Author Archive Hops

Lou Ferrigno comes to Centurion

YHC pulled in to the launch lot after circumventing the massive faux-fireworks tent.  12 other pax, including 1 FNG – “Bixby”, awaited the morning’s downpainment.  The shovel flag was planted by Snowflake with care.  A disclaimer was given, a bit more thorough than normal with an FNG among us.

Puddin’ Pop was there, eschewing the Friday morning frisbee match now that it’s at 0515 and lasts an hour.  T-claps.

Mildew, Area51’s favorite Ecuadorian, also posted and was getting after it.  Good to have you back in the gloom, brother.  Of course I say that, but he’s probably posted to Centurion much more often than I in recent months.

So below is some Thang and Moleskinny all stirred together:

Frogger over 51 to the Wells Fargo branch for COP.

Called out Ickey for not getting into the starting position for flutters…Dredd paused 3 times a few weeks ago when YHC refusenik’d the SSH’s.   I finally caved to his unique brand of encouragement.

Anyway, we did some normal stuff in COP excluding SSH’s, of course.

Then the pax jogged down to the double rock quarry for some strength work consisting mostly of Thrusters and one set of bicep curls since Grave Dancer is heading to the beach today.  Also, Snuka heading to Florida today.  Incidentally, Snuka who shares a birthday with Hopper (who knew they were twins?) corrected his twin on Civil War History during Name-o-rama.  And who says Yankees don’t know their Civil War History?!  #rememberthehunley

Jog over to the natatorium for some hill stuff including bear crawls, fore/backwards lunge walks, burpee broad jumps, etc, etc.  du Hoc informed me of the derivation of his nickname on the way over.  If you’ve met YHC at a workout for the first time, I’m sure to have asked your nickname derivation at some point.  Ever heard of Pointe du Hoc? If not, READ THIS:

du Hoc served our country as an Army Ranger.  Stop and give him T-claps right now.  On the heels of Memorial Day, Flag Day and with 4th of July coming up – brush up/read for the first time some of our country’s military history.  Also – with many veterans among the pax – should we not have a shovel flag at every AO!!!!  Centurion, Hawks Nest and Kevlar plant the flag.  What about your AO?  Bet the frisbee throwers don’t have a shovel flag…

During the natatorium segment, Ralph (his name’s derivation is exactly what you think it is – and Mighty Mite named him) gave YHC some pro tips on watering holes to visit in Jackson, Wyoming.  Much obliged, brother.  I’ll bring you back a cardboard coaster.

Now over to the small, inadequate rock quarry adjacent to one of the three Hospice & Palliative Care facilities around Centurion…kind of weird.  Anyway, some more rock work including some flutter presses and Louganises.

Then over to Tartarus (that’s the parking deck for the uninitiated) for some wall work, not the least of which was introducing the Australian Mountain Climber to the Area51 pax.  You’re welcome & many happy returns.

Mr. Magoo just quietly gets after every workout #silentassassin  He is not Australian, however.

Couldn’t help but give a quick Q-school lesson on the Carolina Dry Dock.  Underused, underappreciated and poorly executed.  We all got better….I think.

Back over to the launch lot for some CCV’s (Cumberland County Viaducts).   Puddin’ modified to the lesser known RCP’s (Robeson County Pikes).

5 burpees to finish.  Ickey never even moved.

That’s it.

As for Bixby’s nickname – can’t remember how Hopper got the idea…something about Mark’s hometown rhymed with something or other.  But Bixby, Ferrigno….if you don’t know those two names – look them up.

Prayers for continued healing for Jennings Palmer who is home now – praise God for that!

Also prayers for the Thompson family who lost their dad to a heart attack at age 51 on Fathers Day weekend.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  – Jesus of Nazareth talking to his closest followers/dearest friends

Do you know the way?

Thanks to Flake & Preschool for tapping YHC to Q.  Even all these years later, I still count it a privilege and great fun to lead you men in a workout.  Grace, much grace to you fellas.  Thankful for you.

Sign Up to Q at Centurion – one of Area51’s finest AO’s: SignUp

Hello Mr. Turtle!

YHC was the first to arrive at the jet black launch lot at the far end of the Stonecrest shopping complex…prompting a quick text to Theodore to make sure Circuit City and management hadn’t moved the mustering point.  Can’t remember the last time I was first to a workout even when Q’ing.  BTW, pro tip: workout Q should be first to arrive and last to leave. #doasIsaynotasIdo  Was also uncertain as to launch point as no shovel flag was to be found.  Time to reestablish that lost tradition.  Pretty sure only 1 AO in A51 still has a shovel flag.  Any SOB AO’s still practice that tradition?  ….alas.

10 others pulled in to the unlit lot.  We launched about 75 seconds after 0530 as Circuit City informed the pax some dude was rummaging through cars yesterday at The Maul, so YHC actually locked the car and hid the keys.  Hadn’t done that in months.  Pretty sure the dude stole something out of Loogie’s NCState-mobile…hopefully not his concealed firearm.

Below is some Thang and a decent helping of Moleskinnage:

We jogged over to between the Wells and BofA ATM’s for COP.  Teddy was with us for a bit, but exited before COP started as he had an urgent Code Brown.  He returned quickly….meaning he couldn’t find a place to do his paperwork…then left again for what appeared to be a trip behind the bushes up the hill behind Firebirds.  “Hello Mr. Turtle!”

COP included the standard fare, but no SSH’s, of course.

Kotters to Prohibition who posted for the first time in 2 months.   Hadn’t seen a lot of the pax….but that’s due more to not posting in SOBland in a while.  Long Haul was there…and his name came to mind just yesterday as I was listening to Ian Munsick’s “Long Haul”.  If you like country music (it’s ok to admit you like it), check out the song.  And speaking of the south, YHC did call Yankee aggressor and Southern gentlemen during some plankorama.  Might have offended some with that one, but did not call them Rebel gentlemen…so there’s that.  You’re welcome.

Mr. Magoo did not ask YHC if he was fully vaccinated.  Apparently, Kirby got 2 doses of the burpee vaccine.  We did some of those during the ‘cash dash’.  Before calling the dash, YHC asked if anyone in the pax worked/had worked for Wells.  YHC was the only one!  And only one pax rose his hand when asked the same question about BofA.  Think that was Happy Meal though not sure…maybe Frankie?  Thought everyone of us were bankers or recovering bankers.  So after called exercises with AYG runs between the ATMs, we headed over to the Murderhorn.  Having finished his paperwork, Teddy rejoined the pax at this point.  Frehley even offered Teddy his workout hankie to clean up any remaining debris.  What a guy that WD is!

Crockett, who YHC had not seen in years since he was posting and working at SCMS (he’s now at MPHS), was out front with Long Haul on the Murderhorn modified triple nickel.  BTW, he had brain surgery 2 years ago!  True story.  Great to have you out with the pax, brother.

At some point during the rock work at bottom of hill (thrusters) & burpees at top, Circuit City tapped Long Haul to Q.  Not next week though, Hoover is off the DL and will Q the festivities.

Stopped on the way back for some Mary and some dry docks, with a small tutorial.  Couldn’t help it.

Not sure what else we did, but we made it back to the launch lot on time.

After COT, Frankie was checking out YHC’s ride.  He asked if I was selling it, but no – it’s a loaner from the Hyundai dealer while my 2.0’s car is in the shop.

YHC was hurting, largely due to not posting since last Friday at Centurion.  But the pax got their money’s worth as far as I could tell.

Announcements included the Beer Run this Saturday.  See slack and/or Tuck for more details.  Tuck is the Beer Run Czar.  YHC can’t make it this weekend, but love the event!  You should go.

Also some kind of Ruck event or GoRuck or whatever on August 6.  See one of the Rucktards for more info – but something about buying a $300 backpack and paying another $200 to have Dredd yell at you for 12 hours…or is it 24 hours?  Ready to sign up now?!

Thanks to Circuit City for tapping YHC to Q.  Good to be back among the gracious pax of SOB.

Skunks got no rhythm.

The kettlebell has a long, storied and misunderstood past; but a bright future….all evidence to the contrary this morning.  After Cage watered the bushes at the end of the lacrosse field, 9 skunksters launched into the eastern Area51 gloom….with kettlebells.

Below is a smidgen of Thang and a couple helpings of Moleskineage:

Trivia is a fun thing, thus, my random comments on Slack yesterday about the kb and its rich heritage.  Speaking of trivia, Lois wants to challenge Geraldo and Puddin’ in a steel trivia cage match.  Seriously, I think that would be an awesome 2nd F event – F3 Area 51 trivia night with proceeds going to charity.  Someone should plan that.  Lois’ kb also resembles a Christmas ornament.  Did I mention my grandmother’s name was Lois?  True Story.  Lois Jean Griggs Sappenfield.  To my knowledge, she did not own a kettlebell.

Horsehead, against his better judgement, tapped YHC after last week’s skunkage – to Q this week.  He got what he hoped for….maybe.

So we did a mini-COP at the launch lot, then moseyed over to and into yesteryear at the old launch lot and pitted field with the ankle-breaking gravel track around it.

YHC brought a jump rope as the idea was for one pax to do 100 jumps as the timer for the rest.  5 pax for various reasons, some of which were undisclosed, refused to jump rope.  Funky’s reason: Absolutely no rhythm, thus, cannot jump rope.  Injuries and general disdain for the idea were some of the other reasons.  Cage, Horsehead, Baracus and YHC were the only rope-jumpers.  Baracus was doing all sorts of tricks and creative jumping #dadof3girls

So we did a few laps around the pitted field, did some Mary, swings and sundry kettlebell exercises.  Then we headed back towards the launch lot, stopping at the flag pole.  Could not remember what “True Americans” were #pagingcheckpoint, so we did Mike Tyson’s instead.  I mean…what a great American he is.

Stone Cold, looking the most kb-worthy of the bunch, was getting after it, as was Smokey.  Smokey may have jumped some rope, but don’t think so.

Hoover, still nursing the stress-fracture in his lower right leg, was putting in the work, too…and from what YHC could infer – my Q performance wasn’t nearly as disappointing to him as my last one.

A mix of conversations going on with topics including, but not limited to, the following:

South Dakota; Freddie Mercury’s real name: Farrokh Bulsara (thank you very little, Lois…actually, that was outstanding); Smokey’s upside-down/backward visor; Funky Cold’s alter ego: Tone Loc; the Ultimate pax taking up a collection to pay Charlotte Christian’s exterior lighting bill; the curious disappearance of Chin Music (YHC named him, btw); Cage’s authorship of the national AP Human Geography exam — blaming you brother if my 2.0 didn’t get a 4 or 5!

I’m sure Horsehead had some noteworthy one-liners and/or country witticisms, but can’t recall any.

That’s it.

Thanks to BA for taking us out in prayer.

one more thing…I’m asking my 2.0’s for another KB for Father’s Day.  Look out Swole, Olympus and whatever other kb workouts there are.

Maximum Overdrive

YHC pulled into the lot with a minute to spare, Floorslapper was not far behind and O’ Tannenbaum was not far behind Slapper….and Udder was even further behind OT, thus, 11 of Area 51’s finest launched into the the unseasonably warm gloom of the darkest AO in the region.

So here’s some Thang and some Moleskinnage:

Moseyed down to the track for a warmup lap and COT behind the end zone.  Standard COP including the obligatory flatulence during the flutter kicks.  Plan was to do some work on the football field but YHC heeded the “Stay Off the Field” signage, so we instead availed ourselves of one of the baseball fields.  Baseball’s more to my liking anyway.

Triple Nickel on the field with dry docks & jump squats on either end.

Bear crawl to stairwell, grab a lifting rock not a running rock.

At this point, Sardine claims I had pax running with rocks one time at Hawks Nest.  #fakenews. Running with rocks or rucks is just plain stupid.

Rock work including thrusters, triceps, old school sit-up’s, Lougainis, etc, etc.

Back to the diamond for another triple nickel – burpees & Freddy Mercury’s

People’s Chair

6 Minutes O’ Mary


Other observations:

  • May have been some dueling headbands between Circuit City & Sardine
  • Udder’s not scared to drive 30 minutes to post at Basecamp.  T-claps.
  • Marvel is a silent assassin
  • OT was gearing up to caddy at the pro-am at Quail this morning #dannynoonan
  • Jet Fuel is getting married on May 21st.  None of you are invited.
  • Memorial Day 1-hour workout at 7am at Basecamp.

By the way, the “Maximum Overdrive” title is because a huge tractor-trailer was parked near the launch lot and was running the enter time.  Ask Geraldo or Puddin’ for a synopsis of that Stephen King flick.

Not a ton of mumble chatter.  Solid crew.  Thanks to Magoo & Thunder for tapping me to Q.

Have a great week sports fans.

Why can’t we just do the same thing every week?!

Hopper, Chopper & Runstopper – say it aloud.  It’s fun to say.  They all posted today…pretty sure Chopper was LIFO, by the way.

Great morning to post, and a crew of 21 was ready to go starting with a 5-burpee warmup.  This is when the griping started aka mumble chatter.

Below is an accounting of this morning’s events – mostly unrelated to the workout itself – aka Moleskine.

A few observations as YHC arrived with 2 minutes to spare.

  • Deep Dish was about 5 pounds lighter and hard to recognize….he also seemed to run faster this a.m.
  • Motorboat was wearing skiing/hunting gloves?  It was 46 degrees.
  • Chopper apparently stole Dish’s locks, and his headband was outstanding.  He’s not in his 70’s (though he was WD) but he’s in the 70’s
  • Circuit City was jealous of Chopper’s headband
  • Hopper forgot the shovel flag
  • Slingshot & Huddle House ran in….maybe Salt n Peppa, too?
  • Sable was the only pax wearing short sleeves….bless you, son.

Ok.  Ok.  So we did COP over in the professional building lot.  As we headed there, Spackler was already complaining that the pax spent the whole time there last week with Limey on Q.  Those that don’t do the exercises cannot complain, right?  Refusenik’s forfeit that right!

We weren’t there long.  We ran down to OP, stopping a few times for some burpees.  At one stop, some smart@$$ asked “where’s Buc-ee’s?”  Answer: already planked up and 20 seconds ahead of you lollygaggers.

Did a bunch of wall work to include Mike Tyson’s, Wallthar N’Djaiye’s, People’s Chair with overhead press, Donkey kicks and some other stuff.

Snuka was out front on the down & back runs.  If I can a) even post and b) give that kind of effort when I’m 59 – that will be cause for much thanks.  T-claps Snuks.

Pretty sure Gloss & Spackler took a lap around the school rather than the called exercises.  #modifiersextraordinaire

Runstopper said that Mike Tyson calls the exercises “Runstopper’s”

We moseyed over to John Wesley’s milieu (aka the Methodist church) for some rock work, mostly thrusters with some curls and tricep extensions.  Curls are worthless and Puddin’ said no one noticed his/him/them at the beach recently.

Was thankful for the movie trivia lesson that was delivered by Geraldo & Puddin’ during this segment.

Gloss just kept wanting to head home, so I delayed our departure of course.

Marvel was getting after it the whole time in his silent assassin way…Thunder Road & Beetlejuice likewise.  I think Beetlejuice ran in as well, but that doesn’t count as he only lives a 5-iron away from the Nest.

Speaking of silent: that word does not describe Limey’s sphincter.  Sweet mercy.

So….that’s it.  Buc-ee’s took us out in prayer.  Please keep giving thanks and praying for God’s healing for Bout Time’s son Jennings.  He’s a great God, so don’t make him too small.  Be bold when you go to him.  I promise you won’t overwhelm him (that’s you making yourself too big).

Until next backblast….




Historic New Ground Broken at Centurion

Floorslapper arrived at 5:30:42am, just after YHC commented he was potentially still to join us.  So after a weak disclaimer that talked about risk-mitigation and after waiting on Floorslapper, 10 pax launched into the south Charlotte gloom at Centurion.

4 of the 10 pax wore their safety-conscious fluorescent yellow/green shirts….in fact, taking responsibility for their own safety.  We used the crosswalk in front of Catholic to cross 51 – GOP was impressed by the safety-consciousness.

Unfortunately, neither site Q was able to post as Preschool’s M is on bed rest expecting their 2nd child (prayers continue for sure) and Mermaid texted at 5:10am to say his back was hurting and he was heading to Raleigh.  Really think he was just making sure YHC didn’t sleep in a la Margo last week.

So here’s a bit of Thang and some Moleskinny:

Ran up to the top of Tartarus for COP.  GOP was complaining that we didn’t do a warmup (aka COP) before scaling Tartarus.  #cobains

Clover had a mild panic attack when he got to the top and realized YHC turned left rather than right at the top.  #patterninterrupt

After COP, we ran down the stairs and made our way over to the least known natatorium in Charlotte.  Runstopper remarked that he loved this parking lot due to the smooth pavement.  M Stopper will be even more thankful.  No tights, by the way.

Did some stuff on the sloped lot and then made our way to the rocks down Little Avenue.  Grab a rock – way too much scrutiny and chit-chat about finding the right rock by the pax.

Made our way over to the 2nd palliative care/hospice facility near Centurion.  Perhaps the first time Centurion pax have ventured there…someone should check with the historian.

Did rock work and runs for a while…and Clover and Slapper reminisced about their boyhood days at the former Trinity College in Durham (now known as Duke University).  Speaking of history. here’s a little nugget about the Dookies:

“Duke University traces its origins to a small school that opened in 1838 in Randolph County, North Carolina. Originally a preparatory school for young men called the Union Institute Academy, it was then chartered as a teaching college named Normal College by the state of North Carolina in 1851. The school underwent another transformation in 1859 when it turned to the Methodist Church for financial support. Reflecting the new partnership, the school’s name changed to Trinity College.”

There’s very little “normal” about Clover & Slapper.

After the rock work, we ran back to the launch lot – traversing through “Jack in the Box” drive-thru.  Does anyone ever eat there?  It amazes me that they are still in business.

Did 7.5 minutes of Mary with a 13-burpee finisher.  Finito.

Couple other observations:

Huddle House and Sable are buddies from Appalachian State.  You know – that basketball school up in Boone.  Keep an eye on Donovan Gregory of the Mountaineers!

Thunder looked well-rested.  Ickey less so; but both were thankful for the 2.07 miles vs 4.07 miles as is the custom of some bootcamp Q’s.  Meant to keep it under 2 miles, apologies men.

Point Break was getting after it as he always does…

That’s it.

Please continue to pray for M. Preschool and their baby.  God’s listening.

And ask God to heal Jennings Palmer, Bout Time’s son.  Cancer sucks as we all know – pray that Jennings is restored to full health (bone marrow transplant was yesterday), and that many people hear the story so God gets the attention and many come to know the hope the Palmer’s ultimately have in their God.

Passez un bon weekend.  App State & UNC-G are dancing.  Duke, State and Wake are not.



Rusty & Dusty

The backblast title describes both my lone 35 lb. kettlebell and my tired, 48-year old frame.  Despite those undeniable facts, Horsehead and Stone Cold still tapped me to Q Area 51’s oldest workout — affectionately known as Skunkworks.  Horsehead was so confident in YHC that he reminded me where the Skunk pax parking lot was….which is, indeed, a new location from the last time I posted there….3 years ago?  4 years?

A hearty pax of 17 mustered for the Tuesday morning downpainment in the south Charlotte gloom, 16 of which arrived before YHC.  What?!  The Q was LIFO?!  I think I had the longest drive….

Anyway, after a weak disclaimer that did include a reference to the legalese on the website, we launched with 16 veteran pax and 1 FNG — the soon-to-be named Skeletor (EH’d by Madison – T-claps!!!).

Below will be a rambling reminiscence of the proceedings with color commentary, aka “The Thang & Ye Olde Moleskine”:

Can’t remember who remarked on my KB as looking beleaguered, but he was right.  It looks like it’s got more miles on it than it does.  Kind of like when dudes buy old looking John Deere or IH hats so folks think they’re tough, country, etc.  Don’t try to fake it men.  That doesn’t work in any arena of life.

Speaking of country – had no idea Stone Cold was from the rural suburbs of Salisbury, NC!  That’s scenic Rowan County for those of you paying attention.  He did not attend high school with David Whisenant of WBTV.  If they don’t erect a statue to that Whisnenant cat in downtown Salisbury, it will be a travesty of justice and history.

So we moseyed a few lots over from the launch lot with KB’s racked.  Is that how you say it?  Not entirely sure that’s what we did.

Warmup lap without the KB, of course.  Don’t EVER run with a KB.  If the Q calls it – you are a Refusenik at that point.  With the running, some pax were already grumbling.  What?  Running?  WTH?

Circle up for the 2 or 3 KB exercises that YHC remembers: Swings, one-arm swings, upright row, renegade row.  Also called Louganis, Thrusters, goblet squats, etc.

COP did not include the KB’s, and some of the pax were really getting annoyed already.

Would have to lean on both Hoover & Stone Cold for KB ideas and tutorials during the proceedings.

We partnered up and P1 would run down/back about 50 yards (100 yards roundtrip) while P2 did the called exercise.

Circled back up for some Mary including flutter press and other sundry exercises.  Did this 2 or 3 times.

Ok – enough of The Thang.  No one reads this part anyway (or backblasts for that matter), and my lack of KB knowledge doesn’t provide much in the way of ideas for future Q’s anyway.

Speaking of future Q’s – Header or Victoria are on Q next week at the Skunk.  Horsehead wasn’t certain.

Victoria is an outstanding nickname, by the way.  The DBU grad? (made that assumption based sole on the DBU shirt he was wearing) seemed like a good sport about his nickname.  DBU is Dallas Baptist University, by the way.

Also, speaking of female nicknames – I informed Lois this morning that my maternal grandmother was named Lois. True story.  Tweetsie said he would refer to Lois as “Hops’ maw-maw” from now on.  Not sure how I feel about that?  Yes I am.  Don’t feel very good about it, frankly.

Ok…what else happened this morning?

  • As per my sources, this was MAD’s first post since the onset of Covid.  Glad to have you back out, brother.
  • Funky Cold was back out in the gloom for the first time in a while it sounded like?  Kotters?!  If not, Kotters to me then.  Ha!
  • Baracus still swings a 20 lb. KB aka a Christmas ornament
  • Chicken Wing hails from the same hometown as my college roommate.  East Aurora, NY = chicken wing capital of the world
  • Smokey liked the running part…he was the only one…except Whip who probably went home and lifted weights after YHC’s Q.
  • Cage…what can you say?  Silent, but gets it done.  T-claps.  If I’m even able to pickup a KB at 61, I’ll be thankful.
  • Lastly and most importantly – WELCOME SKELETOR.  Thankful Madison EH’d you (EH = Emotional Headlock).  Come back.  You’ll get stronger, and you’ll certainly have much better Q’s leading you.

Point of Personal Privilege:

  • F3 is still going on in Area51 (in our 10th year!) because men need that to which Madison invited Skeletor.  We all needed it when we were FNG’s, and we still need it.  God gave us all one body which we should take care of.  Why?  For vanity’s sake and obsession over weight, mile or 5K/10K  times, etc.?  No.  We take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.
  • Take care of each other.  “Circling back for the 6” is not just a 1st F phenomena.  It’s 2nd F.  We need to be in community.  That’s how we were created.  And for anyone that tells you they don’t need encouragement and that he is fine flying solo –> he is lying and/or self-deceived; thus, you should intensify your EH efforts.
  • And what of 3rd F?  The Skunk pax, for the most part & likely more than most AO’s, understand its importance.  Every man ultimately knows there is something larger than life, greater than self and lasting forever.  Not every many pursues answers to the questions he has about purpose, destination, and living a life of significance.

Thankful for you, men.  I need F3 as much now as I did 9+ years ago.  Might also need some assistance from Whiplash after my first KB workout in 3-4 years.


  • Please continue to pray for peace for the Vaughn family (Steven aka Double Trouble of F3Metro died 2 weeks ago from Covid-related complications)
  • Skeletor – for God to lead him to a job that’s a great fit for he and his boys.

God is faithful.  Always.



No Soft Surroundings

Red pill tasted pretty good this morning.  But full-disclosure: YHC likely would have eschewed that pill had I not been tapped by Teddy & Wingman to Q the new Monday SOB bootcamp affectionately known as Firestarter.  So after making Tonya-tine’s acquaintance (sorry about the nickname…but don’t ask for a new one as you know the outcome would be less to your liking) and making a brief, rambling disclaimer off we went into the SOB gloom.

Below is some semblance of the Thang and some rambling though hopefully thought-provoking Moleskinny:

Have been to Blakeney plenty, not so much for F3, though I think I was at the launch of DaVinci?  That being said, had forgotten how little cover there was in that shopping labyrinth.  We did find shelter in a couple places, however, including the bank branch drive-thru and the double stairwell.  Did I mention we all took the red pill?

For the 3 of you reading this – here’s what the F3Nation lexicon has to say about the red pill (aka daily red pill or DRP):  “the Q’s daily commitment to accelerate his fitness, fellowship and faith.”

So how is your daily commitment to these 3?  Obviously, the fitness one is easy to measure a la Strava, spreadsheets and all the mileage/merkin/burpee counting and such among the pax.  How about the fellowship?  No – that’s not counting how many drinks you have daily, hopefully not by yourself.  But how many men are you pursuing to see how you can serve and pour into their lives and the lives of their families?  We were not created to do life alone.  That’s why the isolation of the sad clown is so dangerous and insidious.  And Faith?  How often are you pursuing answers to the big questions of life: Origin, Destination, Purpose, Ethics.  As men, we’ve got more than enough places to talk about news, weather, sports & politics.  What about “accelerating” your spiritual pursuits?  Just a thought.

Anyway…back to the ramblings about the downpainment.

We did 2 sets of 5 on the stairwell: H-R merkins + HTH on one end and DryDocks & Dolly’s on the other.  It was alliterative.  Then over to the bank branch for Mary in the drive-thru – flutters, Freddie Mercury’s, etc., etc.  It wasn’t alliterative.  Back over to the dual stairwells for 5 rounds of Jump squats & Burpee’s.

Speaking of alliteration: try saying “Tolkien, Teddy, Tonya & Trickle” 5 times really fast.

Spent a higher than average time in the people’s chair, did some Walthar N’Djaiye’s, overhead press, etc., etc.

So…the title of this backblast: “No Soft Surroundings”

For COP, the pax circled up caddy corner from a store named “Soft Surroundings”, ostensibly selling home accoutrements, clothing and other things to soften life for its customers as they struggle in the harsh realm of south Charlotte, Ballantyne, Blakeney and the like.

In my 10th year of F3, I’m grateful for the life-changing impact its had on me, many friends, my family, and our communities.  But I’m also struck by how much time we spend trying to “cushion” ourselves from life.  Life is, after all, difficult.  The best teacher I’ve ever learned from said: “In this world you will have trouble.”  So why is it so many of us live life as if the goal of life is to arrive safely at death?

So there’s your 3rd F consideration for the week.  If someone asked you: “What is the goal of life?   How would you answer them?

Kotters to Tolkien.  Thanks to Wingman and Theodore for tapping me to Q (I love Q’ing the pax, it’s a privilege). Good to see Trickle and his “Cat in the Hat” Arsenal Gunners socks.  And awesome to meet Tonya-tine…perhaps you should demand a rename from the Waxhaw pax…upon further reflection, it likely would end up better for you.

Thanks also to Tolkien for taking us out in prayer.


“The Rooster” crows sometime this Spring in Waxhaw? – it’s a team marathon or if you like to run marathons, you can run by yourself.

There’s a blood drive in the future.  40 pints drained from the pax last Friday.  T-claps to Mighty Mite aka Dracula for organizing and recruiting.

And the Blakoverites will start stretching again when it gets warmer according to Tuck.  He and Chopper did join the Firestarter pax for COT.

Passez un bon week mes amis.



Finding Keith Gordon

Quick, customary disclaimer after everyone emerged from their well-heated vehicles at 5:59:37.  19 Area51 pax launched, and Floorslapper reclaimed his LIFO status, joining the pax 4 minutes into the workout….and order was restored to the world.

As expected, it was an especially mumblechatterish pax.  This is Hydra, after all.  Thankfully, 2 or 3 pax actually cadence-counted otherwise I would have lost count for sure in COP.

Below is some Thang and more Moleskinny.

During COP, I called Dancing Chilcutt’s (named after former Tarheel hoopster Pete Chilcutt), but those should be done in elbow plank, not regular plank #cobains.  Why?  Because the only thing you ever saw with Chilcutt was his flying elbows in the lane.  Spackler was the only one actually doing Dancing Chilcutt’s but that’s because he was mindlessly modifying.

We did some other stuff in COP – IW’s of course, No SSH’s obviously.  Called out some true bootcamp exercises like bear crawls, burpee broad jumps & Wallthar N’Djayie’s.  Relatively sure Trifusenik did none of the aforementioned exercises.

Good to meet Broken Arrow this morning.  That’s Proehl’s dad, by the way.

Brandi was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  27 degrees.  Because why not?

Also good to make Bubble Wrap’s acquaintance among the pax.  During the rock/running partner work – I had to tell Clover that his partner’s name was Bubble Wrap….too which he said, “I think his name is Matt.”  He may have been right?

The OP posse ran in (Huddle House, Sweater Set, Brandi & Slingshot).

Marge also ran in.  2.15 miles he says, and also ran out at 0630.  0530 launch might work better for you, chief.

Snuka was WD by about 15 years….ok only 10 or 11. #ageless

Mayday – KOTTERS!  Come back again soon, and I don’t mean in March.

Geraldo & Puddin’ were going great guns on the obscure movie trivia (Google Keith Gordon – he’s the same age as Snuka).  They even extended the conversation after the workout.  I’m fascinated by their knowledge of all things trivial in pop culture, music & movies.  I suggested they start a podcast – “F3LittleKnownFacts”…coming soon.

Buc-ee’s, Motorboat & Gloss clowncarred, I think…Gloss may have ridden home in the bed of Motorboat’s truck after the soiling that took place in the Methodist church parking lot.

Deep Dish, who will be napping this afternoon, was unusually quiet due to lack of sleep, but still posted!  Let that be a lesson to all you fartsacker’s….none of whom will read this, actually.

Thanks to Puddin’ for taking us out in prayer.  Please remember to keep asking God to heal Jennings Palmer.  I dusted off the orange wristband this week.  #allinforjennings

The Bible verse Bout Time included on those is Exodus 14:14.  Quick lesson here:  The scene is the Israelites running from the Pharaoh of Egypt and his army.  The people were understandably terrified.  They had just been told they were free after 400+ years in slavery/captivity.  Well…Pharaoh changed his mind.  But God didn’t.  They were at the coast of the Red Sea.  Exodus 14:14 reads: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  These were Moses’ words to the Israelites in the face of a seemingly impossible and catastrophic situation.  Guess what?  Moses was right.  Many of you know what happened next.

Will you men join me in claiming that promise for Jennings & the Palmer’s?  “The LORD will fight for you, Jennings.”

Grateful for all you knuckleheads.


Truman Gates comes to Hawks Nest

A Trio of Area51 “begatten” Waxhaw pax (Fuse Box, Posse & Chastain) posted with passports in hand at Hawks Nest.  Among many other unsavory things, they were treated to a Puddin’ Pop disclaimer that included a John Dalton (Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse) quote about “watching backs” and “taking out the trash”.

A solid crew of 22, indeed, helped Puddin’ and site Q’s Hopper & Deep Dish take out the trash.  Since Puddin’ is neither on Slack nor post backblasts; and because Posse asked for a backblast at 8:14am – YHC is your Huckleberry.  But don’t expect 2 or 3 backblasts for the same workout as is the custom in the Land of the Waxhaws.

What follows below is very little Thang and as much Moleskine as I can recall.  But don’t worry, Clover promised to fill in all the blanks as well as make up some stuff.

So here goes —

COP consisted of your basic stuff.  Though at one point, I thought Puddin’ was going to call Makthar N’Djaiye’s but instead went with the H-R merkins.  Mildly disappointing.

Slingshot had already worked up a sweat on his run in from the heart of Olde Providence, so he was ready to go.  Not sure which of the OP denizens joined him – perhaps IHOP, Salt-N-Pepa and Huddle House?  T-claps

We then ran down to Abbotswood for what would be a long 1/2 pipe beatdown in groups of 3.  On the run, I was thankful I am vertically challenged so not to potentially clotheslined a la Geraldo, Hopper, Gloss, etc.  My triumvirate included Marge & IHOP, both of whom were likely hating it as they weighted for me to unhook the plow as they did many more called exercises than I.

Ickey was already complaining about the running, at this point.

Brandi and Chastain were there, even running together at one point.  Chastain should have broken out his tripod (true story) right then for that photo op, but Brandi likely would have taken off his shirt prior to the snapshot.

Chastain was circling back for the six on a few occasions as well.  Good man.

Posse’s headlamp was mistaken for a car on a few occasions…don’t see those things much in these parts….headlamps, that is.

Hammer has resurfaced lately, and it warmed my heart to see the behooded grappler.

Buc-ee’s was sporting the Buc-ee’s brand t-shirt this morning, which from a distance in the gloom resembled an old school Aquaman or some other dorky DC comic hero, but we’ll go with Aquaman.

Sable was getting after it while lamenting Yosef’s misfortune with Puddin’ and Gloss.  Motorboat was mocking the lot of them.  It’s the Sun Belt, fellas.  The Sun Belt.  Ooh-La-La…

On the way back, sort of, to Colony Place – we did more merkins at each Clark Griswold on Summerlin.   After which Puddin’ called Buc-ee’s for a 10-count but took off running again when Buc-ee’s got to 2.5 in his count…or was it 8.5?

Spackler bolted from COT, certainly not out of disinterest in filling his passport, rather nature’s calling or because it was too cold for him….or because he checks out of any announcements lasting more than 37 seconds.

Someone said we got 2.6’ish miles?  I don’t know.  Who cares except runners on Strava and Rucktards.

New workout starting at Porter Ridge HS in January.  Consult your globe to find that one, and pack a lunch…and your passport.  Pretty sure Horsehead lives in that neck of the backwoods.

Wasn’t mentioned in the announcements, but for those of you inclined to pray — please remember Bout Time’s son Jennings.  At 5 years old, he is battling leukemia for the second time – and they have a steep hill to climb; but Jennings and his parents Lauren & Joel are good climbers.  More importantly, they trust in their Lord & Savior Jesus Christ and their God who never leaves them nor forsakes them.

Bout Time shared the following in his latest CaringBridge post — it is from Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers in Rome: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  HOPE, men.  HOPE.