Hangin’ with Boys from Guidance (CAH) at Whitewater Center

Location: Whitewater Center Charlotte

Time: 10:00 – 4:00

Who is invite:  Pax, Ms, 2.0

F3 is hosting and chaperoning a day at the Whitewater Center with the 6-8 boys from CAH.  The plan is simply to have fun and enjoy all the activities that the Whitewater center has to offer.  It will be a day full of fellowship and fun as we engage in the zip line, climbing wall, rafting, paddle boarding, hiking or whatever the heart desires.

Pack a bag, a cooler, a lunch and head out to the center to help influence the next generation.


Chicken Hawk

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Being Vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength

P.S.A attendance is highly recommended. March 27th mark your calendars. F3 St. Louis very own Miyagi and Aerobie has brought light to a sensitive subject that’s right Suicide-mental health awareness. A subject we try and avoid talking about at all or till it’s to late. YHC will be on Q at the Panethon if you can’t make it to the west side of town Stang is on Q at Tomahawk and will also discussing the subject.

I am encouraging you to step up and share your experience. Whether it be about yourself or family member or even a friend. YHC will testify how this subject has effected my life. Please remember what we talk about in COT stays in COT it’s okay to be vulnerable. We are stronger together rather than alone.

Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others. Author Unknown

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”

”I hide all my scars with an I’m fine.”

The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die. – Juliette Lewis

The world is a better place with you in it.

Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better. – unknown

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The Cornerstone – Challenge ( One Year Long )

To all the Pax of F3 Nation

Are you prepared to challenge your self for 2019? I am challenging all Pax’s to join me for 2019 we will take on one exercise for January (merkins single count) 100 reps every day. Then in February we will add another exercise which will be done every day on top of the 100 merkins and so on and so on. We will increase by adding one exercise each month.  These exercises will be above and beyond when you post. So by the end of the year there will be 12 exercises that need to be done everyday at the reps set.

Do you accept the challenge? Do you want to get better?

I will set the next month exercise and reps the week before to keep you on your toes

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Giving Tuesday – Palmetto North F3F

Thank you for considering a contribution to support the community support efforts of your local Fort Mill and Rock Hill F3 Foundation.  For more details on the foundation itself please click <Here>.

During this season of giving please consider making a tax deductible contribution to Palmetto North F3F where the funds raised go directly into supporting the activities of the Fort and Rock pax.  Specifically these proceeds both the areas we are already supporting as well as the future service efforts in our region.  Our current efforts included:

  • 12th Man Ministries and the numerous Pax that work as mentors to help our student athletes break the performance based culture and help show them God’s love. F3F Palmetto North has supported the weekly dinners with athletes and their mentors.
  • Gfit is a weekly 1st, 2nd and 3rd F within the Paradise community where HIM step up to lead and to help mentor and be engaged in community with our neighbors
  • Reading Center is a semi-weekly, seasonal opportunity to read with the children and develop life skills for studying and reading to help children in the community get up to reading level
  • Rock Hill Children’s Attention Center is a center of children where we spend time bi-weekly with the teenage boys to engage in 1st, 2nd and 3rd F to help give them home and guidance.

Please consider a donation to support these and other efforts that your local F3F Palmetto North and any PAX will help lead across our regions.

Make contributions via PayPal – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=BGSCH65PWDNV6

or send checks with ” Palmetto North F3F” in the memo line to the following address.

F3 Foundation, LLC

1645 Queens Road West

Charlotte, NC, 28207

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Charter Band-aids for Little Warriors – PreBlast

As most of the PAX in the Fort and Rock regions knows my 5 year old daughter (Emma) is a leukemia survivor. We still make a trip every 4 weeks to get blood drawn to check her counts at Levine Children’s Hospital. We also stepped up and raised money last year (Christmas time) for a fellow brother bout-time out of Area 51 son Jennings who has leukemia also.

It has come to my attention that the budgets have been cut in some of the pediatric departments and the first thing to go is usually the character band aids. You say how important is to have these band-aids? Well as far as the cancer kids go every time the have their PORT’s (Port is a small medical appliance that is installed beneath the skin. A catheter connects the port to a vein) which for some kids is traumatic they get a band-aid over it. For others that are done with treatment such as my daughter Emma has to go back for the next 21 years to get checked (mainly blood counts). This not always easy for instance this past Wednesday she was poked 3 times. Well at the end the band aid can put a smile on a child’s face. This also goes for those kiddos that have to constantly get blood work done not just cancer kids.

So what I am challenging you to do is every week you go grocery shopping buy at least one box or more of character band-aids girls or boys. Also Spread the word in every COT. I will tweet out what AO’s I will be at and if anyone wants to step up and help me collect that would be awesome.

I also challenge others in different regions to pull together and do the same thing. My goal is to gather as much as possible and split it between Levine Children’s Hospital and Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital (St. Jude Affiliate Clinic) before Christmas.

Let a simple act of kindness put a smile on a little fighters face.

AYE. Lets do this.

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PRE BLAST F3 The Fort 6th Annual Invergence

Men of  The Fort,

On Friday, September 21st, we will celebrate 6 years of Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith in the Fort Mill area with our annual F3 Invergence party.   Bring a beverage, some food to share, and enjoy a relaxing evening with your brothers.   We’ll have presentations from your local leadership, take a look back at the previous year, and look ahead to what’s in store for 2019  F3 The Fort and F3 Nation.     This is the premier 2nd F event of the year so mark your calendars now,  and plan on being at Rush Pavilion on Friday night, September 21st.

This is a great FNG opportunity!

This is a Pax only event.  Make it up to your M and 2.0’s next weekend.
What:  Fort Mill Invergence (6th anniversary party)
When:  Friday, September 21, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Where:  Bruce T. Rush Pavillion at the Anne Springs Greenway
Bring:  Food, drink, chair, cash (to cover the pavillion rental/donations to the F3 Foundation)
Please use the link below to RSVP and list what food you will bring:
6th year F3 The Fort Invergence Food Sign Up:




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2022 US World Cup Training

5 pax and 10 young men joined together to spend some quality time together at Guidance to talk about leadership and the #1 thing you can control in leadership and that is our own, individual response to circumstances.

To start with the end… in COT asking for prayers three of the boy’s prayers revolved around going home.  That was a prayer that I can’t even comprehend but I think it became a little more real this past week as we can feel for the young immigrant children sitting in “camps” separated from their parents and these children like the young men from Guidance… just want to go home and be with their families.

Today’s theme was leadership and by golly we were going to live it.

SSSSSLLLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW  Mosey to church field at the top of the hill.

Circle up with some stretching lead by Tyrees and we then moved into some COP.  Then Curry entered the circle and helped complete a few more exercises in cadence.

Then we started a friendly competition.  Identified 4 team leaders to select their teams.  Which took slightly longer than expected but we got there.  Competing in the following events.

  • Balance – stand on one foot holding the other for as long as you can, then jumping until you fall
  • Strength – Hold the longest Plank… Senator Tressell and Pony tail were boss at this event. Respectable… very respectable
  • Speed – Sprint suicides by team… first one to finish gets points
  • Agility – Dribbling the ball down the fields
  • Agility 2 – Dibble the ball down, circle the cone and come back
  • Small sided games (1 team against the other, first goal wins)

Great time by all and a privilege to lead!

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Friendly Competition and Fellowship at Guidance

Older PAX: NASA, Chicken Hawk
Youth PAX (name/F3 name): Jonah/Iron Man, Isboset/Cassanova, Tyreese/Dragon (FNG), Jaden/Ali (FNG), Sam/Chick Flick (FNG), James/Mossy Oak (FNG), Michael/Trespass, Aaron/Rocketman, Mario/Super Mario, Tyler/Chalupa, Gage/Contra, Will/Diesel

The folks at CAH Guidance without much notice (that week) decided to change workouts from Saturday afternoons to Friday evenings since school just let out for the summer. My man Deacon was going to Q on Saturday, but he could not Q on Friday due to his much honorable commitment to the community at G-Fit. Fresh off the IR with no restrictions, I decided to go at it.

This evening it was myself, HIM extraordinaire Chicken Hawk, and about a dozen or so young men, 4 of which were new.  We gathered out back at the basketball courts, the heart of the facility for the kids. There was a full disclaimer, what F3 is, and the 5 core principals. Then we were off and running…….Not.

No mosey. COP right there:
20 ea
* WM
* IW
* PJs (plank jacks)
>> I did not stop each exercise until EVERYONE participated, letting them know I will not move on to the fun stuff until they ALL committed to each exercise. They policed each other quickly and got in line mostly.

Then it was off to the main event. Recently in an effort wonderfully led and executed by Chicken Wing, a new set of pull up and dip bars were installed at the home in hope the kids would use them, or the PAX would get them to use them in their workouts. I know for sure the latter has not happened much at all. I wanted to change that. Combine that with the fact that teenage boys are for the most part very competitive at everything, it led to a good friendly competition that would be tied to a reward at the end…..the old carrot and stick routine.

Let’s Get After It!

I divided the group into two teams, myself and Chicken Hawk as captains of each. In the end each team had 7 PAX. I wanted to make sure the teams were even physically and also pit folks against those I knew who would push them on, who brought out their competitiveness. There were three exercises that 1 PAX from each team would compete head to head. Cycle through all PAX of each team before moving on to the next exercise. The exercises were:

  • Hang time – how long can you hang from the pullup bars, feet off the ground of course. Last person hanging wins
  • Press time – how long can you hold yourself up, feet off the ground arms extended, using the dip bars. Face to face. Last person remaining wins.
  • Shuttle run – sprint to one end of the basketball court and back, TWICE (a few people missed that detail). First person across the finish wins.

Whichever team had the most head-to-head victories won that exercise round. Cumulative winner of all three rounds got the reward – first choice at what was in my cooler, Poweraide or water (I made sure there was only enough Poweraide for one team). That way they had to push themselves, and the entire team relied on each other for their overall results. A lesson in life right there.

Team 1: NASA, Ali, Chick Flick, Chalupa, Rocketman, Cassanova, Super Mario
Team 2: Chicken Hawk, Diesel, Mossy Oak, Iron Man, Trespass, Dragon, Contra


  • Hang time (with bonus for most pullups): Team 1 = 4.5 / Team 2 = 6.5 >> TEAM 2
  • Press time: Team 1 = 6 / Team 2 = 2 (one tie) >> TEAM 1
  • Shuttle: Team 1 = 4 / Team 2 = 4 (had one rematch) >> TIE
  • OVERALL WINNER: TEAM 1 !!! Yeah baby!!!

Since I tied the performance to a reward, all the kids were really engaged, pushing themselves and each other, holding each other accountable by not letting others slack. Everyone really got after it!! GREAT mumblechatter, alot of fun!! Even the new ones quickly meshed in with the others and really got after it – both in fitness and in fellowship. It was awesome to see!! Not to mention fun for everyone. I saw smiles on everyone. Mission accomplished. We moseyed over to the COT and let the victors enjoy the rewards.

COT, P&P ensued. Not alot of prayers, but I let them all know I pray for them daily.

Had ALOT of fun naming the FNGs. Chick Flick was named by his older brother Mossy Oak, and you can tell they both enjoyed that.


Today I wanted to drive home a couple of key terms – Fellowship and Impact – and how they are part of everyone’s lives.

When I asked them what fellowship means to them, I got the expected – friends, friendship, having a good time, and so on. That’s part of it, but in my opinion fellowship runs deeper, stronger. Fellowship involves effort towards mutual trust, reliance, respect, acceptance, accountability, and vulnerability, creating a bond that is more than friendship. We as men, old or young, tend to carry all of our burdens on our own shoulders. We let self perceived things like fear, anger, pride, prejudice, shame, expectation, and guilt prevent us from lightening those burdens through developing a fellowship with others. It takes a brave person to make themselves vulnerable to try to develop a fellowship with someone else, but when you do it becomes a blessing. Life changing. Forging a fellowship allows all the walls we each build around us to protect ourselves from each other to come down. A good fellowship can make the difference in being miserable at the home, or – more than just surviving – enjoying the blessings the home provides. It all starts with trust and making yourself vulnerable to others. Fellowship is a really strong word in life. It all starts with the first step of making yourself vulnerable. Life is much easier when you have a fellowship with others. I encouraged them to seek fellowship at the home, find a battle buddy to make life at the home much more enjoyable.

When I asked them what the word impact means, in general I heard something along the lines of one thing pushing on another, involving some type of force. In a nutshell, that is correct. It is just how it is applied in the F3 world – and thus life in general – is what they needed clarification on. Impact is in its simplest form how something changes or affects something or someone else. The most crucial is how one’s actions impact the lives of others. I was blunt and straightforward with them when I discussed how the actions of their parents, loved ones, or others impacted their lives and led them to the home, or how their actions may have impacted their lives in school or home and led them to the home. In all cases the impact started with a choice to do something. True to physics, everything you do creates an impact on your life and something or someone else. It is inescapable. This is where they need to do their best to put their past behind them and move forward with what the home provides for them and try to make positive impacts in their lives. Sky Q knows the path, and shows the path. It is up to them to follow it to a better life. I left the subject of impact with reinforcing to them that they cannot control others’ choices, but you can control your own and how you react to your situation.

Sometime during the workout I also briefly discussed what happens when you combine the two – a fellowship with impact. They go hand in hand. You bond with someone, and you have a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties are trying to make each other better. We call that a whetstone relationship.

It was a great evening there. I strongly encourage the PAX to come out and be a part of this.


PS – My thoughts on the kids at the home

Often when I show up at Guidance, I really do not know what to expect. How many older PAX will come out to support? How many kids will be there? Will there be new kids? Would some of the repeat attendee kids be gone without notice (a sad-happy moment)? Sometimes it’s just me and a handful of kids. Sometimes it a good crowd of old and young, full of energy. As a site Q, and workout Q, you really have to be prepared for the unexpected…….tailor your weinke for a specific crowd, number, etc, and it may not be as engaging. You really have to be able to read the crowd and know how to push each button right in order to get them engaged, to reach them. Only way to be able to do that is be there and get to know them. An impression can be made with one visit, but a real impact can only be made through time.

The youth at the home are not there on their own making. They were thrust there unexpectedly due to the actions, or lack thereof, of others who were supposed to be caretakers to them. The IMPACT on their lives. There is also self accountability in play as well, for each teen is responsible for their own actions – or IMPACT – on their own lives or that of others. But I truly feel that how a child behaves is the result of their environment, the community they know. No child is brought into this world bad, they are made that way. They did not choose to be troubled teens, they were made that way due to lack of positive impact on their lives. No child should go through what they had to, but unfortunately it happens. They are all in the same boat regardless of age, color, etc.. Whether they know it or not they are forging a fellowship with others at the home because of this commonality. After some time they grow together, create tight fellowships. You can see it as each child spends more time with others there.

Some have grown together with me. After the workouts end, I usually stay after for some time with them because during the workout, we are their chaperones of sorts. When we leave, they have to go back in their cottage. They don’t want that, so I try and stay as long as I can. This time myself and Chicken Hawk stayed and played some basketball. The kids love to be outside, and most love basketball. Plus it gives us more time to bond, to get to know them, them know us, and each other open up a little more. This is when I usually get a peek into their worlds a little more each visit.

Today was no different. After basketball ended around 8:30 or so, C-Hawk went home and I sat down on a nearby picnic table and just started talking with a few of the teens – Contra, Trespass, Dragon, Mossy Oak, and Chick Flick. I  noticed early on that Dragon, a FNG, was very friendly, engaging. I decided to try and get to know him by asking general questions – where are you from, where do you go to school, what do you like to do, etc. The general questions I ask all the kids. He was quite open and we had a great conversation going. Then I decided to probe a little more by bluntly asking “what’s your story, what brought you to the home?” I don’t always ask this, for it is a very touchy subject for the kids and I have to know without a doubt that they will trust me with their story. I assured him that nobody will be allowed any negative input towards him if he responds. The other kids were all quiet at this time, but not really looking at him, just doing their thing. To my delightful surprise he told me everything – what happened to him daily growing up in Hackensack, NJ – directly across from the Bronx, NY – a tough tough area for kids. Then why they moved to Charlotte, how he ended up in the home, then his plans for the near future.  I was honored for him to trust me enough for him to tell me this, and i let him know that. It was a breakthrough moment in my opinion with this young man, but that was not the only breakthrough. During our conversation I noted that the other kids with us were really paying attention to him, watching and listening. Eventually they started getting involved in the conversation, asking questions and offering their emotional support to him. BUILDING A FELLOWSHIP!! Next thing I knew, after Dragon was done, Contra asked to tell his story, then Trespass, then the two FNG brothers Mossy Oak and Chick Flick. WOW!! As we went on, the crowd around us grew, over half the kids were engaged in the stories of each others lives. More fellowship be built!!

As great as it was for them to trust me, and the others listening, to tell their stories, the things I was hearing was hard to hear and making my heart hurt for them.  The things their parents and loved ones did to negatively impact their lives was astonishing to me, but I was outside my bubble of comfortability and taking a peek into their everyday lives. Things like alcohol/drug abuse, physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse, parental incarceration, and horrible neglect were their everyday worlds and nearly all they knew. Despite that, all of these kids at the home are coping quite well in my opinion, they are good kids at heart with hope in their eyes. The really bad kids, the ones most others really give up on, are sent to different homes. These kids at Guidance are good kids at heart that are starting to grow a tough shell and negative outlook on their lives, and in risk of choosing a good path in life or a bad one. They are really in need of what their parents could not give – a positive, nurturing environment, positive role models, positive influence and Guidance (that’s why Travolta chose the AO name).

This is where the home does an outstanding job. I’ve seen positive change in these kids from the time they first show up until they leave. And I know for a fact that F3’s continued presence there has had a positive impact on the kids – I hear testament from the staff at the home, and I see it as the kids become more and more engaged with each passing workout. That is very reassuring. With that they’ve become somewhat like my own sons, even though I don’t get to see them as much as I would like. Sometimes I know when they are going to leave (they or the councelors will tell me). Sometimes I show up and they are gone – mostly back to their home (after SC DCC determines it has changed to a good environment), but on occasion they go to the home for more problem children. It’s a happy-sad moment whenever I show up and kids are gone – for example Travolta (home), Yzerman (home), Eagle Eye (grandmother’s), Superman (different childrens home), and recently Sherlock and Phoenix went back home. It’s selfesh for me to be sad at their leaving, for they grow a spot in your heart, but there is also joy at the hope that they are home where they should be and hopefully there is now a much better life ahead than before Guidance.

I hope and pray that myself, and the other F3 PAX who have come out to the home, made a positive impact on their lives like F3 has done for us. I believe we have. But there will be an endless stream of at-risk kids coming to CAH Guidance as time passes. We F3 PAX have to continue our presence there!! There are not many men coming out to the home – CAH staff told me once that we are one of 2 or 3 mens groups that come out specifically to be with the boys. The male teens NEED positive male role models at this point in their lives – they are screaming for it, whether they know it or not. Women can do only so much for teen boys, for they really cannot give them what men can. Men need to step up and lead them, be role models for them, lead from the front by example, and help them make sense of the testosterone-induced changes that are happening to their minds and bodies . It is an enduring effort to be there for them, a calling. Intentionality at it’s most extreme. It will push your limits of patience, grace, mercy. BUT it is not about us. We are all about fellowship and faith towards each other, we need to extend that to these at risk kids. Give it away to those most in need. The only reward you will get is the personal satisfaction knowing you have helped someone through the positive impact you have imparted on them. The greater the numbers, the greater the impact. Please consider joining this effort.


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A Sunny Saturday Afternoon at CAH

20 posted for a Saturday afternoon game day at the Children’s attention home.  The boys were already playing basketball before we got started, but they still had some energy to burn.  So, we did a slow mosey/walk to the field up the street from CAH and got to it.  Here is what we did:

The Thang:

Mini- COP

SSH x 20, merkin x 10,   windmill x 10, squat x 10, mountain climber x 10

We split the group up and played a friendly, but competitive game of kickball.  There were some good plays, some not-so-good plays, but we all had a lot of fun on a beautiful, late afternoon spring day.  I think the score was 8-7, but it wasn’t important who won the game.  The time we spent together, getting to know each other better and learning from each other, was what it was about.

Welcome FNG/Trek Star who is a friend of  Man of Steel (my son), and also, who we found out today, a neighbor of NASA’s.  He said that he enjoyed himself today and wants to come again.  I was very happy to hear that and hope that he can join us any time we come to CAH.

I told the boys about a news story I saw this week about a high school boy named Gerald Hodges who swam for his high school swim team in Texas.   It’s an amazing story about a young athlete, who could have easily played for just about any sport team at his school.  But instead, chose to join the school swim team.  Gerald could barely swim, but decided to join the swim team because he wanted to learn how to handle failure if it happened (it didn’t).   Being able to handle failures and learn from them, Gerald thought, would make him successful.  This to me, was an incredibly mature thing for an 18 year old to do, and was a powerful message for anyone.  The link to this story is below.


My thanks to NASA for the invitation to Q.  I have been absent from the CAH for too long and plan on getting there more regularly this year.

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Fun with Big Balls and Little Balls at Guidance

One of the things you have to appreciate about serving, I don’t mean sending a letter to a service member oversees or collecting cereal boxes kind of serving… rather I’m talking about roll your sleeves up and get into the trenches kind of serving with the people that you are serving… is the reality that you can’t anticipate what the twists and turns and speed bumps and hurdles that will experienced along the way.  Not to mention what God will show you along the way.

This post at Guidance started out surprisingly divided as the great divider was working overtime with these young men with a little in-fighting and much negativity of those moping around not wanting to participate.  It was apparent that even one of the boy’s that is new since our last visit was spewing negativity and didn’t want to participate.  This day required an overdrive of positivity and encouragement with a dose of peer accountability and expectation set by the Pax.  By the end of our time with the boys the mood changed materially and the boys had fun and were much more engaged and participatory.

What is the lesson?  First, I’ve noticed that currently amongst the boys there is lacking leadership within that has positivity rather there is more negativity that is infecting the home.  In reflection, this is a reality in my daily life that in my home, work, F3 or any group I participate in I can be that person that takes the group to new heights with my positivity or I can be the cancer that infects the group and at worst infects others or at best stagnates the group at mediocrity.  I challenge the Pax to be a light in the circles you run in but also take your light into the world, into these darker places in our community to be a light, a beacon of hope and encouragement.  Serving the least of us is not easy, comfortable or always safe but we are called to step out of our comfort zones and serve.

The Thang:

Mosey to the church at the top of the hill (slow but steady).  We had some fast pacers and some slow anchors to get to the top of the hill.


It is not abnormal to have varied participation amongst the boys but today they were going to hold each other accountable to participate because we weren’t going to stop until they could string together three exercises in a row with full participation and effort.

SSH – 10x – Not all participated so exercise didn’t count

Squats – 10x – Again not all participated …

Imperial Walkers – 10x Now we’re talking!  All boys are in!

Mountains Climbers – 10x Best yet!

Windmills – 10x Mission accomplished

In the spirit of Easter we dispatched the boys to search the property (aka Easter Egg hunt style) to find the supplies for the next event.  Searching for 4 bases and two balls the boys scoured the grounds, secured provisions and returned to the field.

Ended the work out playing kick ball with a twist.  Playing one round with a large 20″ exercise ball and the other round with a dodge ball.  Each time the kicking team got on base the fielding team had to do a burpee and each time the fielding team got an out then the kicking team had to do a burpee.

COT and mosey home!

Editorial Comment:  The beginning of the workout shows me that these boys need the men of F3, they need more men to invest in their lives, to give them direction, accountability and hope. Consider how you can invest your time in their future!  They don’t need more prayers… they need  men to be in community with them on a consistent ongoing basis.

Chicken Hawk


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