Leadership is a privilege

9 gathered at the Colosseum on a chilly and surprisingly damp morning to exercise our minds, bodies and be just a little better than the day before.  After the standard disclaimers were announced and all PAX were told to keep their questions to themselves and just do the work, we moseyed off for a tour of the grounds:

COP – Low Slow Squat X 20, Moroccan Night Clubs X 20, SSH X 30, Merkins X 15, Plank to sunrise salutations – left and right, hold regular plank down to 6 inches, repeat, down dog and recover, windmill X 20.  Now that the warm up was complete, we moseyed to the arrows.

The Thang – YHC promised that no man would be left behind and, true to form, PAX delivered.  Lunge walk 3 arrows followed by 3 burpees, Lunge walk to the 6th arrow, do 6 burpees, lung to the 9th arrow, do burpees, lunge walk to the 12th, do 12 burpess and finally lunge walk to the 15th arrow and do 15 burpees to complete the set.  After all were complete, JWOW gave us a ten count and we moseyed to the 4-corner station.

4 corners – 2 rounds – bear crawling or lunge walking (because we did not do enough of that earlier) to each station

Corner # 1 – 15 – hand release merkins – a crowd pleaser given the wet pavement

Corner #2 – 15 monkey humpers – PAX mistakenly thought they would dry out and stay vertical – foolish

Corner #3 – 15 Makhtar N’Dayies – just for Jekyll

Corner #4 – 15 Flutters double count

Mosey to the wall for the people’s chair where each PAX shared their word for 2019.  Each PAX bear crawled to the front of the line.  Upon completion, we moseyed to the benches

20 step ups IC

More moseying to the flag for the pledge of allegiance in gratitude for all who selflessly serve our country and local communities.

Mosey to COT for 4 minutes of mary (because 5 would have been excessive on wet pavement) – all exercises were double count and IC.

20 LBC’s, 20 American Hammers, 15 Box cutters and 1 body destroyer at 5:59:30.


Announcements – Joe Davis Run 3-9 – prices go up 2-1.  Register.  5k is a great opportunity to get 2.0’s and family involved.  YETI is 2-23 – back blast is up.

Prayers for Wilson County, NC trooper officer shot in duty; prayers for patience in our lives as we are called to be leaders on many fronts.

Leadership is truly a privilege whether we seek it out and step up or others see the potential in us and ask us to step forward.  May we use leadership for its intended purpose – to influence movement to advantage and help others to the same.  Thank you, Jekyll, for the opportunity to lead and get better with a  great group of HIM’s


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Honey Badger 1 Year Anniversary Convergence

Everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) F3 Character turns 1  in February!

And National Honey Badger Day (yes it is a thing) happens in February as well.

What better way to celebrate than a convergence!

If you haven’t yet wrestled the Badger, and if you are a regular…………..come to the Badger Den (formerly NAFO) on February 11th at 0500 as The Badger takes over the Fort in the first annual Badger-Vergence. The workout will be difficult,  hero inspired, and will feature celebrity Q’s that will help you start your week (and year) like a hero.

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26L Ruck Raffle benefiting 24 Foundation

26L Black GORUCK GR1 Raffle with proceeds benefiting 24 Foundation (Cancer Survivorship)

How to enter:  $10 per ticket, no cap, “Friends and Family” https://www.PayPal.Me/PayJeffParker

Shipping covered to 48 CONUS

When:  Drawing to be held January 31st at 7:00 EST

I will never forget the phone call I received on March 25, 2013 that brought me to my knees.  It was from one of my closest friends, Josh, and he shared the news that his beautiful daughter, Libby, was diagnosed with leukemia.  Josh and Barb pulled out all of the stops and led the fight with Libby to beat the awful disease.  On May 9th 2014, heaven welcomed Libby.

Since Libby’s diagnosis, we have been working with the 24 Foundation to direct funds to benefit families dealing with childhood cancer.  The 24 Foundation is a fantastic organization focuses on programs specific to cancer navigation and survivorship.

All of the funds raised over what I have invested in the ruck will go directly to the 24 Foundation.


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2019 Joe Davis Run for Recovery

Dear PAX,

As you begin to plan your new year, on behalf of my family, I am asking that you consider including the Joe Davis Run for Recovery on March 9th in your plans.

It is hard to believe, but the 7th installment of the Joe Davis Run for Recovery will take place on March 9, 2019. My family and I invite you to join us, as we gather once again, to celebrate my brother Joe’s life and bring awareness to a very real problem facing our society right now, Addiction. Joe lost his 16-year battle with Addiction in the form of an accidental heroin overdose on October 4, 2009 at the young age of 28.

Unfortunately, chances are that Addiction has touched your life, either affecting your friends or your family. Our family has chosen to turn the tragedy of Joe dying into a triumph in the form of spreading a message of HOPE. There is help for those who struggle with Addiction and other mental health issues. The race benefits Keystone Substance Abuse Services, York County’s authority on substance abuse.

F3 and FiA support has been the cornerstone of this race’s success and most of you know that it has been on one of the coldest days of the year most years when it was held in January. It was so cold last year that my family and I made the decision afterward to try a new race date. Our message of HEALTH, HOPE and HEALING needs to be far-reaching and to include the youth, which we felt the cold has kept home when the weather is not favorable. So, we chose March 9. It will likely still be cold, but bearable.

The race will offer 1 Mile Fun Run, 5k and 10k options. The course is the same as in recent years and it will be held at Walter Elisha Park in Fort Mill, SC.

Please help spread the word.

I believe that we are making a difference, slowly but surely. I know the race has directly impacted the PAX and I want to ask that, if you feel led to share your story, please let me know. I believe the impact of a first-hand story would be incredibly helpful to show our mission is working.

Sign ups are at www.joedavisrun.com

We are also seeking sponsors. If you know of someone this cause may be close to, who would like to get involved, please message me.

With gratitude,

Rock Thrill

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Tabata Thursday

Seven men met at Fort Mill High School (with the Q coming in hot) on a perfect December morning and got back on the horse after the holiday indulgences.    Here is what they did.

The Thang:

After a quick disclaimer, the pax did a light jog to the band parking lot and circled up for COP:

All in cadence:  SSH x 25, windmill x 15, Imperial walker x 20, merkin x 10, squat x 20.

Mosey over the lighted grass field for Tabata.  8 exercises, 8 sets each, 20 secs work and 10 secs rest each set.  The exercises were:

  1. Carolina Dry Dock
  2. Freddie Mercury
  3. Squats
  4. Mountain Climbers
  5. Flutters
  6. Jumping Lunges
  7. Merkins
  8. Burpees

End with the body destroyer for 90 seconds.



Man, I love winter.  Growing up in NE Ohio, winter was OK until about mid-January and then I was done with it.   Here in the south, it’s just the opposite.  I can’t wait for the fall and winter after so many months of heat and humidity.    For me, F3 is the best in the cold weather.  A lot of guys avoid posting when it gets cold out, but they are missing out.   Once you get warmed up, that brisk air feels soooo good.

I’ve done this workout a few times now and really like it because it’s easy to plan and can be done anywhere.  You can also vary the difficulty depending on what exercises you do,  and in what order you do them.    We had a motivated group who went after it today and still had enough energy for good mumble chatter.    It was a pleasure to lead them as always.

Announcements:  Qsource coming to the Fort.  Read your newsletter for the details.

We prayed for those struggling during the holiday season, safe travel for everyone, and for patience at home.




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Pantheon vs. Alcatraz January Commitment Challenge

As we all develop our word for 2019, I would ask you to consider commitment.  As each new year turns we all make resolutions to change things in our lives to help our family, employer, and community.  However, most tend to lose sight of their new year resolutions in mid January and fall back into old habits.  This challenge is to help overcome that.

What? The Pantheon challenges Alcatraz to an average attendance competition in the month of January, 2019!

Where? The Pantheon bootcamp ( 5:15am very Wednesday at Tega Cay Elementary starting 1/2, 1/9, 1/16, and 1/23 ) and The Alcatraz bootcamp ( 6:30am every Saturday in historical Tega Cay at Runde Park starting on 1/5, 1/12, 1/19, and 1/26 ).

How? We’ll tally attendance as usual across the above stated 4 dates at each AO and average them out.  All are welcome…newbies, kotters, respectables, sons and of course EH an FNG.  Aye!

The Stakes? The losing AO and associated Q’s for stated dates have to facilitate that workout in Q vs. Q fashion and then host coffeteria and bagels at the winners next AO wearing pink tutu’s!  Other bad ideas will be evaluated!

Why? Don’t ask why, ask why not!  But more seriously, we’re trying to bolster attendance at key Tega Cay AO’s and because we all want to get better! CSAUP!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2019!

-Bear Grylls and Smuggler

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Movement keeps one warm

21 gathered at Laces Out and Laces In – 8 and 13 respectively – to prove the theory that movement keeps one warm in chilly December temperatures.

YHC had promised site Q for months that I would take a Laces In Q and it was great to finally fulfill that with such a strong group of PAX and make it through with good fellowship, a little mumble chatter and 45 minutes (or an hour for the 8 runners) of getting a little better than we were the day before.

After a disclaimer and delegating the assumption of risk to all gathered, we moseyed to the FMHS Band parking lot for COP:

COP: Moroccan Night Clubs IC x 20, arm circles – forward and backward in varying quantities, SSH IC x 30, Merkins IC x 12, Windmills IC x 15

Mosey back to the Stadium entrance for Jacob’s Ladder.  Since our workout was 12 days before Christmas, it only seemed fitting that the exercises add up to 12 instead of 11.  YHC, therefore, modified the ladder, given the date on the calendar.

Burpees at the bottom – 11, 10, 9, 8, etc.

Lunge Walks uphill to the 2nd lightpole (crowd pleaser )

Carolina Dry Docks at the 2nd lightpole – 1, 2, 3, 4 and mosey back down

Mosey to the main parking lot for a little partner Dora

100 merkins total – Partner 1 starts, partner 2 does a roughly 120 yard shuttle run  – switch until 100 is reached.

200 squats – Partner 1 starts, partner 2 runs, you get the idea

Had a plan for 300 as well, but YHC was compelled to call an audible at 5:57 (time ran short) to head back for a little ab work…..but just a little.

Boxcutters IC x 30, American Hammers IC x 15, and a body destroyer promptly executed at 5:59 AM.

There was much movement, a little chatter, varying amounts of sweat and a few comments in the days that followed relating to the amount of lunge walks – complimentary of course.

Announcements – Christmas Eve convergence – 12-24 at the Abyss – Palisades Park Elementary and Q source begins on Saturday 1-5-19.

Prayers for all traveling for the holidays.

Relatively new to leading workouts, it was great to see some #HIM’s who, years ago, were encouraging of this serial runner guy to get out of his comfort zone and go do something else.  You each know who you are.  Thank you.

My thanks to Lil’ E for the opportunity to lead.  It was a privilege.




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Cannon Ball Birthday Special

Today was YHC’s 45th Birthday so it was gonna be a good day!!

Warm up:

We started with a brief Mosey around the parking lot carrying our kettle bells and stopped for some SSH’s,  Moroccan Night Clubs, Sun gods, Cotton pickers and some basic arm stretches.


The Thang:

We then moseyed over for 12-18-73 (my birth date) with Kettle Bells in hand

  • 12 Burpee’s
  • 18 Kettle Jacks
  • 73 Flutter Kicks Single Count.

Then we moved onto my age – 45 of each (utilizing the kettle bell) and a small lap carrying the Kettle Bell as well

  • High Plank with upright rows
  • Figure 8’s
  • Big Boy’s
  • Tea Kettle Squats
  • Overhead Presses
  • American Hammers (SC)
  • Overhead Tricep Exten.
  • KB Swings
  • Curls 15 (lowers, 15 uppers and 15 fulls)
  • Clean and Presses
  • Lunges (SC)
  • Upright Rows
  • Around the Worlds
  • one more rep of Curls to finish out the time

Basic announcements, Christmas Convergence……

Praises and Prayers and finished with Prayer where as usual, God humbles me and chokes me up, thanks to all that came out and spent the morning with me and celebrated another day that I don’t deserve serving My Lord!


Two Ferns






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Pax Push at Poopdeck

6 Pax (Peg, Cha-Ching, Copywrite, Jedi, Witch Hunt, Two-Ferns) joined YHC for a relentless and chilly beatdown at the Poopdeck.  Here is how it went down:


Some pre-runners (Jedi, Cha-ching, Witch Hunt) were already warm; together we started with quarter-mile stroll around the parking lot and Bowl & Bounce to the strip-mall lot next door where we went through the ususal:

  • 10 windmills in cadence
  • 20 SSH IC
  • 15 Imperial Walkers IC
  • 20 Moroccan night clubs, IC
  • 10 merkins, IC
  • quick stretch – down dog, honey mooner 

The Thang, Part I

  • We parterned up to bang through this list, on partner running, the other working the list, alternating:
  • 100 Lunges
  • 100 Ranger Merkins
  • 100 SSH
  • 100 Bobby Hurley Squats
  • 100 Carolina Dry docks
  • 100 Crab Cakes
  • 100 Werkins
  • 100 Monkey Humpers
  • 100 LBCs
  • 100 Flying Squirrels
  • 50 WWII sit ups
  • 50 Jumps Squats

The Thang Part II

Studly Pax finished part I with time to spare, so we lined up for People’s chair with Pax on the end executing 5 Merkins; repeated with Balls to the wall and Monkey Humpers.  Finally, back at COT, we killed the last minute with Freddie Mercurys and American Hammers.

We closed with a reminder about the 12/24 convergence and congratulations to Cha-ching on his career news.  We reflected on our collective and personal good fortune, despite the challenges we face.   It was, as always a privilege to lead.

  • Wolverine, out.
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#Serving at Thanksgiving with Many Thanks

With great apologies for the delay in this backblast, here is a followup to our Thanksgiving meal drive. The PAX were truly inspiring in reaching out. We are all called to serve, and can do so in many different ways.

Immediate thanks to Figaro for the turkey donations, along with the 20 men who did not hesitate and within 3 days quickly donated to the cause… and whom most have chosen to remain anonymous. Special thanks to Cable Guy, Frat Boy and Crab Cakes for helping with delivery. More details further below. And additional thanks to Crab Cakes and M Kara for followup support to one of our families!

Many of us don’t truly realize the experiences of the poor and needy  until we are able to observe in real life. Most of stay in our one station in life, but it can be a privilege to experience others’ stations. (see next full story, try to get through it all)

One of the most meaningful and deep scenes in a movie I have watched comes from one of the silliest movies. In the movie “Overboard” with Goldie Hahn and Kurt Russell, Hahn’s female character (Joanna) plays a very stuck up, rich woman who falls overboard at night from her yacht while near WA (state). She gets amnesia. She is ‘claimed’ by Russell’s carpenter character (Dean) to ‘compensate’ for her refusal to pay him for his services performed by him in the days before.

Joanna ends up living a poor life with Russell and his 4 boys for about a month. She experiences things she would never had in her rich world.  She learns humility living a life with little money. Eventually her memory returns and she returns to her yacht.  But she no longer acts like the ‘debutante’ who her mother and privileged husband so want. They think something is wrong with her.

Later on board the yacht, Joanna has an interaction with her servant butler (Andrew) who has been taking care of her his whole life with no thanks for his efforts:

  • Andrew: (Andrew hands Joanna her earrings after they’ve drank tequila shots below decks with the crew) You best not lose these again, madam.
  • Joanna: (perplexed) Again?
  • Andrew: You will forgive me, madam. (clearly mocking her) “Andrew! I seem to have lost my ruby earrings somewhere between 64th and 68th street, find them.”
  • Joanna: (genuinely contrite) I’ve behaved so badly. (Andrew raises his eyebrows)
  • Joanna: You’ve done all these wonderful things for me and I never even once said thank you. I’m sorry.
  • Andrew: (embarrassed) Apology accepted, ma’am. (he turns away and to the sink)
  • Joanna: (following him) Everyone on this boat thinks I’m crazy. Do you think they’re right?
  • Andrew: (turning around to face her) Oh no, madam. Oh no. You… most of us go through life with blinders on. Knowing only that little station to which we were born. But you madam, have had the… rare privilege of escaping your bonds for just a spell. To see life from an entirely new perspective. How you choose to use that information is entirely up to you.

The movie ends up with a happy ending with Joanna returning to Dean and the boys.

It is up to all of us to decide how we use information we have at hand. If you are called to serve, how are you actually serving? Are you truly seeking to serve? Are you open to learning about others less fortunate than you? Even more so, are you willing to put yourself in an uncomfortable environment to learn firsthand?

Here is a quick synopsis of this year’s turkey meals donation.  We had done turkey drives before, but some of the feedback we got was, not that it wasn’t appreciated, but that it was too much of a ‘giveaway.’ Best teach a man to fish, so to speak. But we’ve been in the Paradise community over 1 1/2 years now and we didn’t want to let Thanksgiving pass without some involvement. A plan was put together on Monday, announced to the PAX on Tuesday, enough donations received by Thursday, food bought on Friday and delivered on Saturday.

Thanks were in abundance from those receiving the meals. We had a few crying in appreciation. The names of the 10 neediest families were given to us by Kim Vinisette of SON Ministries who has been working in the community for years. F3 has a strong relationship with Kim. As we shared with the families, we asked them to also share to any others that could use food for the holiday.

We gave each family a nice presentation basket of initial food along with their turkey, an F3 flyer, a holiday card from F3 and a gift certificate of varying amounts (depending on family size) to buy additional food, ie. fresh food, dessert.

We arrived at the park Saturday afternoon and the PAX helped deliver.

Lessons learned include…planning to spend more on each family roughly in the $100 range, buying all the food necessary for a full meal, starting much earlier, getting other groups involved to help support the cause. Maybe next year we can increase the # of families.

I have some pictures but not at the ready. Will get posted here shortly. I want to get this BB out.

*** An additional good experience came from this endeavor. One of the families, a single mom with 3 girls, had next to no furniture in their apartment.  Crab Cakes and his M Kara came through as we identified their needs and their rooms went from having nothing to being filled!  Awesome job!  We are now working on another similar situation. Will post that info soon!

Great thanks once again to the PAX.

Aye! Bolt




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