one to be deterred by something as trivial as people having better places to be at 0515 on a Wednesday, YHC was ready to lead these men into the unknown. Or at least whatever madness was conjured up in a fever dream during a nap on a Zoom call the day before. Inspired by the Saturday night ruck, Star Dog, a weinke was assembled and promptly ignored. A workout was completed and pax put the work in. What you really want to know is, what happened with “This one time at SACS”
Here goes …
At 0509 YHC made the left onto Strawberry Ln behind Snowflake. He decided to show up on time this week. Generous of the guy, considering he advertised the start time on Slack. But also much appreciated. As we rolled into the SCMS parking lot with Geraldo hot on our heels, YHC noticed a large Chevy Suburban already in the parking lot. First assumption was Logjam had joined us but it wasn’t a black Suburban. Thinking nothing of it, pax got out, rucked up, grabbed sandbags, and at this point YHC decided to toss the opener of the weinke in favor of some adventuring. Down to the ball fields. At one point Geraldo mentioned something about a woman running the track last week. That detail was filed away as noted yet not impacting the plan. The same plan that was just trashed in favor of a new plan that included heavy doses of winging it.
Head to the ballfields. First up a little modified APFT. 3 men = 3 stations. First are the sit-ups, fingers interlocked behind the head. Full sit-up, 52 in 2 minutes. One guy holds your feet down. The other does merkins 42 in 2 minutes. Rotate through exercises and everyone gets a 2 minute break at some point. That was a solid warmup.
Next lineup on the 3rd baseline with the sandbags and rucks off. sandbag toss across the infield to the first baseline, 5 burpees, and go back to get your ruck. Rinse and repeat back across the infield.
Head up the sidewalk and over to the track with sandbags and rucks. At this point YHC saw the someone running the track. Minor detail remembered and yet still filed away. Hit the track to complete one 400. Said runner passes us. It is quickly determined that this runner is female and what one might consider attractive wearing short shorts and a sports bra. She also boasted a 6 pack that would make my Miller Lite cry tears of jealousy.
After our 400 we dropped the coupons and lined up for 50 meter ruck on bear crawls with 50 meter ruck rifle carry back. Do this twice. Runner continues to run.
After this (and totally because YHC was shooting from the hip) time for another lap. About halfway around the track Geraldo starts telling a story about “This one time at GoRuck” that involved Human Centipede merkins. Basically merkins where GRTs are lined up, in plank position, with their feet on the shoulders of the person behind them (obviously pre-covid). Geraldo happened to be behind a smaller female during this story as luck would have it. Now let it be said that Gerlado embodies many admirable traits, one being his gentlemanly charm in public settings and YHC assumes this extends to GoRuck events. But in this particular story Geraldo was in the awkward position of having his head … well you can imagine where in reference to the female, whose legs were on his shoulders. There were no “Oh” faces involved. It’s at this point in telling the story where the runner catches up to this group of middle-aged men carrying heavy stuff. She slows down to ask what we’re doing and we all have this shocked silence of “there’s an attractive woman talking to a bunch of married middle-aged men, and she wants to know what we’re doing”. You know the kind of stuff the writers on the Big Bang Theory would have whipped into a funny 2 minute sketch to accompany transition through a 22.5 minute plot. Anyway, Snowflake, quick on his feet as always, tells her that we’re training for a GoRuck endurance event. 12 – 13 hours, many miles, heavy things, manly stuff etc. etc. She grins and enthusiastically says something to the effect of “That’s so cool, good luck.” and proceeds to keep running.
She wasn’t 20 feet away when Geraldo picked right back up on his story, like he hadn’t even stopped to take a breath. “So there I was with my head up this girl’s crotch.”
To her credit the woman kept running and even waved to us in the parking lot after. Maybe she was intrigued by the awkward yet challenging
positions situations that a GoRuck event puts you in, or maybe she was trying to keep the fear from her eyes as she frantically googled any other middle school in the area without a secluded track that’s empty at 0500. We may never know.
The rest of the workout was uneventful, yet challenging. It included 30+ sandbag cleans/thrusters across the parking lot with ruck on. Snowflake mentioned something about trying not to pass out during those. A ruck around the grounds and some ruck on dips & little hazes. All told under 2 miles with a solid bit of work.
Afterward, Geraldo led the group in a lesson on how to attach a hip belt to your ruck. Spoiler alert: it’s way more complicated than one would think but surprisingly easy enough to accomplish. Go figure, that’s sounds like something an individual trained by the US government, at the expense of a few million tax payer dollars, would develop.
Thanks to Snowflake and Geraldo for putting in the effort today and to Cheese Curd and Geraldo for the opportunity to lead.
GrowRuck – August 6th
HDHH Tour continues, somewhere new in July. Probably on the 14th. There will be a poll and updates on Slack.