F3 Knoxville

Rats and Kings

THE SCENE: The rain gods couldn’t figure out what to do.  Intermittent sprinkles, damp, but pretty darn mild! (~60 degrees)

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!

Welcome, FNG Shawn, who is a friend of Goober!


  • 20 SSH (4-ct), in cadence
  • 11 Cherry Pickers (4-ct), in cadence
  • High knees 30 sec, butt kickers 30 sec, in place.
  • 10 Steve Earls (4-ct), in cadence
  • 10 Windmills  (4-ct), in cadence
  • Little of this and that


MOSEY up Baby Cardiac and veer right towards Cardiac.  Going down Cardiac do Reverse Indian Run.  First in line Bernie Sanders’ back to end of line and yells GO, signaling next PAX to Bernie.  Continue to intersection with trail.

Do “47s” (made up exercise name based on my age.  I’m old… ) up the serpentine trail to the road.

    • Run 4 lights, then do 7 reps of the following 4 exercises: Big Boy Situps (the pavement was very wet… sorry/not sorry), Carolina Dry Docks, Mountain Climbers, and Bobby Hurleys

MOSEY to Pavillion by northern ball fields. More 47s.

    • 7 reps of bench pullups, dips, jump-ups, and decline merkins. RINSE AND REPEAT FOUR TIMES.  The first two sets of reps the Q called on the PAX to lead the cadence.  The second two reps were at your own pace.

MOSEY to parking lot where morning group meets.

CENTURY CLUB: Do 25 reps of four exercises consecutively, without stopping.  Every time you finish a corner, run up baby cardiac and move on to the next corner (counter clockwise) and do the next set of exercises.  One of the trips up the hill (PAX choice; most decided to get it out of the way first) must be a Bernie Sanders.

  • CORNER 1:
  • CORNER 2:
    • 25 x BBS/AMERICAN HAMMER (4-ct)/LBCs/DEAD BUG (4-ct)
  • CORNER 3 (CMUs):
  • CORNER 4

When finished, run to center of parking lot and do 100 SSHs.

(Spoiler alert… we didn’t finish.  Most PAX got through 3 of the 4 corners.  Q called Recover, then we wrapped up the workout with a final run up baby cardiac together.)
No time, and we were too out of breath to call out an exercise anyway.

10 strong, including one FNG, Shawn, who we named Saguaro based on the fact that he hails from Arizona.  FUN FACT! “Saguaro” can be pronounced with a hard or silent/soft “g”! Who knew??  Goober.  Goober knew.


As discussed in the book Wild at Heart by John Eldridge, Jesus gave us a simple test for taking the measure of something, when he says in MATTHEW Chapter 7 when he’s warning his disciples about false prophets.  He says, “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.  Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

I wanted to build on Lillydipper’s Word a few weeks ago about spreading seeds.  What fruit will you bear on this earth?  I’m not talking specifically about children, although they are included in this concept, but what will your legacy be?  Will it spread and multiply? Will it be good?

I’m a biologist and ecologist by training, so I started thinking about seeds.  What kind of seeds are we talking about here?  There are two reproductive strategies commonly found in nature that are known as R and K Strategists.

    • R Strategists (“Rodents”):  Organisms that are “R” strategists produce many seeds (plants) or offspring (animals).  They don’t invest much in their creation, they just fling them out in the world and hope that a few survive (e.g., milkweed, dandelion; rats). Good luck my weak little babies and seeds! Adios!  See you on the other side!
    • K Strategists (“Kings”): Organisms that are “K” strategists produce fewer seeds or offspring that are of higher quality, i.e., more resources are invested in a smaller number in the hopes of improving the survival rate to adulthood.  Plants that are K strategists have seeds with protective coatings and nutrients to help the seed establish and survive (e.g., oaks), while animals produce more complex and better developed offspring, and also spend energy and resources protecting them and nurturing them when they’re young and vulnerable (e.g., whales, humans).

I believe we can try to be BOTH when we “spread our seeds” We obviously can’t follow up and develop strong relationships with each and every person we give a smile to or hold the door for throughout the course of our lives.  But these acts of kindness can spread in the world.  And to ensure that the seeds closest to us grow and flourish, we CAN and SHOULD invest more into the seeds of kindness will that we sow with those we are close to, our friends, family, F3 brothers, etc.  The more we invest, the more likely those efforts will be to bear fruit.  Good fruit.  Not bad, ugly, prickly fruit.  Like those weird things you see in the grocery store with spikes on them.  Who eats that??

Congrats to Hooker on the birth of his daughter! Very happy for the proud grandparents, Pinto and Mr. Jinxy.  Prayers that she remains healthy and gains strength (there is an interesting synergy here with the seed/fruit topic in the Word…). Prayers for some long-time employees that Sparkler had to lay off this week due to economic downturns. Appreciation to our FNG, Shawn “Saguaro”, who powered through a tough workout all the way to the end.  Merlot was disgorged. :-/

Board meeting to discuss Hardship Hill obstacle construction immediately after the workout (the fact that there will be beer there is purely coincidental).  Hardship Hill is May 2.  F3 Convergence at JUCO is March 28, with breakfast and third F to follow.  Wesley House food drive ends this Wednesday.


THE SCENE: Raining, temps in low 40s

20 Side Straddle Hops, 30 seconds of butt kickers, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Windmills, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward, 7 Backward
Mosey to CMU Pile.  Half of men pick up CMU’s and carry them to pavilion at Northern Ball Fields. The CMUs will be placed at one corner of the pavilion.

We will do totem pole with 30 seconds each of the following exercises.  By the end of the totem pole workout, each exercise will have been performed for 30 seconds five different times.  The exercises are:

  • Burpees
  • Picnic Table Pull Ups
  • Bench Dips
  • Hello Dollies
  • Plank Jacks

Next, we will go counterclockwise around the pavilion three separate times, doing the exercises listed in sequence at each corner.  We will always bear crawl from Corner 1 to Corner 2 and Corner 3 to Corner 4.  We will always lunge from Corner 2 to Corner 3 and Corner 4 to Corner 1.  We will do 20 of each of the exercises at the corners.  The exercises we will perform at each corner are listed in sequence below:

  • Corner 1:  1. Merkins  2.  Carolina Dry Docks  3.  Dive Bombers
  • Corner 2:  1. Big Boys  2.  Bicycle Kicks  3.  Dying Bugs
  • Corner 3:  1. Squat Jumps  2. Star Jumps  3. Smurf Jacks
  • Corner 4:  (with CMUs)   1. Overhead Presses  2. Curls  3. Rows

Next, we will do squat with back to the wall for one minute.  Then, we will do quick steps with turns on command for 2 minutes.  Finally, we will end with one minute of stretches before putting the CMUs back at the CMU pile and running back to AO.

Six men, no FNGs
One of the greatest comforts I have each week at church is to read, together with the other church members, the Confession of Sin.  Why should it bring comfort to confess that I have done wrong?  That I have sinned against God?  The Confession of Sin lets me know a number of important things:

  • I am not perfect and I should not require those around me to be perfect.  I fail, I screw up.  And while I can admonish myself for this, I need to realize that I am human.  So are those around me, even those members of my church that I consider to be like saints.  So, even though I drank too much on a Saturday night, even though I failed to truly listen when my wife talked to me earlier in the week, even though I got too angry at a stranger on the roadway and flipped him the bird, even though I failed to be like I was so desirous of being the previous Sunday when feeling so inspired at church, I am not alone in this sinfulness.  My wife and the guy who almost cut me off on the roadway are not alone in their sinfulness either.  It is our nature to sin.
  • Yet, we as Christians can strive to be more like God, like Jesus.  We can delight in God and find Glory in His name.  And in doing so, we can become more like Him.
  • We can also confess and admit that we fall short of God’s expectations and our own expectations. In so doing, we are not saying we are failures. But we are also not turning a blind eye to the fact that we do make mistakes and do sin.
  • Despite the sinfulness, we have a God who loves us.  He made us in His image.  He acknowledges our sinful nature.  Yet, He forgives us of these sins and calls us His own.  And, He finds favor in each of us.  He finds favor in us even though we screw up every week of the year.  We do not need to turn our faces from Him.  We can proudly say, I am yours and you are mine.

Here are the words from the Confession of Sin at my church (Redeemer Church of Knoxville).  Read them knowing that you are not alone in your sin and that God loves you, knowing that you sin.

Most merciful God,

We confess that we have sinned against you

In thought, word and deed,

By what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

Have mercy on us and forgive us;

That we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways,

To the glory of your Name.


Prayers for Tank’s wife who is in the hospital due to large kidney stone that will need surgery.  Prayers for Pinto and his treatment for multiple myeloma.
Tank’s 2nd F party is being pushed back from Friday, January 3 to Friday, January 10, due to his wife being in hospital.

“Boxing” at the Asylum

THE SCENE: About 62 F, no breeze, beautiful red sunset

SSH IC (20)
Windmills IC
Michael Phelps
Grady Corns (31 IC)
10 Merkins


Mosey to Large Lot with Island –  F3 “Boxing”
Divide into 2 teams
Team 1 at Cone 1 , Team 2 at 2nd Cone
Each team picks 2 exercises from the BAG (each bag contains a mix of exercises, performs each exercise together, then puts exercises in box and carries it to other team. Team can choose to draw 2 new exercises to pass on if they want. Exchange boxes where ever you meet, but proceed to the opposite cone.  Repeat until 4 exchanges have been made. There are wild cards – max 30 of anything- can only give out a wildcard
The following exercises were written on individual pieces of paper (and folded) in each bag:

20 BBS
20 American Hammer (4 ct)
30 LBC (1 ct)
25 Squats
25 Plank Jacks (1 ct)
10 Iron Mike (each leg is 1)
20 Merkins
20 Shoulder Taps (2 taps =1)
( x 2)
Bear Crawl
20 Hello Dolly (4 ct)
15 Burpee
20 star jump
20 superman
20 lunge (1 leg=1)
Mosey to sidewalk by road and new bathrooms
26’s – Run 2 lights, 10 BBS, run 6 lights, 20 Squats, repeat til we turn the corner to the left
Mosey to CMU Pile
each grab a cmu -26 press, 26 curl, 26 row
line up on lines – bearcrawl 2, bearnie 8, repeat to get to start point
 cmu – 26 press, 26 curl, 26 row
line up on lines -lunge 2, run 8, repeat to get to start point
26 press, 26 curl, 26 row
run to end back, return CMUS
Burnie up hill
mosey to Benches – 15 bench dips x 2
Mosey to AO

Brainiac Q forgot
Q forgot to do count off and Name o Rama
A little bit about the history of Boxing Day and the Feast of St Stephens:

One school of thought argues that the tradition began in churches in the Middle Ages. Parishioners collected money for the poor in alms boxes, and these were opened on the day after Christmas in honour of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, whose feast day falls on 26 December.
Some say the tradition stems from Roman times when money to pay for athletic games was collected in boxes. Amongst the ruins of Pompeii, boxes made out of earthenware with slits in the top full of coins have been found. Later the Romans brought the idea of collecting boxes to Britain, and monks and clergy soon used similar boxes to collect money for the poor at Christmas. On the day after Christmas, the priests used to open the boxes and distribute the contents to the poor of the village. Thus this day came to be called Boxing Day.
In the Republic of Ireland, the day is one of nine official public holidays.[3]
In Irish, it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofáin or Lá an Dreoilín, meaning the Wren Day. When used in this context, “wren” is often pronounced “ran”.[4] This name alludes to several legends, including those found in Irish mythology, linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. People dress up in old clothes, wear straw hats and travel from door to door with fake wrens (previously real wrens were killed) and they dance, sing and play music. This tradition is less common than it was a couple of generations ago.Originally, the dead Wrens were attached to the end of a pole, if you gave out money, the Wren boy would give a a feather from the dead Wren. Depending on which region of the country, they are called “wrenboys” and mummers.
Stephen is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as one of seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to distribute food and charitable aid to poorer members of the community in the early church. According to Orthodox belief, he was the eldest and is therefore called “archdeacon”.[4] As another deacon, Nicholas of Antioch, is specifically stated to have been a convert to Judaism, it may be assumed that Stephen was born Jewish, but nothing more is known about his previous life.[2] The reason for the appointment of the deacons is stated to have been dissatisfaction among Hellenistic (that is, Greek-influenced and Greek-speaking) Jews that their widows were being slighted in preference to Hebraic ones in the daily distribution of food. Since the name “Stephanos” is Greek, it has been assumed that he was one of these Hellenistic Jews. Stephen is stated to have been full of faith and the Holy Spirit and to have performed miracles among the people.[Acts 6:5, 8]
It seems to have been among synagogues of Hellenistic Jews that he performed his teachings and “signs and wonders” since it is said that he aroused the opposition of the “Synagogue of the Freedmen”, and “of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia”.[Acts 6:9] Members of these synagogues had challenged Stephen’s teachings, but Stephen had bested them in debate. Furious at this humiliation, they suborned false testimony that Stephen had preached blasphemy against Moses and God. They dragged him to appear before the Sanhedrin, the supreme legal court of Jewish elders, accusing him of preaching against the Temple and the Mosaic Law.[Acts 6:9–14] Stephen is said to have been unperturbed, his face looking like “that of an angel”.[2]
In a long speech to the Sanhedrin comprising almost the whole of Acts chapter 7, Stephen presents his view of the history of Israel. The God of glory, he says, appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, thus establishing at the beginning of the speech one of its major themes, that God does not dwell only in one particular building (meaning the Temple).[5] Stephen recounts the stories of the patriarchs in some depth, and goes into even more detail in the case of Moses. God appeared to Moses in the burning bush[Acts 7:30–32], and inspired Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. Nevertheless, the Israelites turned to other gods.[Acts 7:39–43] This establishes the second main theme of Stephen’s speech, Israel’s disobedience to God.[5] Stephen faced two accusations: that he had declared that Jesus would destroy the Temple in Jerusalem and that he had changed the customs of Moses. Benedict XVI stated that St. Stephen appealed to the Jewish scriptures to prove how the laws of Moses were not subverted by Jesus but, instead, were being fulfilled.[6] Stephen denounces his listeners[5] as “stiff-necked” people who, just as their ancestors had done, resist the Holy Spirit. “Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him.”[Acts 7:51–53]
Thus castigated, the account is that the crowd could contain their anger no longer.[7] However, Stephen looked up and cried, “Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God!” He said that the recently executed Jesus was standing by the side of God.[8][Acts 7:54] The people from the crowd, who threw the first stones,[9][8] laid their coats down so as to be able to do this, at the feet of a “young man named Saul” (later known as Paul the Apostle). Stephen prayed that the Lord would receive his spirit and his killers be forgiven, sank to his knees, and “fell asleep” [Acts 7:58–60]. Saul “approved of their killing him”.[Acts 8:1] In the aftermath of Stephen’s death, the remaining disciples fled to distant lands, many to Antioch.[Acts 11:19–20][10]

Prayer request for Jackie and Lee Smith of Arizona. Their son Jared passed on Christmas eve. They previously lost another son (Tyler) in Feb 2019.

Happy Birthday Lillydipper !!!

God’s Way Isn’t What the World Expects

THE SCENE: Clear, temps in 40’s.

20 Side Straddle Hops, 8 Burpees, 10 Tempo Merkins, 6 Burpees, 10 Windmills, 4 Burpees, 10 Cherry Pickers, 2 Burpees, Michael Phelps
Mosey to Outdoor Chapel.  We will do elevens starting with 1 Bench Dip at stage and 10 Mountain Climbers (4 count) at other end of chapel.

Mosey to Pavilion at Southern Ball Fields.  We will do a one minute squat with backs against wall.

Mosey to perimeter trail right by the pavilion.  We will do nickel, dime, quarters with the exercises listed below until we reach the Serpentine Sidewalk.  (Run to first light, do five of exercise, run two more lights, do ten of exercise, run five more lights and do 25 of exercise)

  • Squat Jumps
  • Big Boy Sit-ups
  • Merkins
  • High Knees where both knees = 1

Next, we will do 14’s on Serpentine Sidewalk all the way to the roadway (bear crawl for one light, run for four and repeat the sequence to the roadway)

Mosey to Pavilion at Northern Ball Fields.  We will do picnic table pull-ups, starting with 25, then 20, then 15, then 10, then 5 with short breaks between each set.

Mosey to AO.

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!
God’s way may sometimes seem backwards from the world’s way.  The world expects you to be “successful and rich.”  Jesus says the meek shall inherit the earth.  The world says achieve these goals to get your reward.  Jesus says come to me first and give your heart to me.  Then you will desire to achieve God’s goals.  The world expects a king who is born into fortune and wears a golden crown.  Jesus was a king who was born in a manger and wore a crown of thorns.  Think upon these things as we celebrate Christmas.
Prayers for Puddle’s elderly friend, Vince, whose girlfriend had a stroke and later, perhaps due to neurological issues related to the stroke, attempted suicide.  Pray for her recovery.  Pray for our brother Pinto as he goes through chemotherapy and, perhaps, radiation therapy.
Polar Bear Plunge on January 1 and party at Tank’s house on January 3.

Hot as Blazes

THE SCENE: Upper 90s… soul-witheringly hot.  Felt like an ant under a magnifying glass.

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

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

– 20 BBS

– 10 Baby Arm Circles Forward, Backward (in cadence)


Mosey to intersection of road in front of Asylum and Lyons View entrance road.

  • AIKEN LEGS: 20 squats, 20 Bobby Hurleys (instead of box jumps), 20 lunges (2-ct), 20 split jacks (2-ct)
    • Run two lights, Bernie backwards one, do 5 merkins. Keep going to base of Everest.
    • 20 BBS, then run up to the base of the Summit
    • 6 x 20 seconds Carolina Dry Docks * (10 second break between all sets)
    • 6 x 20 seconds American Hammers
    • 6 x 20 seconds Peter Parkers*
    • 6 x 20 seconds BBS
    • 6 x 20 seconds Mountain Climbers**
    • (We did stargazers in here somewhere because the Q was gassed…)

* = run up small slope to the north of the workout area, **= run all the way up Summit

Mosey to AO.

No time
9 strong.
I recently attended a workout where another Q was talking about how there’s always someone struggling worse than you are, and it can help you if you make it your goal to lift them up and help them out, and raise them up.  I tore my ACL in soccer my Junior year of college, and was in the dumps for months.  The rehab work was grueling, I was uncertain I would be able to play at the level I was accustomed to again for my final year of college, and my course work was particularly challenging that semester.  I decided to go to Louisiana for a Habitat for Humanity effort over spring break after I heard about it through some classmates.  We built gardens for the Chitimatcha Indian Tribe down there on their lands outside of New Orleans, and although they appreciated our help in terms of the physical labor, they were so grateful just to have some people show up with some energy and positive spirit to be with them.  The tribe is very poor, and had very high alcoholism and suicide rates, but the effect of having a bunch of college kids from Wisconsin travel several thousand miles during their spring break to give them a hand and share some fellowship seemed to have an incredible effect on them.  It had an incredible effect on me, as well, being with these wonderful people, seeing how challenging their lives are, but seeing what generous and friendly souls they had in spite of their humble situation.  When I returned from the trip, all the self-pity and darkness that was brewing and I felt more than renewed to face my own path going forward.
Good luck to Nature Boy as he starts his new semester at UT this week.
Trucking to the Pound, Sept. 14.  Order shirts this week!!