F3 Knoxville

Taking Time to Reflect

THE SCENE: Sunny, temps in eighties.

20 Plank Jacks, 10 Iron Mikes, 10 Windmills, 10 Cherry Pickers, Michael Phelps
Mosey to stop sign on northeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  There will be sets of bricks.  We will be doing Doras with the brick.  While one partner runs to cone, does 10 merkins, and comes back the other partner will be doing exercises with the bricks.  The partners switch off when one partner comes back from the run.  The partner teams will do 100 of each of the following exercises with the bricks:

  • Overhead Presses
  • Curls
  • Rows with brick at each side
  • Punches from chest out (punch with each hand = 1)
  • Wings out
  • Wings up
  • Wings down

Mosey north to perimeter trail and head west on perimeter trail to area below Roadshow Run.  Each man will do 20 Big Boys, then run to top of Roadshow Run by the bat house.  There, each man does 40 Baby Crunches.  We will rinse and repeat.  The first man who finishes then runs back up Roadshow Run sweeping all men upward.

Mosey to grassy area in shade and by small wall on west side of road.  We will do elevens starting with 10 Jump Squats and 1 Incline Merkin with hands on wall.  We will do another eleven with 10 Mountain Climbers (four count) and one bench raise off of wall.

Mosey to AO.

Ten men, no FNG’s.
I read this week about something that the comedian Louie C.K. said when he was being interviewed by Conan one time.  He commented that he doesn’t want his kids to have cell phones because he wants them to be sad.  He was being funny with this comment but he was also being serious.  Sadness can come when we are forced to be alone with our thoughts.  The comedian noted, “That’s what the phones are taking away, the ability to just sit there.  That’s being a person.”

He also talked about a time when he was driving and listening to a Bruce Springsteen song on the radio.  He was feeling a melancholy come over him and his immediate response was to grab the phone and text somebody.  Instead, he let the sadness grow and pulled over to the side of the road to weep.  Afterwards, came another strong feeling, one of joy and thankfulness for his life.

Technology and cell phones are not bad things.  They are useful things.  But we can get too absorbed in it.  In so doing, we may find that we are avoiding true alone time, true thinking time.  We may be be pushing aside time to reflect over the events of the day, good and bad, that impact us cognitively and emotionally.  We may be merely numbing our minds.  We are not struggling but sometimes struggle is important.  And as Louie C.K. implies, sometimes sadness is good.  We don’t like seeing our loved ones, our children, or ourselves feeling sad.  But sadness is an important emotion – one that can inspire us to change or one that puts us more in touch with humanity.  Life is about loss as well as gain.  Sadness comes with loss and it is important to reckon with it.

The bible gives us plenty of images of Christ weeping – whether over the death of Lazurus, for the fate of Jerusalem, in compassion for others, or in anger over the tyranny of death over mankind.  Christ does not keep us from experiencing sadness.  But, in living in a relationship with Him, with God, he also shows us what true joy is.

Louie C.K., explaining his resistance to cell phones and technology, stated “you don’t ever feel really sad or really happy, you just feel. . . kinda satisfied with your products.  And then you die.”

I hope that we, as HIMs, are striving for more.  That striving for more may take the form of welcoming the Gloom when it meets us in the cold of a 5:30 am workout or heat of a 5:45 pm beat down.  It may also come in the form of welcoming the sadness that sometimes comes about in living a meaningful life.

Prayers for Sparkler’s stepdad, Shooter’s friend, and Iceman’s brother.
Neyland run on Saturday, May 11.  Hardship Hill on Saturday, May 18.

Pain is Gain

THE SCENE: Beautiful day, temps in high 70’s.

20 Side-straddle-hops, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Windmills, Plank stretches, 10 Cherry Pickers
Mosey to stop sign on southeast corner of Admin Bldg.  20 Hello Dollies.

Mosey to Area 51.  We will run up hill stopping three times to do decline merkins.  Rinse and repeat.

Mosey to bat house above Roadshow Run.  We will do the Pinto Grinder.  We will start with 20 Star Jumps by bat house.  Then run down stairs and do 20 Diamond Merkins.  Run to grove of trees just below peak of Mt. Everest.  Do 10 Burpees.  Run up to peak of Mt. Everest and do 20 Big Boys.  Rinse and repeat.

Do 20 American Hammers in Shade.

Mosey to stop sign at northeast corner of Admin Bldg.  20 Hello Dollies.  We will head back on road toward AO but stop at each cone along the way.  The cones will instruct us what to do next.  The instructions at each cone are as follows:

  • Cone 1:  10 Shoulder Taps (both arms = 1).  Bear Crawl to Cone 2.
  • Cone 2:  25 Baby Crunches.  Lunge to Cone 3.
  • Cone 3:  20 Flutter Kicks (four count).  Bernie Sanders to Cone 4.
  • Cone 4:  20 Buzz saws (four count).  Grapevine with face away from Admin Bldg to Cone 5.
  • Cone 5:  20 Carolina Dry Docks.  Grapevine with face toward Admin Bldg to Cone 6.
  • Cone 6.  Go back to Cone 1 to rinse and repeat.


10 Bottle Caps, 20 Box Cutters, Stretches.

Eight men, no FNGs.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That’s why we are not discouraged. No, even if outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are being renewed each and every day. This light, temporary nature of our suffering is producing for us an everlasting weight of glory, far beyond any comparison, because we do not look for things that can be seen but for things that cannot be seen. For things that can be seen are temporary, but things that cannot be seen are eternal.

It can be human nature to desire the easy way out.  But the fact is that truly good things generally involve toil, effort and pain.  I often times witness people wanting to move forward but unwilling to accept anxiety, stress or pain in order to get there.  As a psychologist I see people wanting to take narcotics or avoid challenges to that they don’t have to experience anxiety.  I am not belittling the anxiety that those with Anxiety Disorders must battle.  But some people actually think humans aren’t supposed to experience anxiety.  They want to avoid anxiety at all costs.  The fact is that anytime we take on new challenges, we are going to experience anxiety.

I see some people wanting to improve physically without experiencing pain.  I know that doctors and physical therapists see this all the time.  Someone gets total knee replacement and then is sent to see a physical therapist.  They stop going saying the physical therapy only made them feel worse.  Of course it made them feel worse – it is supposed to make them feel worse – so that through work, pain and effort they will improve and eventually feel much, much better.

We in F3 get up early mornings to face the gloom and experience the pain and thrashing of an F3 workout.  It is supposed to be painful.  Without the pain we don’t receive the gang.  We could wimp out and make it easy for everyone.  But as Cheatsheet proclaims, “Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!”

We often think relationships are supposed to be free from pain and turmoil.  Nothing goes wrong in our relationships in the Honey Moon stage.  Your lover can do no wrong.  It is later that we wake up to the reality that this lover is a real person – with her own strange idiosyncrasies and opinions that don’t,God forbid, always coincide with ours.  We begin to think, what’s wrong with this person – maybe she isn’t right for me.  But maybe, just maybe, that person is right for you.  To find true love is to work through differences with another that can sometimes be painful.  But in working through these differences we see we can learn and live with them.  We find something richer and greater – not a person who will agree with us about everything – but someone who will love us, no matter how hard that task can be (look at yourself, that can be pretty doggone difficult) and will help us to grow stronger and better for it in the process.

Finally, with God it is not always rosy and wonderful.  We sometimes want to turn from Him when things aren’t wonderful and going our way.  We may blame Him for it, say “Where the hell are you God?”  Or, we may not want to follow Him when He wants us to do something we don’t like to do.”  But God’s way is the best way, not the easy, rosy way.  We don’t just follow God when it feels good.  We follow God when it is difficult, when it is not all fun and games, when we doubt, when we hurt, when we are ready to give up, when we are angry and pissed at Him.  In so doing, we find faith, we find hope, and we have a true relationship with a God who desires relationship and desires to make us better men.

Prayers for five of Abscess’ friends who have had heart attacks.  Continuing prayers for Pinto who is recovering from his heart attack and heart surgery.
Hardship Hill!

Overcoming Hard Times

THE SCENE: Cloudy, temps in 40’s

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Rockettes, Plank Stretches, 10 Cherry Pickers
Mosey to trail that extends from upper parking lot that goes near entryway at Lyons Bend.  We will do 14’s by bear crawling for one light, running for four, and repeating that pattern until we get to entry roadway.  At roadway we will do 20 Hello Dollies.

We will cross street and continue on trail, doing nickel, dime, quarters (run one light then do 5 of exercise, run two lights then do 10 of exercise, run five lights and do 25 of exercise) all the way to roadway that enters from Northshore gate.  These will be the exercises

  • Squat jumps
  • Merkins
  • Big-boy sit-ups
  • Run remaining distance to roadway.

At corner of trail and roadway we will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Outdoor Chapel.  We will do elevens, starting with 1 Decline Merkin at stage and 10 Mountain Climbers (four count) at other end of chapel.

Mosey to Playground.  We will do elevens at benches, starting with one bench dip and 10 bench jumps.

Mosey to AO.


Leg lifts (various heights)

Fourteen men and one mighty dog named “Tank” who belongs to Abscess.

A number of us have been going through some difficult times right now.  We need to know that God is there for us during hard times.  We can turn to him for rest and strength.  It may not end our suffering immediately but it is good to know that God cares for us and God, through Jesus Christ, has suffered too, even dying on the cross for us.  I have listed a few bible verses that might be good to think of during difficult times.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33 ESV

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 9:9-10 ESV

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Philippians 4:13 ESV

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Brother, if you are going through trials at this time, may the Lord strengthen you.

Bring snacks for Wesley House this Thursday at Asylum PM.  Abscess will collect.  If anyone is interested in going on a ski trip to Snowshoe on March 10 through 12, contact Lillydipper.  We will ski on March 11 and 12.

Showing Up for Life

THE SCENE: low 40s and drizzly… sure lived up to the GLOOM in Fake Gloom!


20 SSH (IC), Little of this and that, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Baby Arm Circles forward/backward, 20 Tempo Squats (IC)


  • Mosey up the tail of the dragon and around, down baby Everest, and back to AO to warm up.
  • MINI TABATA (20 sec on/10 sec off x 6):
    • Carolina Dry Docks *
    • American Hammers *
    • Peter Parkers *
    • LBCs *

* Run up Baby Cardiac after each set.

Mosey to parking lot across street

LIEUTENANT DANS (split into two groups)

  • Two lunges+ Squat =1, Ascending reps, to group, which is holding Al Gore. Then second group returns.
  • Rinse and repeat, adding a Bobby Hurley to the squat rep.


  • Run forward ¼ across parking lot, Bernie Back.  5 star jumps
  • Repeat ½ way across. 5 star jumps
  • Repeat all the way to curb. 5 star jumps
  • RINSE AND REPEAT, but with 5 Burpees instead of star jumps.


  • 20 Hello Dollies (4-ct), BERNIE SANDERS TO NEXT CORNER
  • 20 Mountain Climbers (4-ct), HOP TO NEXT CORNER
  • 20 Smurf Jacks (4-ct), regular JOG TO NEXT CORNER.

30 Bicycle kicks (IC)

Nine Strong!


Showing up for Life

This past Tuesday marked the 10 year anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, when Captain Sully Sullenberger safely landed an aircraft with 155 people on board on the Hudson River.  There were no casualties, in large part due to the preparedness and quick thinking of Sully, his crew, and the first responders. After reading about the incident, I was incredibly impressed with how Sully handled the situation, his ability to work under pressure, his humility, and his leadership.  I purchased his book, HIGHEST DUTY, and found some thought-provoking passages in there about his outlook on life that I wanted to share .

In the chapter “Showing Up For Life”, he begins by recounting an incident he heard on the news when he was a 13 year old growing up in Texas. A woman named Kitty Genovese had been sexually assaulted and killed outside her apartment in Queens.  Apparently, her screams were heard by others, but no one did anything about it.  The “Bystander Effect” was partly to blame; people are less apt to help in an emergency when they assume or hope that others will step up and help.  Sully made a pledge that day that if ever someone needed help, he would act. No one in danger would be abandoned.  Not on his watch.

When Flight 1549 crashed into the water, his crew assisted in getting everyone out of the airplane. Sully was the last to leave.  He walked the plane up and down, twice, to make sure no one was still on the plane.  No Man Left Behind.  Only when he was CERTAIN that no one still needed help in evacuating the plane did he himself jump into one of the rafts. When describing why he feels that ordinary people act courageously in extraordinary situations he says: “I believe many people in those situations actually have made decisions years before. Somewhere along the line they came to define the sort of person they wanted to be, and then they conducted their lives accordingly.  They told themselves they would not be passive observers. If called upon to respond in some courageous or selfless way, they would do so.”

Sully did that when he was 13, when he heard about Kitty Genovese.  It helped him act instinctively to save 155 people that cold January day 10 years ago. HIMs do not go through life as bystanders!  My coach used to say, if you visualize it, you will do it.   Take a moment and visualize how you would react in an emergency, what you would do if someone needed help in a life or death situation.  Will you be a bystander? Or will you act.

Prayers for Puddle’s roommate, who is a young man recovering from an illness.


The Power of Friends

THE SCENE: Temps in high 50’s, clear, breezy

10 Pinto About-Face Twists each way, 20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Plank Jacks, 5 Baby Arm Circles forward and backward, 5 Wide Arm Circles forward and backward, 10 Cherry Pickers
Mosey to northern parking lot of park.  We will do Route 66 along the sidewalk that heads to park entrance at Lyon’s Bend.  We will run back to the start after each exercise.  These will be the exercises:

  • Plank Jacks
  • Dive Bombers
  • Jump Squats

After these exercises we will alternate between Bernies, Lunges and Sprints along each light until we get to street that extends from entrance gate.

Mosey up street towards AO but stop at stop sign at intersection of road coming from Admin Bldg.  On grassy area near stop sign we will do 20 Hello Dollies and 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Northern Ball Field Entrance Parking Lot.  We will do the following from one end of parking lot to other and then do ten merkins after each run there and back:

  • Sideways runs with feet crossing.
  • Hops for four parking spaces then sprint to curb and back.
  • Bernies to curb and back.
  • Bear crawl for four parking space then sprint to curb and back.
  • Lunge for four parking spaces then sprint to curb and back.
  • Sprint to curb and back.

Mosey to AO.

Box cutters and planks.
16 men, no FNG’s.
Proverbs 18: 24.  A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Sometimes our self-doubts, our shame, our anxiety, or even our pride can keep us from turning to friends when we are hurt or in trouble.  As a psychologist, I often see individuals coping with hurtful issues that they are too embarrassed to speak to their friends about.  A young man in his twenties recently lost a job that he had out of state.  He has friends who are smart, energetic, and growth-pursuing and who appear to be going places with their lives.  He has come back to his home town and has a few of those “successful” friends who still live here in Knoxville.  He hasn’t even contacted them, too embarrassed to tell them about his loss of job.

If these guys are true friends, they are the very ones he should turn to at this difficult time.  If they are true friends, they will care for him and hold him up.  His true friends won’t begrudge him for losing a job. They like him for who he is, not the type of job he has.  Yes, back when he got the job they may have praised, pat him on the back, wished him well, told him he was going to “kick ass” at it.  They were saying that because they care for him and want the best for him.  They won’t turn their backs on him because he has stumbled.  They are going to want to pick him up, carry him.  If they don’t do that, what kind of friends are they?

I remember a troubled time I had in my early 20’s.  I was lost in terms of what I wanted to do with my life.  I had fumbled around in a few jobs and was working as a forklift driver at a warehouse just to earn enough money to buy groceries while I lived with my uncle who put me up.  I was depressed and certainly not my usual self.  I remember my friends hanging in there with me at that difficult time.  They would take me to rec centers to play basketball, take me out for meals, call me to shoot the breeze, – not necessarily ask about my job search or career struggles but just be there for me and certainly lend an ear if I needed to talk.  They didn’t have the “sage” advice that I needed from older men, sometimes even offered stupid advice to me.  But they cared and I knew it.  They were going to be my friend through thick and thin.  They were there for me at a most important time and I made it through that time because of them.

We need our friends.  Don’t shy away from telling them about your troubles when you hit a low spot.  Turn to them for strength.  It may not be their words of wisdom that push you through – leave that to the shrinks, philosophers, and preachers.  But your friends will give you that powerful something that is hard to put into words – unless you call it love and that love will raise you up.