Choosing Not to Cheat – Ballroom Style

Honestly, YHC was stoked to Q the Ballroom this week. First, I had not visited the new site since moving from PKES. Second, I had not seen a lot of the Pax at this site and third the weather was perfect with a mild 60 degrees at launch.

I have struggled with moderate workouts for many years because I don’t view these men as “moderate”. If you define men who get up around 4:45 to post in any weather conditions and workout for 45 minutes while sharing fellowship and faith throughout as moderate, then so be it.

I recently spent some time in fellowship with other Pax and was reminded of the book by Andy Stanley, Choosing to Cheat. The gist of the book is that we are all cheaters. We cheat on our work by spending time with our wife. We cheat on our wife by spending time with our kids and so on. This book hits home for me. While work/life balance is unattainable and a #Oprahbomb, I find that I get the validation that I so desire from work and gravitate to working harder for more validation. I asked the Pax who posted to choose not to cheat for the next 45 minutes on their workout and to hold each other accountable in doing so.

The Thang

Mosey to football field


SSH x 30

Windmills x 15

IW x 15

CDD x 20

Plank Jacks x 20

Night Clubs x 25

Mosey to 50 yard line

Burpee Ladder Starfish

2 Burpees in middle

Sprint to corner

20 Mtn Climbers

4 Burpees in middle

Sprint to corner

10 merkins in cadence

6 Burpees in middle

Sprint to corner

20 Squats in cadence

8 Burpees

Sprint to corner

20 Bomb jacks

10 Burpees

Ladder back down

Partner up for Ab Ladder

5 Situps


5 Situps plus 10 flutters

Sprint…you get the idea

Finished with 5 sit-ups, 10 flutters, 15 Freddy, 20 LBC, 25 American Hammer

Random ladder of burpees and abs to finish…lots of complaining here



  • Prayers for Badger and Bullwinkles Dad
  • Lots of upcoming events…read your newsletter
  • Praise for Barney Fife and Boogie Down

Thanks to Short Sale for the opportunity. Love what you have done at the Ballroom!

Pusher out!

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Footloose – Accountability

Accountability – Are you pushing yourself when no one is looking?  What do you plan to gain by getting up at 4:30AM?  Be true to yourself!

Disclaimer – Not a professional, modify but hold yourself accountable, no lawsuits.

Slow Mosey around 2 churches and Town Hall.

Warm Up:

20 SSHs, 10 Windmills, 20 MNCs, 10 Mountain Climbers, 5 Merkins

The Thang:

Slow Mosey to the 4 Station Square

4 Stations are marked by cones with written exercises on them.  Divide into 4 groups and mosey to assigned cone.  Cone #1 sets the pace with 20 Seal Jacks in Cadence.  During the cadence the other three groups are as follows;  2) Merkins / Plank, 3) Air Chair, 4) 6 Inches.  Once cadence is complete Broad Jump to next cone.  Continue until cycle is complete.

Round 2:  Same set up but cone number 1 will start with 20 Mountain Climbers in Cadence, when this is complete mosey backwards to the next cone.

10 count

Mosey back to FBC and line up on right side of parking lot.

Lunge Walk 20 yards  –  7 point Hip exercise (Right Hip)  –  7 point Hip exercise (Left Hip)  –  Lunge Walk 20 Yards  (I think the hip exercises started some interesting mumble chatter)

Bear Crawl 15 yards – Crab Walk 15 yards – mosey to end of lot (repeat going back)

Toy Soldiers 20 yards  –  Downward Dog 20 count  –  Dying Cockroaches x20  –  LBCs x20  –  Freddie Mercury’s x20  –  Big Boy Sit Ups x10 OYO  –  (During this series is when I discovered the mumble chatter had a lot to do with something about every star is Uranus and it’s very gassy)  Honeymooner 20 count  –  Toy Soldiers 20 yards

Slow Mosey around parking lot


Strawberry Fest sign up, Cannoli run, prayers for folks in the hospital, employment and various stresses of life and how we handle them – Bassomatic led us out.



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Slow Burn Deck of Pain

The morning started out cooler than yesterday…and everyone noticed that right away. That’s okay, because what I had in store would keep everyone warm enough without question.

Started out with the standard disclaimer, then moseyed down the hill for the warm-up.

  • Butt Kickers
  • High Knees
  • Circle up
  • SSH’s
  • Cherry Pickers
  • Windmills
  • Imperial Walkers
  • Hillbilly Walkers

Mosey over to the side lot for the Thang.  Now, when we got over there the PAX saw the deck of cards and immediately knew what was coming.  I set the ground rules:

Aces are 1, Face cards are 10, we will use the value of the card and do that many sets of 10 of a given exercise, and each suite for that card will determine what exercise would be done.

We did 4 rounds in total, with a lap around the building in between rounds.

Round 1 – CORE; Round 2 – UPPER BODY; Round 3 – LOWER BODY; Round 4 – CARDIO with the ultimate goal to provide a solid and challenging total body workout!

So, we started out with a face card that meant we had to get after it right out of the gate with 100 box cutters.  And the mumble chatter turned at that very first exercise of round 1 ;-).

Overall, we did hundreds of exercises, some more than others, but the exercises completed for each round were as follows:

  • LBC’s (Hearts) – We did about 60
  • Flutter Kicks (Clubs) – We did 100
  • Box Cutters (Spades) – We did 100
  • American Hammers (Diamonds) – We did 80

Run a lap around the building

  • Merkins (Hearts) – We did 80 or 90
  • Carolina Dry Docks (Clubs) – I think we did 70
  • Moroccan Night Clubs (Spades) – I think we did 40
  • Overhead Hand Claps (Diamonds) – I think we did 50

Run a lap around the building

  • Squats (Hearts) – I can’t remember how many we did
  • Monkey Humpers (Clubs) – We did 100
  • Apollo Ohno’s (Spades) – I think we did 40 or 50
  • Lunges (Diamonds) – We did 10 each leg

Run a lap around the parking lot to save time and get the last round in

  • Peter Parkers (Hearts) – I think we did 40 or 50
  • Mountain Climbers (Clubs) – I think we were in the 30 or 40 range
  • SSH’s (Spades) – We did 80
  • Parker Peters (Diamonds) – I think we did 20

Mosey back up to COT

There was a lot of complaining, but I was really proud of all the PAX as they pushed through the pain and discomfort and came out their comfort zone.  Moderate is a state of mind, and I will admit that a lot of times I tell myself I can’t do something, but then when pushed by the PAX I find out, hey, it hurt like crazy, but yes, I can do that!  Today it was my turn to lead the PAX and push them.  I’m feeling it for sure now, and I know they all are too…but I wouldn’t change it for the world!


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Today + You = History

10 Pax posted to #THEBallroom for another chapter in Redwood Originals month.  This was YHC’s first Q (or even post) to the not-so-new site now at Pleasant Knoll Middle School.  Prior experience the past 18 months as Site Q at #BlockParty prevented earlier posting.  Great AO# — @Ginsu should give this one consideration for future Convergences.

Site Q request was for me to cover a bit of “history” of The Fort as part of the workout and message.  It’s a story that truly reflects God blessing men who step into the unknown with faith, which is what every FNG does the first time he posts.  The history of The Fort is really the history of every member of the pax, from 2012 all the way to April 2018 and beyond.

The Thang

Mosey around to back of school

COP — usual IC warm up routine, particularly important on a 30 degree morning in mid-April!

Mosey across bridge to breezeway leading to athletic fields

It’s not too impressive in a BB to talk about the fact we did “a whole lot of sitting around” but that’s what transpired.  Of course it was in the People’s Chair while each pax recounted the story of his initial post, which AO, who EHd him, who Qd, etc.  Each rendition was interspersed with some form of merkins, CDDs, balls-to-the-wall, monkey humpers, squats, bombjacks and/or burpees.  We covered stories of 9 pax and then moseyed to the football field.

Circle up for some Mary — a rundown of the familiar but effective Hello Dollies, Freddie Mercurys, Flutters, Superman and Penguin (including reference to Burgess Meredith for the #Respectables among the pax)

Line up for suicides across the football field

Plank sequence

Pause to recount YHC’s EH story and honor OBT for that gift.

Another suicide sequence

Another plank sequence, topped off (for Longshanks) with Mahktar N’Dyae

Run home


Thanks to Short Sale for the invitation to Q at The Ballroom.  It was a great morning with a lively and dedicated collection of the pax.  Truly an honor to lead on this day.

Short Sale posted to S2S last week when I had the privilege of leading the discussion that day, and he heard me talk about the launch of The Fort as being one of many instances where God showed up in amazing ways during a period of life transition to bless those who move forward in faith.   Too often I try to seize CONTROL when facing transition periods either out of PRIDE or in response to ANXIETY.  Reflecting in prep for S2S on my experience amid life’s transition points proved to me that God has repeatedly come through every time (!) in ways I could never have imagined and on a scale I would never have asked for.  And yet, I tremble each time I see a transition on the horizon.  Oh ye of little faith!

Upon reflection, the story about the launch of The Fort is a powerful one for me and the pax who experienced those lean early days, but for the rest among us, it is just names, places and dates.  Kind of like my history classes back in high school.  I had a hard time connecting to them because they were foreign to my experience…I had no immediate way to connect so history classes became all about pure memorization for me.

But, in the recounting of the history of The Fort at The Ballroom, we heard it from the mouths of those who lived it.  We heard about pax who’ve moved onto other pastures (Howitzer, Bing, Red Eye) who had EHd one of those present, leaving behind a legacy of their contribution to The Fort’s history.  We heard about workouts where present-day pax swore to God they’d never return if he let them survive that first day (Anchorman).  We heard about pax who did not return for YEARS, waiting until scores of pounds were shed and cigarettes were sworn off (Culture Club), only to be remembered upon later return by CSPAN who disallowed a name change.  We heard about AOs that don’t even exist anymore (the sandbag workout — can’t recall the name).  This was history that each man connected to, because it was HIS STORY.

And that is true for each day.  God willing, we are given a new day each morning to make a choice, to lay another piece of our history in place.  A piece of The Fort’s history.  A piece of the history of God’s people.  No, I don’t feel worthy to receive this daily gift.  But God sees that I am worthy of it.  And he sees you’re worthy of it, too.  So, go ahead, take the DRP and go make some history.



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Another Saturday at The Yard

CSPAN and I needed therapy, so we pre-rucked a few miles before I showed to Q… Some might use the fact that we pre-rucked as proof of our need for therapy, but it IS the therapy… it’s complicated… just forget it…

Once PAX started to arrive, we got on with the Thang:
Mosey to small lot on left side of the Middle School (if you are facing it) for the Warmup:
Cherry Pickers/Weed Pullers/Jimmy Carters/Whatever…
Moroccan Nightclubs
Side Straddle Hops…
…all came to visit to the count of 10…

Then we ran from that end of the school (stop 1), past the front doors to the small lot on the back right corner (just above the football field) of the school (stop 2)…

We did a bunch of exercises and discussed the mission and 5 core principles of F3…

Then we alternated running back and forth between stop 1 and stop 2 doing exercises each time we arrived… Burpees, squats, CDD, Merkins, Flutters, etc.

Once we got sick of that we did a couple of rounds of 4 corners with accountability partners to make sure our form wasn’t lacking:
Merkins, Big Boy Situps, CDD, Seal Jacks for the 6…

Then we did a “ring around the Mary” and called it a morning…

The fun never ends and the party never stops at The Yard…

Helmet, out.

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Slow Burn Core Workout

It was the last weekday of spring break, yet 14 PAX joined us in the gloom for a solid core workout.  Mumble chatter was significant and welcomed!

Getting right to it….Disclaimer then a mosey to warmup:

  • SSH’s – 25
  • Low Slow Squats – 10
  • Windmill – 10
  • Moroccan Nightclubs – 25
  • Cherry Pickers – 10

Mosey to the other side of the eatery strip to get out of the wind a bit.

We took a moment to discuss the word of the month, Worthy…and then got after our cores!

  • LBC’s in Cadence – 15
  • Flutter Kicks in Cadence – 25 (that is a LOT)
  • Hello Dolly in Cadence – 15
  • Run a lap of the parking lot and then Rinse and Repeat

Split the group into two lines and we did a relay sprint race just to get the heart pumping a bit and give our core a short break

  • Hello Dolly in Cadence – 25
  • Freddy Mercury in Cadence – 25
  • Big Boy Sit-Ups, together as single count – 10
  • American Hammer’s in Cadence – 15

To mix it up a bit, People’s chair with 3 popout burpees from each PAX

  • Merkins in Cadence – 10
  • Diamond Merkins in Cadence – 10

Run another lap around the parking lot for a breather

Rinse and Repeat the last round of core exercises

  • Hello Dolly in Cadence – 25
  • Freddy Mercury in Cadence – 25
  • Big Boy Sit-Ups, together as single count – 10
  • American Hammer’s in Cadence – 15

AMRAP style we did two rounds of exercises

  • Low Slow Squats
  • PAX individual choice, but had to be an exercise they really hate doing.  We had burpees to big boy situps, but the PAX all pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone!

Mosey back to COT

It was a fun group, and as usual, completely honored to lead my Brother’s in this workout!


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Redwood Original Tour Kickoff

9 men posted on a beautiful SC morning for a moderate start to their day, and also took a look back to the origins of F3 The Fort.  Here is what they did:

The Thang:

Mosey out of the parking lot and circle up on the cement pad in front of the center building along Pleasant Road.

COP (all in cadence)

SSH x 20, Windmill x 15, Mountain Climber x 20, Rosalita x 15.  Pause for back/shoulder stretch L and R, Squat/Merkin/Dip seqence (5-10 reps, repeat 3 or 4 times).  Peter/Parker/Peter x 15, Freddie Mercury x 15.

Mosey around the building to the hill near the steel bridge

Jacob’s Ladder.  5 trips up the hill starting  with 1 burpee and finishing with 5.  Plank at the bottom when finished.  YHC took time to mention that Jacob’s Ladder was a staple of most F3 workouts in the early days, but seems to be absent from workouts these days.  Too bad – this is one of the best cardio/strength exercises and one of YHC’s favorites.  Take notice Q’s and bring it back.

After completing JL, mosey to the edge of the steel bridge and pair up.  With your partner, make your way across the bridge by lunge walking.  At each light, stop and do 10 partner merkins (with handclap).

When all the Pax have crossed the bridge, turn around the lunge walk back to the start.  At each light, stop and do 10 partner big boy sit ups with a hand clap.

Mosey to the building, find a bench, and do 10 steps up each leg.    Find a spot on the wall and do peoples chair with arms up/out.  Stand up, walk/shake em up and come back for balls to the wall.  Hold while each Pax does a 5 count.

Mosey back to the front of the school for some Mary.  Pax choice today with Grave Diggers (10R/10L), Hello Dolly x 15, and LBC x 15.

Finish up with the Body Destroyer for 60s in silence (another YHC favorite).


I have been on IR for several months and was very happy to get the invite to Q from Short Sale a few weeks back.  This was the perfect way to ‘get back on the Q horse’ after a long lay off.  The PKMS location is awesome – expansive, a great turf field, and plenty of variety to work with. It was a blast to Q a workout again and I appreciate the effort put forth by the Pax today.

YHC talked a little about how F3 The Fort got started with the first group of Pax (me, Assassin, DD, Santini, Red Banjo, and Peach).  Nice to have Assassin in the Pax today too!  Back in the day,  Fort Mill was one of the first areas outside of Charlotte to launch F3 , and F3 Nation leaders, Dredd and OBT,  were part of the Fort Mill launch team.   What I recall from the first workout was that it was very hard, and I was plenty sore the next day.  But, I was hooked right away, and could not wait for the following Saturday when we posted again.  For us, back then, it was just a workout ( a really good one), and we didn’t know what would happen with the group, or where the group; was headed.  We just enjoyed the workouts and being together.    During the 1st year, the group started to grow and we started having 2nd F events and a regular Friday morning bible study.   The Pax kept coming and we kept expanding.  More workouts were added in new locations, regular 2nd F events appeared on the calendar, and a thriving 3rd F community was established.  The leadership we had in the beginning and the high caliber guys that have joined us since have built the Fort into what it is today.  I am a proud F3 member and plan to be one for many years to come.


Prayers for Badger who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Praises for an M with a recent good report from her doctor.  Cornerstone’s 2.0 is cancer free!  Vuvuzela’s 2.0’s seizures are not as frequent.



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Yahtzee Culture Club Style

So, Culture Club came out completely prepared as usual.  Always love attending one of his workouts!  This Friday morning we played Yahtzee in a way I personally never have before.

The basics were one PAX called out an exercise from the bottom list seen above, and the remaining PAX did that exercise while the first PAX took his three rolls for Yahtzee.  Once the points were written on the tape, then the blue tape was removed to reveal which exercise would be performed, and the reps would be the amount of the score written in.  If the exercise under the blue tape was highlighted in green it meant that for the next round, instead of choosing an exercise from the bottom list, the PAX would run a lap around the parking lot.

If you have not been out to participate in a Culture Club workout, I highly suggest you plan for it.  He has certainly set a high bar of excellence, at least in my book 😉.

Smithers – Out

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Hootie’s first Q

I had plenty of time to prepare for my first Q. I had no idea how to gauge whether or not the workout would be considered moderate of more like a boot camp. I had hoped to push the edge. In the end, we all got a good sweat. But it probably wasn’t hard enough.

It had rained all night. It was cool and damp, but the rain had ended. We moseyed for a bit and then did 7 warm up exercises. Then we moseyed some more to the wall in the back of the building where we did wall squats while each of us took turns doing 2 burpees. We did another round of wall squats where everyone stepped out to do two bomb jacks.

Then we moseyed to the front parking lot where we did a 4 corners workout. Since we only had 8, we broke up into two groups of 4. We started at opposite corners. We did 5 rounds where we hit all body parts in each round of 4. After completing each set of 4 exercises, we would meet in the middle to do 5 bomb jacks.

We finished back at the Q with each of us leading an ab exercise.

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Last Minute Q at Footloose with a promise of no stairs

So I took the Q at the last minute to help out Beacon, and during the initial twitter planning there was a request made for no stairs, so I decided to make today’s beat down leg friendly in the event any P200 guys were going to post.

So we started out with a quick disclaimer, and then a short mosey to the entrance on the left side of the church where we circled up for a warm-up:

  • SSH’s in cadence – 25
  • Overhead hand claps in cadence – 25
  • Windmill in cadence – 10
  • Moroccan Nightclubs in cadence – 25
  • Cherry Pickers in cadence – 10

Mosey to the back lot under the overhang for the start of the main course

  • LBC’s in cadence – 15
  • Flutter Kicks in Cadence – 25
  • Boat/Canoe single count – 10

A quick discussion on the word of the month (Abide).  We discussed how one of the critical components to being able to abide in something is trust.  Then once the trust is established we need to relinquish control and trust in whom we abide (specifically in Christ)

Rinse and Repeat

Took a quick mosey around the parking lot, then over to the wall for some People’s Chair

  • Each PAX popped out of the chair for 3 strong burpees, starting at both ends and working to the center

Around the corner for some more core work:

  • Hello Dolly’s in cadence – 20
  • Freddy Mercury in cadence – 20
  • Big Boy Sit-ups single count – 10
  • American Hammer in cadence – 20

Back around the corner for some more People’s Chair

  • Each PAX popped out of the chair for three strong bombjacks, starting at both ends and working to the center.

A quick on the spot question to Lugnut asking how he got his name and what F3 has meant to him, then back around the corner for some upper body work:

  • Merkins in cadence – 10
  • Diamond Merkins in cadence – 10
  • Carolina Dry Docks in cadence – 10
  • Wide arm Merkins in cadence – 10

Rinse and Repeat

Mosey around the parking lot and back to under the overhang.  Another quick on the spot question to Spitz asking how he got his name and what F3 has meant to him, then a lightning round of core work:

  • LBC’s in cadence – 15
  • Flutter Kicks in Cadence – 20
  • Hello Dolly’s in cadence – 20

Mosey back to COT for a bit of stretching lead by Kilbasa

Done.  All that planning for a P200 friendly workout and the only one remotely interested was Anchorman who started training for the P200 today 😉

Smithers – Out

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