F3 Knoxville

With One Eye Squinted…

THE SCENE: Partly cloudy, very pretty clouds, low 70s, quite breezy.  Good kite-flying weather.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER

Check.

WARM-O-RAMA:

-Motivators (7-ct)

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

– Hamstring stretches, sky reaches

– 20 Grady Corns (4-ct), in cadence

– Little of this and that

THA-THANG:

MOSEY to stop sign at northeast corner of circle drive.

  • ARM STATION: MUCHO CHESTO
    • 10x Merkin
    • 10x Wide Merkin
    • 10x Stagger Left Merkin
    • 10x Stagger Right Merkin
    • RINSE AND REPEAT

MOSEY to Center of Coliseum.

  • LEG STATION: AIKEN LEGS
    • 20 squats
    • 20 Box Jumps (on wall)
    • 20 Lunges (10 each leg… but we did 20 each leg for extra credit)
    • 20 Split Jacks (10 each leg forward… but we did 20 each leg forward for extra credit)
    • RINSE AND REPEAT

MOSEY to lower parking lot under Coliseum

  • 5/10/15s. Get a Battle Buddy.  Partner 1 runs up to stop sign and does 5x reps of two exercises, then comes down and switches with Partner 2, who is running in place or doing SSH.  R&R with 10x, then 15x exercises.  The exercises are:
    • Round 1: Mountain Climbers and Peter Parkers (both 2-ct)
    • Round 2: Smurf Jacks and Froggy Jumps

Mosey to stop sign at southern corner of circle drive.  20 American hammers (4-ct, IC), 10 BBS.

Bernie Sanders to no parking sign.  20 American hammers (4-ct, IC), 10 BBS.

MOSEY TO AO.

CMU Catch Me If You Can!

  • Partner 1 Lunges away, Partner 2 does 20x of an exercise, then runs with CMU (overhead carry) to catch Partner 1.   Keep going, changing the exercises.  Partners must agree on exercise.
    • OPTIONS: Overhead Press, Curls, CMU Press, Situps, Rows, Triceps, Squats

MARY:
LBCs until 6 caught up.

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
19 strong!  Plus one doggy.

CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

Those of us in the Christian faith have just emerged from a special part of year, the Easter season.  Part of what makes Easter so extraordinary is that it is about moving on, emerging from the darkness, and having faith that God will make all things new again.  As the seasons change, winter turns to spring, and the Easter season arrives, we move ahead slowly, deliberately, with great love, and great hope.  But the true meaning of Easter is not without some darker elements as well.  Before we reach the time of great renewal and hope there can be much fear, hesitation, and confusion, similar to what Mary Magdalene felt initially when she saw the empty tomb.

(Mary) Flannery O’Connor is a well-known southern author who wrote strange and often violent short stories.  She was diagnosed with Lupus at a relatively young age.  Her stories were often influenced by her struggles with her disease, and were often sardonic and dark, but she was a devout Christian that also incorporated messages of faith in her writings.  Her faith-based outlook on life are on full display in a book called THE HABIT OF BEING, which is a collection of letters she wrote in the latter half of her life. And she writes that being a person of faith is not all sunshine and rainbows….

She writes, “All Human Nature rigorously resists grace. Grace changes us, and change is painful.  We don’t run towards Grace, sometimes we are dragged fighting it all the way.”  Faith calls us out of complacency, and into places of uncertainty. It’s risky. Uncomfortable.  It’s transformative.  She writes, “What people don’t realize is how much religion costs…” “It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it, but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.”  Fear. Uncertainty. Transformation. And only then, Exultation! That’s Easter in a nutshell.

Flannery O’Connor died of her illness at age 39.  Despite the struggles and challenges, she wrote of her life, “I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”  As we move through the darkness of the past year, hopefully we can acknowledge our blessings and faith in the journey, and, with one eye squinted, find some grace, some miracles in the year behind us, and recognize and act on the ways we were all called to be changed.
MOLESKIN:
Prayers for the return home of Corona Weight’s brother, prayers for Ribbed, Jinxy, La-Z-Boy and Lillydipper, as they recover from injury and illness, prayers for Steam’s friend Shawn.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
April service challenge! Details TBA.

The Value of Giving

THE SCENE: Just about perfect. Partly cloudy, slight breeze, high 60s.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER

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!  Some additional COVID-19 considerations: keep your distance between you and other members of the PAX and any other folks that we pass during moseys, etc. to 6-10 feet.  We need to set good examples and be good neighbors out here at this public park, especially with so many folks out and about.

WARM-O-RAMA:

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

– 10 Windmills (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 BACs forward/10 BACs backward (4-ct), in cadence (1/2 were wide-arm circles)

– 10 Tempo Squats (4-ct), in cadence

THA-THANG:

MOSEY to front of Admin Bldg.

  • Count off by 4s. 1’s and 2’s do 50 CALF RAISES, 3’s and 4’s do 50 AMERICAN HAMMERS. Run to the corner of the loop and back, then do the other exercise, then run again.  Alternate 20 SQUATS/10 MERKINS until 6 catches up.
  • RINSE AND REPEAT. But this time do 50 CDDs and 50 GRADY CORNS (single count)

MOSEY to stop sign at southeast corner of the circle drive.

– UPHILL SPRINTS.  Four sets of cones will be laid out up the road, about 40 yards apart.  Sprint from one cone to the next in same groups of 4.  One of the sprints will be a BERNIE SANDERS.

MOSEY to Bowl Area south of Admin Bldg.

TRAINING FOR MARCH MADNESS!:

Start at the base of the hill.  Defensive basketball stance. Backpedal left shoulder x 4, Right Shoulder x 4, RINSE AND REPEAT, Charge up the hill, 5 Bobby Hurleys.

Wait until 6 catches up, and rinse and repeat x4 (1st half/2nd half/overtime/double OT*). *We didn’t get to Double OT due to a wedding engagement situation.  Q considered calling an audible to Pickle Pounders, but resisted.

MOSEY to Bat house.

– GRINDERS! 4 STATIONS:

  1. BAT HOUSE: 25 SMURF JACKS
  2. BOTTOM OF STAIRS: 25 BBS
  3. BOTTOM OF SUMMIT: 10 Burpees
  4. TOP OF SUMMIT: 25 LBCs.

Do two rounds, then meet at Base of Summit for one last charge up to the top, staggered (1s, 2s, 3s, 4s). PAX had option of doing Burpees at the top or cheering on their fellow PAX as they ran up.  Good participation on the latter option.  Didn’t see one burpee being performed…

MARY:

  • 20 American Hammers (4-ct), in cadence
  • 20 Box Cutters (4-ct), in cadence
  • Xs and Os
  • 10 Leg Lifts

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
17 strong!

CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

Katharine Hepburn, in her own words [paraphrased]:

“Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus.  Finally, there was only one other family between us and the ticket counter.  There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn’t have a lot of money, but their clothes were neat and clean.

The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were so excited, jabbering about the clowns, animals, and all the acts they would be seeing that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before.

The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be. They were smiling and enjoying seeing their family happy.

The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I’d like to buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price.

The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s jaw fell open. Then he leaned a little closer to the ticket lady and asked, “How much did you say?” She again stated the price.

The man didn’t have enough money. How was he supposed to tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?

Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and then dropped it on the ground. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) My father bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”

The man understood what was going on. He wasn’t begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate, heartbreaking and embarrassing situation.

He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied; “Thank you, thank you, sir. This means so much to me and my family.”

My father and I went back to our car and drove home. The $20 that my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with.

Although we didn’t get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide.”

That day I learned the value to give.

~ Katharine Hepburn*

(from Everything Good in the World)

(* Online research showed that this is actually a narrative that was published in the 1995 book “A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul,” part of the popular Chicken Soup collections of inspirational tales.  It illustrates a powerful lesson, regardless of its actual source. But I hate Fake News, so I just wanted to point this out…)

 We have an opportunity to give as a group to this month’s fund drive, which benefits STREET HOPE, an organization that assists victims of human trafficking. They still need 55 gallon trash bags, napkins, and/or copy paper.  Bring those items to a workout and we will get them delivered.

MOLESKIN:
Prayers of thanks that Dungbeetle’s situation at work is resolving itself, prayers of healing for Jinxy and for Abacus’s mother.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
None

Through Imperfection

THE SCENE: Clear skies, about 60 degrees.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER
WARM-O-RAMA:

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, Plank Stretches, 10 Windmills, 10 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backwards
THA-THANG:
Mosey to stop sign at southeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 American Hammers.

Mosey to shaded area that is on other side of road from Area 51.  There will be four cones set up.  We will go counter-clockwise to each cone.  We will do so four times and do one exercise at each in sequence.  We go to the next cone by the method listed.  Here are the exercises and way to get to the next cone.

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Star Jumps  2.  10 Burpees  3. 20 Plank Jacks  4. 20 Smurf Jacks  (Sprint to Cone 2)
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Merkins 2.  15 Hand Release Merkins  3.  20 Dive Bombers  4. 20 Diamond Merkins  (Bear Crawl to Cone 3)
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Jump Squats  2.  20 Mountain Climbers  (both feet = 1) 3. 20 Iron Mikes (both feet = 1)  4. 20 Side Straddle Hops  (Bernie to Cone 4)
  • Cone 4:  1.  20 Big-Boy Sit-ups  2.  20 Hello Dollies (4 ct)  3.  20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct)  4. 20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct)  (Lunge to Cone 1)

Mosey to grassy area by Northshore Entrance to Park.  20 Imperial Walkers.

Mosey on perimeter trail south and then east on Perimeter Trail to benches at south end.  Alternate between 20 Bench Dips and 30 Baby Crunches.

Mosey to Soccer Fields and then to grassy area past roadway.  We will then do sevens going from grassy area to tree in a field that is about 40 yards away.  We will start with 1 set of Shoulder Taps at the roadway and 6 Pinto Twists at the tree.

Mosey to stop sign at southeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 American Hammers

Mosey to AO.

MARY:
1 minute run in place and 30 seconds of stretching.
COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
18 men, no FNGs.
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

Imperfect Leaders and Servants

From 2 Corinthians 12:  9-10:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I consider the brothers of F3, the men I see each week at workouts and through fellowship, and I see so many of you having the true desire to serve others and be leaders among our community.  Yet, we sometimes hesitate for fear of failure.  We fear that we will fall short of our goals, not live up to the people we serve, not speak well enough or act well enough, or just be overwhelmed by the time and nature of the task.  We think we have to be a Captain Crunch, an Abscess or a Judge Judy to lead and serve the way we should.

We need to remember a wonderful truth when our fears and concerns keep us from taking the chance to lead and serve.  God works through our imperfections.  Consider every person besides Christ that is in the Bible.  They were all imperfect but God used them to serve His purpose.  Consider Moses:  a man afraid to speak to others, God used him to lead the Jews out of Egypt and to the promised land.  Consider David:  a man who lusted after Bathsheba and had to be brought to shame to see his sin. God found favor on David and he was a great leader. Consider Peter:  a disciple of Christ who boasted he would never betray Him, yet who betrayed Him three times after Jesus was arrested.  And, Peter became one of the greatest disciples of Christ, spreading the works of Christ after his death.

God will use our imperfections to serve his people.  Why worry then about how imperfect we are.  Like Paul says in Corinthians, for the sake of Christ we can be boast in our weaknesses.  For He will use our weaknesses to make his power perfect.  Go forth, therefore, with confidence.  When you screw up, when you stumble, when you say the idiotic thing, if your intentions are loving, if your intentions are to do good for others, Christ will use you despite your mistakes.  The message:  Get out there and fail because through your failures you will succeed.
MOLESKIN:
Prayers for Speed Flash on his test tomorrow, for Hand’s friend who passed away and the family of that friend, and for Abscess’ friend who has triple-bypass heart surgery upcoming.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
AO Launch this weekend in Maryville.  Get copy paper, napkins and 55 Gallon Trash Bags in for service project.

The Lord is My Strength and Song

THE SCENE: Cloudy and cool, low 40s, but thankfully no rain!
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER Check


WARM-O-RAMA:

– Motivators (5-ct, descending) (was going to do 7-ct, but Steam guessed the exercise, so doing only 5 was the reward)

– 10 Windmills (4-ct, IC)

– 15 Steve Earls (4-ct, IC)

– 20 Moroccan Nightclub (4-ct, IC)

– Little of this and that

THA-THANG:

MOSEY to Pavilion

-20 Bench Dips, 20 Bench Pull-ups, 20 Bench Step Ups, RINSE AND REPEAT.

MOSEY to Circus Maximus

CANDY CANE:

  • Run to four cones laid out in a “Candy Cane” pattern. Do 10 Reps of the exercise at the cone, then return to start, and run to next cone, etc.  Rabbits sweep the six.  Exercises:
    • Hand-release Merkins
    • Box Cutters
    • Iron Mikes (2-ct) (Q called an audible and we only did every other cone for this one. Stopped at far cone, did 10 reps of Iron Mikes at every cone on the way back)

Mosey to Base of Cardiac

CARDIAC SUICIDES (Modified):

Run to first curve, do 20x Plank Jacks/Peter Parkers/Mountain Climbers, run to second curve, again do 20 of each exercise, run back to first curve, and then all the way to the top and do our last set of 20 of each exercise.

MOSEY to AO

MARY:
High Heels led some LBCs, then Q had the PAX do 30 second static leg raises, 20x Hello Dollies (4-ct, IC), and Homer/Marge to finish it off.

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
13 strong, including one FNG, whom we named TMI

CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

FAITH AND JAZZ: My church has recently brought in a small band to showcase in their streaming services, and last Sunday they played a variety of jazzy tunes, perhaps in part to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Over the years, I’ve never been a big fan of jazz music.  Jazz can be kind of frustrating to those of us who like our music to be a little more structured.  A typical jazz tune tends to lack that structure, and it can go off into unexpected directions, some of which you might appreciate, some of which you might not, like when there’s a jarring interruption by a trumpet, or the crash of a symbol that shakes you up.  At times when I listen to jazz I feel a bit bewildered, like when the musicians all go off on a 10 minute segue on some random riff.  Why are they doing that?  Can’t they just stick to a melody and go from there?  It seems chaotic and unplanned.

Another thing that frustrates me with jazz is that it tends not to have a definite endMost songs seem to just ramble on for a while and then suddenly wrap up at a random part of the tune.  This can be somewhat unsatisfying for those of us who just want to read the “cliff notes” version of music and be told the answer to what it’s all about.  All the meanderings and lack of a satisfying conclusion can be irritating if you’re not really tuned into it.

But I’ve come to appreciate jazz more over the years if you listen carefully, with patience, and let yourself become immersed in it, something magical happens.  All the pieces and disparate parts that seemed confusing at the time ultimately pay off as the players create a beautiful whole from the various individual pieces, almost like a quilt.  And the more you invest in it, the more you give yourself in to it, the more rewarding it can be.  There IS a structure to it, there IS a pattern.  You just have to have the awareness and patience to tap into it and recognize it.

To me, that’s kind of like spirituality.  We have to have faith that the song God is weaving in our lives will ultimately take us to a place of peace and beauty, even if at times it seems meandering and strange, even dark and frighteningJazz players will tell you that one of the most important aspects of being a jazz musician is listening to what is going on around you, and tapping into that energy so that you’re in harmony with it, not fighting against it.  So it is with being a spiritual person.  The more carefully we listen to the song of faith that courses through us and the more we let ourselves be pulled into its melody, the more we are able to recognize the beautiful tapestry that the Lord is creating for each one of us.

As it is written in Exodus:

The Lord is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation;

This is my God, and I will praise Him;

My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

MOLESKIN:
Prayers for Boogaloo and his family as they cope with the loss of a family member to COVID.  Prayers for the folks without power and water in Texas.  Prayers for TMI that his dentist appointment won’t be difficult or painful.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
New Maryville AO opening on March 6, 7:00 am.  Details to be announced.

I did not die

THE SCENE: Clear and cold, high twenties.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER
WARM-O-RAMA:

20 Side Straddle-Hops, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Windmills, 10 Tempo Squats, Michael Phelps, Little of This and That

THA-THANG:

Mosey to flat field area where we have Brolympics.  We will do a Pyramid with the following exercises.  We will do each exercise for 30 seconds:

  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats
  • Imperial Walkers

We then run to the Caribbean.  We will run past four islands and lunge to one island, then repeat that sequence until we have circled the Caribbean.  We will rinse and repeat but Bernie instead of run and backward lunge instead of lunge.

Mosey to parking lot with CMUs.  Each man grabs a CMU.  We will do a Pyramid with 25 each of the following exercises:

  • Overhead Presses
  • Curls
  • Plank Jacks with hands on CMU

Mosey to Caribbean again.  We will rinse and repeat what we previously did but with running, bear crawls, Bernies, and backwards lunges.

Return to parking lot and grab same CMU.  We will do 25 each of the following exercises

  • Rows
  • Chest Pushes

Put up CMUs.  Mosey back to AO.

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
18 men with one of them a Flying EH FNG whom we named Black Box.
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

The following poem was written by Mary Elizabeth Frye, a housewife who lived in Baltimore, Maryland.  In a moment of inspiration, she wrote it on the back of a brown paper bag.  She wrote it for a friend who had lost her mother.  The religious significance of the poem will be obvious.  Word spread about the poem and it was later published in newspapers.  It became a famous poem but for many years, people didn’t even know who the author was.  Mary Elizabeth Frye was not a poet in the vocational sense of the word.  She never published any poetry.  Yet, her poem has been read at countless funerals and public ceremonies throughout the years.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

MOLESKIN:
Prayers for:  two of Rooney’s students who lost a father to Covid; for those who have no homes/residences that are in the path of the cold wave that has run through the United States; for a friend of Swimmies who has Stage IV cancer and a tumor near his spine that has led to paralysis from the waist down; for a person in California that Drum Major has worked with who lost his life – for that man’s family; and, a prayer of praise for Ice Man who has found out he will have a baby boy.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Launch of AO in Maryville on Saturday, March 6 at 7 am.  See Slack for details.