F3 Knoxville

The Prayer for Protection

THE SCENE:  75 and humid.  Goose crap eeeevvvveerryyywhere.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered 

Windmill – IC
Cherry Pickers – IC
Moroccan Nightclub – IC
Tempo Squats – IC


Mosey to some grass…

  • Flutter kicks (4-count) 23 IC
  • Diamond Merkins 23 OYO
  • Pickle pointers (4-count) 23 IC
  • Werkins 23 OYO

Sprint to the pond, stopping at four parking lot islands to do 10 squats at each.

At the pond…  Cones spread out around the large jogging path (0.75 miles).  7 stations along the path.

Split into two teams.  Race around the circuit in opposite directions.

  1. Rosalita x 23
    Imperial Walkers x 23
  2. Hail Mary x 23
    Tempo Squats x 23
  3. Everest (run down to the pond, then lunge-squat-lunge-squat back up)
  4. Outlaw x 23 each way
    Up Straddle Hop x 23 (each leg)
  5. Scorpion Dry Dock x 23
    No Surrender x 23
  6. E2K x 23 (each side)
  7. Smurf Jacks x 23
    Squeaky Bed Dolly x 23

Mosey toward the shovelflag…stop to do 50 yards of crab walking.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

22 HIMs and 2 FNGs!  Welcome Gelato and Dos Años!

The Empire of Japan unconditionally surrendered to the US on August 15, 1945.  Because of the time difference, it was announced in the US on August 14 – and we celebrate that victory today – V-J Day – the final chapter of a war that lasted nearly six years and involved more than 100 million people.  It was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by an estimated 65 million fatalities – the vast majority of which were civilians murdered in atrocities.  16 million Americans served in the Armed Forces during the War.  405,399 lost their lives – and nearly 700,000 others were wounded.

Try to imagine what it must have been like during that time.  Imagine yourself as a soldier in a trench, fighting day after day to gain miles of French territory back – or as a father waiting anxiously to hear from his sons who are away in the Pacific.  Imagine yourself preparing for a suicidal invasion of mainland Japan – and the ecstatic joy you experience on August 14, 1945 when you realize that the war is finally over.

James Freeman is a name worth knowing.  He was a minister and a poet – lived most of the 20th century – and is sometimes referred to as the “poet laureate to the moon” because his poems were twice brought to the moon (by Buzz Aldrin aboard Apollo 11, and by James Irwin on Apollo 15 – who left the poem on the moon).  James Freeman was commissioned to write a prayer for our nation during WWII.  A prayer for a nation that was experiencing anxiety and fear, but also joy and relief.  A prayer for the solider in battle – a prayer for the wife who lost her husband – and a prayer for the father whose son returns home safely.  A prayer to cover the full spectrum of emotions and experiences of our nation.

Interviewed years later, Freeman said that the 23rd Psalm was an inspiration for his prayer.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

This morning, we used Freeman’s 10 lines of poetry, inspired by the 23rd Psalm, in the way that it was intended to be used – as our prayer.  It was written to cover the full spectrum of emotions and experiences of a nation at war. Where does life have you right now?  Anxious, confused, worn out, joyful, grateful….?

I asked the HIMs to listen for one line – whichever one jumps out at you and describes where you are.  Cling to it and say it to yourself over and over throughout the day – make one of these lines of poetry your personal prayer throughout the day.  For example: If life is going well for you right now – you might cling to this line “The Joy of God uplifts me”.  If life has you worn down in the season that you are in, you might make this your prayer, “The Strength of God renews me.”.  10 lines – cling to one.

The Prayer for Protection, by James Freeman
“The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The Power of God protects me.
The Presence of God watches over me.
The Mind of God guides me.
The Life of God flows through me.
The Laws of God direct me.
The Power of God abides within me.
The Joy of God uplifts me.
The Strength of God renews me.
The Beauty of God inspires me.
Wherever I am, God is!”

Prayers for Judge Judy’s wife, Mandolin’s wife’s grandmother, Sty’s sister-in-law and her husband.

T Claps for Archie for learning the exercises and knowing the planned route.  I couldn’t have done this Q without him!

I’d planned to do the pond circuit two times – we barely had time for one!  So good to have FNGs Gelato and Dos Años out there with us!  Glad to see the “new crop” showing up and pushing hard; Mandolin, Pool Boy, Nutmeg, Mermaid, Guardrail – you men are rockin’ it!


Be a High-Impact Friend

THE SCENE: 70 and clear

Cherry Pickers – IC
Windmill – IC
Tempo Squats – IC
Motivators – Single count
Tempo Merkins – IC


Everyone partner up with a “friend” (a.k.a. a CMU) and mosey to the Friendship Bell (a monument at Bissell Park) for the CMU Deck Workout (hat tip to Cap’N Crunch!)
– Draw a card and perform the exercise.  First one finished draws the next card and starts immediately.
– Work at the pace of the fastest man.  If you are lapped, skip the next exercise and get back in rhythm with the PAX.
– For all suits with a card value of A-5 = run that number of laps around the Friendship Bell (with your “friend”, of course)
– For the rest of the deck, perform the number of reps based on the value of the card according to the list below:

Card Value Reps
A-5 Run that many laps around the bell
6-10 Reps = Face Value
J, Q, K Reps = 15


Card Value Exercise
Hearts 4-count curls
Spades Step ups
Clubs 4-count flutter kicks (arms extended w/ CMU above chest)
Diamonds 4-count shoulder press


Next up….45-second intervals.  Perform each exercise for 45 seconds – 15 seconds of rest in between sets.

Flutter Kick w/ CMU
CMU Iron Mike (or lunge)
Dips w/ CMU in your lap
Lion Kings
Crunch-press w/ CMU

Mosey back.

Heavy Freddies
Derkin Pyramid

8 HIMs


In April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official “International Friendship Day”.  I’m thrilled to be standing here this morning with one of my oldest and dearest friends (Archie) and six of my newest and dearest friends.

William Penn was a Quaker and a writer in pre-revolution America.  Notably, he was an early advocate for democracy, founder of the colony – later state – of Pennsylvania, and planner of the city of Philadelphia.   He wrote a book titled “Some Fruits of Solitude” – a collection of sayings (similar in tone to Ben Franklin’s Farmer’s Almanac).  It is included in Volume 1 of Harvard’s Non-fiction Classics.  In this book, Penn wrote of pride, of education, of justice, of fidelity…and of friendship.

About friendship, Penn wrote;

“A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.”

That’s what I would call a “high-impact friend”.

Let’s zoom in on those first two characteristics.

One:  As a high-impact friend, you must be advising your friends justly.  This means speaking candidly into the lives of your friends who are falling short of a high standard.  It means giving straight talk to those men around you who are acting foolishly, who are harming themselves and others around them, and who are temporarily blind, ignorant, or uncaring of their foolishness.  Our culture will accommodate, and even encourage, their foolishness.  If you are their friend, you owe it to them to show courage and speak correction and truth into their lives.

Proverbs 27:6

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern]…”

Two:  In order for you to have any credibility whatsoever to speak candidly to a hurting friend, you must first consistently unbosom yourself freely to him – which is an old-fashioned way of saying “open your heart to him”.  You must be candid about your own struggles, fears, insecurities, shortcomings, dreams.  Only then have you earned to right to speak truth to him about his struggles.

As high-impact men, you are set apart from your peers – held to a higher standard.  Friendships built on common interests alone are cheap.

I challenge you today, on International Friendship Day, to unbosom yourself to a friend (share your heart) and to speak courageously into the life of a friend who is headed down a destructive pathUncomfortable as it may be at first, be a High-Impact Friend and you’ll be valued and cherished by those who are dear to you. 


Praises for Samaritan’s 20th anniversary and for the safety of KickFlip’s friend’s daughter – who nearly drowned over the weekend.  Prayers of peace for Erector’s friend.

Do your friends a favor and invite them to F3!

The Dash

THE SCENE:  74 degrees and clear

Cherry Pickers – IC
Windmill – IC
Motivators (brought this one back from a post in St. Louis)
Tempo Squats – IC
Tempo Merkins – IC
Leg stretches OYO


Mosey to the track for Hundred Yard DASHes:

Set a recurring timer for 1-minute intervals.

DASH 100 meters.  Upon arriving at the mark, begin exercise (called by Q) and continue until the timer sounds (every minute, on-the-minute).  When the timer sounds, DASH again to the next mark and perform the next exercise (called by Q).  Repeat for 4 laps.

Example:  Lap 1
0-1:00 – DASH to 100 meters and perform hand-release merkins until timer sounds
1:01-2:00 – DASH to 200 meters and perform flutter kicks until timer sounds
2:01-3:00 – DASH to 300 meters and perform Carolina dry docks until timer sounds
3:01-4:00 – DASH to 400 meters and hold plank

Repeat (changing exercises) for Laps 2-4

Lap 2: Wide-arm merkins, Dollys, scorpion dry docks, side crunch (one side)
Lap 3: Diamond merkin, LBFC (flutter crunch), peter parkers, side crunch (other side)
Lap 4: merkins, War Hammer (BBS + 4 AH), shoulder taps, low plank

Mosey to the parking lot for Cone Battle

8 cones set out – 4 standing (“up”) and 4 tipped on their side (“down”).  Divide into two teams; Team Up and Team Down.  Goal of each team is to get all 8 cones either up or down.  Perform exercise and DASH to a cone, placing it up – or knocking it down.  Continue until one team gets all cones simultaneously up or down – call out when completed.  Stop at 3 minutes, if not completed.

Round 1: 10 BBS
Round 2: 3 HRBs
Switch to 1-minute intervals
Round 3: 5 Sumo Squat
Round 4: Lunges
Round 5: LBCs
Round 6: No exercise, just DASH


Squeaky Bed Dolly (when your legs open, crunch and push your hands between your legs)
Superman/Merkin Intervals



Last week, we buried my grandmother – Edith Otten.  At her funeral, my mother shared many fond memories and spoke of the legacy that her mother passed down to her.  She also read from the Psalms;

Psalm 39:4-5

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.

Remind me that my days are numbered—

how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;

at best, each of us is but a breath.”


Seneca the Younger was a citizen of ancient Rome – a philosopher, a statesman, and an advisor to emperor Nero.  According to legend, he corresponded with Paul the Apostle.  Some early Christian writers, such as Martin of Braga, were influenced by his philosophies.  Among Seneca’s many known works is “De Brevitate Vitae” – The Shortness of Life.  This stoic work contains many nuggets of wisdom, including;

“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”


Psalm 90 is unique among the Psalms; in that it is the only Psalm attributed to Moses.  Verse 12, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.”


Someday there will be a headstone with your name on it.  It will have the date you were born and the date that you died.  In between those dates, there will be a DASH.  That dash represents today, this week, this year.  You are living that DASH.  Are you doing your utmost to use your precious few years wisely?

What bad habits do you need to put to death?

What good habits do you need to cultivate into your life?

What hatchets need buried?

What relationships need investment?

Lord, teach us to number our days carefully – not so that we would fear death, but rather that we would be encouraged to live life well!

Independence Day Parade

Ring of Fire

THE SCENE: 51 degrees F.  Clear and cool summer morning.  Perfect for a beatdown.

LBAC Forwards & Backwards
Mosey…tempo merkins…mosey….tempo squat…mosey…H2H…mosey….


Following the road main road at PSCC puts you on a wide arc around most of the campus, maybe ½ mile.  Pair up.  Work around the ring – stopping at each of the 12 crosswalks to do the exercise set that is labeled on the ground – move the to next crosswalk per instructions (mosey, sprint, bear crawl).  First pair that finishes – turn around and start back the other way.  Collect the other HIMs as you pass them and work backwards as a pack, eventually collecting everyone.

Exercise 1

15x Monkey Humpers

5x Peter Parkers (2 count)

20s LBCs

Sprint to the next crosswalk!


Exercise 2

15x Squats

20x Merkins

20x BBS

Sprint to the next crosswalk!


Exercise 3

5x Burpees

15x Dry Docks

15x Flutter Kicks (4 count)

Mosey to the next crosswalk


Exercise 4

5x Iron Mikes (5x each leg)

20x Diamond Merkins

15x Heels to Heaven (4 count)

Bear Crawl to the next crosswalk


Exercise 5

10x Broad Jumps

10x Burpees

15x Hello Dollys (4 count)

Mosey to the next crosswalk


Exercise 6

20x Monkey Humpers

20x Merkins

20x Flutter Kicks (4 count)

Mosey to the next crosswalk


Exercise 7

30x Squats

20x Dry Docks

20x Heels to Heaven (4 count)

Mosey to the next crosswalk


Exercise 8

10x Burpees

20x Diamond Merkins

20x Hello Dollys (4 count)

Bear Crawl to the next crosswalk


Exercise 9

10x Iron Mikes (10x each leg)

5x Burpees

30x LBCs

Mosey to the next crosswalk


Exercise 10

10x Broad Jumps

10x Peter Parkers (2 count)

30x BBS

Sprint to the next crosswalk!


Exercise 11

5x Burpees

15x Dry Docks

20x Heels to Heaven (4 count)

Sprint to the next crosswalk!


Exercise 12

10x Iron Mikes (10x each leg)

20x Diamond Merkins

25x Hello Dollys (4 count)

About-Face – Repeat – Collect the PAX!


Mosey to each crosswalk in reverse order, performing 1 exercise per stop (PAX choice).  Jailbreak.



Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!  Being a father is one of the most important roles you play in life.  Doing it well is worth every once of energy that you can muster!  This Father’s Day weekend, I encourage you to spend some time praying and reflecting on your role as a father – protector, provider, encourager, discipliner, teacher, etc.  Take pride in the things that you are doing well – and commit yourself to improving the areas that you are not doing well.  Here are three things from scripture that you can mediate on;

  1.  Do your best to live your life with honor. When you screw up, own your mistakes and recommit yourself to be a better man.

Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”

2. As fathers, your words have immense power over your children. Use them with care.

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”

Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health…”

Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”

Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water…”

Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not discourage your children, so that they will not lose heart.”

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, don’t make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction.”

3. If you are a believer, teach your children about God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important that you could be teaching them.  If you spend hours each week showing them how to kick a soccer ball, and 30 seconds at night praying with them – you’re missing the point.

Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it”.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up….”

Here are some resources for you to check out;
For younger kids;
Jesus Storybook Bible
Action Bible

For kids of all ages;
Download the free app “YouVersion Bible”.  Search plans by “kids” or any other keyword.  Gazillions of free devotions.

Live with integrity, use your words with care, teach your kids about God.

Booster called for assistance tomorrow – see Group Me text for deets.

Welcome “Chop Shop” from Chicagoland!

Viva Las Vegas!

THE SCENE:  66°F, clear spring morning – couldn’t be nicer


Cherry Pickers x8
SSH x15
Moroccan Nightclub x15
Freddy Mercury x11ish…until I screwed up the cadence

THA-THANGWelcome to Vegas, Baby!

Start by Hitting the Bars!

Mosey to the playground

Complete 3 exercises, doing as many reps as possible – add all reps to 100

  • Pull-ups
  • Supine pull-up
  • Dips


…mosey to the amphitheater

Next-up, Team Poker

Two teams.  One member from each team draws a playing card and lays it face up.  The suit and value of the card dictates the exercise and reps as detailed below.  Run to the cones at the top of the hill, perform exercise, run down and drop a poker chip in the pot.  Repeat to exhaustion.  Winning poker hand gets bonus 5 chips in the pot.

Numbered cards:
Reps = 10 + card value
Exercise is based on suit:  Spades = BBS, Clubs = Burpees, Diamonds = Imperial Walkers 4-count, Hearts = American Hammers 4-count
(e.g. 2 diamonds = 12 reps imperial walkers.

Face cards:
Jack = box jumps x 10, no run, Queen = bear crawl up, run down, King = run up, crab walk down, Ace = derkins x 15, Joker = ring the bell (couple hundred yard sprint)


…mosey to the picnic tables for some Table Games

10 Wing Nuts 4-count
10 Derkins

…mosey past the Bellagio.  High knee down The Strip


Flutter kicks x20 4-count
Carolina Dry Docks x20
Circle-O-Mary….squats…merkin pyramid…pickle pointers…

6 – Erector, Chaco, Archie, Rocket, Samaritan, KickFlip (QIC)

The flight back from Vegas is full of disappointed people who were hoping to get lucky and hit a life-changing jackpot.

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no VISION, the people perish”

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

The good things in life are far too important to be left up to chance.  Relationships – particularly with wives and kids, careers, lifestyle… these are things that you CANNOT leave to luck alone.
This week, prayerfully cast (or re-cast) a VISION for an area of your life that you’ve let slip into idleness (which we all do!).  Work toward that VISION, rather than letting life happen to you.

My VISION is to be consistent in showing warmth and affection to my wife – where laziness and living by chance alone makes me hot-and-cold, which is confusing as heck to her.

Here’s a good resource to help you categorically cast vision in your life; https://www.life.church/chazown/
(“chazown” is Hebrew for “vision”)

Virgin Q – thanks for not eating me alive, men!