Author Archive Ice9

Sweet sunshiny day

It was a quiet, peaceful morning at the Floater.

We started with an extended discussion about safety and feelings. Then we stretched until everyone was good and loose. Not just the Vinyasa, but also Hatha, Iyengar, and Kundalini forms.

Then we did repetitions to further warm up. It was an early hour, and we didn’t want anyone to feel too rushed or pushed early on. We did slow side straddle hops, then a ten count, then imperial walkers, one leg at a time. Then another ten count.

Then Popeye volunteered to lead us in calming poetry:

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.

With centered hearts, Mad Dog led us as we strolled north to the Waxhaw Escape Room, watching carefully for potholes, sidewalk cracks, and twigs that might trip us. Twinkle Toes wanted to go in, but some didn’t feel safe. So we stretched a little more, and Easy Button handed out pamphlets and took us on an informative tour of the landscaped grounds.

Accomplishing this, we strolled back home serenaded by Surge with a lovely ballad. But Judge Smails nudged us to stop to admire a picturesque lonely road. Some of us took on each other’s burdens there. Others embraced the Earth. Falcon let out a piercing shriek at the dawn, and we all joined in.

Resuming our stroll, Schneider got a little competitive and started racing up the hill to COT. Sugar Daddy, in a fatherly way, reassured Schneider that we all respected him, and there was no need to race. You could see his tension ease.

I loved the closing song in COT.  Thanks to Sugar Daddy for taking us out. xxoo xxoo

If he dies, he dies

There were a lot of queries this morning before we started. Some guys wanted to know where we were going. They wanted advice on what to wear. What to bring. Would it hurt? The Q didn’t answer any of this in order to keep it exciting: “if he dies, he dies.”

We ran to Champion Forest. Then we partnered up and went to the stop sign with either partner carries or wheelbarrows. Hollywood cheated.

Then we divided up into two groups and Indian ran to the end. The Q may have spilled a little at that point. We did a lot of reps of mostly ab work.

Then, we found a 60 pound sandbag that someone negligently left at the end of Champion forest. Two guys grabbed the bag and ran as hard as they could. Everyone did 5 burpees and chased until two guys caught them and took the bag. Repeat to the end.

Found the hill at the top of the middle school. Did a lot of exercise. then one man sprints with the sand bag to the bottom. Other guys make sure to beat him. Repeat up and down the hill till everyone had a turn. exercises in between.

Repeat of the sand bag chase until we get home.

Kiss your loved ones. Tell them how precious they are to you. Listen. God loves you so much, and is so glad when you reflect that love to others. We sharpen each other because we know that Iron loves best.

Ice9 out.

Hey, it’s all good

Look, there is nothing wrong with stretching with friends. It doesn’t matter that many men choose to do it on their own time. For example, many women like to do yoga together. Dudes sometimes do yoga too. And men sometimes choose to stretch together. Sometimes they even do it instead of working out, at the time when they would normally push themselves. It’s like a day off. There’s nothing wrong, and plenty good, with a day off. You might even feel like stretching with friends is a “workout.” And hey, that’s cool. It’s a free country. People also choose to watch Jerry Springer. Or go to a Barry Manilow concert. Those are choices too.

5 men at Cowbell made a different choice. They sprinted. They threw metal. They pushed past the point of failure. Each thought numerous times about wanting to quit. Each felt like they could not do the next rep demanded. Yet they persisted and grew stronger and faster. Most will probably stretch later. This morning, they chose the cowbell. It was great to be with them.

And by the way, look out for CRS. The guy shrugged when I handed him a 40lb kettlebell, did just about every rep, and was right there for every sprint. I’m pretty sure I’ll be trying to catch him six weeks from now.

 

Peer Pressure

It had been about a year since an Ignition with bricks. The people were missing it and would not stop with the “when are you bringing the bricks back, Ice?” “Hey Ice, when are we going to see the bricks again?” “Ice, sir, we really mean it. Can we see your bricks again soon, sir?” Normally, I am not one to give in to peer pressure. But sometimes you have to give the people what they want.

So today we ran between 4-5 miles with bricks, never dropping them, unless holding them on the ground, like for a merkin. We did some Indian runs too, and a series of 7s, and a bunch of exercises which some of the pax opted out of after a few reps, or went to the potty instead, or pretended to trip and “accidentally” break one of my bricks. Other pax refused to keep their feet up during ab work despite me asking, “please.” All in all I’ve definitely seen better effort from some. Others gave it everything. Like Glidah and Ghosted. There was no sign of Popeye, who I think would have done well today, but he is still scared of Ignition.

People keep talking about something called “WTF.”  I think it has something to do with “LOL,” or something called an “emoji,” but I am not sure.

Thanks to Xerox for taking us out.

True strength

Many men misjudge strength. They look at the outside. At what a man can do with ease. This is a mistake.

True strength is what a man does when he is exhausted. When his resources are gone. When he has hit his limit.

True strength is the man who keeps going. Who never quits. Who breaks every barrier. Who breaks even his own body if necessary.  Muhammad Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”

Today we saw that Popeye is a man of true strength. With his heart rate above 180-190 for much of the workout, he never quit. He never stopped. He never let his body tell him no. He hit barrier after barrier. Limit after limit. And he shattered them. Man, it was awesome and inspiring to watch. I wish you could have been there. If Popeye keeps intermittent fasting and hitting workouts like he has the past few weeks, he is going to be a terror.

For the workout itself, to start we did 15 or so intense minutes on the ground with continuous exercises: jump squats, donkey kicks, stump jumpers, jumping lunges, mike tysons, SSHs, 180s, big boys, merkins, heels to heaven, flying cockroaches, hands in the air knee ups, and more.  Then we ran about 5 miles (6.3 on the apple watch) with 5-6 rounds of 800s racing our partners with 20 rep exercises in between, followed by 3-4 stagger-start sprints down the hill, followed by all-ya got back home and up the hill. It was a good morning.

Peace be with you.

The only thing to fear is cowbell itself

Hard workouts can be scary. We get it. That’s why there are famous quotes like:

  • “First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear cowbell itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR.
  • ““He who has overcome his fears of cowbell will truly be free.” Aristotle
  • “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear cowbell never beginning to live.” Marcus Aurelius
  • “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears unless they are about cowbell.” Rudyard Kipling
  • “Ignorance of cowbell is the parent of fear.” Herman Melville

Understanding that, we weren’t surprised when only 4 guys showed up for cowbell. Feeling empathy for the petrified no-shows, we got to work.

We did swings, squats, side squats, ladder squats and swings, the sugar ray, the swinging lunge, the regular lunge, plank row and merkin ladders, lawnmowers, heavy big boy and twist ladders, heavy big boys, twists, cockroaches, and took a long farmer’s walk around the target with partner merkin chasers. And we did a bunch of sprints. Total of 5.73 miles by the apple watch.

T-claps in particular to Popeye for stepping up to the big bell today, and for his already-progress with intermittent fasting. Dasher is Mr. well-rounded, and brings power with the speed — always has. And Baio continues to impress with speed and grit. Everybody today was 49 or 42. Man, we are in our prime.

Thanks to Popeye for the takeout. Let us all love more.

Silly walks

With apologies, the Company will not reimburse for tonight’s Clyent Dinner.  Expecting a night out with drinks, steaks, and good conversation, the pax instead found only silliness.  We did some new and little-used exercises, such as:

  • Bunny Hops
  • Half SSHs
  • Inch Worm
  • John Travoltas
  • Monster Walks
  • Silly Legs
  • Silly Walks
  • The Chicken
  • The Eagle
  • The Floss
  • Walkin’ SSHs

We sang some songs in cadence while moseying about boogers and granny. Plus we did some real exercises. Most of the kids had fun, except for the kid who cried (sorry Blue Screen), and everyone got a little exercise. Enjoyed being with you all.

Announcements: the now infamous blood drive and a Rice n’ Bean/Christ Closet giveaway coming up Feb. 20th. Blue Screen took us out.

Peace.

Hey Bob, you’ll love it

7 men gathered for another running of the cowbell. You know what we did. We kicked the snot out of ourselves with kettlebells and sprints for 3+ miles, continuing the shredding process making it difficult for the cowbell pax to walk without swaggering.

Poor Damascus. He has been dealing with a veritable mountain of troubles for months, barely posting, getting no exercise, and gaining weight. Knowing this, Bottlecap got that mischievous grin on his face that we all know and love.

  • Bottlecap said something like “Hey Bob, you should come out for Cowbell. It’s a new workout where we swing kettlebells.”
  • Damascus, thinking (correctly) that Bottlecap was his friend and (mistakenly) that Bottlecap had his best interests in mind, probably said, “hey thanks Lou. I’ve been wondering what my first workout back should be.”
  • Bottlecap, barely believing his scheme would work, said, “great, I will see you Wednesday.”

So Damascus showed up with a kettlebell that — by its size — should weigh 74 pounds. [Due to the helium it contained, no one was able to verify its true weight.]

Damascus then walked up to the line like he smelled something bad enough to choke a maggot. When he arrived, and saw Hurry and Tool Time looking nervous, Dasher faking lingering effects of COVID, and Sugar Daddy having lost his smile for the first time, Damascus suspected that Bottlecap had been talking with his tongue out of his shoe. And when the first long sprint was called, he had no doubt. To his credit, though he hung in there and pushed.

When confronted later about his prevarication, Bottlecap merely grinned, raised his hands, and replied, “hey I’m in sales. I may have left out a few details.”

So ended the third running of the cowbell. Thanks to Hurry for taking us out, and reminding us what a great gift we have in F3. Damascus was polite enough not to disagree.

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.