Be Still

18 pax posted ’round the Shovel Flag at Slow Burn for some usual Fri 1st F and 2nd F engagement. Well, at launch, we actually had 17 pax and reports of an 18th enroute.   Disclaimer was proclaimed.  February theme of #Worry was noted and the pax were informed that YHC would not disrupt the the Slow Burn rhythm of #moderation and #mumblechatter, though this adventure would force them to talk out their worries.  With that, we launched.

The Thang

Warm up run around CFA through Drive Thru lane

Karaoke lap around CFA through Drive Thru lane

COP alongside CFA — SSHs, Hillbilly walkers, Imperial walkers, Mtn climbers, Windmills

Lugnut posted at this point, so we moseyed on down to the parking lot between the retail strip and Lowes

10 strong form burpees OYO (requested by Twister)


10 strong form burpees OYO

Partner up to complete all exercises together and talk out your anxieties/worries
Round 1: Merkins x5 + Squats x20, Merkins x10 + Squats x15, Merkins x15 + Squats x10, Merkins x20 + Squats x5
Round 2: CDDs x20 + Bombjacks x5CDDs x15 + Bombjacks x10CDDs x10 + Bombjacks x15CDDs x5 + Bombjacks x20
Round 3: Partner legthrows x20 + LBC x5, Partner legthrows x15 + LBC x10, Partner legthrows x10 + LBC x15, Partner legthrows x5 + LBC x20

Line up along curb

Bear crawl to center parking line, sprint to other side, jog back
(Rinse and repeat for 3 total cycles)

Run home



Slow Burn has such a great vibe.  It’s always a treat to Q at that AO — it’s Fri, plenty of energy, plenty of mumblechatter, guys looking out for each other and challenging each other, great 1st and 2nd F warm-up for 3rd F experience at CnW afterward.  S/O to Hard Drive for launching it and to Barry Manilow for continuing to carry the torch.  Well done!

As the pax gathered, it appeared Spitz would be the last one in…until he made it to the circle and alerted the crowd that Lugnut was still inbound.  Glad we were able to get him onboard before departure.

I kept the Weinke in the moderate zone, and there were plenty of breaks to discuss Worry and Anxiety.  Somehow I awoke on Sat with a little soreness in spots, so clearly my fitness level needs some attention.

Thanks to pax for engaging fully in dialog and sharing re personal anxieties.  If you haven’t read Chicken Hawk’s February theme one pager, take a look here.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)   This has become one of my go-to verses in times of worry and anxiety.  I could go on forever about worry/anxiety…I’m closer friends with those two than I ever thought I was or wanted to be.  But when I leave it all in God’s hands and just allow myself to “BE,” I mostly come to realize that (a) my worry is worthless, (b) it’s mostly CREATED by me and (c) it’s too much ABOUT me.  There are many ways to turn this verse into a meditative prayer that cuts through anxiety.  Here’s one:

Be still and know that I am GOD
Be still and know that I AM God…
Be still and know that I am God…
Be still and know THAT I am God…
Be still and KNOW that I am God…
Be still AND know that I am God…
Be STILL and know that I am God…
BE still and know that I am God.

Here’s another:

Be still and know that I am God…
Be still and know that I am… 
Be still and know that I…
Be still and know that…
Be still and know…
Be still and…
Be still…

Try ’em and let me know what you discover.

Thanks to Barry Manilow for the chance to lead.  Always an honor.

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F3 The Fort Thanksgiving Convergence 2017

70 Men came today to burn calories so they can eat whatever they want the rest of the day. Ok, maybe that was my reasoning, but most came because the know in order to get better, even in being Gratful, it is best when being challenged by your brothers. We all came to get better and realize this great thing we have called F3 and give thanks!
Santini Opening with warm up both physically and mentally with some leadership principles
Split off into the various groups!
4 went for for a Run
  • Drile (F3-Wapner)
    Mozy to the front of SFES, high knees, toy soldiers, Butt kickers, and Knees to chest.
    Mozy to front of SFMS, circled up…Side straddle hop, Merkins, Cherry Pickers, and Moroccan Nightclub
    Mozy to SFMS bus loop …high knees, toy soldiers, Butt kickers, and Knees to chest.
    Circled up.. Flutter Kicks and Low Slow Squats, America Hammer and Low Slow Squats, Merkins and Windmills, mountain climbers and windmills
    Mozy to back of SFES, circled up…Peter Parker’s and Side Straddle Hop, Plank and windmill, shoulder taps and Low Slow Squats, LBCs and Moroccan Nightclub
    Then rinse and repeated the above sequence…before joining the other groups at COT
    Lil E—Bootcamp Q
    Mosey to the parking lot in the rear of school and circle up. SSHs, Imperial Walkers, Windmills, Squats
  • The thang
    • 10 cones set up in a line spaced about 10 paces apart. Each cone had an exercise and rep count on them. Do exercises on the first cone and run a lap of the parking lot. Once you complete the lap do the first cone and the second cone and then run a lap. Repeat this adding the next cone until all 10 are complete. Here were the exercises in order from first to last:
    • Burpees x 10
    • Bombjacks x 10
    • LBCs x 25
    • Merkins x 20
    • Jump Squats x 10
    • Flutter kicks x 40
    • CDDs x 20
    • Lunges x 20
    • Mtn Climbers x 20
    • Monkey Humpers x 20

Majority of the pax finished in the Lunges lap with a few speedsters out in front on the mtn climbers. Mosey back to the front of the school for some Freddy Mercury’s and Rosalitas.

After that met up with the Moderate and Black diamond groups for COT.

Everyone put out great effort today and really pushed themselves.


Witch Hunt—Black Diamond Q

Not even a trip to the hospital the night before with a pregnant wife could keep me away from this Thanksgiving workout. Shout out to Royale and Cha Ching for stepping up to help me out. Luckily I made it and we put in work.
We stared by counting off by 4 creating 4 teams.
Each team will compete to complete as many burpees as possible in 2-minutes with a catch. You can only do 10 at a time before you most complete 20 reps of ab exercise. 2 rounds:
1.) Burpees with LBCs (Somehow Bounce House was able to do 50 burpees. That dude is not human.)
2.) Burpees with Knee Tuck with crunchy frogs
Winners plank while losers perform 10 Kraken Burpees.
Blood was flowing so we moseyed to the hill by the middle school for some broken down burpees. Catch was that we had 20 minutes for everyone to complete. If everyone doesnt finish within the time then group does 25 Burpees.
Here was the setup:
Run Hill 10 times. (1 Hill Run = Up & Down)

5 Squat Jumps
5  Plank w\ Shoulder Taps
5 Merkins
5 Froggers
5 Squat Jumps

Run Hill 8 times.

10 Squat Jumps
10 Plank w\ Shoulder Taps
10 Merkins
10 Froggers
10 Squat jumps

Run Hill 6 times.

15 Squat Jumps
15 Plank w\ Shoulder Taps
15 Merkins
15 Froggers
15 Squat jumps

Run Hill 4 time.

20 Squat Jumps
20 Plank w\ Shoulder Taps
20 Merkins
20 Froggers
20 Squat jumps

Run Hill 2 time

25 Squat Jumps
25 Plank w\ Shoulder Taps
25 Merkins
25 Froggers
25 Squat jumps

With some great teamwork by the Pax everyone completed within the 20 minutes so no penalty was given.

I attempted to have Backdraft give us a 10-count however  he responded “There are no 10 counts during the Black Diamond.” So no 10 count and a quick mosey back to the parking lot for the 10 Minute 100 Burpee Challenge:

Complete 10 1-minute rounds of burpees in the following set scheme. Any time left over in the round is yours for rest. (typically PAX finish the set between 25 and 40 seconds)

Rd1- 8

Rd2- 9

Rd3- 10

Rd4- 11





Rd9- 9

Rd10- 8

Total – 100

Amazing work by all the Pax. I didn’t pull any punches with this setup for the Black Diamond and the Pax took it on without hesitation. We all survived and are better for it.

Thanks to Ginsu and Cake Boss for the opportunity to lead.

Pusher with closing remarks and finding #Victory 

Prayers & Praises

Thank you F3 The Fort

Cake Boss

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PreBlast: Thanksgiving Day Convergence at The Ranch…The Tradition Continues

It’s that time of year again! Time to give thanks for the blessings we have been given and show appreciation to those around us. Time to remember the progress that we’ve made in various areas of our lives and the intentionality with which we wake up each day that drives this progress. Time to be grateful for the fact that we are better today than yesterday, this month than last month, and this year than last year…all because we were given the ability and opportunity to improve ourselves.

Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for, and at F3TheFort, we’ll show our appreciation the only way we know how…commit ourselves to a ridiculously difficult workout at a time when everyone else is still snuggly tucked in their beds. But hey, at least we’ll all do it together. That’s right, it’s TIME FOR THE 5th ANNUAL THANKSGIVING DAY CONVERGENCE!

We’ll gather at The Ranch at 0600 on Thanksgiving Day morning (Nov the 23rd), where we’ll find 3 workout options led by 3 HIMs and 1st time convergence Qs:

  • Moderate Bootcamp – led by Wapner 
  • Regular Bootcamp – led by Lil E
  • Black Diamond – led by WitchHunt

The workouts will be bookended by special messages from a couple HIMs who always know exactly what sweet nothings to whisper in our ears to get us in the Thanksgiving Day mood, Pusher and Santini.

CakeBoss & McGruff will be providing the pot of golden fried fowl at the end of the rainbow of pain.

Make plans to join us on T-giving morning and bring Cousin Eddie and the random nephew sleeping on your couch.


– Ginsu

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Coliseum- Mumble Chatter- Not on my watch

After seeing twitter post about possible mumble chatter at my Q from some legendary yackers YHC decided to bring one of his old school simple but effective workouts to these guys. a nice 46 degrees to start the day had a few arriving in there sweatshirts, a few were mumbling about not knowing where their cold weather gear was. Little did they know the ones that showed up with it on would be wishing they hadn’t in a few.

Quick disclaimer and were off.

Mosey to basketball court, dynamic stretching toy soldiers, knees to chest.

Circle up SSHs, mtn. climbers, flutter kicks, Windmills, peter parkers, chopsticks.

Mosey to light poles. at each light pole perform 15 Carolina dry docks, 10 alternating jumping lunges, 5 burpees. 10 light poles. Flutter kicks until 6 arrives.

Return down the line except 15Air Squats, 10 merkins, 5 burpees. LBCs until 6 arrives.

Mosey to parking lot and pair up for DORA. 50 merkins, 100 squats, 150 LBCs while partner runs to wall and does 1 muscle up.

Back to COT with 25 yard bear crawl on the way.


Announcements- Fast 5, Family Ruck, Community Café 5k, The Fort Christmas Party.

Prayers- Passing of Cake Boss sister. PAX looking for work.



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Choose Discipline and BRR

It was a steamy morning at WEP, but that didn’t discourage Last Call during his VQ nor did it scare off any pax from supporting him.   A lively and energetic group of 23 pax posted to honor and encourage him.

Santini had EH’d FNG/Wazowski (aka Ernie Bhend) so a full fledged disclaimer was pronounced and the baton was handed to Last Call to launch.

The Thang

Last Call took the pax on a warm up lap of WEP, then circled the pax up in the grass near the parking lot (YES, the grass!  What a bold move for a VQ!)


SSH x25

Moroccan night clubs x20

Mash up of Hillbilly Walker + Imperial Walker x20

Merkins x10

Peter Parkers x20

Slow squat x20

LBCs x20

Hand off to DD

Mosey to playground & partner up
Partner 1: Run lap
Partner 2: Continuous pull ups (keeping cumulative count with partner)
Flap jack
Rinse & repeat
Tip of the cap to Senator Tressel for his emphasis on need for more pull ups

Plank sequence including Makhtar N’Dyae ( requeted by Santini)

Mosey to the grassy area near the statues at the bottom of the hill & plank it up for commentary about Blue Ridge Relay.  (Yes, it is a shame that The Fort has no teams competing this year in BRR.  Thus, the next 30 mins of the workout became BRR-lite)

Run to top of hill almost to gazebo + 5 Burpees + run back down
Rinse + repeat for 5 total rounds

Mosey to pathway heading out the back of the parking lot & regroup with partner
Partner 1: Run down hill, up other side to trail intersection and back
Partner 2: Continuous merkins (continuing cumulative count with partner from earlier point)
Flap jack
Rinse + repeat

Plank sequence, squats, bombjacks

Mosey to bottom of hill at COT & regroup with partner
Partner 1: Run up hill to 4th light post and run back down
Partner 2: Continuous donkey kicks (keeping cumulative count with partner from earlier point)
Flap jack
Rinse & repeat

Mosey back to grass where Last Call started and circle up

Flutter x10

Hello dolly x10

Freddy Mercury x10

Rosalita x10

Penguin x10

Superman x3

Run to tent in middle of park

Run home AYG


Naked man moleskin

Solid VQ effort by Last Call today — well done, brother!  Welcome to the club and find a way back into the center of the circle somewhere ASAP so you can hone the skills and expand the experience.

Welcome to FNG/Wazowski (yes, he’s an eye doc)!  You had the privilege (and pain) of enduring a tough workout on a particularly swampy morning — great job making it through to the finish today!  A little merlot splash proves just how far you can push when challenged by other like-minded men.  You’ve found a home here in The Fort for sure.  Look forward to seeing you back in the gloom soon!

T-claps to all the pax for the support of Last Call and Wazowski today.  Special recognition to Santini for EH of Wazowski and Sir Topham Hat for EH of Last Call two months ago.  Also kudos to Peabody, Longshanks and others sweeping the six.

Welcome back home to Ginsu!  Great to have you back in the gloom with your brothers.  Look forward to hearing more about the China experience and your expanded family.

Did I mention the weather was warm and humid today?

That was a tough outing today – great work by everyone pushing through!

In the absence of any BRR activities in The Fort this year, I felt compelled to bring that experience home.  It is an incredible event, and I am disappointed we won’t have any teams to represent The Fort this year.  I know Rooney is running with Dredd & OBT on a 6-man team — way to represent us, brother!  The hills and the pain and the sweat today were all reflective of the reality of what it is to run the BRR – but only the smallest taste of the joy of that event was gained today.  Please consider BRR in 2018 – you won’t regret it.

The message throughout today’s workout revolved around the monthly theme of Discipline.  When I saw Chicken Hawk’s message at the start of the month, I was immediately disturbed.  The word brings about uncomfortable feelings for me related to punishment, reprimands and admonishment from parents, teachers and bosses.  Discipline is something I experience as being imposed on me by someone else, which I never receive well.  I quietly thought maybe I would check out on the theme for August.

Then, on a business trip this week I made some poor choices around web surfing in the lonely isolation of a hotel room.  My re-entry back home included a volatile interaction with the M around my indulgence in a personal vice.  BOOM!  Discipline (or my lack of it) suddenly hit me between the eyes.  It became very real very quickly…clearly this is the right theme for me this month.

I have much to learn still around Discipline.  Santini mentioned during the workout and in a long conversation afterward that the root of the word Discipline relates to “learning.”  The learning I’ve gained in the past few days has come through dwelling on my word for 2017 — CHOOSE —  in the context of Discipline.  In this frame of mind, I am beginning to see Discipline as part of my pathway from where I am currently to the future I CHOOSE to pursue.  In this way, Discipline becomes part of the learning process of how I move toward the fuller, holier life I long for…because I CHOOSE to seek that future point, NOT because someone else is imposing anything on me.

Thanks to Bonsai for putting me on the calendar and for looping in Last Call for the VQ.  We missed you today.

Thanks to all who posted and endured today’s workout.  Your presence, effort, resilience, encouragement and support inspire me!




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CO VQ with Weezer at Block Party

14 Pax came looking for a party at Block Party this morning only to be greeted with some pain and humidity.  The temps didn’t feel bad this morning but the air was thick.  I think all the pax were soaked after the mosey except for Weezer.  Who should have been sweating with his VQ warm-up just ahead, however this cool cucumber delivered a COP like he’d been doing it for years.  Here’s what went down…

Weezer on Q

COP:  Mosey to the wall lot on 160.  In cadence – SSH x 25, WM x 10, IW x 20, Low Slow Squat x 15, Morrachian Night Clubs x 20                                                                                                                                      12 single count slow merkins (focus on form), Mountain Climbers x 15

Pass off to STH – Mosey to lot above and find a spot on the ledge.

Single leg step ups x 10 each leg, 10 Burpees, 20 Dips.  Rinse and repeat 3 times

Mosey to lot across from gun shop.  Sprint the hill to the top.

50 Shoulder Taps – Run to 2nd light (50 yds), Bear Crawl to curb (20 yds), 10 Bombjacks – run back  Ab work – Slow Freddie Mercuries                                                                                                                              50 Mtn Climbers – Run to 2nd light (50 yds), Bear Crawl to curb (20 yds), 10 Bombjacks – run back  Ab work – Hello Dolly                                                                                                                                                        50 CCDs – Run to 2nd light (50 yds), Bear Crawl to curb (20 yds), 10 Bombjacks – run back                  Ab work – X&Os                                                                                                                                                              50 Merkins (Crowd Pleaser)- Run to 2nd light (50 yds), Bear Crawl to curb (20 yds), 10 Bombjacks

Mosey back to COT.  2 Mins left so 10 Burpees and Protractor

NMM:  Had a great group of Pax today.  Lots of good mumble chatter and complaining.  Which as a Q I’ll take the latter as a compliment. Tclaps to Weezer for stepping up to lead the COP.  Next up will be the full meal deal for him.  Seeming how he pulled off the COP like a seasoned veteran, the rest will be a cake walk.  I spoke a little bit at COT about how Qing has helped me become a better leader at home, work and in the community.  I encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone and try it if you haven’t done so already.  You will be a better person for it.

Prayers for Kielbasa friend’s family, Bonsai’s friends daughter, Ginsu’s adoption, & patience. Mission Trip and Tclaps for the support of the pax.

Until Next time –


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The Colosseum 2017.31

This was an impromptu Q that I had forgotten I committed to while Seacrest was in charge, but I love to Q, so being reminded the night before made me a little happy (in my pants).  When training I like to focus on “tactical” strength or “functional” strength.  This means that you may be able to use the strength and endurance you cultivate during one of my workouts.  Today I covered picking up a lifeless body.

Mosey to basketball lot for warmup (simply for space reasons):  SSH, hillbilly walkers, windmills

Mosey to the bottom of the entrance hill and partner up for the main event:
10x Superman Squats (aka, squat picking up your partner from sitting to standing)
20x Jump squats
30ish Lunge walk holds then sprint to top of hill
Rinse and Repeat

Mosey to wall by the flag for 4 minutes of holds
6 in & B2W (you and partner alternate when one fails)

Mosey to half wall around back for quick dora, 100 Merkins, 200 LBCs, 300 squats
Start at edge of lot then run to wall do one muscle up and run back.

Last,  4 minutes of hold
Protractor 10deg & Support position on wall (alternate on failure)

And that’s all she wrote.  This was  a lot of fun.  Prayers and announcements.  Prayers for the guys at VC Summer that were told to go home (which suddenly got a lot more personal).  Prayers for the #Give2Give campaign and the hope that we may reach more guys and improve the quality of life for the Sadclowns that know no better.

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Take Your Kid to The Yard Day

A moderately cooler morning greeted the PAX as we circled up and exchanged pleasantries.  YHC has gotten the word out that he’d be bringing his 13 y/o 2.0 to the workout and encouraged others to do the same.  It was great to see 4 other young bucks in the circle as well.  Atticus, Chicken Hawk, and Old Bay each had their 2.0 + a visiting cousin (FNG Mogul).  That was all well and great until Vernon arrived and announced “what is this, take your kid to work day”?  No offense was taken but that lit a fire in YHC and it was decided that this would not be a F3 Dads workout.  It might not even be moderate.  Let’s see…


Mosey to COP at back of school.  Old faithful warm-ups in cadence consisting of SSH, Imperial Walkers, Windmills, Merkins, Mountain Climbers, MNC, Plank Jacks, with a plank series thrown in here and there.

Mosey to the basketball goals for 4 Corners of deconstructed burpees.  1st corner – 20 squats.  2nd corner – 20 merkins, 3rd corner – 20 bombjacks, 4th corner 10 burpees.  A simple rinse and repeat was planned but we ended up doing this 3X (crowd pleaser!) due to some Santini chirping.  Good times!

Next we gathered at the brick wall for 3 series of peoples chair and squat jumps.

A few 10 counts were called then we lined up by the curb facing the courts.  Bear crawls to the first light post and back.  Repeat with lunge walks and toy soldiers.

Mosey to the back of the school with the circular drive for what turned out to be Dora 1,2,2.  Partner up and 1 runs while the other starts aggregate exercise:  100 big boy sit ups / LBC, 200 SSH, 200 squats.

6 minutes of Mary led by the PAX.  Completed were various amounts of LBC, Hello Dolly, Rosalita, Flutters, Box Cutters,  etc.


YHC’s oldest 2.0, Captain Snooze, has been attending Saturday workouts this summer.  He’s getting stronger and F3 is helping him develop confidence and an understanding of true brotherhood.  What a blessing!  No better way to raise a HIM than to surround him with just that.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the PAX encouraging, joking with, and getting to know my son.  I’m looking at you Pusher, Santini, Old Bay, Chicken Hawk, Cake Boss, Bubba Gump and others.  Snooze wasn’t ready to lead the warm-up this week but his time is coming!

Announcements / Prayers

Read the newsletter.  AO’s changing, new 3rd F group starting, 3rd F Convergence, it’s all in there.

Prayers were lifted for sick family members, upcoming Colombia Mission Trip, and for strong marriages and families.  The summer has flown by and school is nearly here.  Make the most of your time, you don’t get it back.


Flat Tire

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The Fort – Choosing to Get Better

This Q started out marvelously with Nomad welcoming Bubba Gump to his first workout.  Apparently this must have been his first in a while, because he wasn’t in the database to tag him in the PAX…  Nomad wrote up the workout and then emailed it to me because he is now on a retreat for church trying to corral high school boys.  Prayers for Nomad.

Here is what he wrote:

Another hot and sticky morning at The Fort. Many had the freedom to choose, and 18 PAX chose to post and get better

Q: Nomad

Still the Novice Q, YNC referenced the weinke often was checked multiple times. Mumblechatter of more stretching needed, attempts at messing up the count were heard. Pain was endured.

Warm-up: String of Pearls
Jog – 0.6mi around WEP
SSH x20
Windmill x15
Squats x 15

Moroccan Night Club x25
World War 1 Sit-ups – 15 OYO
Railroad Tracks – 2 lines of 9 x2 rounds

Fishstick’s Ladder up the hill by COT
UP – Exercise 1 x10, Exercise 2 x 5
Down – Recover jog
Backwards Crabwalk/LBC (10)
Bearcrawl/Carolina Dry Dock
Partner wheelbarrow Up once for each partner

Q: Tesh

Tesh took over, and jealous comments of shoulders and abs were spoken of Tesh. Pain was dispensed.

Wall shoulder dips
Partner up
Oblique box jumps x25 each side
LBC x25
Shoulder tap x15 – balls, merkin, plank
Line up – lunge hold – jailbreak
Merkin typewriter x10
Al gore (tree hug)
Arm lifts
Calf lifts
Oblique box jumps x25 each side
LBC x25
Crunches 4-points (both knees) x15
Shoulder tap x10- balls, merkin, plank

Prayers and Praises
Flat tire’s Mom
Nomad Gauntlet youth group with church
Red eye – New York mission field
Pusher – marriages

Bubba Gump returns from injury (actually was scheduled to Q)
Tesh’s shoulders and abs in a tanktop
Pusher talking USC attendance vs Clemson expectations

I enjoyed all the flack I got, keep up the chatter.  I hope everyone else enjoyed the typewriter merkins, oblique box jumps, and wall dips.  Cause I know I did.

T-claps to Nomad for under-promising and over-delivering!

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