F3 Knoxville

The Man in the Middle

THE SCENE: Cool. low 40s, cloudy

-20 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), IC

– 10 Cherry Pickers (4-ct), IC

– 10 Windmills (4-ct), IC

– 20 Tempo Squats (4-ct) IC

– 10 Rockettes (4-ct) IC


MOSEY to pavilion by northern ballfields:

  • AIKEN LEGS! 20 Squats, 20 Box Jumps, 20 Lunges (10 each leg), 20 Split Jacks (10 each leg forward)

MOSEY to Big loop parking lot south of ballfields:

  • Catch Me If You Can!
    • Partner #1 Bernie Sanders, Partner #2 does 5 of the exercise then sprints to catch Partner #1. When he does, they reverse rolls.  We will run around the parking lot 4 times doing the following exercises:
  1. 5 American Hammers (2-ct)
  2. 5 Burpees
  3. 5 Gas pumps
  4. 5 Bobby Hurleys

MOSEY to where the path intersects the perimeter trail.

  • 20 American Hammers 4-ct, IC

MOSEY to base of Cardiac:

  • Cardiac 25’s:
    • Run to first turn and back. At bottom do 5/20, 10/15, 15/10, 20/5 of:
      • Mountain climber (2-ct) and LBCs

MOSEY to top of the hill by benches.

    • 20 American Hammers 4-ct, IC

MOSEY to parking lot across from AO

  • Need to get warmed up for Valentine’s day, so… BUCK 25’s!
    • Start at the X.  Karaoke to curb to the left. 10 Pickle Pounders/10 Pickle Pointers
    • Run back to X, Karaoke to right curb. 10 Pickle Pounders/10 Pickle Pointers
    • Run back to X, Bernie Sanders backwards to the curb. 5 Pickle Pounders/5 Pickle Pointers
    • Sprint forward to far curb. 100 Side Straddle Hops (single count). Yell out victoriously and with passion:  “BUCK 25!!”

1.5 minutes of heart-shaped leg lifts.
14 strong

The Man in the Middle

During the last workout, Lillydipper and Steam were co-Qs, and gave their perspectives of F3 coming from a guy in his 20s, who was just starting out on his post-college life and correcting the course a little bit from some challenging times, and a guy in his 60s who has found renewed vigor in the workouts and benefits of male companionship.  So I thought I’d add to that and share a bit about what F3 has meant to me, a guy of 47 years, whose age is about in the middle of those two HIMs.

My first F3 workout was in late January, 2018, but F3 for me actually started January 1, 2017.  I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions, but I always start the New Year off with prayer and meditation about what I would like to get better at or improve in my life in the coming year.  That year, I identified two things that were of importance to me: 1) achieve a higher level of physical fitness, and 2) develop a closer and more meaningful relationship with God.

I felt #1 was necessary because I was at that age when some of your physical abilities start to wane.  Hey, it happens.  The sports that had always provided me with such joy and pride, as well as being an outlet for my competitive nature and keeping me fit, were becoming more and more frustrating for me, and injuries were becoming more common; thus, I stopped participating in them as much as I used to.  Consequently, my fitness and strength started to diminish.  I freaking HATE running (unless it’s up and down a basketball court, soccer field, etc.), and although I went to the gym somewhat regularly, I no longer had that avenue for fitness that playing sports 4-5 days a week had provided.

#2 was important to me because I just felt that I didn’t have as intimate a relationship with God as I would like.  I had grown up in a wonderful church, and I enjoyed attending either my home church or my brother’s church up in Chicago when I visited, but I hadn’t landed in a church here.  I had visited or checked out a few with friends who had invited me to service at their places of worship, but none of them felt like the right match.  As a single guy, and a bit of an introvert, I found it awkward to seek out more options on my own, so I had sensed my bond with God becoming a little weaker than I would like, and I resolved to actively seek out ways to strengthen that bond.

Later that same year, I met Lillydipper at a party hosted by a mutual friend.  We started talking, found we had many shared interests, and we struck up a friendship.  He invited me to the Polar Bear Plunge Jan 1, 2018.  There I met Abscess and Jinxy.  They gave me the ol’ EH, and after making excuses a few times, I finally showed up to F3 a few weeks later.  I thought I was going to be a one and done.  I hated it.  I was embarrassed by how slow I was (I was frantically searching for escape routes shortly after just doing the WARMUP left me breathless), the lactic acid or something made me nauseous for days (I remember the guys went out for a beer and some food afterwards… I could barely walk into the restaurant, let alone summon the strength to do more than sip pitifully on my water bottle), it was miserable, dark, and cold during the workout, I hardly knew any of the guys… I clearly remember thinking, just get through this stupid thing without throwing up, and you will never have to do it again. Check. Done.  Soyonara.  Tried it.  It sucked.  Later guys.  Thanks but no thanks.

And yet… and yet…!!

Once the pain and embarrassment faded, I was able to see that F3 offered a unique answer to my prayers. Here was an avenue to better physical Fitness for sure, and the BOM at the end really struck a chord of Faith.  How could I turn my back on this gift, this opportunity?  How could I quit??  I stuck with it, and grew both physically and spiritually.  I started reading backblasts, especially the Word at the end.  Someone once mentioned to me that sometimes they get more out of the BOM than sitting in a pew at church, and I couldn’t agree more.  I love bonding and learning from guys out here who are more conversant with the Bible than I am, or hearing the non-religious messages about improvement and leadership, or just being a good person.  What I DIDN’T pray for back on that New Year’s Day, or count on with my involvement with F3, is the Fellowship.  I had had a pretty good group of friends before, but I was caught by surprise at how strong the bonds of friendship are between the brothers that meet together for F3 workouts.  There is a unique and unexpected melding of spirits that occurs when you lock shields to get through brutally challenging physical hardship together through cooperation and encouragement of your fellow brother.  Through F3, I’ve met men who I not only enjoy having a beer with, but respect immensely and seek to emulate.  I didn’t realize I was missing that in my life.  And so F3 has literally been an answer to my prayers– both spoken aloud, and in my heart but not on my lips– from that day on January 1, 2017.  I am very grateful to the men of F3, and proud of the friendship, commitment to service, philanthropy, and open and accepting community that it provides.  I am especially grateful to, and humbled by, the men of the Fake Gloom, who I have the privilege to call brothers and friends.  I look forward to the challenges, rewards, and shared times that lie ahead.  Let’s GO!!


Continuing prayers for Pinto, who is battling a severe illness, and for Thunderstruck and his family.  Prayers for Switchgrass, who is dealing with issues at his work.

Young and Old

THE SCENE:  Cloudy, temps in low 50s.  This was actually a Co-Q by Steam and Lillydipper.

Steam got us warmed up with some 2fers for Tuesday.  We did 11 of each of the following but doubled it up with another 11:

  • Side Straddle Hops
  • Monkey Humpers
  • Merkins
  • Combo Rockettes/Windmills

Steam continued with the following:  Mosey to AO pile.  Men split into teams of two each.  Partner 1 does squat while Partner 2 does 11 repetitions of exercise with CMU.  Then Partner 2 does squat while Partner 1 does repetitions.  Then the team sprints to the other side of the parking lot to do 11 repetitions (twice for 2fer Tuesday) of an exercise without CMUs.  The team will sprint back and forth across the parking lot to do the listed exercises.

With CMUs:

  • Overhead Presses
  • Rows
  • Burpees but pushing up on CMU
  • Pulls up to Chin
  • Incline Merkins on CMU

Without CMUs

  • Star Jumps
  • Merkins
  • Squats
  • Side Straddle Hops

Next, we will do Indian Walk across parking lot where man up front carries CMU, places it on ground after ten paces and walks to back of line.  After reaching each side of parking lot we will do 2fers of the following exercises:

  • 11 Smurf Jacks
  • 11 Side Straddle Hops
  • 11 Merkins
  • 11 Big Boy Situps

Next we will Grapevine Right to one side of parking lot and Grapevine Left back

Next we will Bernie Sanders to one side of parking lot and Bernie back.  Then, put CMUs back.

Next, Lillydipper moved us on with the following:  Mosey out of parking lot and onto roadway, going past the parking lot with the nice restrooms.  Turn right on the sidewalk and stay on sidewalk as it goes between the restrooms and parking lot.  Stop by light on sidewalk that is north of the parking lot.  We will do Route Sixty-Six up the Dragon Tail.  We will do this twice using the following exercises:

  • Smurf Jacks
  • Dive Bombers

Starting at the same point where we started Route 66, we will go up the Dragon Tail again but stop at each light and do 5 Hand Release Merkins and 10 Big Boy Sit-ups.  We will do this for six lights.

Mosey back to AO.  We will, next, sprint around the parking lot one time and Bernie Sanders around the parking lot one time.

9 men, no FNGs.
Steam:  It is an honor, as a man in his twenties, to be a part of a group of men where most are older than I.  There have been times when I surely haven’t had my life together and I have been able to look to these older warriors for leadership and guidance.  It is nice to know that I can seek them out and it also a great thing to be able to look up to them as role models.

Lillydipper: It is an honor for me to lock shields with the type of young men we have in F3.  The zest and enthusiasm of these younger HIMs inspires me.  I know the world is going to be ok when I see leaders like these grabbing the steering wheel.  To have their respect amazes me.  And to know that they will circle back to pick me up leads me to respect them the more.
Prayers for Thunderstruck’s mother and Pinto, who are battling cancer.  Prayers for Abscess, Pele and Fob who are overcoming injuries.  Praise to Iceman’s brother and sister-in-law who recently had a baby.

God In All Things

THE SCENE: Cloudy after rain showers, temps in upper 50s

20 Side-Straddle Hops, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Cherry Pickers.  Leg Stretch Right and Left.  10 Michael Phelps.


Mosey to Parking Lot that is south of the northern ball fields.  There will be 8 cones set up around the parking lot.  We will take two trips around the parking lot.  Exercises will be listed and the method of getting to the next cone will also be listed.  The following are the exercises and means by which to get to the next cone.

  • Cone 1:  1. 10 Burpees.  2.  10 Shoulder Taps.  Sprint to next Cone 2.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Merkins.  2.  20 Carolina Dry Docks.  Bernie Sanders to Cone 3.
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Smurf Jacks.  2.  20 Star Jumps.  Grapevine Right to Cone 4.
  • Cone 4.  1. 20 Plank Jacks.  2. 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  Bear Crawl to Cone 5
  • Cone 5.  1. 20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  2. 40 Baby Crunches.  Sprint to Cone 6.
  • Cone 6.  1. 20 Squat Jumps.  2. 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1). Bernie Sanders to Cone 7.
  • Cone 7.  1. 20 Hello Dollies (four count).  2. 20 Flutter Kicks (four count).  Grapevine Left to Cone 8
  • Cone 8.  1. 20 Imperial Walkers (both legs = 1).  2.  20 Squats.  Lunge to Cone 1.

Mosey to Pavilion.  We will do 20 Picnic Table Pull-ups, 20 Decline Merkins and 20 Bench Dips.  Then we will do 15 of each, then 10 of each and end with 5 of each.

Mosey to CMU pile.  We will mosey with CMU above head to one corner of parking lot.  After placing CMU down, we will run a lap around the parking lot.  We will then do 15 Overhead Presses with the CMUs.  Next, we mosey with CMU over head to second corner.  We put CMUs down and run another lap around parking lot.  We will then do 15 Curls with CMUs.  We will repeat the above pattern to 3rd and 4th corner, doing 15 Rows at Corner 3 and 15 Squats with CMUs at chest at Corner 4.   We will then put CMUs back.

Mosey to AO.

In plank position we will do reach each hand and each leg up to sky.
Ten men, no FNGs.

Colossians 1:16-17 ESV 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Job 12:10 ESV 

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

What a world God has given us.  He is the creator of all things and he is in all things.  All things are a manifestation of Him.  Sometimes we may feel distant from God.  He is up in heaven, over there, away, too big, too distant.  We feel as if He is not close and does not hear us.  At such times, remember that God is in all things.  Many of us go into the mountains to get closer to God.  There we can better see the heavens and feel his majesty.  But remember that God is in everything.  You can pick up a leaf and look at it closely.  Notice the veins in the leaf, the multi colors, the structure that is similar to other leaves that have fallen from the same tree – yet the leaf is unique.  And, it come from our creator.  Every little cell in that leaf comes from the Maker.  God is in that leaf.  The bugs that have nibbled on the leaf are also from God and are a manifestation of His creation.  Look closely and see God.  Know that His hand is in it.  Look at a stranger.  God created that person.  God is manifested in that person because that human is a part of God’s creation.  Every hair on that stranger’s head come from the Creator.

Christ wants us to see God in all things.  The next time God seems distant to you, just look at a leaf, a piece of grass, pick up a rock.  All of them are from God and God works in each and everything on earth. Our Creator is also in You.  Look close by, look within and see God.

Prayers for our brother, Pinto, and the Gentry and Buchanan families.
Ski trip for some of the F3 guys this weekend.

PM Asylum — Surprise Birthday Q

THE SCENE: Perfect for a beatdown.  50 Degrees


47 4cnt SSH,  Cherry Pickers, Arm Circles, Seal Claps

Baseline:  Apolo OhNo’s, Snowboarders, Rocky Balboa’s, Karaoke, Skips, Bear Crawls

Battle Buddy Up, Slingshot up Cardiac.  1 partner does 100 yard dash, while other does Blockees.  Then, slingshot back.

Mosey to the do Pyramid Scheme

Battle Buddy, run opposite laps, and do exercises when you meet :  Merkins, Squats, Burpees, LBC’s

Freddie Mercury’s, Superman’s, Planks

Surprise 47 Birthday Q.  Read a study last week that figured out statistically 47 was the most unhappy year of someone’s life in the developed world.  You are most happy at 18.  The good news is that it is a Bell Curve and when you hit 67 you are once again as happy as you were at 18 years old.  I for one am going to give a middle finger to this idea and encourage all to make right now the best year of your life.  Love your kids more, Love your spouse more, Find Someone without friends and Love on them.  I have never heard of someone on their deathbed saying I should have loved less or volunteered less.  We all know that makes our heart full so encourage you to start now.
Prayers for Pinto and his continued Fight.  Prayers for Tony Williams and his family who passed away last week.

Filling the void

THE SCENE: Partly cloudy skies, temp about 31 degrees.

Quick run around parking lot, 20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Windmills, Little of This and That, Michael Phelps.

Mosey to parking lot across the street that is by the entrance way to the Northern Ball Fields.  We will going around the parking lot four times, doing one per lap, the exercises listed in each corner.  In moving around the parking lot we will go from one corner to the next as directed by the sign.

  • Corner 1:  20 Hello Dollies, 20 Flutter Kicks, 20 Bicycle Kicks, 20 Box Cutters (four count each exercise).  Sprint to Corner 2.
  • Corner 2:  20 Squat Jumps, 20 Star Jumps, 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1), 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  Lunge to Corner 3.
  • Corner 3:  With CMUs – 25 Overhead Presses, 25 Curls, 25 Rows, 25 Squats.  Bernie Sanders to Corner 4.
  • Corner 4:  20 Merkins, 20 Bottle Openers (both hands = 1), 20 Carolina Dry Docks, 20 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1).  Hop to Corner 1.

Mosey to Flag Pole at Entrance Way to Northern Ball Fields.  We will run to following areas and do the following exercises:

  • Flag Pole:  20 American Hammers (4 count)
  • Benches at playground:  20 Bench Jumps
  • Dug out at ball field:  20 Seconds of Pull ups
  • Pavilion:  20 picnic table pull ups.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Mosey past batting cages to beginning of Cardiac.  We will go up Cardiac doing the following exercises at each of the following areas:

  • Curve 1:  10 Hand Release Merkins
  • Curve 2: 20 Dive Bombers
  • Curve 3:  20 Decline Merkins
  • Benches:  20 Bench Dips

Mosey back to AO.


Twelve men, no FNGs.

God created us in His image.  He also created us for relationship with Him.  If we are without God, there is a void within us.  We as humans try to fill that void with other things besides God:  riches, power, success, or finding that perfect person who can take care of our needs.  But those things don’t work.  Only God can fill the void.

I used a song by John Mellancamp in a former message I gave and I want to use it again.  It describes the narrator’s attempt to fill the “void in his heart” with things that just don’t work.  He claims, “I did everything like they said so that I could find happiness.”  The problem is that he “is running from eternity” and trying to fill the void with worldly versus Godly things.  Toward the end of the song, the narrator, frustrated and questioning why the void in his heart remains, exclaims “Hey, Lord, well you made me like I am.”  In other words, if you made me like I am why does this void remain?  The narrator is correct about the Lord making him like he is.  The Lord made each of us with a “void in our heart”.  And, He can heal the “restlessness” that the narrator suffers with.  We will all be unsatisfied until we fill the void with God.  We must look to God, fill our lives with what He gives us, to fill the void.  Listen to God.  What does God want for you?  What is He telling you.  What direction does He want you to go in with your life?  Focus on Him, read about Him, take His message in – there you will find the true stuff that fills the void in your heart.

John Cougar Mellencamp Lyrics
“Void In My Heart”
There’s a void in my heart
I can’t seem to fill.
Been a parent, had three children
And a big house on the hill.
Hundred dollar in my pocket
And it didn’t buy a thing.
Now there’s a void in my heart
And a hole in my dreams.
Well I poured miles of concrete
And strung wire for telephones,
Dug ditches when I was a young boy
When I first left my parents’ home.
Sang my songs for millions of people,
Sang good and bad news,
Now there’s a void in my heart
And a fire at my fuse.
Well I did everything just like they said
So I could find happiness.
Went to school and got a college degree
And at my job I did my best.
As I sit here alone tonight
I see a billion just like me
With a void in their hearts and running from eternity.
There’s a void in my heart I can’t seem to fill.
I do charity work when I believe in the cause
But in my soul it bothers me still.
Hey, Lord, well you made me like I am.
Can You heal this restlessness?
Will there be a void in my heart
When they carry me out to rest?

God, my prayer to you is that each of us will see the voids in our heart and turn to you to fill them.  If we seek you, we will find the strength, comfort and love that can fill the void.

Prayers for our brother, Pinto, who finished a recent bout of radiation treatment for cancer and will be also getting stem cell treatment along with chemotherapy.
We will be launching in Morristown on April 4.  We have received enough donations for the pull up bars and will be putting them up in the future.