Every now and then, a casual conversation sparks an idea that eventually takes on its own personality. Most ideas such as these I’ve found tend to fizzle out never having the opportunity to come to fruition, but every once and a Bethlehem Star, these ideas get the support they need and become a memorable day. As was such with F3liz Navidad Christmas Eve Convergence.
A couple weeks back, that casual conversation of unknown origin took place with Brexit as he was trying to determine course of action on plans for Christmas eve. To converge or not to converge, that was the question? YHC threw out the offer to Q if said convergence took place. A few days later and after being ghosted from other site Q’s, Brexit made the executive decision and called for the convergence whether they wanted to or not. Leadership at its finest. A second conversation took place and with neutral location established the convergence was a go.
Christmas eve brought a threat of rain, so the range of numbers was across the board of expectations. Not knowing what to expect, YHC had a Covid ready Wienke to ensure proper distancing and hopefully keeping every together but not together together. As the cars rolled up, YHC was immediately welcomed to see a great balance of Pax from Area 51, Waxhaw, SOB, and even a crew from Rock Hill. A quick disclaimer and we were off.
Mosey to opposite end of field and circle up
-15 SSH + 1 burpee
-10 IW + 2 burpees
-10 mountain climbers + 3 burpees
-10 LLS + 4 burpees
-10 plank jacks + 5 burpees
Split the grass pad into two groups to ensure proper distancing.
Run 2 trees up, 1 Mike Tyson (increasing with each tree)
Bear crawl back 1 tree
Repeat until first sidewalk
Run 2 trees up, 1 Russian Deadlift (increasing with each tree)
Lunge-walk back 1 tree
Repeat until second sidewalk
Mosey to far end of grass pad and lined up in plank position on sidewalk. Pax at end did 3 plankjacks and ran to opposite end and got back in plank. Ran through until every Pax moved to the end of the line.
Mosey to Lifetime Parking lot and spread across width of parking lot
Bear Crawl to first island and 20 merkins
Lunge walk to second island and 15 jump squats
Sprint to the end and 10 burpees
Mosey back to main street of Rea Farms for some partner work. P1 took lap around building while P2 knocked out called exercises. Combined counts for:
Back to launch to wrap up with one final lap around the grass pad stopping at 6 stations along the way for a combination of merkins, mary, and legs.
Back to launch for COT by the Christmas Tree. T-claps to Rea Farm on the stellar tree.
As 2nd-F Q for SOB, that role this year has been about as important as a lifeguard for the 4 x 100 swim relay in the Olympics. Covid has been a complete buzz kill and every time we start to have a notion of normality, it has quickly diminished. A Holiday Party? Completely out of the question. Regular events that bring around much needed camaraderie and fellowship? Keep waiting. Well with the reigns of the Christmas Eve in my hands, YHC believe it was time for the Taco Stand name to earn its keep. Now here is where the magic of F3 starts to happen…
A few more casual conversations take place, and with only a mention of perhaps a holiday surprise bringing tacos for a post-workout snack, the men of F3 step up to make this one hell of a memorable morning. War Eagle jumps in with cooler of water’s and dozens upon dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Brexit helps with coordination/promotion and bringing folks together. Periscope’s M knocks it out of the park with custom bags of F3 decorated home-made sugar cookies (T-claps to Periscope and your M. Solid Work!) One Star shows up and does what One Star does best – kick up the party a notch. With Bluetooth speaker in hand and the bottle of Fireball ready, a post-workout snack was quickly taken to full-on morning Christmas party. Meatloaf moves launch site for Devil’s Turn from their normal location to join in with our convergence. The list goes on…
What was the result? 32 men and 2.0’s for bootcamp and an unknown number of runners (I’m guessing another dozen or so.)
This right here is what makes F3 special. What started out as a conversation quickly turned into a full-blown South Charlotte/Northern Union county impromptu holiday gathering. And no one person had to carry the burden of making yesterday morning happen. Men stepped up.
As F3 men, we are called to step up without being asked and make it happen.
Now take this and change the setting. That is what I believe we are called to do in our homes, our communities, our places of work. We are a part of a conversation; identify a need, identify a way we can contribute and make a difference before we’re asked too. If we can listen with the right ears, I fully believe we will hear the calling of those in need. It may be the calling of our kids or M to unplug, put down our phone, and be present with them. It may be a neighbor or friend dropping subtle hints reaching for help without directly asking. It may be a co-worker or friend who needs a coffee and a candid conversation. I challenge every one of us to listen for the call and step up to make it happen in 2021.
This is what we do.
I fully believe we are at the tip of the iceberg of the impact we will make in this city. Keep EHing guys, bring them out, get them plugged in and accelerating. This is a special group of men, I’m humbled daily by the men of F3, and honored to have lead you fellas yesterday.
Note: Don’t rule out that call may be from one of your F3 brothers. This year has been tough, be there for each other. If you’re a guy that needs an ear or help, reach out. If you don’t know where to start, I’ll be happy to be listen.
T-claps to my M for rocking out Tacos at 5:00am and to Periscope’s M for the badass cookies.
As it seems to happen every year when approaching another birthday, it inherently becomes a time of reflection on the past year: the wins, the losses, the growth, or sometimes lack thereof. When YHC began thinking about this morning’s Q, the time of reflection took over the focus from a planning session for a workout. 2020 has no doubt been a hell of a strange year, and for YHC’s family, this year has shined a spotlight on just how much our life has changed over the last few years.
Five years ago today, YHC was catering a weekend long bachelor party (I used to cook BBQ for a living believe it or not) and had igniter fail in my cooker and took a stout propane explosion right to the face. That marked the beginning of the end of a three-year run trying to get a company off the ground my wife and I had poured everything we had into…literally everything. We put all our eggs, and a lot of other people’s eggs into one basket, the company born as the result of our wedding favors (another story for another day). Our company started struggling financially, and when it crashed, it took everything we owned with it. Then I burned my face off. The next week we had both my truck and my wife’s van repossessed. By the end of the year, our company had sunk, and it took everything we owned to Davy Jones’ Locker.
There are two good things I’ve learned about being at rock bottom:
So what does this have to do with a Q for The Brave on a Friday morning you might ask?
For YHC, this morning’s Q was a reminder of the power of F3 and the men who it is comprised of. My involvement in F3 is approaching 2 consistent years, and the impact it has made on mine, and thus my family’s life is worth reflecting on. Looking at where I was physically, mentally, spiritually when I re-discovered F3 in October of 2018 is not where I am today. We were still feeling the residual effects that tend to linger long after the explosion of failed venture, and I can honestly say I probably was not in the best head space – definitely not in the best physical shape. Enter the High Impact Men of F3: you have the option to accelerate or quit coming. The speed at which I chase you fools around SCLT has not improved much, but then again, it is not a race against everyone else. It becomes a race against yourself. You get out what you put in. I am thankful for the leadership, the banter, and the community this group of men has given me. Days like today put the many blessings of my life into perspective as we comfortably now celebrate another birthday. So, for everyone who has talked shit, circled back to pick me up on long run, pushed me to the point of throwing up, THANK YOU.
In honor of YHC’s 36th trip around the sun, I dedicated this workout to Thankful 36’s:
Right at 5:30 I was on the verge of a disclaimer (that I now realize I never properly delivered), Soft Pretzel came in on 2 wheels just in time to justify waiting around for him. Light mosey past AAA and circled up in the office parking lot.
-15 Imperial Walkers
-5 LSS (figured we would be doing enough of these in the workout)
Active warm-up as we threw in some high-knees and butt kicks as we made our way across Community house behind Cabo Fish Taco to the Wells Building
Starting in front of the Wells building behind the parking desk, we pushed hard up parking lot road in front of the 4 Ballantyne buildings stopping at each of the 6 crosswalks/speed bumps for 6 squats. Plank at the top to wait for the 6, giving the pax a dose of one more thing Taco Stand is thankful for on this birthday. Inquired to fellow Pax to join in. At the top of the entrance to the sidewalk leading behind the buildings, we would start a series of 6 reps to then be completed in at each building and also at the end of the sidewalk, equaling to a total of 36 reps.
Lap 1: Derkins
Lap 2: Step-ups
Lap 3: Big Boy Sit-ups
Lap 4: Burpees (ladder down counting from 6 down to 1)
Upon completion of the 4th Lap, we made our way to the parking deck for a 3 sets of incline sprints. Gruden’s college legs made an appearance and smoked us on the 3rd and final sprint.
Mosey back to launch where I’m going to claim we hit the 4 mile minimum off fellow pax device. Wild Tukey, Kirby and others all clocked 4+ miles while YHC only hit 3.9. It’s my birthday, I’m going of their watches today.
Moleskin: Honored to lead today’s workout. It has taken a few years to get comfortable being able to verbalize my past life and thankful for this group of men with whom I can be raw and honest with. It’s not the easiest thing to find a group such as F3. Pax pushed hard this morning. Solid showing by all. Sweetwater and Soft Pretzel absolutely crushed it this morning. Teddy claims he’s had surgery in the last few weeks, but I’m calling bullshit based on how quickly he’s been moving the last couple workouts. Gruden looked bright-eyed despite taking the reins of the 4:00am feeding. Wild turkey and Kirby are consistently accelerating.
In closing – my boss happened to send out some words found in an old journal of his father’s and have become a great message to hold close. YHC is committing to these words daily as I navigate through this next year.
Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come to life
To think only of the best, to work for only the best, and to expect only the best
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble
As the sun rose on a crisp spring morning, you could feel the relief of all of those who have yet to file the tax returns. Except Madame Tussauds…he was tossing all night thinking about the continued storm of clients who have yet to get their crap together. Wait..where was MT this morning?
18 Pax including three 2.0’s enjoyed a few extra zzzzz’s for our lax starting time of 6:30 before walking out to the garage to post. If I had to guess, I’m would put money on the number of pax who opted to not brush their teeth was north of 50%…just a guess.
The chatter was brief to start the morning and jumped right into our warm up:
SSH x 20
Squats x 20
Imperial Walker x 20
Mountain Climbers x 20
Quick 2 minute run out and back to get the blood flowing and we were ready for that thang:
We began the first of three sets. Each set repeated three times:
Merkins x 15
Jump squats x 20
LBC x 30
3 minute run
Wide arms merkins x 15
Single leg Russian dead lift x 20 (10 each leg)
Flutter x 30
4 min run
Diamond merkins x 15
Lunges x 20 (10 each leg)
Heels to heaven x 30
4 min run
Incline merkin/dip ladder
10 down to 1
5 Burpees OYO got us right to stopping time.
Solid work was felt on my end. Can’t speak for the rest of the pax, but at times have trouble gauging the intensity of a largely standstill workout. Hope your shoulders are feeling it today!
The clouds and mist welcomed a motley crew who avoided the fart sack determined to get their Saturday started off on the right foot. Temperatures hovered around 40ish degrees letting you know you were alive without being too much of a nasty bite as we made our way out of our cars. Quick disclaimer and we were off.
14 Brave souls ventured out this morning for half-mile repeats as we crawled across 485. Fitting considering how many of us spend so much time there in the afternoon, it only made sense to crawl across it this morning.
As we started our short mosey past AAA for a quick warm-up, I was already hearing grumblings about the lack of proper disclaimer and starting prior to 5:15. I guess my ultra-fancy Casio might keep time a little quicker than you fellas with the Garmin satellite’s on your wrist. Nonetheless, always good to hear some initial complaints coming from Fire Hazard’s direction. So once circling up, appropriate disclaimers for our seasoned out-of-town guests were made, and got to our brief warm-up:
15 mountain climbers
15 Imperial walkers
Knowing the direction the morning was going, I thought it to be prudent for an extended warm-up, so we (well I – this was not a democratic decision) decided on an easy suicide across the parking lot to ensure folks were actually awake before beginning that Thang.
-high knees and jog back
-butt kicks and jog back
-side shuffle down and back
-sprint down and back
Light mosey to the end of the parking lot past the office buildings and across from Potbelly’s and Cabo’s. Started half-mile repeats down to the stoplight at Endhaven Lane. To mix it up, upon reaching the bridge crossing 485, we lunge-walked across the outer loop and bear-crawled across the inner loop. I always think bear-crawls are an excellent idea when planning a workout but was cussing myself before completing the first set. Need to remember I hate bear-crawls – maybe not as much as burpees, but certainly neck and neck. Back on your feet to get it down to the stoplight. Finish off with 10 merkins.
30 second breather and same thing back to start. Repeat loop 4 times.
Mosey back to launch for a couple sets up Mary before hitting our hour mark.
Solid work by all 14 guys there this morning. Fire Hazard and Mario pulled out front and finished in time for some additional Mary before heading back to launch. I thought Cam Newton had shown up for the workout, but after closer inspection, it turned out just to be Frehleys Comet sporting a leopard print headband a signature bar towel hanging at the waist. I left feeling spent, so hope the rest of the Pax got as good of a sweat in today. Certainly helped me justify my breakfast burrito on the way to work this morning. PSA – if you’ve never been to the Shell station at the corner of Ballantyne Commons and Providence Rd, you’re doing yourself a dis-service. Stop by one morning, say hello to the lovely ladies in the back and enjoy. My go-to is the rice, beans, avocado and her homemade hot sauce – solid way to start your day when you’re feeling your inner Tarahumara. Thanks to Saigon Sam and Yogi for joining us on their work travels.
As Thanksgiving is looming, what better way to get in front of the bird, sweat it out and evidently work on our strava turkey draw. Solid crowd per normal out this morning to fight the cool, but relatively pleasant upper 30’s. Quick disclaimer, acknowledgement of FNG (one of Bucky’s B-N-Law) and we were off.
Light mosey past the hotel down past the small pond and found our way into some frosty grass that was about 2 month overdue for their final mow the season. A slight crunch as we high stepped our way into position for a quick warm-up: 15 x SSH 15 x low slow squat 15 x imperial walker
Decided last minute to change up the game plan and reverse our ladder for a count down from 15 all the way to 1. Three stops each lap around the pond stopping at the first office building for 15 big boy sit-ups, followed by 14 burpees at the next building to round off the lap with 13 double leg lunges. Repeat exercises each lap around the pond descending down to one. Evidence of solid work as the steam came rolling off everyone’s head (except Tag-a-long, his excess heat got stuck filtering though his unibomber beard) by lap 3.
Mosey up to the courtyard putting green for 3 merkin laps around the rectangle stopping at each corner for a different version of the beloved exercise. Guys this morning were fortunate enough to enjoy wide arm, diamond, exploding and hand release merkins at each corner in their travels around the horn.
Mosey back to launch coming into a solid crowd of Swift runners.
17 men defied the Saturday morning urge to fart sack and were rewarded with a near perfect morning for a Blakney beatdown.
Quick disclaimer and a mosey over to the Best Buy parking lot for a short and sweet warm-up:
15 Imperial walkers
1, 2, 3, 4, then 5 burpees separated by 5 SSH between each
Noticed a few beads of sweat starting as we made our way across Rea Rd to the Blakney fountain for some partner fun:
Partner 1 ran across the parking lot and completed 5 Mike Tyson’s while partner 2 was working on group exercises consisting of
100 heels to heaven
Mosey to the back of the parking lot for 10 wall jump ups to break up the jog to the what I’m now calling Goose Crap Pond. After sourcing a solid lifting rock and dodging the copious amount of goose droppings, we proceeded to knock out 20 curls, 20 overhead presses, 20 tricep extensions following by a lunge walk across the bridge and back. Completed the circuit 3 times before making our way back to Blakney
A final round of 11’s rounded off our hour and a light mosey across Rea rd to be rewarded with a hot Chick-Fil-A biscuit. The polls came back, the consensus is clear: chicken and biscuits make for a better post-work out meal than bagels.