F3 Knoxville

How to Kraken a CMU

THE SCENE: Muggy with a capital “M”

SSH (4 ct IC) x 25; BAC (4ct IC -forward and reverse) x 10; OH Claps (4 ct IC) x 10; This and that; Tempo squats (IC) x 15.
This morning, we battle the Kraken with CMUs.  So, grab your CMU and make your way to one of 8 stations.  Complete the exercise at the station and then do a lap around the AO parking lot, past your last station to the next.  Each station’s exercise has a high rep or low rep choice.  You are free to pick either option.  You must carry your CMU on your lap around, alternating carry as follows:

Westbound:  Overhead carry (Cusak carry);

Southbound: Farmer carry, right hand

East bound: Tray carry out front;

Northbound: Farmer carry, left hand.

The stations are as follows (incl. rep choices):

  • Overhead press (25/40);
  • Froggy Crunches, 4 ct (15/25);
  • Curls (25/40);
  • Kettle Bell swings (25/40);
  • CMU Merkins (25/40);
  • Flutter Kicks w/ CMU held up (25/40);
  • Blockies (10/20); and
  • Goblet Squats (20/30).

I think we had enough time for everybody to complete one circuit. Very little mumblechatter today.  I’m guessing this was because the Pax was disappointed in how easy it was.  I’ll ramp it up next time.
25s of Reverse Lunges and BBS, running Baby Everest in between.  Cut it short to gather at the top and watch a beautiful sunrise for a moment.

On this day in 1954, Elvis made his debut on local Memphis radio with “That’s Alright Mama.”  It is a reminder to me that big things start small.  We don’t need to focus on some great challenge or goal all at once.  God gives the ability do great things by simply taking that small first step.  ” I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20).  The smallest seeds planted with faith still produce huge trees.  Let’s keep striving, regardless of how small our efforts seem.  They will bear fruit.
Prayers offered today for Snag’s father and continued healing and recovery.  Prayers offered also to Snitch’s 2.0, Ava for a quick recovery from her accident, so that she won’t have any complications, and praises that it wasn’t more serious.  Also, we enjoyed quite the sunrise this morning with a beautiful rainbow.
Don’t forget “Off the Chain” CSAUP at the Dog Pound on the 18th.  Sign up!

Alphabet Workout

Cooler, dry.  Faint smell of a freshly surfaced parking lot.

F3- Fitness Fellowship Faith.  S3 – Safe, Socially Distant, Serious!
We got straight at it.
Go through the PAX’s F3 names performing the indicated exercise.  Take a little mosey after each name.  All exercises are 4 count, unless marked.

A Big Boys x 10 (1 count)
B Baby Arm Circles For & Back x 10
C Squats x 10
D 2 minute Mosey
E Bear Crawl to said point
F Burpee x 5
G Plank Jacks x 10
H Monkey Humpers x 10
I Iron Mike x 10
J Pickle Pounders x 10
K Windmill x 10
L Lunges x 10 (each leg)
M American Hammer x 10
N Merkins x 10
O Bernie Sanders to said point
P Carioca (L) to said point and back (R)
Q Crab Crawl to said point
R Freddie Mercury x 10
S Cherry Pickers x 7
T Rocky Balboas x 10
U Diamond Merkins x 10 (Tempo)
V High Knees to said point
W Side Stradle Hop x 10
X Inchworm x 10
Y Flutter Kicks x 10
Z Hand Release Merkin x 10 (1 count)

We did Kentucky, Rainbow, Hands, Hot Tub, Gibbler, Bunny, Cosmo (2) & Rooney

Charmin led us in the letters M-A-R-Y

9 Strong today, plus two Ruckers joined us for the BOM

I think about Kipling’s If from time to time.  It seems apt right now with all that is going on in the world.

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
Don’t beat yourself up too much right now – as Baz Luhrman said
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
  The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Bunny – there will be rucking at 5:00 on Monday

The Sea Refuses No River

THE SCENE: Windy, temps in 40s.

20 Plank Jack, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Rockettes, Plank Reaches, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward.
Mosey to parking lot by southern ball fields.  We will suicides, running from curb on south end of parking lot to successive lights in the parking lot.  Each time we return to curb we will do 20 Baby Crunches before running to next light.

Mosey to Pavilion by Outdoor Chapel.  We will do Elevens starting with 1 Bench Dip off and 10 Squat Jumps.  After Squat Jumps, each man runs around the Pavilion and back to the bench he started with to do 2 Bench Dips and 9 Squat Jumps.  This pattern continues until each man has done 10 Bench Dips and 1 Squat Jump.

Mosey to Serpentine Sidewalk.  We will run length of sidewalk until it reaches the perimeter trail but will stop to do ten Big Boy Sit-ups every other light.  Those finishing first we sweep all men back.

Mosey to CMU pile.  Divide into teams of three.  Each team grabs three CMUs.  One man carries two CMUs across parking lot to next partner who carries them back to next partner.  On one side of the parking lot men do side-straddle hops while waiting for a partner to return.  On the other side of the parking lot men do curls while waiting for partner to return. Once all partners have carried the CMU to another side, partners will rinse and repeat but do overhead presses as the exercise with the stationary CMU.  When all partners have finished again, we will rinse and repeat one more time but do Rows with the stationary CMU.

Fifteen men and one FNG, Chip Omer, whom we dubbed “Salsa.”

Where do rivers flow?  To the sea.  My good friend, High-Heels, taught me that our own Tennessee River flows toward Chattanooga, dips into Alabama, heads northwest to the border of Alabama and Mississippi, then, of all things, heads north through Tennessee again to reach the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky.  From there, the waters head west to the Mississippi River and south before emptying into the Gulf.  A crazy route but the waters flow to the sea.

As humans, where do our lives naturally flow?  To God.  And, no matter what crazy routes we take, our direction, if we live for what we were created for, should be toward God.  What a beautiful metaphor it is to think of our lives being the rivers that flow to God, who is the Sea.  God created us for this and expects us to journey toward Him, our creator, our Home.

There is a song written by Pete Townsend (yes, the guitar crashing band member and primary song writer for the rock group, the Who) that beautifully depicts this idea of our lives flowing toward God. It was a song written on one of his solo albums.  The song is entitled “The Sea Refuses No River.”

Just as Jesus accepted all humans, whether tax collectors, outlaws, or prostitutes, the Sea, Townsend proclaims, refuses no river.

The sea refuses no river
Whether stinking and rank
Or red from the tank
Whether pure as a spring
There's no damned thing stops this poem.
The sea refuses no river
And this river is homeward flowing.

And it is that idea of God accepting him that helps him, helps the individual human, to live:

There was a fool in a dressing robe
Riding out the twilight hour
Lonely and cold in an empty home
Trying to access his power
But now he's like a stream in flood
Swollen by the storm
He doesn't care if he sheds his blood
Let him be reborn.

The wonderful thing to know is that there is no privilege to the religiously elite here.  The front row of seats is not sealed off to those who live by some code that Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any type of religious snob claims we must live by,  Jesus informed us of this when he said, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.:  (Matthew 20:16)

Townsend, recognizing this in his song, is able to celebrate the reborn course of his life toward God:

The sea refuses no river
No pecking code respected for the damned
The sea refuses no river
Whether starving and ill
Or strung on some pill
Just 'cause you own the land
There's no unique hand plugs the dam
The sea refuses no river
And the river is where I am
The river is where I am.

You are on the river.  Take comfort in the direction it flows.  The sea is the end to your journey.  And, the sea will not refuse you.

Prayers for Iceman’s father, for Pinto, and for Thunderstruck’s mother.
Troubadour Q training at Asylum this Saturday morning, 7 am.

The Man in the Middle

THE SCENE: Cool. low 40s, cloudy

-20 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), IC

– 10 Cherry Pickers (4-ct), IC

– 10 Windmills (4-ct), IC

– 20 Tempo Squats (4-ct) IC

– 10 Rockettes (4-ct) IC


MOSEY to pavilion by northern ballfields:

  • AIKEN LEGS! 20 Squats, 20 Box Jumps, 20 Lunges (10 each leg), 20 Split Jacks (10 each leg forward)

MOSEY to Big loop parking lot south of ballfields:

  • Catch Me If You Can!
    • Partner #1 Bernie Sanders, Partner #2 does 5 of the exercise then sprints to catch Partner #1. When he does, they reverse rolls.  We will run around the parking lot 4 times doing the following exercises:
  1. 5 American Hammers (2-ct)
  2. 5 Burpees
  3. 5 Gas pumps
  4. 5 Bobby Hurleys

MOSEY to where the path intersects the perimeter trail.

  • 20 American Hammers 4-ct, IC

MOSEY to base of Cardiac:

  • Cardiac 25’s:
    • Run to first turn and back. At bottom do 5/20, 10/15, 15/10, 20/5 of:
      • Mountain climber (2-ct) and LBCs

MOSEY to top of the hill by benches.

    • 20 American Hammers 4-ct, IC

MOSEY to parking lot across from AO

  • Need to get warmed up for Valentine’s day, so… BUCK 25’s!
    • Start at the X.  Karaoke to curb to the left. 10 Pickle Pounders/10 Pickle Pointers
    • Run back to X, Karaoke to right curb. 10 Pickle Pounders/10 Pickle Pointers
    • Run back to X, Bernie Sanders backwards to the curb. 5 Pickle Pounders/5 Pickle Pointers
    • Sprint forward to far curb. 100 Side Straddle Hops (single count). Yell out victoriously and with passion:  “BUCK 25!!”

1.5 minutes of heart-shaped leg lifts.
14 strong

The Man in the Middle

During the last workout, Lillydipper and Steam were co-Qs, and gave their perspectives of F3 coming from a guy in his 20s, who was just starting out on his post-college life and correcting the course a little bit from some challenging times, and a guy in his 60s who has found renewed vigor in the workouts and benefits of male companionship.  So I thought I’d add to that and share a bit about what F3 has meant to me, a guy of 47 years, whose age is about in the middle of those two HIMs.

My first F3 workout was in late January, 2018, but F3 for me actually started January 1, 2017.  I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions, but I always start the New Year off with prayer and meditation about what I would like to get better at or improve in my life in the coming year.  That year, I identified two things that were of importance to me: 1) achieve a higher level of physical fitness, and 2) develop a closer and more meaningful relationship with God.

I felt #1 was necessary because I was at that age when some of your physical abilities start to wane.  Hey, it happens.  The sports that had always provided me with such joy and pride, as well as being an outlet for my competitive nature and keeping me fit, were becoming more and more frustrating for me, and injuries were becoming more common; thus, I stopped participating in them as much as I used to.  Consequently, my fitness and strength started to diminish.  I freaking HATE running (unless it’s up and down a basketball court, soccer field, etc.), and although I went to the gym somewhat regularly, I no longer had that avenue for fitness that playing sports 4-5 days a week had provided.

#2 was important to me because I just felt that I didn’t have as intimate a relationship with God as I would like.  I had grown up in a wonderful church, and I enjoyed attending either my home church or my brother’s church up in Chicago when I visited, but I hadn’t landed in a church here.  I had visited or checked out a few with friends who had invited me to service at their places of worship, but none of them felt like the right match.  As a single guy, and a bit of an introvert, I found it awkward to seek out more options on my own, so I had sensed my bond with God becoming a little weaker than I would like, and I resolved to actively seek out ways to strengthen that bond.

Later that same year, I met Lillydipper at a party hosted by a mutual friend.  We started talking, found we had many shared interests, and we struck up a friendship.  He invited me to the Polar Bear Plunge Jan 1, 2018.  There I met Abscess and Jinxy.  They gave me the ol’ EH, and after making excuses a few times, I finally showed up to F3 a few weeks later.  I thought I was going to be a one and done.  I hated it.  I was embarrassed by how slow I was (I was frantically searching for escape routes shortly after just doing the WARMUP left me breathless), the lactic acid or something made me nauseous for days (I remember the guys went out for a beer and some food afterwards… I could barely walk into the restaurant, let alone summon the strength to do more than sip pitifully on my water bottle), it was miserable, dark, and cold during the workout, I hardly knew any of the guys… I clearly remember thinking, just get through this stupid thing without throwing up, and you will never have to do it again. Check. Done.  Soyonara.  Tried it.  It sucked.  Later guys.  Thanks but no thanks.

And yet… and yet…!!

Once the pain and embarrassment faded, I was able to see that F3 offered a unique answer to my prayers. Here was an avenue to better physical Fitness for sure, and the BOM at the end really struck a chord of Faith.  How could I turn my back on this gift, this opportunity?  How could I quit??  I stuck with it, and grew both physically and spiritually.  I started reading backblasts, especially the Word at the end.  Someone once mentioned to me that sometimes they get more out of the BOM than sitting in a pew at church, and I couldn’t agree more.  I love bonding and learning from guys out here who are more conversant with the Bible than I am, or hearing the non-religious messages about improvement and leadership, or just being a good person.  What I DIDN’T pray for back on that New Year’s Day, or count on with my involvement with F3, is the Fellowship.  I had had a pretty good group of friends before, but I was caught by surprise at how strong the bonds of friendship are between the brothers that meet together for F3 workouts.  There is a unique and unexpected melding of spirits that occurs when you lock shields to get through brutally challenging physical hardship together through cooperation and encouragement of your fellow brother.  Through F3, I’ve met men who I not only enjoy having a beer with, but respect immensely and seek to emulate.  I didn’t realize I was missing that in my life.  And so F3 has literally been an answer to my prayers– both spoken aloud, and in my heart but not on my lips– from that day on January 1, 2017.  I am very grateful to the men of F3, and proud of the friendship, commitment to service, philanthropy, and open and accepting community that it provides.  I am especially grateful to, and humbled by, the men of the Fake Gloom, who I have the privilege to call brothers and friends.  I look forward to the challenges, rewards, and shared times that lie ahead.  Let’s GO!!


Continuing prayers for Pinto, who is battling a severe illness, and for Thunderstruck and his family.  Prayers for Switchgrass, who is dealing with issues at his work.

Mostly burpees. Lots of burpees

THE SCENE: Upper 30s (heat wave after lots of days in the 20s)

SSH x 20 (IC); Imperial Squat Walker x 15 (IC); BAC, forward and reverse x 11 each (IC)
Mosey to the cloud; 100 burpees OYO;

As you finish the burpee challenge, move to the adjacent parking lot for some blackjack, a/k/a 21.  20 merkins, run to other end, 1 BBS, run back for 19 merkins, run to the other end for 2 BBS, so on and so forth.

Cut blackjack short after everybody is done with burpee challenge and mosey to Circus Maximus for Doras.  Partner runs a lap while other partner does reps.  50 CCDs, 200 jump squats, 300 LBCs;

Mosey back to AO

Just enough time for 2 full minutes of elbow plank.

We’ve got a lot of rancor in the world.  So many people are angry.  Let’s be kind, let’s turn the other cheek, especially with those that upset us the most.  The world needs more kindness.
Praises for Cheatsheet’s dad being out of the hospital and on the mend.
The Asylum needs volunteers for the Hardship Hill build team.  Please help. Code Brown is leading.