F3 Knoxville

Devils Tower

THE SCENE:  60 and raining.  Perfect for a heavy beatdown.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered. 

  • Overhead claps
  • Moroccan nightclub
  • Cherry pickers
  • Mountain climbers
  • Tempo merkins


Mosey under the roof at the senior center.  Ready to take on The Devils Tower.

There is a tower of 12 CMUs.  Each man grabs a CMU and performs exercises per the Q.  Exercises included;

  • CMU Curls
  • Thrusters
  • Goblet Squats
  • Alpos
  • Shoulder press
  • Flutter kick chest press
  • Tri
  • Upright rows
  • Heavy Freddy
  • Uneven Merkins L
  • Uneven Merkins R
  • Walking Lunge
  • Heavy LBC
  • CMU Curls
  • Single arm row L
  • Single arm row R
  • Blockees
  • CMU Swings
  • Burpee Jump Overs

Bear crawl with the CMUs to my truck and put it away.  Back to the Devils Tower – and repeat it all again!




Me and 5 of the best men I know


Let’s talk about remembering well

The Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota have a legend…  A group of girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. Trying to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. As they tried to climb the rock, the bears left deep claw marks in the sides.

This story is the fanciful origin of a massive butte that protrudes from the prairie in the Black Hills of Northeastern Wyoming.  Some call it Bear Lodge Butte – but it is better known as the Devils Tower.  This massive rock stands 867 feet from summit to base.  Chaco and Whipper might tell you that it is one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America.  It was on this day 114 years ago – Sept 24, 1906 – that President Teddy Roosevelt named the Devils Tower our nation’s first national monument.

The Word that I want to share this morning is about the importance of personal monuments – relics – souvenirs – mementos.

Seven times in the book of Joshua, the people of Israel erect stone monuments.  They have different occasions each time, but the purpose is always the same.  They build to commemorate God’s faithfulness… or as a witness to the unity that is established with another tribe….or as a reminder to serve the Lord and live in obedience with the Torah…or as a reminder of their potential for unfaithfulness…  The purpose of the monuments is to prompt them to revisit those ideas from time-to-time.  During the building of one of those monuments, Joshua tells the tribesmen that they are doing this; 1) so that you will always have a reminder of what happened here, and 2) so that your children will one day ask about the monument and you’ll have an opportunity to tell them the story and lessons learned here.    

Monuments serve as aides to our memory.  They are tangible connections to something once experienced.  As life happens and memories fade, a monument prompts us to remember what was once so vivid. 

Almost two years ago, I took a weekend away with two good friends.  We stayed in a cabin in the Cherokee National Forest and spent three days engaging each other in very intentional conversations about life, and in prayer.  We took stock of our lives and each felt a strong sense of recommitment to be better fathers, husbands, friends, and followers of Christ.  I will forever look back on that weekend as a pivotal moment in my life.

One afternoon during that weekend, the three of us each decided to have some quiet time.  We sat around the cabin reading and praying, and at one point we each ended up walking alone through the woods.  As I walked and reflected on the changes that I was feeling in myself, I noticed a lone white rock on the ground – it stood out in a surrounding of dried leaves.  I picked up the rock and put it in my pocket to be a reminder of that weekend away and what it meant in my life.  (Interesting sidebar: As I sat down for dinner that evening, I pulled the rock from my pocket and set it on the table.  My two friends stared at me, then at each other – then they both took a white rock from their own pocket and set it on the table.  Unprompted and unbeknownst to the others, we each had picked up the same memento from our walk in the woods).  To this day, this white rock and a photo of my wife are the two things that sit on my bedside table.  The rock serves as a reminder of that time which was so significant in my personal journey.  I can’t tell you how many times it has brought me back to that weekend and reminded me of the change that started there.  Occasionally, my kids have asked me about it, and I have shared the story with them.

Here’s the punchline.  When you have a significant moment in life… a MILESTONE, an AWAKENING, a RECOMMITMENT – I encourage you to commemorate that memory that with a monument.  It could be a rock – or a photo – or a tattoo.  Whatever it is, place it somewhere that you’ll see it often and be reminded of what was once so vivid to you.  Remember and revisit that time, because, “remembering well is as important as doing well” (hat tip, Jonita Mullins).


Good to have new daddy, Mathlete, back out in the gloom.

If your wife snorts at the idea of a tattoo to commemorate your significant moment…tell her that KickFlip put you up to it.


IPC Week 4 available at JUCO tomorrow

Hardship Hill next Sat!

Terror Tabatas

THE SCENE: 60* and rainy, but not a total washout

Quick jog to the bridge at 5:30 to get out of the rain
Squat and reach
Shoulder taps
Tempo merkins 5x each diamond, ranger, wide
This and that
Simple today.  Jog to the amphitheater, hop on stage for tabatas.  Ascending and descending in rounds, 40 seconds of work with 20 second break.  After each exercise is finished with the noted number of rounds, run a stair circuit.  Starting at stage right, run up the stairs and snake down and up until you reach stage left.  Move on to next exercise and increase/decrease the rounds.

  • Burpees – 2 rounds
  • Lunges – 3 rounds
  • Merkins – 4 rounds (can alternate incline/decline/hand release/whatever you want)
  • Flutter kicks – 5 rounds
  • Inverted rows on rails – 6 rounds (sucked)
  • LBCs – 3 rounds
  • Last round we only had three minutes, so we did one round each of squats, 8-count bodybuilders, and finished with jump squats

8 braved the rain: Livestrong, Java, Walrus, Postman, Swanson, Trowel, Magic Mic, Abort
“Open your mouth only if what you’re about to say is more beautiful than the silence.” This was directed internally much more than externally, had a quick listen to the rain and sounds of downtown (mostly nice, also a dumptruck)

Hardship Hill build day this Saturday at Swanson’s house.  OCR the following Saturday, some talk about teams and rucking.

Building good habits

THE SCENE: 62 and cool

5 cherry pickets

7 count man makers
Mosey to of the two Tennis court

  • Tobata workout for 5 rounds with 8 exercises for 40 seconds and 20 seconds of rest
  • V-up
  • Suicides from one side to another
  • Jump Squats
  • Merkins
  • Monkey Humpers
  • LBC’s
  • Pickle pounders
  • ended early for time

Just in time
Habits are good for us! I’ve been on R&R last week with I got a vasectomy,and it feels good to be back. This is a small rock in my life that helps the others rocks line up. Thank you all for being a rock in my life!

Beer night at abridged beer co tonight at 6:30 pm.

Searching for Bilbo

THE SCENE: Beautiful, around 70, low humidity.

Welcome to F3, Fitness, Fellowship and Faith. F3 is a free workout program designed to improve fitness, share some camaraderie, and foster male leadership in the community.  I’m Pele and I will be your Q today.  I am not a professional, and I do not know your fitness level or injury history.  Please push yourself, but modify the workout as necessary to avoid making any existing injuries worse.  The goal is to get better together!  Some additional COVID-19 considerations: keep your distance between you and other members of the PAX and any other folks that we pass during moseys, etc. to 6-10 feet.  We will be splitting up into groups smaller than 10 if necessary.  We need to set good examples and be good neighbors out here at this public park, especially with so many folks out and about.


-20 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Cherry Pickers (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 BAC forward and backward

– Little of this and that

– get in a line, high knees 20 yards, butt kickers 20 yards, Karaoke left 20 yards, Karaoke right 20 yards


Today is September 22, which is Bilbo Baggins’ birthday, also known as HOBBIT’S DAY! But (as you may know from reading or watching the Fellowship of the Ring) at his 111th birthday party, he vanished into thin air! One second he was standing there giving an overblown birthday speech, and then poof! He was gone!  We need to go find him.  Hobbits like being around hills, so we need to search the hills around here to see where he’s gone off to.  Ready??  .

Mosey to shallow amphitheater area. CONES at top and bottom

  • At Top cones do an AROUND THE WORLD (plank position, rotate around 360 degrees to look around) both directions.  Run down and circle bottom cones and go back to top cones.

Mosey to Area 51 Hills. Follow the cones down and read the instructions. COUNT OFF by 2’s.

  • FIRST CONE: No Bilbo. Start the search. 1’s do Jump Squats, 2’s lunge to the right for 20 sec, then back 20 sec, then Reverse.
  • SECOND CONE: No Bilbo. Start the search. 1’s do Iron Mikes, 2’s Bear Crawl 5/ do 5 Reps of CDDs for 20 sec, then back 20 sec, then reverse.
  • THIRD CONE: GOBLINS! We’ve been captured. BATAAN DEATH MARCH back to road and down to Area 51 parking lot. 1’s and 2’s in two lines, last 2 PAX in each line do 5 Prisoner Squats then race to catch up to the front of the line.

PRISONER CAMP (Parking Lot).  After that we are put into Hard Labor, forced to build one of their forts for the upcoming war. 10 Prisoner Get ups, BEAR CRAWL to wall (because we’re being whipped), 10 Prisoner Cell Merkin Burpees (PCMBs), BEAR CRAWL back.  Rinse and repeat, but only 5 reps of the exercise, and El Capitan back and forth instead of bear crawl.  Q’s note: This was harder than it sounded on paper!!

Mosey to TREES to the west.  ELVES appear! A BATTLE ensues!

  • 1s are Elves, 2s are Goblins. Pair off and face each other.  BURPEE BATTLE! Elves are better trained, quicker. They only need to do 8 burpees, the Goblins need to do 10.  Whoever wins each pair wins the battle. If more elves win than goblins, we are free.  Otherwise we continue the death march.  Elves do two more burpees at the end to make it fair.

Mosey to bottom of Everest.  One last big Hill to search…

  • Run up Everest to Base of Summit, using the secondary path by the big cedar tree.
  • Mosey to Roadshow Run stairway. Run up to top.
    • A celebration is in order! 111 SIDE STRADDLE HOPS WITH OVERHEAD CLAPS!

20 Hello Dollies (4-ct, IC)

20 BBS


21 strong, including one FNG, FiliBilly!


Today’s workout had a Lord of the Rings theme, obviously.  LotR is one of my favorite set of books and movies, yes, because of all the magic and dragons, and elves with pointy ears, but also because of some of the wonderful lessons that it contains.

  • Perseverance
  • Hope
  • Fighting for what’s good in the world
  • Resourcefulness

But I want to focus on two lessons in particular.  One is the concept of the FELLOWSHIP itself.  The FELLOWSHIP consisted of Nine individuals who were given an incredibly difficult task.  They were:

  1. A wizard (Gandalf)
  2. A King who was sort of a refugee and had not ascended to his throne. (Aragorn)
  3. An elf prince (Legolas)
  4. A Dwarf (Gimli)
  5. A Human prince (Baromir)
  6. And four hobbits (Frodo, Samwise, Pippen, Merry).

All of the members of this party were battle hardened and powerful representatives of their races.  They also had strong prejudices they had to overcome.  Elves and dwarves were sworn enemies.  The humans were subject to the temptations of the One ring.  No one trusted wizardsHobbits were just small and simple folk that can’t find their butt with two hands and aspire to nothing more than to grow a good pumpkin in their gardens.  And yet these 9 individuals bonded together, died for each other, and even the elf and dwarf became inseparable friends.  It kind of reminds me of our F3 Fellowship.  Heck, fellowship is the second “F” in our name!

The other lesson I wanted to bring up involved who stepped up and carried the Ring, which was an evil artifact that took a physical and mental toll on the bearer.  The Ring bearer was also the instant target of all the Evil minions in the land.  And yet it was not the wizard, the noble elf, the strong dwarf, the human royals that carried the ring.  It was the smallest among them, a simple hobbit who had never left his home that volunteered to carry the burden.  As the Elf Queen Galadriel tells Frodo, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”  Sometimes today’s problems seem insurmountable.  No matter how helpless or insignificant you feel in such a troubled world, take comfort in the fact that God has a plan and purpose for your life, and all people, large or small, can be used for His Glory.

Prayers of thanks for the successful surgery on Jinxy’s wife, and that our brother Pinto is gaining strength in his battle with multiple myeloma. Welcome to FNG Filibilly!
2nd F opportunity at Abridged Wed 9/23 7 pm!

A Time for Everything

THE SCENE: 50 and gloomy – Perfect 1st day of the autumn!
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER: All the good stuff…

Projectivator (Project Special) 5X, SSH IC 9x, imperial squawkers IC 9X, tempo merkins IC 9X, mountain climbers 9X
THA-THANG: Little Bit of Everything…

@ Senior Ctr Back Wall: 22: 3-5 Handstand push-ups or as many as you want/remainder 15-17 plank jacks (4-ct)
@ Pool Wall: 9 Wall-ups
@ Parallel Bars: 11 Dips/11 Lunges
@ Friendship Bell: 9s Box jumps/BBS
@ K2-5: 3 burpees at bottom, 3 sprints (regular, Bernie, bear crawl or regular), 3 burpees at top
Lap around the ORAU Pond
Bear Crawl across bridge
@ Friendship Bell: 22 Monkey humpers (4ct)
@ Shovel Flag: 22 Pickle pounders (4ct)

Pax choice for Mary (22 of everything): Hello Dolly, Starfish (1-ct), Side crunches (11 on 1 side+11 on the other), Freddy Mercury, LBC, Leg lift (22 sec), and a couple others I’m forgetting…

Use the TAGS on right-side to record PAX (BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOURSELF) in attendance. Be sure to select the AO in CATEGORY above TAGS and then delete these notes!
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM: “A Time for Everything”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Today is the 1st day of autumn in the longest, most challenging year yet. What time is it for you? What does this new season mean? What do you need to start? What do you need to stop?


Hardship Hill