Author Archive The Shore

Don’t be afraid of the Dark

At 5:30 on (and off) the Charlotte Christian campus 7 brave souls set forth for a Friday the 13th special edition of the Joust.

The Thang:

Jog to field: Karyoke, Lunge walk

Warm-up: Side Straddle Hops, Sumo Squats

Off Campus: Jump the fence, Grab a rock, Jog to Boyce Park

Rocky Shores: Squats, Clean-and-Press, One-legged squat and hold, Curl-and-Press, Merkins on Rock, People’s Chair (with partner)

Relay Races around the Bases/Making Rock Piles

Rocky Mary: Flutter, Dolly, Freddy Mercury, Russian Twist

Jog Home

Up and Under on the Stairs

Guest Q’s: Burpees (Lobster Roll), Imperial Walker (Mr. Brady), Hand Release Merkins (Blue Rhino)


Naked Moleskin:

It didn’t seem that muggy when we started. Evidentially it was a good morning to get wet and muddy though. I needed two towels on the way home to protect the car.

I figured Friday the 13th was a good day for a little extra fun. Boyce Park must be haunted by ghosts of inhabitants past. Pax seemed to be repetitively possessed by these souls in their sppoky mumble chatter. You had to be there to experience the true spine-tingling/bone-chilling/butt-clenching nature of such erie comments.

Bats (flying overhead) and Coyotes (at least their footprints) also joined us this morning.

A good time and hard work was had by all. Sprecial props to Baracus, Mr. Brady, and Big Top for jogging in to the workout. I noticed them walking home though.

The Circle of Death…modified

It was a balmy 63 degrees this morning for a early morning sweat fest. Those who weren’t scared off by an ominous pre-tweet showed up for the fun.

The Thang:

Jog to field

Circle of Death (10 each – Burpees, Jump Squats, Hand-Release Merkins, Sit-ups. Then 9 each, then 8, then 7. You get the idea… Down to 1)

Grandmother mountain – The pax had fun at the bottom while each pax, one-at-a-time, ran up the hill, max-ed out on pull-ups, and came back down. Oh, and they called out an exercise for the rest to do while they waited. We did, as far as I can remember, Decline plank, Burpees, Diamond Merkins, Freddy Mercury’s, LBC’s, Dive Bombers, J-Lo’s, … (there were 11, and I’ve only got 7).

Partner up: Wheel-barrel. Leap Frog. Carry. Scrum-down (fail). Carry/Squat.

Stairs: Lunge-Walk up
The Naked Moleskin:

I think we had fun out there today! The Circle of Death was a good warm-up. Of course, it was modified from the Providence HS Rugby teams version (hijacked from my son). First, we did it at the beginning of “practice”, not at the end. And secondly, we started at 10 reps, not 17 or 18. Thank God for that.

There were plenty of little black tire pieces washing down the drain in my shower afterward. I’m still not sure where all of them were coming from though?

Triple claps to Baracus and Mr. Brady for jogging to the workout this morning. I hope the way back home felt harder than the way in.

Lobster Roll is definitely strong and mighty. His wheel-barrel’s go faster that some pax’s (who will remain nameless) mosey! And he may have been the only one to start to get the hang of the scruming work this morning. He could be on my rugby team anyday.

Good to see everyone out there this morning. Nice work!

A Donkey Kong Dizzy Fest

12 men set out in the gloom for a Friday morning workout with a little fun mixed in. 11 finished.

The Thang:

Jog to field

Warm up: SSH x 20, Sumo Squat x 20, Shore’s Shoulders (Incomplete Pass x 20, Touchdown x 20, Seahawk roll forward x 20, Seahawk roll backwards x 20)

Indian Run Weave or “The Slalom” – 1 lap

The Ladder – 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 yards with 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Burpees and LBC’s mixed in.

Lunge Walk/Bear Crawl Indian run – 1/2 lap

Grandmother’s Mountain: Tunnel of Love (up and down), The Donkey Kong

The Bench: (Dips x 20, Derkins x 15, Jump-Ups x 10) x 2

Mary: Flutter Kicks x 20, Dolley x 20, LBC’s x 20, Bicycle x 20


The Moleskin:

It was a privilege to be out there this morning and good to have the Q as motivation to join after a cold weather hiatus. Enjoyed the fellowship.

It was especially fine to see SlapShot and OchoCinco make the trip up north to join us. WIth Stone Cold and myself, that made a full third of us that were around when “Area 51” was the only workout in these parts.

I know at least 4 pax were dusting me in the ladder, but it was too dark and I was too tired to know who they were. I can only assume Ocho Cinco was one though.

The Donkey Kong was the highlight of the show (or lowlight depending on your perspective). I think Puddin’ Pop was one of the few to join me on another run up the mountain over the “barrels” after our own dizzy-inducing roll. It was shortly after this that Skywalker disappeared (something about work I think – Good to see you out there brother!).

At some point I’m going to have to bring out the Sisyphus. Maybe next time…

F3 Banjos: I hear banjos

From 11/13-11/16 The Shore set out in his canoe from Lake James, to venture downstream in search of a little Silence, Solitude, and Simplicity.


The Thang:

It is a beautiful thing to be out in the peace and solitude of the river. The future paradise of our world already exists there. The veil between heaven and earth is indeed thin. At one point on the river, the rumble of a bulldozer clearing land materialized on the bank and my heartbeat truly rose 10 points. My anxieties were not calmed until I made my way downstream, out of earshot. Machines were the Enemy. Humans my greatest source of fear.

On the second day, sunset approached and I wanted to settle down on some safe land, start a fire, and get a better start to the night than the day before. Then I had arrived in the dark, wet and shivering. Now a sudden shotgun blast from the east side of the river startled me and I made a mental note to head to the west side. As I rounded the bend and approached the site of the gunfire, a bass boat shoved off from that side and fled past me. Strange and suspicious I thought as banjo music began to play in my head.

I did camp and start my fire. It was glorious and I made a priority list for the proper campsite on the river. Number one – stay away from private property, especially that marked by an old trailer dug into the forrest, perhaps with a Confederate flag hanging in a dirty window. Priority number two – plenty of dead firewood on the ground. I was taking advantage of point #2, when that bass boat returned back down to the scene of the crime across the river. They searched around the bank (looking for what they had shot?), seemed surprised to see that I had camped across the way, and fled off upstream. The banjo music got louder.

It was dark now and I settled into my sleeping bag. The night was miserable like the one before. My thermometer read 25 degrees each night, my drinking water froze, and all my belongings were covered in a thick frost. My feet were especially cold despite wool socks, wrapping them up in my heaviest jacket, and stuffing them in my 23 degree-rated sleeping bag. Could frost bite set in under such conditions? I kept moving in my sleeping bag out of necessity. My body would not let me sleep, instead preferring to keep my blood flowing throughout the night. The first night I had dozed off just twice, maybe for a total of 2 hours of sleep. The second night I would get only a half hour.

At midnight I considered getting out on the water and paddling away. More activity might keep me warm. But then, as I got out in the cold to prepare, I thought the sleep deprivation and desperation had me not thinking clearly. I crawled back into the warmest place I knew, my sleeping bag. By 3AM I decided I needed a purpose, and so my mission became to build another fire. I did, and warmed myself by it for 2 hours. I then prepared to leave, knowing the sun and warmth would soon arrive. Just then though, from downstream this time, a bass boat screamed. They stopped across the river and focused their spotlight into the woods, searching. Sure enough they found what they were looking for right at yesterday’s spot, shinned the light over the river (to see if anyone was looking?), and dug into the shoreline. These men came from the different direction from the day before, but seemed focused on the same scenario. I was glad my canoe was up on the bank such that it shielded my fire’s glow from them, and I froze. The banjo music grew disturbingly loud in my head.

Two headlamps moved off the boat and about 10 yards up the bank. The men whispered to one another and got to work. They were moving rocks. Piling them up. Burying something? What had been killed over there yesterday?

I remained frozen, barely moving to grind out my fire. An hour later they continued their work and I realized I had no escape. The river would be too noisy. And on land I was surrounded by a thicket of prickers. I committed myself to my desire to live though and decided to do everything necessary to survive. First, crawled down behind my canoe and texted 49er directions to my location (in case they needed to know where to find my body). Next, I called my wife. Hidden in the dark, I whispered my final thoughts. These men were up to no good and if I was found I could end up like that other guy, under a pile of rocks. “Send help and I love you.” I hung up, and with a new determination, got down on my belly, and crawled under the prickers and into the woods. When clear, I made a break for it. I knew from the night before, there was a clearing about a half mile away with a few nice-looking homes on it. I headed there, sprinting through the woods as if my life depended on it.

I made it to the road, called Sarah to let her know I was out of immediate danger, and called 911 to let them know my first-hand account. Up there, there must not be any cops. Instead I got 3 sheriffs, a regular posse.

With my armed backup we made our way by car, field, then woods, back to my canoe. “I can find it and locate the exact spot they were working.” They confirmed, “Yes, the lady said they were burying a body.” We made our way through the prickers to my site. An hour since I had left, and the boat was still there across the river! “That boat?” “Yes officer, that’s the one. And they were working just upstream from there. What’s our next move?”

“Well, just on the other side of that riverbank is a pond. A duck pond. And the local gun shop rent out space in their blinds. Those are duck hunters over there.”


And my heart and the banjo music stopped.

So after apologizing profusely and sending the officers back through the prickers, I blame my paranoia on 3 factors. My naive city-boy (dare I say Yankee) upbringing. My sleep deprived state. And watching too many movies (especially one in particular involving banjos!).



As my wife and I drove up to Lake James in Tuesday night rush hour traffic, it became obvious that the more roads bottleneck onto the highway, the more traffic deadens. On the other hand, with the river, the more streams that feed into it, the more speed, activity and life flows forth. God’s love and the Holy Spirit seem reflected in the natural life of the river, and not the man-made “conveniences” of our world.

The symbolism of the night and day were readily apparent in the wild. Nighttime for me was dark, cold, draining, and depressing. The day brought warmth, hope, confidence and energy. Life. Each sunrise was a blessing. Every day I was happy to be alive, and thankful for the gifts our world provides. That idea is lost too often in the busyness of our everyday lives.

Dams stagnate the river. The river is much more alive than the lake. Many more songbirds, heron, fish, turtles, and just activity. Also, it’s much more fun to paddle on the river.

Animal observations: Otters enjoy life. Beavers are territorial. Turtles love the rapids. Coyotes, in a pack, with a full moon, can be intimidating. In a group of ducks, the males often far outnumber the females (as in 4 males and 1 female) – what’s up with that? Blue Herons do not like to be scared off their perch and when they are, they first make several deep, guttural gargles – like an old man clearing his throat. Then when clear, they make their high pitched honk like a goose. Every time.

Stats: 4 days, 77 miles. Lake James Dam to the mid-point of Lake Norman. Day 1 – 28 miles (11 hours). Day 2 – 26 miles (11 hours). Day 3 – 16 miles (7 hours). Day 4 – 7 miles (4 hours).

I could generally paddle 2 – 3 miles an hour (my paddle broke 2 hours into the journey, and so I was left with 2/3 of my paddle for the rest of the trip). The river only really added 0.5 mph to my speed. Progress was thus slow and there were no free miles that flew by. Everything was arduously worked for. The turtle at the Lake James access point perhaps best foreshadowed my trip (I was certainly the tortoise, not the hare).

Well planned: Wheels for my portages. Poncho-made rain cover.

Poorly planned: Wearing my old sole-losing boots responsible for my wet socks the first night.

After 4 days, headwinds and fatigue slowed my progress to a crawl. Progress was even slower because I could no longer paddle for more than an hour at a time, before rest was needed. And so, I did not make it to Lake Wylie. Maybe next time. But I will need more paddlers!

“Life is not a destination. It’s a journey.”


12 Pax set out on a no-as-chilly-as-we-thought-it’d-be morning for a fun filled romp around the Charlotte Catholic grounds

The Thang

Jog to Football field

Upper Body Tabata/Warm-Up (20 sec on; 10 sec off): Carolina Dry Docks, Merkins, Squat/Forward arm flaps, Squat/Upward arm flaps, Squat/Arm Circles. Repeat x 3

3-team round robin: Sled push, Sandbag squats, Rolling Figure 8, Flutter kicks.

Grandmother mountain, 3-team oxen pull x 3

Rugby Scrum practice

Run the Steps

Lower Body Tabata/Warm-Down: Flutter Kicks, Dolly, Rosalita, Side Plank, Flutter Kicks, Freddy Mercury, Micheal Phelps, LBC’s, Mason Twist.


It was a beautiful morning out in the gloom this morning. Heart rates were up, but sweat was down (due to the temperature).

I fully enjoyed the company today, with a smaller pack and more time for group activities. Ribeye and Lab Rat were strong allies on the Round Robin work and Grandmother mountain, though the rolling figure 8 worked faster and smoother in my mind than our execution on the field. And Iron Horse picked up the Scruming just fine. He’d be more than comfortable as a Hooker in the middle of a Scrum.

I heard Tiger Rag mumble a couple weeks ago (shortly after he made a mess of frisbee-style hairburners and brought a pee wee football to our field goal kicking contest) about how a Friday workout should have an element of fun to it. And so I tried to get a little creative out there this morning. It worked well, though I fear the Oxen pull provided a little too much opportunity to cheat as I saw many feet dragging up that Grandmother. A fact that forced me to abandon the backwards body drag up same said hill.

Speaking of Grandmother Hill, the meer mention of Sisyphus in the twitter-verse yesterday brought about echos of silence and seemed to scare some pax away. Alas, there was no such eternal punishments handed out today, though I will still like the idea and will have to work on that idea for next time.

This was my first Q in months. Thanks to all the pax out there for the good company and hard work out there this morning. Happy Friday!


An Unknown number of pax were our running in the gloom this morning. Leaderless, but not unmotivated. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Yes!

The Thang:

If those unnamed pax were checking their @F3Area51 twitter account they would have known the activity of the Month in May is interval runs. They would have warmed up with a mile they for every subsequent mile, sprinted the first quarter, then jogged 3/4 of a mile. If they started at 5:15 they would have run 6 miles total (5 sprints), and if they started at 5:30 they would have run 4 miles total (with 3 sprints).

Of course, if they would have been checking their @F3Area51 twitter account, they would have also known that 49er and YHC would be MIA this morning and would have taken up the Q mantle in our absence.

Alas, we may never know what happened this morning. What happens in the gloom, stays in the gloom?


Yes this morning the Devil’s Turn was Q-less. 49er was busy arrousing a 3-headed monster by the name of Hydra at Old Providence Elementary. Details on this new workout coming soon I’m sure. Can anything named after a mythical beast be good? Stay tooned!

YHC, I was busy snipping newborn justifiers at the hospitial. Cleaning up the new recruits, so to speak.

For future reference, the daily routine for the Devil’s Turn will here-to-for be relayed to any interested pax in the F3 South weekly email sent out at the beginning of each week. If you missed it and no one is there to guide you – Just Run, Baby. Run.

You may have noticed the ominous sight of the trailers at the entrance to the McAlpine Greenway recently. Alas, the greenway is about to close for at least 2 years due do some scandalous paving project, among other agravances. THe Devil’s Turn will thus be moving shortly to another local, presumably the greenway entrance off Rea Road, near the Trader Joes. If you live close to there, this will give you no other excuses to run on Thursday mornings. If you live near Sardis, sorry. Stay tuned.

The quiet before the storm

The Thang: It was a straight 4 or 6 miles this morning for the pax.

Moleskin: Quiet slow pace this morning for most. Except for Sprague and Strange Brew who showed up early and fininshed strong. Sprague is always fast. Strange Brew, I think, even surprised himself this morning at how fit he is getting.

Cheese Curd and YHC were actively tapering for the mud run this morning (as opposed to all those passive fartsackers out there). We are now loose and ready to roll come Saturday.

Skywalker suffered in silence this morning as he worked to get back his running legs. I think peer pressure helped him keep going and never quit. Good for him.

And Swiss Miss was out yet again. He’s becoming quite the regular. Look out.

News: Convergence in the south on Saturday morning. 7am at the Rock. There will be no Stonehenge or Area 51 workouts. The rest of us will be having fun in a watered down cow pasture.


A Celebration of Higher Temperatures

The Thang:

We hit the woodsy hill this morning (about a mile loop with a big hill in the middle). But to celebrate the the 61 degrees at 5:30 this morning, at the top of the hill, we did 61 exercises. Some chose push-ups, some chose squats, and some may have even skipped a few reps on the last loop (you know who you are). No one, however, chose burpees.


It was a warm day out there for hard work. I did not bring my towel for the car after the workout thinking I was not going to get dirty. I had not considered sweating into the equation. Looks like its time to reconsider that one.

Sprague and 49er were the early risers, working in 5 loops on the hill. They also set the pace out there and sped past the rest of us at one point.

Welcome to Ivan Johnson to Area 51. EH’d by High Tide earlier this week. Too many directions to go for a nickname had us all stumbling and scratching our heads. Looks like Ivan is going to have to commit to a second run before earning his handle.

Fairwell to Frozen Temperatures

9 souls ventured forth into the frozen greenway to run somewhere between 4 and 6 miles.

The Thang:

5:15 Gazelles (Stone Cold, Bratwurst, and Purple Haze) went 6.

5:15 Turtles (Mall Cop, Skywalker – slow and steady can still win the race!)

5:30 Building (The Shore, Frost Bite, Abacus, Chum)


Much of the talk this morning centered around the closing of our greenway entrance of Sardis Road. In true government fashion, what was originially billed as a project to start at the beginning of 2013, now is slated to start in “late” 2013. More delays to come I’m sure.

Might this be the last of the sub-freezing temperatures? We’ll be complaining of the heat before we know it.

COT prayers were sent out to many of our family and friends (Joker and Ray Charles among you) who are sick or ailing. There always seems to be much/many for the Lord to look after.

Spartan Sprint and Mudrun are fast approaching. The rest of you better start running soon!

fartleks in the cold

11 men showed up for an early morning jog. If you were fartsacking, it is still cold and dark at 5:30 AM these days.

The idea was to sprint the first quarter mile of each mile. I think maybe only Donkey Kong made it through with this promise.

Great new have new faces out for the first time, or starting to become more regulars. We’re all running our own personnal race. We’re just doing it together.

DK, Turkey leg and 49er look strong. The rest of us are working hard to get there.

Chum dragged himself out of the warm bed to join us again. I had given him up to the coyotes. Glad your back.

Good also to see Strange Brew back, working out the kinks in that right arm. And with plans to post for the next two days as well! Still working hard.

One we still miss though is Ray Charles. Hope the leg is feeling better brother.

Don’t forget about The Centurion tomorrow at Charlotte Catholic. There will be no Kevlar tomorrow. Meet behind the Courger’s football field at 5:30 instead.