Beyond #1…What’s at your CORE?

Beyond can be defined as “Outside the understanding, limits, or reach of.” That is what this thing is all about; recognizing that a push beyond, in all many aspects of life, can be a really good thing. If you’re a killer runner, come do a Merkin and a Pull Up with us. If you’re strength nut, come do a few sprints and bear crawls with us. The reasoning for this is well documented now, dating back a few months to when Jekyll let me share about this at a Colosseum Q I had.

And yes, I am 8 days late in getting this BB written which is rather ironic. I will work to get these posted both by the Q’s and YHC in a more timely manner.

We started last Tuesday with the 1st round of Beyond and the theme was CORE. Besides the obvious, physical reference to the word, Core can be defined as, “A central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature.” In other words, when the world strips away your exterior, what are you left with to truly guide you. To take this a step further, I let the PAX know that Beyond will challenge them to push past the limits they’ve previously established for themselves. This is aided by listening to a Podcast, “Team Never Quit” in which you listen to stories of people who’ve endured unbelievable challenges and have pushed through to find the redemptive outcome on the other side. It seems impossible when you’re in the thick of “it”, whatever “it” might be in your life, but God has a plan. Bad and difficult things happen, yes, but we try to find a glimmer of hope and positivity on the other side.

Enough rambling…I need to figure out a better way to capture the names for Beyond but for now, we’ll have to rely on my fuzzy memory. I know we had 15  which I think included the following, Bob the Builder, Geronimo, Band Camp, Straight Up, Fire Marshall Bill, Frat Boy, Longshanks, Jedi, Cha Ching, Ginsu, Trucker, Lutefisk, Bonsai, MacGuyver, YHC. My sincere apologies if I got a few of these wrong.

Once we separated from the Block Party PAX, we jogged through the park and made our way to the playground, which still sounds strange every time I write that. We did a few warm up exercises like SSH, Arm Circles, Sumo Squats and more SSH which was then followed by a little stretching and lot more of my talking (rambling). What I was trying to get to was that you can’t quit and if you need a little motivation to keep from quitting, look to the man to your left and right and realize they won’t let you quit and you don’t want to let them down. If it were just you out there, we’d quit a lot sooner. Remember, YOU’RE NEVER ALONE OUT THERE…SO DON’T QUIT.

100 American Hammers (we all thought about quitting on that one unless you’re Jedi/Geronimo

25 LBC

100 Flutters

30 Peter Parkers

50 Mountain Climbers

Partner 1: 50 Carolina Dry Docks   Partner 2: Pull Ups until your partner is done and flapjack

Partner 1: 15 Burpees   Partner 2: Pull Ups until your partner is done

Mosey to the Big Hill where found some cones forming a 15yd x 20yd rectangle on the hill.

Backward run up the hill, 5 Burpees at the top then run down. Repeat this 5 times.

Next we bear-crawled around the rectangle for 3mins which was awesome…

Mosey to the wall at the Springs building

Nothing fancy, just a mere 3mins of muscle ups…yup, it was turrible.

We talked about not quitting and trying to answer the question of whether or not you can change what is at your CORE. What is left when the world takes what you see, away? So that was it. I learned a lot in these 45mins and I hope we continue to see a good contingent of guys willing to push themselves.

As you were…



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#218in18 Kick-off Convergence BackBlast

76 PAX (including 4 FNGs) met in the gloom at Harris Teeter this morning to kick the year off the right way.

Group 1 – Jedi

Start with 60 seconds of plank tutorial, then a fairly lame attempt to explain the exercise “routine” for the upper body station. The routine, to be done in increasing AMRAP style:
· Incline Merkins
· Low Country Crab Boil (One leg, one hand dips)
· 90° Turn clockwise
· Staggered/Uneven Break Dancer Merkins (Left hand on curb)
· Staggered/Uneven Carolina Dry Docks (Left hand on curb)
· 90° Turn clockwise
· Pseudo Planche Merkins
· Donkey Kicks
· 90° Turn clockwise
· Staggered/Uneven Break Dancer Merkins (Right hand on curb)
· Staggered/Uneven Carolina Dry Docks (Right hand on curb)
· 90° Turn to starting position

Start with 10 reps for each exercise, then add 2 reps each round after that (10, 12, 14, 16, …). Only the elite few made it past the round of 12.

Group 2 – Peabody

An absolute honor to lead a convergence and had so much fun working with all the guys. Here’s the fun of the cardio Q.

SPRINT Relays!!!  

3 team

60 Yard sprint

Team members are doing Seal Jacks, side straddle hops, or flutters while teammate runs.

Winning team selects penalty exercise for 2 losing teams. (Unknown is losing team has to do the penalty exercise too but only half the reps).

Rinse and repeat the sprint relay races once teams are mixed up.

Mary to follow:

  • 50 LBCs
  • 25 Flutters
  • 10 Freddie Mercury’s

Lists of fun to hear the encouragement of other Pax and see the competition bring out the most in guys.  Saw lots of guys really push hard to win for their team.

Group 3 – Jekyll

Motley Crue and 80’s hairband soundtrack

  • COP: SSH, IW, Squat
  • 5 Burpee OYO, 4 OYO, 3 OYO
  • Lt Dan: squat and jumping , 1:4 ration
    • 1 squat: 4 jumping lunge, 2 squat: 8 Jumping lunge…10 squat: 40 jumping lunge
  • 5 burpee OYO
  • Calf Raises 25 each: Straight, Toes Out, Toes In
  • Donkey Kicks


Welcome FNGs Iron City, Humps, Hillary, and Juliet

Prayers by CakeBoss for leadership.

– Ginsu

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Just in Time

YHC peeled into the parking with 1 minute to spare before the 515 start to see 12 eager PAX waiting to warm up in the cold.  It would have been a bad look for the Site Q to be late to his own Q.

The Thang

Mosey to the Band Parking lot for COP

Usual suspects – SSH, Windmills, Imperial Walkers, Merkins, Squats.

Mosey over the parking lot loop at the front of the school for Dirty MacDuece.  4 sets of 3 exercises done to 12.  All in cadence.  Lap of the parking lot in between each set.

Set 1 – Merkins, Squats, LBCs

Set 2 – CDDs, Alternating Leg Lunges, Freddy Mercury

Set 3 – Diamond Merkins, Monkey Humpers, Rosalitas

Set 4 – Wide Arm Merkins, Sumo Squats, Hello Dollies

Mosey back to stadium parking lot for Mary.  Went around the circle with Pax calling out exercises – Freddy Mercury, LBCs, Toe Touches, American Hammers, Peter Parkers, Makhtar N’Diayes

COT – Announcements, Prayers and Praises.

Thanks to all that came out on a cold morning.  Your support is appreciated.

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Sandbag bootcamp

Mosey around the parking lot with toy soldiers and butt kickers.  Then circle up for SSH, honey lookers, morrracan night club and to finish off the warm-up 5 burpees.

After the warm-up YHC had all the Pax grab the sand bags and move down to the football field where we did the following with a partner.

Start at one end zone and move down the field by throwing the bag.  Do one merkin after each throw until reaching the 10, then add one merkin for every 10 yds.

Second exercise: Pax 1 – monkey humpers,  Pax 2 walking lunges to the 10.  Switch every 10 yds.

3rd exercise: Both pax grab one side of the sand bag and walk to the 10.  Curl and press up. (+1 for every 10 yds)

4th exercise: team up with another group and team one will run with sand bag between them to the end zone and back.  Other team is doing American Hammers until they get back.  Switch

5th exercise: Pax 1 – CDC, Pax 2 overhead carry for 20 yds.  Switch and keep moving to end zone

After completing last exercise we ran out of time so we moseyed back COT.  It was a pleasure to lead and I appreciate all the Pax that showed up and willing to try something new.



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The G.R.I.N.C.H. Posts to Colosseum

18 pax showed up at Colosseum to steal Christmas back from the GRINCH.  Though not a regular at this AO, YHC jumped at the chance to pinch-hit for Pusher.  And being so close to Christmas, it’d almost be a sin to not have a Christmas theme.

Fresh out of Christmas workout ideas (see Alcatraz backblast from 2 weeks ago), YHC took to backblasts from other regions and found a Grinch theme workouted posted in F3GSO. T-Claps to GSO’s CHiPS and WoJo for the idea.

Disclamer was delivered as a few pax were coming in hot.  25 SSH allowed them time to catch up.


We ran a bit, then stopped for 5 burpee broadjumps and a few toy soilders.

Moseyed some more (in the general direction of 160), stopping at various times for warm-up exercises, including:

  • Squats
  • Peter Parkers
  • Seal Jacks
  • Moroccian Nightclubs
  • Windmills

Our run end in the Velux parking lot.  A few pax tried to claim we were at Golden Corral (sarcasm, perhaps?).  On the hill of the parking lot, 3 stations were set up:

  • Bottom of the hill was an orange cone, representing “Whoville”.
  • Mid-way up the hill was a green cone
  • At the top of the hill was a lantern with this sheet:


To summarize, pax were to do the exercises, run down the hill, stop halfway for 5 squats, run the rest of the way and do 5 LBCs, then run backwards up the hill, stopping halfway for 5 monkey humpers.  Once returning to the top, pax planked up for the 6 before starting the next round.

Exercises were cumulative, so pax had to repeat all previous exercises for each round.  A smattering of #mumblechatter ensued when pax learned 30 HR Merkins would follow 25 CDDs.

We wrapped up with about 12 minutes left, so we headed back, with Jekyll (who ran to the WO from home) Larry Bird’ing most of the way back.

We stopped at a parking lot on the edge of campus and effectively did a lap of alternating bear crawls and lunges, with a couple segments of crab walks.

Finally we ran to where we had done the initial burpee broad jumps, and finished out with the same.


Great job by the pax.  Seems like we put on more miles than a typical bootcamp, and with some hills, yet the 6 was never far behind.  Prayer requests at COT:

  • For Trucker’s neighbor
  • For Orange Crush
  • For Fratboy’s friend
  • For Stang


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Long Route to COT

17 PAX on this 43 deg morning

Warmup: 1 Burpee, SSH, 2 Burpees, Moroccan Night Clubs, 3 Burpees, Imperial Walkers, 4 Burpess, Hillbilly Walkers, 5 Burpees

Wave Merkins to 10, Wave Grave Diggers to 10 followed by a few sprints at 50%, 75%, and AYG

Jacob’s Ladders

Set 1: Carolina Dry Docks 1 to 7 with bear crawl down; Jump Lunges 7 to 1 with sprint back

Set 2: Jump Squats 1 to 7 with long jumps down; Mtn Climbers 7 to 1 with sprint back

Set 3: LBCs 1 to 7 with sprints down; Bomb Jacks 7 to 1 with sprint back

Mosey other parking lot.  Here the “we’re going the wrong way” chatter begins.  Partner 1: Merkins while Partner 2: scales half wall, touches building and back x5

Finish with wall sits, last man to front through all PAX, then BTW for 2 ten-counts

COT… We prayed for families, marriages, and comfort in sickness.

Always honored to Q.

Rocks Out

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Quagmire –

20 At the Quagmire for a fill in Q

  • Welcomed everyone and introduced Will our FNG
  • We did a disclaimer
  • We mentioned Victory and what it looks like in all areas of our lives
  • Mosey to COP
  • Mosey to alley between Home Depot and Target
  • Beatdown doing 8 exercises and sliding crates on the ground (burners)
  • Mosey to fountain for derkins, dips and step ups
  • Mosey to COT
  • Had some announcements
  • Few prayers and couple of praises
  • Ball of Man

Thank you for the lead DaVinci!


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Slow Burn – Solid to the Core

So, it was a fairly nice morning, especially when you consider it is December 1st!  I was able to workout in shorts and a t-shirt, so really…who can complain about that?

After reading Popeye’s back blast from down in The Rock region from a couple of days ago, it really got me off my six.  I saw that Trucker was scheduled to Q this week, but he posted that he needed a last minute Q change since he was DR last minute for work.  So I set out to plan a good ole’ core workout.  It went a little something like this…

Disclaimer (one FNG), then mosey down to the parking lot below for warmup.


  • Side Straddle Hop – 25
  • Low Slow Squats – 10
  • Windmill – 10
  • Moroccan Nightclubs – 25
  • Cherry Pickers – 10

Mosey to the other end of the strip and circle up.

Gifts – that is the word of the month for December.  We discussed how, especially this time of year when we hear the work gift we think of things…things we get, things we give, things we buy for ourselves…just stuff.  I challenged the PAX to think of the Spiritual Gifts that we all have.  We talked about how God has given us ALL various gifts, and literally everyone has them!

Another gift, is the gift of this F3 Brotherhood, and the unconditional support we all give to each other!  And lastly, my gift to the PAX was a good solid to the core workout 😉

The Thang:

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

Recover with 10 count

  • LBC’s in cadence – 15
  • Flutter Kicks in cadence – 25
  • Boat/Canoe in cadence – 7

Mosey to the side of Lowes

  • Line up in 4 lines and have a relay race (all out) for half the length of the parking lot.  Boy can these HIMs move!

Two walking 10 counts to the back of Lowes, with a mosey the rest of the way.

  • Hello Dolly in cadence – 25
  • Freddy Mercury in cadence – 25
  • Big Boy Sit-Ups OYO – 10
  • American Hammer in cadence – 15

Mosey over to the wall.

  • People’s Chair with a 10 count (or more) from each of the 29 PAX

Time for a break.

  • Merkins in cadence – 10
  • Diamond Merkins in cadence – 10

Heard from Gilmore a bit about how he got his name, and what F3 has meant to him.  Great story and inspiration!

Back to the core.

  • Hello Dolly in cadence – 25
  • Freddy Mercury in cadence – 25
  • Big Boy Sit-Ups OYO – 10
  • American Hammer in cadence – 15

Mosey to the other side of lowes (working our way back in the direction of COT) for a couple minutes of Mary.

  • Box Cutters
  • Protractor

Mosey back to COT for name-o-rama.  We had one FNG, who was named Elvis (which is a STRONG name)

So, I wore myself out, and am super proud of all the PAX who pushed through this morning and stood together.  It is an honor and a GIFT to be able to Q!  Stay strong, get better, be willing to drop to your knees and accept help…Have a Blessed Week!



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A Return Home to the Colosseum

This morning was the ideal morning to make a return to the Colosseum to fulfill my opportunity to Q. What made it ideal? I woke up, the temps were cold, I wrote a Weinkie, I had a message to deliver and a few Pax showed up to see where they should direct soreness-induced comments come Wednesday morning. That’s what made it ideal. See, we are blessed with this opportunity to join other men as we get broken down physically. And the byproduct of that beat-down is the chance to learn more about the man to our left and right and reach out a hand to see how you can go beyond yourself.

So 18 other men decided that the Colosseum was where they wanted to spend 45mins this Tuesday morning and for that, I’m humbled. 18 other men brought their gloves (most of them anyways) and wanted to see what I had in store. While only 1 man asked to see the deck of cards, it became evident that 18 men were ready to put in some work. But before we did that, I had to say a few words that were intended to be a disclaimer and brief run down of how what we were about to do was slightly different than the norm yet more of what is to come.

We jogged through the drop-off lanes of both schools and found our way to the line of cones in the back bus lot.  We lined up at the cones for a series of 3-tier suicides to the other end of the lot but only at 50%. Now that we’re a little warmed up, we circled up for some stretching:  Hammies, Hip Flexors, Back, SSH, High Knees and Wind Mills

Now we stepped it up a little:

Clock Merkins 1-12 and let the chatter begin

10 Burpees with an extra squat for good measure (I still have to pay up on my 69 Burpees…GO PACK)

Wave Merkins around the circle (5 rounds)

10 Donkey Kicks with 2 Carolina Dry Docks after each

Single Count Diamond Merkins x 10

10 Burpees with a Jump Tuck on each

Back on the line with your partner.

Partner 1: Bear Crawl the length of the parking lot to Shady’s car and sprint back

Partner 2: American Hammers until #1 returns.

Partner 1: Bear Crawl the length of the parking lot to Shady’s car and sprint back

Partner 2: Toe-Touch V-ups or some modification thereof

On The Playground which turned out to be way more complicated than imagined

Partner 1: 20 Swing Crunches or modify to a bench where necessary

Partner 2: 20 Grave Diggers on the left side

Partner 1: 20 Swing Crunches or modify to a bench where necessary

Partner 2: 20 Grave Diggers on the right side

Mosey to the back entrance road. With your same partner, run to the light post and do 2 merkins. Run to the next post and do 2 merkins. Continue this for 6 light posts and rest at the end.

Once we all completed this series, I took advantage of the captive audience to explain what my next venture is. Beginning in January, I’ll be launching a new Black Diamond-inspired AO named, BEYOND. While we typically think physically or geographically when we hear the word, Beyond, I challenge you to think differently. Think Beyond your normal conversations with your family, Beyond your sports-themed conversations with your friends, Beyond your show up and get your job done tasks with work, Beyond your bedtime prayers with kids-type of spiritual relationship and yes, Beyond your typical physical breaking point. Like muscles; our minds, faith, relationships, abilities and comfort zones only improve when stretched BEYOND what they’re used to doing. We grow as men when we’re beaten physically and I’ll use BEYOND as a platform to do just that. Many more details to come but would you consider joining me for a week or more to try it out? This is not to replace any existing AO, purely complimentary

So here’s the walking away assignment. Remember that partner you had? He is now your partner through Friday, December 1. I challenge you to send a text/tweet or call him daily to check in on him. Not simply to say hey or, “Man, I can’t wait to see the Tigers sport their own version of the Turnover Chain” but ask a real question and get ready for a real answer. Don’t ask how he’s doing and expect, “good, you?”.

19 of us responded, “AYE” when I asked if they were willing to do that for their partner.

We then mosey’d back to COT to put a ribbon on this edition of THE COLOSSEUM.

Announcements: Bring the following to Friday’s Christmas Party: a toy, small umbrella, 36″ Duffel Bag and/or alarm clock for CAH and Operation Sweet Tooth. Longshanks can also accept gift cards for OST.

Prayer Requests: New positions at work, improved communication at home, Patience, Sandlot’s wife, making time for our M’s and ensuring they’re not the last one in the house to get the time they deserve. Look for ways to help your M’s this season, to include preparing things and taking care of some of the Christmas shopping.



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Crossroads Discussion: Half In, Half Out

Good discussion this morning on being Half In, Half Out.  Working out with The Fort Nan’tan Monday allowed me an opportunity to benefit from words that while I was feeling them, was not articulating internally.  Plain speak- didn’t know how to put words to what I’ve been feeling lately until Cake Boss did it for me.  He spoke of victory but what resonated was being half in, half out.  Picture having one foot on the boat, one on the dock.

Continuing with that theme we dove into this at Crossroads this morning, a weekly coffee group where any topic that is on the Q’s mind can be batted around for fuller understanding.  If you haven’t been or are an infrequent attendee, consider making it more often.  Really good stuff happening here.

Half In/Half Out

  • What is it, to be all in?  What does it look like?
    • intentional
    • purpose
    • commitment
    • integrity

Focusing in here on the job, task, person here is vital.

  • What are some reasons for it/ why does it happen?
    • overwhelmed
    • Temporary weakness
    • paralyzed- so much to do, don’t know where to start so bail out on task or effort
    • lazy-

It could be men susceptible to this are hurting elsewhere and only committing “halfway” opens door to less accountability.  “If I fail or not as good, I only gave half effort anyway.”  Yet another way is “are these sad clown tendencies preventing me from fully engaging- enjoying life and all its ups and downs?”

  • Solutions
    • being self aware
    • acknowledge small victories and accomplishments
    • recommit- just do it
    • discuss- Spouse/partner, F3 men, Whetstone.
    • going through the process(Tesh)
    • Muscle Memory (Assassin, Twister)

Above are but a handful of opportunities that can lead to reengaging and dropping being half in/half out to be all in!

Couple of quick resources for thoughts associated

  • Lonely
    • Psalm 23
  • Weakness
    • Psalm 18:1-29
  • Direction
    • Psalm 73:21-26
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