Today’s ruck WOD consisted of completing sets of exercises separated by painful ways of navigating the parking lot.
Today’s ruck WOD consisted of completing sets of exercises separated by painful ways of navigating the parking lot.
A big turnout of 24 pax posted to Golden Corral for the third week of Q School. The Ruck gang added another 9 pax, for a total of 33! It was great to see such a large and enthusiastic group seeking to learn and grow. The F3 mission is all about leadership, and the leadership foundation of F3 is grounded in the workout Q. So, YHC was honored by the chance to help teach new Qs and to do so alongside our new 1st F leader, Royale.
Royale started us off with a full disclaimer and why we give it every time. The PAX need to know and understand the assumption of risk every morning, no matter how many times they’ve posted.
Before the mosey to warm-up Royale took a minute to explain how to “read the PAX”. The Q should be deliberate when starting the workout by eyeballing guys with experience levels and condition levels. We talked about a Sweeper and how a Q should assign someone to the six. No man left behind!
The Thang (DD takes over from here)
Warm-up run to back parking lot behind HT and circle up
COP — series of warm-up exercises led by various pax to get loose and to gain familiarity with Counting in Cadence, emphasizing a few important points:
After COT we broke the large group into 2 sub-groups. Double D took Q101 group for newer Qs and those that have not Q’d. Royale took his hand at the Q201 PAX that have Q’d at least a few times.
Double D continued the COP format to allow all pax more opportunity to lead exercises in cadence. We discussed the fact that the Q’s role is to lead, and as leader his priority needs to be on the pax. This is not a workout built for the Q’s benefit. It’s a workout for the pax who are present, led by the Q. We also discussed not feeling trapped by your Weinke and like you have to follow it rigidly. If you miss an exercise or your rep count is longer or shorter than you planned, just carry on. No one knows your Weinke and no one will call you out as making a mistake. Show yourself some grace and just keep rolling on.
The pax also raised many questions:
In order to get he heart pounding and the sweat flowing, we did some sprints up the street by Grace Church. Then we moseyed back to COT. We discussed along the way back the importance of watching the clock and location so that you can finish on time back at home base. It’s better to arrive back home early and knock out a few exercises there than to reach finish time 1/4 mile or more away from home.
During his session, Royale explained how you handle a Q-Jack or too much mumble chatter. The group will usually self-police but if they don’t making guys do burpees is an easy way to get them back on track. Do not give up your authority to lead. Also talked about how to address the Larry Birds (guys out front on their own) with a communication to them on what to do if they finish early.
But sitting around was not what we here to do! Our next evolution started with a Lazy Dora.
During these exercises I shared more about an advanced Q style. What message can you bring to the PAX to help them become Accelerating men? Some of my favorite workouts are when the Q shares a life lesson during breaks or incorporates it into his workout. I gave ideas that I’ve stolen from all kinds of sources. The Q-source, 43 feet podcasts, Jocko podcast, twitter, our 3rd F theme of the month, etc.…
An example I shared about a recent Q I had at the Abyss (see back blast) around the 43 Feet podcast and a Man’s Concentrica. I made a bull’s eye game with corn hole bags. The PAX competed around the different areas of focus in a man’s Concentrica.
We moved on to a wall for some more discussions and exercise.
The first wall had a ledge and was no good, so we moved down to the next building where a better wall was located. Another great lesson from my mistake by telling guys to recon the site before the workout!
During wall sits we opened up questions from the PAX. Some great questions were raised around workout groupings, how many reps should you prep for, and knowing your group. We continued with BTTW and another Wall sit.
Last item I shared during the final wall sit was around the COT Prayer. This was something that made me very nervous around my first Q. I was not accustomed to praying much, and certainly not in public. I told the PAX this is an important piece of your leadership when you Q. Do not give this away to another man. Finish what you started by sharing from your heart. It does not have to be each individual prayer request from COT… but don’t forget about this practice too!
We moseyed back to the front of Harris Teeter and joined back up with Double D’s group.
Naked man moleskin
Double D double-clutched the smartphone video during COT (where’s a millennial when I need one?), so this BB is missing a few pax names. Apologies to those I missed for allowing my Respect traits sabotage the recording of your presence.
Thank you to all the pax who posted! It was great to see so many new faces as well as some veterans in support of new Qs. This morning reflected the excitement and engagement of the pax necessary to sustain the culture of The Fort.
Thank you to each of the new Qs for stepping up. You will be nervous and anxious — that’s normal and expected. Your workout won’t be perfect — no Q’s workout ever is. You will also learn and grow through the process.
And a shout out to the Site Qs — take a look at the list of pax here and get these guys booked into Q slots!
Man it’s been too long. Cha Ching set me up with the opportunity to Q at the SWAMP and I must say, I do miss that place. But then again, I think I say that with every AO I have the opportunity to Q at. So for this one, I “solicited” a few ideas from my Ragnar team and even got to incorporate a few of them while only 2 of them graced us with their presence.
17 BC’ers and 2 Ruckers for a total of 19 was the count as we circled up to be disclaimed and get a brief unnecessary overview of what I thought would be necessary instructions. In short, this post would be about starting and stopping, that’s it. No deeper meaning, no Beyond discussion this time, just full on “get your work on and get it done.” We’ll be running between our COP’s at 2 different speeds and I’ll call it out before we take off: 1: All you’ve got and 2: As a PAX.
1: COP in THD’s parking lot: for a little warm up.
2: Lt. Dans
3: Merkins/Carolina Dry Docks
4: Kracken Burpee (Only 1 way to get better at these and when in the Lake Wylie area, these are a must).
5: Staggered Merkins & Jump Squats
6: 1 min of 6″ leg holds, 1min 45 degree crunch hold. Followed by Dips & Dry Docks again.
7: 2min Al Gore, 1 min 6″ Merkin hold and 1min Calf Raise hold. Bunny hop 30 yds and back.
8: Diamonds, Wide-Arm Merkins, Slow Sumo Squats & 1min Flutter Kicks with a press
9: 24 Dips & the fountain
COT: Prayers for Stang’s parents, Emma Holt, those in the path of Hurricane Florence. Be open to how you can help others in the wake of the storm.
Until next time…
9 pax posted to the land of the free and the home of the brave in Fort Mill, SC (aka Walter Elisha Park aka WEP aka The Fort) for a snot-woggler of a morning. Of course, all men are welcome at F3 AOs and none are left behind. But, when I took note of the pax present (no FNGs and all wily veterans), I knew we were in for some real pain. This was not a crew that modifies, and my co-Q (Copay) certainly was going to dole it out. My mission of the morning was to keep the pax present and encourage them through the barrage. For the record, a brief Disclaimer was proclaimed. Then I put forth a short command — “Give yourself permission to be here and only here for the next 60 minutes…let go of everything else that might be occupying your mind.” All pax confirmed they had permission to proceed, and then the fun began.
Double D in the lead
Mosey up hill out the parking lot with right turn down Ardrey St
Series of Karaoke, High knees, Butt kicks, To Soldiers
Take paved trail at first intersection back into the Springs parking lot and work our way through the lot to the building with periods of Lunge walks, Broad jumps, Bear crawl, Backwards lunge walk, Crawl bear, Crab walk.
COP — Al Gore, SSH, IWs, HWs, Merkins, CDDs, Bombjacks
Mosey to UCSynergetic back lot
Pull-ups on the walkway railing + 10 Bombjacks OYO
Rinse and repeat
Mosey partway down grassy hill toward Hwy 160 and then a permission slip check was made before handoff to Copay
Copay in the lead
Build a burpee X5
Mosey to bottom of gun shop hill.
50X Side Straddle Hops
All out Sprint to top Side squats left/right and lunges down
All out Sprint to top Side squats left/right and lunges half way
Lunges and side squats left and right back up
Message Give permission and your “will” will take you further than you want, especially when it’s about doing His will
Mosey to parking lot across from gun shop
CDD Donkey Kicks X12
Mountain climber merkins X12
Standing push up jump squats X20
Run back to parking lot
Rinse and repeat
Build a burpee X5
Handoff to Double D for the finish
Mosey to UC Synergetic parking lot along Hwy 160
Plank on curb facing short brick wall
Derkins + sprint to wall + backward sprint back to the curb
Rinse & repeat for 3 cycles total
Mosey to grassy area along Hwy 160 in front of Springs bldg
People’s chair against wall
Balls to the Wall
Mosey back to WEP
Naked Man Moleskin
Well, it’s Monday afternoon, more than 48 hrs since the beatdown, and My lower body is still sore. The soreness started Sat afternoon. A 15 mile run on Sunday and a 5 mile run plus burpees on Monday have yet to relieve the soreness. Copay really put it on us!
It looked as though we had an in-game EH when Copay was leading us through his first round of Build-a-burpee. An enthusiastic fellow in his 20s/30s driving a black car w/NY plates parked on the street near the gun shop and got out of his car to ask “Is this the class?” Of course, we said yes, waved him into the parking lot and continued the burpees until he parked and walked back over. Suddenly, he didn’t look so excited. He was looking for the “gun shop class” and the idea of Copay and burpees had him shaking in his boots. We invited him back to WEP for 9/15. We’ve got one week to work up one heckuva name.
We covered new territory around the buildings for some pax. The pull ups on the walkway railings were new to some. The wall along Hwy 160 was new to others. Both of these, plus all the other spots demonstrate what an awesome AO WEP continues to be, despite 6 years of downPAINments!
The message for the workout was geared around being PRESENT and INTENTIONAL. I came upon the phrase “I gave myself permission…” in 2-3 conversations last week and it stuck with me. Sometimes it takes a bit of a mental device to force us to realize that (a) everything is a choice and (b) the only actions we can make choices about are those in the here and now. Giving yourself permission to be present to do something specific and intentional is a powerful way of exercising our freedom to choose. Copay took the “permission” idea to an even greater level with his inspiring words about “giving permission to God to do His will through me now” (only way more powerful coming out of his mouth).
Lots to think about and lots of laundry after this one.
Thanks to Bonsai for the Q opportunity and to the pax for leaving it all out there!
18 assembled this morning for some bells (6) and #Beyond (12). YHC decided to change things up slightly. We did the Name-a-Rama first. Read on to see why.
You’ll also note that I’m posting the Naked Man Moleskin before the workout. Sometimes the message is more important than the workout. Today was one of those days. #Beyond is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and push buttons we would rather leave untouched. Today’s discussion was on depression.
These sobering statistics spoke to me because our PAX fit right in the sweet spot of these ranges. The average age this morning was 44 – right in the thick of these numbers. Depression effects men in different ways. This group is sandwiched in between the traditional silent, strong fathers who went to work and provided for their families and the more progressive, open generations of their sons who share parenting duties and aren’t always the breadwinners of the household. Many men never mastered either of these roles and now feel lost. We’ve married capable women who take care of everything from the children to the social agenda, leaving men to feel a void of purpose. Around this age, men look around at their neighbors and ask, “why am I not as successful as my neighbor?” Outside of our homes, we are lonely. We’ve lost track of our college buddies and only connect with our co-workers on a water cooler level. We feel like we haven’t accomplished enough. For all intents and purposes, men in their mid-40s often feel neutered – unable to provide the ways their dads did and unwilling or unprepared to be Mr. Mom to their older children. To make matters worse, a job loss or divorce often leads these men into a downward spiral of addiction and despair. Chances are, you’ve felt this way or know someone who does. It becomes our responsibility to reach out to these men and invite them into a brotherhood of love. Medical professionals recommend a few steps to battle depression. I added number 5:
All of these are incorporated into what we do each morning at F3. Social support comes in the form of other men who are battling or have battled this demon themselves. To me, its finding blades and stones to sharpen each other. It’s the second F – Fellowship. Doctors recommend finding outlets to blow off steam, exercising and getting outside. How else better than exercising outside in the elements pushing past pain with your brothers in the Gloom? This is the first F – Fitness. Finally, acknowledging that there is a higher being that loves you and wants what is best for you. Rather than telling God how big your problems are, tell your problem how big your God is. This is the third F – Faith.
I realized that the reason F3 is growing is because it is the answer to the question we never knew we had. It is the antidote to society’s poison of depression. We all struggle, from project managers to pastors. We all battle life. Why not surround yourself with guys who can build the 3 Fs right beside you? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says it best: “Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, the other can help them up. But pity anyone who falls and has no other to help them up. Also if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Interpret those three strands however you wish. I like to think of them as me, God, and my brothers. That dream team can win any fight. Grab your shield and suit up, we’ve got a battle to wage.
Mosey to the upper parking lot
Mosey to the front of the church
Mosey to the side lot
Mosey to the upper parking lot
Mosey to the front of the church
Mosey back to COT
I’m sitting down to write this BB and literally can’t do what I challenged the PAX with at this morning’s BEYOND workout. Eliminate the distractions. Oh, what’s this text say, how about this tweet mention (can’t miss that), work email really needs my immediate response, man those kids left their cereal bowls on the counter, what time are we leaving today, etc, etc, etc. At times it can be funny but others, it can be really frustrating. I allow myself to continuously chase progress and other tasks rather than finding joy in where I am. It then leads to what you’ll read about later…burnout.
So there you have it, this BEYOND post will be focused on a struggle many of us face and that is running from joy, not finding joy where we are or honestly, not being a joy to spend time with. That latter one has been my challenge over these last several years because of those first two.
On to it. Car after car after car rolled into the Hive parking lot and you know the feeling, the feeling of way more cars than you were expecting. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it gives you that kick in the pants, that extra motivation, that reminder of why you put your feet on the floor in the 4 o’clock hour. That’s what I was blessed to experience this beautiful morning as 33 other men, men that have pushed me over the years, men I’ve looked up to over the years, men who are about to bust it right along side me as we embark on something that typically looks better on paper. But that’s the idea, to push ourselves BEYOND our sense of normalcy both physically and mentally.
Funhouse escorted a group of 5 PAX for his killer initiative of RYAOA (T-claps on keeping that going) and the rest of us, 29 to be exact, circled up. After a quick explanation of BEYOND for the rookies and the search for any FNG’s, we discussed the plan with the weight, either Kettle Bell or Ruck…your choice. What I just realized, and to which nobody held be accountable, was that I forgot the all-important disclaimer. Men, never do that again. DO NOT START A WORKOUT WITHOUT A DISCLAIMER. You don’t have to be an attorney but verbalize the basics.
Starting on the curb nearest the tennis courts, run to the other side of the parking lot at 50% then 25% back. 10 Squats, 5 Burpee Broad Jumps then run to the other side at 75% then 25% back. 15 Diamond Merkins, 5 Burpee Broad Jumps then 100% to the other side followed by 100% back.
Switzer up for the first part of the discussion. I read the following definition: “Feeling of great pleasure & happiness.” After a few likely words were tossed out when I asked what word that defines, we got to the word of the day, JOY. I’m sure guys were wondering why in the world we’re talking about joy at an F3 workout, what kind of soft, starbucky-hands nonsense is this? That exact reason is the reason we’re discussing this word. It’s a word and feeling we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy often enough. There are people I enjoy being around and things I like doing but do I truly find joy in those situations? Said differently, do I enjoy being around those people or being in those moments and perhaps more importantly, do people find joy in being around me? Over these last few years, I’ve been operating like a hard-ass, focusing on task completion and moving from one thing to another. I can tell you, I’ve not been a joy to be around. While I was in it, I didn’t even realize it. How did I get here? Really, how do I get out of it?
That said, we split up into 4 groups, 1 for each corner of the large parking lot. In each corner, we did 10 Man Makers with your weight of choice. What varies is your mode of transportation between the corners.
After 3 of these 4, time got away from me and I had to audible and bring the group back to the center of the lot. As mentioned before, us task-completers run from one half-baked focus to another and we rob ourselves of contentment and joy in the moment. After weeks, months or years of doing this, we inevitably get burned out. Very rarely does something positive come after this stage. However, here in the gloom of our Hive AO here, burn out means something different. I was hoping to have 15mins left at this point but as it was, we had 6 and only got part of the way (you see, I tried to fill the schedule with too much and didn’t complete what I intended). See the irony?
Closeout: We have a hard time refocusing once something bad happens or if it’s not bad, just something that temporarily knocks us off our trajectory. Oddly enough, our kids do a better job of getting back on track than we do. If something negative happens to you during the course of the day, how quickly are you able to course-correct? Are you able to move on from a less-than-positive comment made about you and not let it affect the rest of your day? Watch your kids and take note. Watch them get in a disagreement with a sibling, maybe pout, then start playing or hanging out with them 1-2hrs later. Could you imagine what it’d be like if we dusted ourselves off and went back at it? There’s joy in overcoming.
Listening to a podcast yesterday where Rob O’Neill was being interviewed, he briefly touched on this by saying something that hit me like a 50lb Kettle Bell across the bridge of the nose. A little background, Mr. O’Neill is the Operator on Seal Team 6 who fired the shot that killed the most wanted terrorist of all time, OBL. I’ve been fascinated by our military and specifically, SF, for years and imagine how quickly they need to pivot on a decision and adjust to chart a new course. His comment was this when discussing attitudes, “Are you having a bad day or did you have a bad moment that you’re milking into a bad day.” Don’t shake that off, marinate on that for a while and it might just change how you respond in that next bad moment.
Tesh, I appreciate your willingness to let me run BEYOND at the Hive.
Men of F3, I’m humbled by your company this morning and every morning you allow me to state my hospital name, age and F3 name.
No man left behind but leave no man where you found him.
Sir Topham Hat and I were pretty excited to take on Alcatraz together. A couple or “runners” who really “enjoy” hills? What could possibly go wrong? A warning was sent on the Twitter machine that this would be hill intensive, so I was pleased to see 11 Pax show in addition to YHC and STH. It was a bit of an Alcatraz reunion of sorts with some familiar faces. We knew we needed to bring it.
STH on Q
Zima on Q
All in all it was a pretty good smokefest. Everyone pushed their limits
NMM (here are our notes)
Prayer, Praises, Announcements
BOM on Zima
Thanks for the opportunity to lead Smuggler! Keep me in the rotation.
Thursday morning we ran. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Tempo so I asked Gekko what’s been going on recently so I could do something a little different. This is what we did.
Total Miles: 4.7
Several Prayers for healing, comfort, families and marriages. Always an honor to lead. Thanks Gekko.
141 Men came to show the Respectable**CSPAN** some Respect!!
He leaves The Fort and heads north or as Dredd refers to Yankee land. Not gone forever but just up the road 600 miles to start a new chapter in life and in F3 as he will launch F3Philly.
I am not the most eloquent with my back-blasts and I am usually to the point with posting the workout, add some words and being done, however since I can’t get Italian Job to write this up and Double D challenged the PAX to think of one word to represent CSAPN, I think that is the best way to document this convergence.
Thank you CSPAN for being all of these things and more to you r brothers in the PAX. As posted on Twitter and many of these were repeated multiple times:
The Workout looked like this:
WWL at the Q:
Dredd at the Q:
141 Count, Name O’rama, 2 FNGs (Bikini & Manzel), Skinny Jeans pray out over CSPAN and his IMPACT on men and for Sky Q’s kingdom.
Things got a little bumpy right from the start as the PAX arrived and learned that Jiffy is having some work done to improve the AO. Cones everywhere and new pavement is going in. Modification therefore stared early as the PAX were forced to park somewhere other than our normal place.
The PAX of 9 gathered near the entrance to the Middle School rather than the Elementary School and received their notification of the element of risk that laid before them. With that we were off on a mosey to the front of the middle school.
Burpee/Merkin/Plank Chase – The PAX lined up in a plank position with a 10 yard separation between each man. The first man ran up to the next man in plank, performed a burpee and jumped over the planking man at the top of the burpee. He then ran to the next member of the PAX and did the same until he reached the end of the line. For the men holding plank, they performed a hand release merkin each time a member of the PAX on the burpee chase passed them. When the last PAX passed them, they would start the chase. This continued for the full drop off circle which is a quarter mile. With the number of PAX in attendance, everyone had the chance to do the burpee chase 3 times for one lap around the circle.
Regroup at the front of the school and each man grabbed a bench for leg work.
Line back up for another round of the Burpee/Merkin Plank Chase.
Leg work again:
Announcements – Convergence this Saturday
Prayer Requests – Prayers to those traveling this weekend.
It was an honor to Q such a strong group of HIM! Thank you to Jiffy for the opportunity!