F3 Knoxville

Necessary Falling

THE SCENE: Cloudy, low 80s

This a Week 3 of the Iron Pax Challenge so we will stretch for one minute then get straight to the work out
We will do the following exercises for Week 3 of the Iron Pax Challenge for 43 minutes.  After 43 minutes, each man will see how many reps he did of the exercises.  Each man will rinse and repeat after he goes through the round of exercises until the 43 minutes are over.  Here are the exercises:

  • 10 Pull-Ups
  • 15 Cross-Over Burpees
  • 20 Coupon Curls
  • 25 Coupon Squat Thrusters
  • 30 Gas Pumps (reverse crunches)

Five men, no FNGs.
Have you ever watched infants trying to walk?  They pull themselves up via a nearby item or a parental hand.  They take a step and . . . fall. They try it again, wobble and . . . fall.  The falling doesn’t deter them.  They keep after it, fall after fall.  Infants learn to walk by learning to fall.  

My son, Puddle (Bennett Neece) loves to ski as do I.  I observed him the first day he learned to ski.  I didn’t give the lesson . . . he was involved with other Boy Scouts in a group lesson.  I skied for a while and came back to observe him later.  He was covered in snow but going for it down the mountain, speeding along, trying to make a turn and falling like a madman, ski poles flying, skis going in opposite directions.  He laughed, tromped through the snow, got the gear back, put his skis on and went right back at it down the mountain.  I knew after that day that he was going to be a good skier.  Why?  He was willing to fall.  Others in his group were much more tentative.  Bennett didn’t mind falling.  And because he didn’t mind falling, he learned rapidly.  Good skiers learn to ski by learning to fall.

You have figured out where this message is going.  In any important endeavor we take on in life, we learn to succeed by learning to fall.  Screwing up at the task is not a failure.  It is simply a necessary fall that we must be willing to learn from.  We don’t learn well by winning all the time.

Movement, growth and success involve falling.  This is true in everything.  And, it involves the willingness to risk falling.  If you want to move up the ladder vocationally, it involves the risk of messing up on more difficult tasks. If you want to date that beautiful girl, it involves the risk of being rejected.  If you want an audience to hear your message, it involves the risk of embarrassment when you speak.  If you want to sell a product it involves the risk of being hung up or having the door slammed in your face.

God knows that we must fall.  Ironically, we become stronger spiritually through falling.  The falling brings us closer to Him for we yearn for his help when we fall.  We also learn more about ourselves when we fall.  And, we relate more to people, understanding them better when they fall.  Blessed our those who mourn.  And blessed our those who get back up, shake themselves off, and try it all over again.

Prayers for Thunderstruck’s mother, father and grandfather.  Prayers for the mother of Squirtle’s coworker.

Serenity Now!

THE SCENE: Low 90s… again…

F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER  Check!  Still not a professional.  Shame spiral…


– 25 SSH (4ct, IC), 20 Moroccan Nightclubs (4 ct, IC), 15 Windmills (4 ct, IC), 10 Imperial Squats (4 ct, IC), 5 PCMBs (12ct, OYO)


  • Mosey down Roadshow Run to close to the base of Everest, in a shady spot. EVEREST PYRAMID :
    • Do the exercise, then run 1/3 way up Everest 5 times. Exercises will be the following (all single count)
      • 20 Iron Mikes
      • 20 Iron Mikes, 20 Mountain Climbers
      • 20 Iron Mikes, 20 Mountain Climbers, 20 Merkins
      • 20 Mountain Climbers, 20 Merkins
      • 20 Merkins
  • MOSEY to Intersection of Trail and perimeter road (all 4-ct, IC).
    • 20 American Hammers
    • 20 Flutter Kicks
    • 20 Bicycle Kicks
  • MOSEY to stop sign at northeast corner of Admin building drive.
    • 20 American Hammers
    • 20 Flutter Kicks
    • 20 Bicycle Kicks
  • DORAS: Partner 1 Bernie Sanders to end of Guard Rail, then runs to tree, 3 Burpees for extra credit, then runs back. Partner does the following:
    • 100 Big Boy sit-ups
    • 100 Bobby Hurleys
    • 100 Merkins

No time.
8 Strong.

Ronald Niebuhr: Niebuhr was one of America’s leading public intellectuals for several decades of the 20th century and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. Graduated from Elmhurst College, which was in the town I grew up in in Illinois and where my dad taught for 35 years.  He was a public theologian; he wrote and spoke frequently about the intersection of religion, politics, and public policy.  He was also one of the founders of the theory of Christian realism, which had three biblical presumptions: 1) the sinfulness of humanity, 2) the freedom of humanity, and 3) the validity and seriousness of the Great Commandment, which was a combination of two Bible verses that expressed the requirements to Love Thy Lord With All Thy Heart, AND, Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself. These form the core of the Christian lifestyle.  He also believed in the importance of balance of power and political responsibility.

Niebuhr believed that the perfection of the Kingdom of God cannot be realized on earth because of a corrupt society and the innate sins of man. Human perfectibility is an illusion. How can there be heaven on earth when there is so much corruption, poverty, etc.?  This was not a man who wore rose tinted glasses.  He saw the flaws and sins of humans both politically and in society, and he realized that although we should always do our best to contribute to solutions, that the imperfections of humanity would never allow paradise during our mortal lives. He is credited with writing the Serenity Prayer, which has always connected with me.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Prayers for several PAX and their family members who are going through challenging times.

Better Than Money

THE SCENE: Almost 80 and humid.

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Lunges each leg, 10 Windmills, 8 Cherry Pickers, 7 Forward Baby Arm Circles, 5 Forward Wide Arm Circles, 7 Backward Baby Arm Circles, 5 Backward Wide Arm Circles
Mosey to driveway that goes to northeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  We will divide into teams of two men each to do Doras.  While one partner runs to end of driveway, does ten merkins, and runs back the other partner will be doing the exercises.  Then partners switch places. The exercises will be done with a set of bricks that will be available.  These are the exercises the partners will do as a team:

  • 100 Overhead Presses
  • 100 Curls
  • 100 Tricepts
  • 100 Rows with bricks at sides
  • 100 Punches where both hands = 1
  • 1000 Upward Wings
  • 100 Downward Wings
  • 100 Outward Wings

Mosey to grass area that is marked with lines at ball field closest to flag.  20 Hello Dollies.  We will then do sprints from one sideline to other on marked field.  We will do six sprints.  Then 20 more Hello Dollies.  Then six more sprints.  Then football toss where each man must do an out and each man must throw a pass.  Any missed balls or bad tosses equating to a missed ball equals two burpees for the entire squad.  All men not throwing or passing will do Big Boy Sit-ups.

Mosey to Pavilion that is close to flag.  We will do 30’s starting with 5 bench dips and 25 picnic table pull-ups, then going up and down in increments of five until we end up with 25 bench dips and 5 picnic table pull-ups.

Mosey to bottom of mini cardiac hill.  Sprint up cardiac to AO.

25 Box Cutters.  10 Shoulder Taps, each shoulder.
11 men with two FNGs:  Pigsticker (Mark McKeen) and Party Pooper (Shaun Wynne)

Loving Us Back

Let’s face it, commercials work because we love the products that commercials sell.  We love nice things and we love entertainment.  One thing those of us in modern society love is technology.  We spend a significant amount of time on our cell phones.  We love our computers and our Flat Screen Televisions.  We often ignore other things around us because we are so consumed.  I remember a television commercial where a family was in a majestic nature spot – I think it may have been the Grand Canyon.  The family notices a large TV screen on a cliff overlooking the majestic canyon.  The TV screen the family sees is showing the same scene that they can observe via the view of the canyon.  They are fascinated with the TV shot and look at the TV rather than the natural view.  The idea of the commercial was to show how amazing the particular company’s television was, that it could create a picture so much like the real thing.  But, I couldn’t help but laugh at the social commentary that the commercial makers probably didn’t mean to imply.  Here was a family in the middle of the Grand Canyon and they would rather look at the TV screen than the real thing!

We are also consumed with entertainment.  People spend thousands of dollars to take their families to Disney each year.  Ocean liners offer the best of vacation cruises.  Hotels offer us all the luxuries money can buy.

And, speaking of money, we are consumed with that.  Money Magazine annually ranks the best places to live for your dollar in the United States.  We push on in our careers hoping for greater salaries so that we can buy bigger houses and get more “things.”  A favorite past-time of many is to go to malls to buy “things” or go online to buy “things.”

I am certainly guilty.  I find myself looking at homes in neighborhoods more costly than I can afford, wishing I could live in THAT house.  I was making fun of the TV Commercial of the nature scene above.  I may not be consumed with televisions but I am consumed with Nature Gear.  I love looking at camping gear, dreaming of getting a newer tent, the greatest pair of hiking boots, the most comfortable sleeping bag.

We love technology, products, entertainment and money.  The problem is that these things don’t love us back.  They are what they are and they can be nice and great to have.  But do these things build us up?  Can we talk to them to obtain better understanding?  Do they form relationships with us?  Do they have our back in times of trouble?  Do they lead us to be better men?  Do our products and money love us?

We need to invest in relationships, men.   People love us back.  And when we give our time to others, we get rewards back that fill us up in ways that products cannot.  Our relationship with God is the most important.  Thanks you, Lord, that you love us back.

I am thankful that I have friends like those of you in F3.  I have brothers that love me back.  I have brothers that share something that is more than words can describe.  I have relationships with men that have my six.  That raise me to a higher standard.  That push me to be the best that I can be.  That lead me to more than money can buy.  That bring me closer to the Glory of God.

And another thing – what we have in F3 doesn’t cost money.  It is Free 99!!

Prayers for Junk’s wife, for Pinto and Mr. Jinxy’s health, for Mayberry, and for Mr. Rogers and his family.

Coffeeteria at Panera with Pluto who joined us for the BOM.

Iron Pax Scorcher

THE SCENE: Sunny, temp in upper 90’s

Mosey to parking lot south of northern ball fields.

Week 2 of Iron Pax Challenge

Four men, no FNG’s.

No time for word as we all were still doing the Iron Pax after the 45 minutes.


Supporting Our Bros

THE SCENE: Sunny and hot, temps in low 90’s.

20 Side-Straddle Hops, 10 Plank Position Sky Reaches, 10 Rockettes, 10 Baby to Wide Arm Circles Forward, 10 Baby to Wide Arm Circles Backward, 10 Cherry Pickers.


Mosey to Stop Sign at Southeast Corner of Admin Bldg.  Go to road and down hill on east side of road.  We will do elevens starting with 1 Big Boy Sit-up on bottom of hill and 10 Squat Jumps on top.

Mosey to grassy area across street from water plant bldg.  There will be four cones set up.  We will do the following exercises at each cone in sequence and move between cones as listed:

  • Cone 1:  1.  20 Smurf Jacks.  2.  20 Plank Jacks  3.  20 Sky Jacks (Bernie Sanders to Cone 2)
  • Cone 2:  1.  20 Hand Release Merkins.  2. 20 Carolina Dry Docks.  3. 20 Diamond Merkins.  (Bear Crawl to Cone 3)
  • Cone 3:  1.  20 American Hammers 4 count.  2.  20 Hello Dollies 4 Count.  3. 20 Flutter Kicks 4 Count.  (Sprint to Cone 4)
  • Cone 4:  1. 10 Shoulder Taps each shoulder.  2.  10 Mountain Climbers 4 count.  3. 10 Iron Mikes 4 count  (Bear Crawl to Cone 1)

Mosey to Area 51.  We will run up hill, stopping to do 5 Burpees at each of four landmarks, the last being the tree by the road that goes back to the Admin Bldg. Parking Lot.  We will then do 20 Bicycle Kicks at the top of the road.

Mosey to Bat House.  We will go down stairs and do 15 Baby Crunches at bottom of stairs.  We then run to piney area near top of Mt. Everest and do 15 more Baby Crunches.  We then run up to the Summit of Mt. Everest and do 15 more Baby Crunches.  Finally, we run back to Bat House and do 15 Baby Crunches.

Mosey to AO.


20 Right side crunches and 20 Left side crunches

Nine men, no FNG’s.
A friend of mine who lives near Chattanooga sent me an awesome article from the Labor Day edition of the Times Free Press of Chattanooga.  The article talked about our F3 brothers in that community.  The link to the article is attached below.  The article meant a great deal to me for several reasons:

  • Us Knoxville guys helped start the first AO in Chattanooga.
  • Our brothers are doing great things in that community.  They now have eight workout groups there.
  • The article discusses how across the United States feelings of social isolation and loneliness are increasing according to the American Psychological Association.
  • The article discussed how one study, published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science found social isolation to have the same risk factors for death as obesity.
  • The article talks about how F3 helps men to be more fit but also breaks up the patterns among men of isolation and loneliness.
  • The article talks about how the Faith component of F3 gets men to think about things greater than the individual and think of ways to improve the community.

Here it the link to the article:  https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2019/sep/02/inside-mens-groabout-more-just-exercise/502599/.

Prayers for Jinxy who has been found to have some matter around his heart, for Simba’s wife who has heart surgery tomorrow, and for Mr. Roger’s and his family who lost their son, Garrett.
Funeral for Garrett this Sunday.