F3 Knoxville

ShamPain Toast at the Asylum

THE SCENE: Mid to upper 50s, sunny, beautiful

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

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

– 20 Imperial Walkers (4-ct), in Cadence

– Bolt 45s


MOSEY to open, low-lying field near north entrance.

SHAMROCK of PAIN!! FOUR (THREE) CORNERS : There will be three sets of cones set up in diamond formations, somewhat reminiscent of a shamrock…  Hmm.  Imagine that.

We will split up and move through the Shamrock of Pain and do the exercises on each cone. Rinse and repeat each leaf.  We did 1/2 the number of reps about 3/4 of the way through to save time.

First “leaf” (Bear Crawl between posts)

    • 10 Burpees
    • 20 Merkins,
    • 20 Carolina Dry Docks

Second “leaf” (Hop between posts)

  • 20 Big Boy Situps
  • 20 American Hammers (4-ct)
  • 20 Hello dollies (4-ct)

Third “leaf” (Lunge between posts)

    • 20 Smurf Jacks
    • 20 Iron Mikes (each pair of legs = 1)
    • 20 Tempo Squats

MOSEY along path adjacent to Northshore to EVEREST

    1. Run 3/4 way up Everest to big tree, at the bottom do the following:
      • 10 Tempo Squats
      • 10 Tempo Squats, 10 Mountain Climbers (each pair of legs = 1)
      • 10 Tempo Squats, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Diamond Merkins
      • 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Diamond Merkins.
      • 10 Diamond Merkins

Go over Everest and Mosey to AO


  • Flutter kicks
  • Boat/canoe
  • Ring of Fire Merkins (had to stop after 4 reps because we were out of time)

11 Men, including one FNG, Shane (forgot his last name, sorry!) who we named Shakespeare.


Leadership Shamrock .  I read an article in the Harvard Business Review recently about Leadership.  Creating Trust is a critical component of being a leader. The level of trust is the #1 factor for how people rate the effectiveness of a leader.  How can you follow or take direction from someone you can’t trust?  A huge study was performed that looked at data from 360 assessments of 87,000 leaders. The objective was to identify “clusters” of traits that are most often the foundation of trust.  The researchers performed correlations and factor analysis statistical tests on the data to “group” the characteristics that most strongly influence the level of trust in a leader.  There were three primary factors (kind of a “Leadership Shamrock” that can be used to reinforce trust principles similar to how St. Patrick used the shamrock to describe the Holy Trinity) that were commonly grouped as most important for engendering trust among others.

  • Stays in touch on the issues and concerns of others.
  • Balances results with concern for others.
  • Generates cooperation between others.
  • Resolves conflict with others.
  • Gives honest feedback in a helpful way.
  1. GOOD JUDGMENT/EXPERTISE (how well informed and knowledgeable you are)
  • They use good judgement when making decisions.
  • Others trust their ideas and opinions.
  • Others seek after their opinions.
  • Their knowledge and expertise make an important contribution to achieving results.
  • Can anticipate and respond quickly to problems.
  1. CONSISTENCY (do they walk their talk and do what they say they will do)
  • Are a role model and set a good example.
  • Honor commitments and keep promises.
  • Follow through on commitments.
  • Are willing to go above and beyond what needs to be done.

Additional take-home messages of the study:

  • You don’t have to be outstanding at all these to be an effective leader, just strong/above average. Being below average in any can destroy trust.
  • RELATIONSHIPS the most important of the three.  Perhaps people understand that leaders can’t know EVERYTHING, and that some inconsistency is to be expected.  But once Positive Relationships are damaged, every other aspect of trust suffers.
  • Think about which of these three you are weakest at, and then work to improve that area.

Prayers for Pusher’s mother, who is very ill.

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Honor Over Status

THE SCENE: Clear, temps in 30’s.

20 Side-straddle Hops, 10 Rockettes, Right and Left Leg Stretch, 10 Windmills, 7 Baby Arm Circles forward and backward, 7 Wide Arm Circles forward and backward
Mosey to sidewalk trail that leads off of northernmost parking lot.  We will do 14’s all the way to where the trail intersects with the entry road near the northern gate of the park.  For the 14’s we will bear crawl on light, run four lights, then lunge one light and run four lights the entire trail to the roadway.

We will next do 20 Hello Dollies as a group.

Go across street and we will start Nickel, Dime Quarters on the trail, going past Mt. Everest and until the trail hits the road going out the western gate of the park.  For the Nickel, Dime, Quarters we run one light and stop to do 5 of an exercise.  We next run two lights and stop to do ten of the exercise.  We then run five lights and stop to do 25 of the exercise.  We repeat the pattern with the other listed exercises.  The exercises are as follows:

  • Squat jumps
  • Merkins
  • Big Boy Sit-ups

Mosey up roadway from west entrance, heading east.  Stop by hill near stop sign.  We will do sevens from the bottom of the hill up.  We will start with one Shoulder Tap (each shoulder) on bottom of the hill and six Burpees on top of the hill.

Mosey to grassy area across road from outdoor chapel.  As group we will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to ball field closest to entryway of the Northern Ballpark.  We will break into two teams and relay around the ball field, each man running once around the bases.

Mosey to CMUs at northern ball park parking lot.  We will do following exercises with CMUs then Bernie Sanders to other curb of parking lot and sprint back between each listed exercise.

  • 20 Overhead presses
  • 20 Curls
  • 20 Rows
  • 20 Bench Presses
  • 20 Curls while sitting
  • 20 Triceps while lying on back

Next, we will lunge with CMU’s across parking lot stopping at every other parking space to do 5 incline merkins with hands on CMU.  We will then mosey back, stopping at every other parking space to do 5 dips with hands on CMU.

Mosey back to AO

Seven men, no FNG’s.

Jesus is speaking in the following verses from Matthew 23: 5-12.  He starts out talking about the Pharisses:

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[b] by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[c] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

I thought of these verses in light of the recent news about the college admission scandals.  You have probably heard the news.  Investigators have been investigating and are planning on prosecuting many people across the nation, mainly parents of students, who have used all kinds of means to fraudulently get their children into elite universities.  The fraud has come in all kinds of forms such as:  paying off proctors to change the answers on ACT or SAT tests students took so that they would have higher scores or paying off coaches to have students admitted as a certain kind of athlete (e.g., volley ball player) when the student was not actually a ball player.  In many of the cases, the students weren’t even aware their parents were paying others off to get them into the school.

The reasons for the fraud varied but often seem to relate to status.  These students were usually not dumb people.  They could have made it into a large number of colleges.  But their parents wanted them to be in ELITE colleges.

We live in a society where status has become an Idol for too many people.  In the process, people forget what true dignity is all about.  Men in our nation need to understand, to become ensconced in, to be fed on honor, valor, respect, and dignity.  They need to be surrounded by men who reflect those virtues.  That is one of the things I love about F3.  I am surrounded by brothers who are working hard to become models of those concepts.  The F3 philosophy, the F3 lingo reflects those virtues and although we admit to falling short of being perfect, our brothers strive to achieve those virtues.  Let us keep striving.  Let us be role models and leaders in a society that needs, that aches to have those virtues lived out by its leaders.

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Busy Bees at the Asylum

THE SCENE: Cloudy and a bit cooler than expected, high 40s




Squat hold – 15 seconds

– Motivators (5 count, decreasing)

– Squat hold – 30 seconds

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

– Squat hold – 45 seconds

– Little of this, little of that (arm stretches) + Michael Phelps

– Squat hold- 60 seconds


Mosey to edge of field by the new bathrooms.

  • Catch Me If You Can!
    • Partner #1 Bernie Sanders, Partner #2 does the exercise then sprints to catch Partner #1. When he does, they reverse rolls.  Go the width of field and back.  Exercises:
  1. 5 hand-release merkins
  2. 5 Burpees
  3. 5 Carolina Dry Docks
  4. 5 Bobby Hurleys

MOSEY to bottom of the first hill that comprises Pickett’s charge.

  • Hill runs . One partner will do slow shuttle runs in the holding pen while the other partner does the hill run and exercises at the top. Then he will run back down and switch off with partner.
    • Do both exercises @ 5x/10x/15x during the three reps per Round  Do planks after each round until 6 catches up.
      • Round 1: Big Boy Sit-ups/American Hammers (4-ct)
      • Round 2: Smurf Jacks/Iron Mikes (4-ct)
      • Round 3: Carolina Dry Docks/Burpees

Mosey to AO.

Hello Dollies, 25, 4-ct IC, Flutter kicks, 25, 4-ct, IC, Homer/Marge, 4-ct up and down

5 Strong.


I just came off the busiest 2 months of my professional life. Late nights, early mornings, so many things to do that you can’t sleep, late-hour frustrations and challenges, getting so lost in spreadsheets that your head spins.  A week or so ago my brother sent me a joke when I blew off talking to him for the millionth time. He was being a sarcastic smart-#@!, but the words hit home: “Maybe One Day, I’ll be what you need. But don’t wait too long… because the day you want me, may be the day I’ve finally given up…”I was also reminded of the song Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin, which is a cautionary tale about a father who is too busy to hang out with his son, and then later in life, realizes that his son has “grown up just like him” and doesn’t have the time or inclination to spend precious moments with his aging dad.

We all go through periods of our life when we are strung out, busy, have too many responsibilities, etc. But take 10 minutes to call someone you love, talk to them, ask them how THEY’RE doing, connect with the people you care for.  Don’t give them a reason or an excuse to give up on you.  Sometimes they’re gone for good.  And above all, don’t forget God during times of stress and fatigue. Take the time to say a prayer, thank Him for the blessings in your life, and ask for strength to finish the task at hand. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We must be intentional about making time to rest in Jesus. Take a few moments when life starts to feel overwhelming and take solace in God’s everlasting love.  Deadlines at work will come and go. God is eternal.

Continued best wishes for Pinto’s and Jinxy’s dad’s continued recuperation.


Relentlessly pursued

THE SCENE: Heavy rain that stopped when we started, temps in low 50’s.

Plank arm and leg raises, 20 plank jacks, 10 Burpees, 10 Rockettes, 10 Windmills, 10 temp squats.
Quick mosey to Dragon Fly.  We will do Route 66 up dragon fly with the following exercises:

  • Squat jumps
  • Dive bombers
  • Imperial Walkers

Quick mosey back to AO.  Break into teams.  Each team grabs a set of bricks.  We will do Doras.  One partner runs around parking lot in the following fashion:  Bernie Sanders Corner 1 to Corner 2.  Bear crawl Corner 2 to Corner 3.  Sprint Corner 3 to Corner 4.  Lunge Corner 4 to Corner 1.  Meanwhile, the other partner will be doing exercises with the bricks.  Then the partners switch off.  These are the exercises with the bricks:

  • 100 Overhead Presses
  • 100 Brick Punches
  • 100 Curls
  • 100 Wings Up
  • 100 Rows with hands at sides
  • 100 Wings Down
  • 100 Wings Out

Next we Bernie up Mini Cardiac and sprint back down.  Do 20 Merkins at bottom of Mini Cardiac.  Next time we Grapevine up Mini Cardiac, switching way we face halfway up.  We sprint down and do another 20 Merkins.

Quick mosey back to AO.


Cash out with ATM’s.

Five men, no FNG’s.
One of the wonderful books I have read on the subject of God is by Ken Gire.  It is entitled Relentless Pursuit.  In it, Gire talks about how God, in his love for us, relentlessly pursues us.  We may stray, we may ignore, we may hide, but God comes to find us, the Good Shepherd seeking his lost sheep.  The first chapter, “The Pursuit”, talks about a poet named Francis Thompson.

In 1987, Wilfred Meynell, the editor of a Catholic literary magazine called Merry England received a parcel of mail containing disheveled manuscripts.  An unsigned note said, “I must ask your pardon for the soiled state of the manuscript.  It is not due to slovenliness, but to the strange places and circumstances under which it has been written.”  Meynell was fascinated enough to go through the manuscript, finding some poems and prose.  One of the poems particularly moved him.  The parcel had no return address.  He published the poem in the next edition of the magazine in hopes the author would contact him.  After the publication, the author did contact the editor, leaving the return address of a chemist shop.  When Meynell went to the chemist shop, the chemist told Meynell that the author was a man who was living on the streets.  He owed the chemist a debt for opium he had purchased and was selling matches make money to live by and pay off his bills.  Meynell paid the bill and left an invitation for the author to visit his office.

One day, unannounced, a thirty-something year-old man showed up with stained and threadbare clothing.  His body was frail and many years of drug addiction had taken there toll on him. He was Francis Thompson, the author of the poems and prose in the manuscript.  He has been born into a respected Catholic family.  He had gone to med school on the wishes of his father but dropped out, not liking it.  An argument with his father came afterward and Thompson left to make it on his own.  Instead he found opium and became addicted to it.

Meynell’s family watched over him, placed him under a doctor’s care, and sent him to a monastery where he was temporarily freed from his addiction.  For the 1889 to 1907, Thompson wrote three volumes of poetry, numerous literary reviews, and an essay on Shelly that was highly acclaimed.  His most noted work was a long poem entitled “The Hound of Heaven.”  In 1907, after a major relapse into addiction, Thompson died at the age of 48.

His poem, “The Hound of Heaven”, is considered to be one of the greatest in English literature.  In the poem, he talks about being pursued by a chasing Hound Dog .

I fled Him, down the nights and the dayss;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears

Thompson also describes the pursuer:

But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat – and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet –
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.

The Hound thus claims that the one pursued is acting in a way that betrays him as well as the Hound.

The pursuit continues through the poem until the pursued finally turns to face the predator, the Hound.  He finds that the pursuer was not a Hound, but God, his father.  The father speaks:

All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.

The father later exclaims:

Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.

God pursues us.  For Thompson, God took the form of a hunting hound.  For others, God takes a different form.  For example, the author Anne Lamont talks about God pursuing her in the form of a mewing cat, continually showing up at her door.  She reluctantly feeds it milk and the cat keeps showing up until finally it is purring on her chest, gently kneading her.

God pursues each of us.  How is God pursuing you?  Does God come to you as a question that keeps ringing in your head? In the form of dissatisfaction with your current job or position in life that your are afraid to change?  In the longing for new meaning or answers that you just can’t seem to find?  We are unique individuals whom God seeks in different ways.  How might God be pursuing you right now?  Are you ignoring Him, running from Him, afraid of Him, dissatisfied with Him, angry with Him?  Dare to listen, dare to turn your head to see Himm.  You just may find a loving father with outstretched arms, saying “I am what you are seeking!”

Prayers for Iceman’s mother, Mr. Jinxy’s father and Pinto.  Praise for the birth of Sparkler’s cousin.
Board meeting immediately after workout!

Where’s Land?

THE SCENE: Raining like crazy, temp about 50 degrees

At the Northern ball fields pavilion:  20 Side-straddle hops, 15 Plank Jacks, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Windmills, 7 Little Baby Arm Circles forward and backward, 5 Wide Arm Circles forward and backward
Totem pole with the following exercises:

  • Burpees
  • American Hammers
  • Decline Merkins (using bench of picnic tables)
  • Bench Dips
  • Mountain Climbers

Sprint to CMU pile to pick up CMU’s and bring back to pavilion.

20 Hello Dollies.

Next, we circle four corners of pavilion, bear crawling from Corner 1 to 2 and Corner 3 to 4 while lunging from Corner 2 to 3 and 4 to 1.  We will circle the four corners three times doing the following exercises at each corner:

Corner 1:  1. 20 merkins.  2. 20 shoulder taps.  3. 20 dive bombers

Corner 2:  1. 20 diamond merkins.  2. 20 bottle openers.  3. 20 Carolina dry docks

Corner 3: (with CMU’s)  1. 25 overhead presses.  2. 25 curls.  3. 25 rows.

Corner 4:  1. 15 mountain climbers.  2. 10 burpees.  3. 15 plank jacks.

Next, we take CMU’s back to CMU pile and sprint back to pavilion.

20 Box Cutters.

Next, we do a shortened totem pole with the following exercises:

  • Squat jumps
  • Big boy situps
  • Picnic table pull-ups
  • Bench jumps

We finish at the pavilion with leg stretching exercise from plank position.

Words from Sermon by Michael Gerson who gave sermon at Washington’s Memorial Cemetery about God lifting us up at times of despair.
Prayers for Cheatsheet and his family as Cheatsheet’s grandmother, Mary, has passed away and is now in heaven.  Prayers for Pinto who is recovering from heart attack.