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.

God In All Things

THE SCENE: Cloudy after rain showers, temps in upper 50s

20 Side-Straddle Hops, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Cherry Pickers.  Leg Stretch Right and Left.  10 Michael Phelps.


Mosey to Parking Lot that is south of the northern ball fields.  There will be 8 cones set up around the parking lot.  We will take two trips around the parking lot.  Exercises will be listed and the method of getting to the next cone will also be listed.  The following are the exercises and means by which to get to the next cone.

  • Cone 1:  1. 10 Burpees.  2.  10 Shoulder Taps.  Sprint to next Cone 2.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Merkins.  2.  20 Carolina Dry Docks.  Bernie Sanders to Cone 3.
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Smurf Jacks.  2.  20 Star Jumps.  Grapevine Right to Cone 4.
  • Cone 4.  1. 20 Plank Jacks.  2. 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  Bear Crawl to Cone 5
  • Cone 5.  1. 20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  2. 40 Baby Crunches.  Sprint to Cone 6.
  • Cone 6.  1. 20 Squat Jumps.  2. 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1). Bernie Sanders to Cone 7.
  • Cone 7.  1. 20 Hello Dollies (four count).  2. 20 Flutter Kicks (four count).  Grapevine Left to Cone 8
  • Cone 8.  1. 20 Imperial Walkers (both legs = 1).  2.  20 Squats.  Lunge to Cone 1.

Mosey to Pavilion.  We will do 20 Picnic Table Pull-ups, 20 Decline Merkins and 20 Bench Dips.  Then we will do 15 of each, then 10 of each and end with 5 of each.

Mosey to CMU pile.  We will mosey with CMU above head to one corner of parking lot.  After placing CMU down, we will run a lap around the parking lot.  We will then do 15 Overhead Presses with the CMUs.  Next, we mosey with CMU over head to second corner.  We put CMUs down and run another lap around parking lot.  We will then do 15 Curls with CMUs.  We will repeat the above pattern to 3rd and 4th corner, doing 15 Rows at Corner 3 and 15 Squats with CMUs at chest at Corner 4.   We will then put CMUs back.

Mosey to AO.

In plank position we will do reach each hand and each leg up to sky.
Ten men, no FNGs.

Colossians 1:16-17 ESV 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Job 12:10 ESV 

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

What a world God has given us.  He is the creator of all things and he is in all things.  All things are a manifestation of Him.  Sometimes we may feel distant from God.  He is up in heaven, over there, away, too big, too distant.  We feel as if He is not close and does not hear us.  At such times, remember that God is in all things.  Many of us go into the mountains to get closer to God.  There we can better see the heavens and feel his majesty.  But remember that God is in everything.  You can pick up a leaf and look at it closely.  Notice the veins in the leaf, the multi colors, the structure that is similar to other leaves that have fallen from the same tree – yet the leaf is unique.  And, it come from our creator.  Every little cell in that leaf comes from the Maker.  God is in that leaf.  The bugs that have nibbled on the leaf are also from God and are a manifestation of His creation.  Look closely and see God.  Know that His hand is in it.  Look at a stranger.  God created that person.  God is manifested in that person because that human is a part of God’s creation.  Every hair on that stranger’s head come from the Creator.

Christ wants us to see God in all things.  The next time God seems distant to you, just look at a leaf, a piece of grass, pick up a rock.  All of them are from God and God works in each and everything on earth. Our Creator is also in You.  Look close by, look within and see God.

Prayers for our brother, Pinto, and the Gentry and Buchanan families.
Ski trip for some of the F3 guys this weekend.

PM Asylum — Surprise Birthday Q

THE SCENE: Perfect for a beatdown.  50 Degrees


47 4cnt SSH,  Cherry Pickers, Arm Circles, Seal Claps

Baseline:  Apolo OhNo’s, Snowboarders, Rocky Balboa’s, Karaoke, Skips, Bear Crawls

Battle Buddy Up, Slingshot up Cardiac.  1 partner does 100 yard dash, while other does Blockees.  Then, slingshot back.

Mosey to the do Pyramid Scheme

Battle Buddy, run opposite laps, and do exercises when you meet :  Merkins, Squats, Burpees, LBC’s

Freddie Mercury’s, Superman’s, Planks

Surprise 47 Birthday Q.  Read a study last week that figured out statistically 47 was the most unhappy year of someone’s life in the developed world.  You are most happy at 18.  The good news is that it is a Bell Curve and when you hit 67 you are once again as happy as you were at 18 years old.  I for one am going to give a middle finger to this idea and encourage all to make right now the best year of your life.  Love your kids more, Love your spouse more, Find Someone without friends and Love on them.  I have never heard of someone on their deathbed saying I should have loved less or volunteered less.  We all know that makes our heart full so encourage you to start now.
Prayers for Pinto and his continued Fight.  Prayers for Tony Williams and his family who passed away last week.

Logging some miles in the rain

THE SCENE: 40 degrees and drizzling rain…felt better than it sounds, though.

1. Get out of truck.

2. Rub Sleep from eyes.

3. Go!
The PAX changed up the course today and headed up through Saddle Ridge in search of some elevation gain. We looped back around on a short section of greenway and brought her back in at just under 5 miles. We held conversation pace today and the mumblechatter was quite strong – thanks guys!

We discussed the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant this morning and how he woke up, left his house, and went about his day with no idea that he wouldn’t be returning home. He leaves behind a family, friends, and a community that will miss his presence. That situation could be true for anyone, and I know I don’t always do a good job of letting my wife, children, extended family, and friends know how much they mean to me. Count your blessings extra close, and make sure you’re leaving the legacy you want to leave.
I’m really thankful that I’m not the only person in this world stupid enough to run in the dark, on a rainy morning, in January. Thanks PAX!

Filling the void

THE SCENE: Partly cloudy skies, temp about 31 degrees.

Quick run around parking lot, 20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Windmills, Little of This and That, Michael Phelps.

Mosey to parking lot across the street that is by the entrance way to the Northern Ball Fields.  We will going around the parking lot four times, doing one per lap, the exercises listed in each corner.  In moving around the parking lot we will go from one corner to the next as directed by the sign.

  • Corner 1:  20 Hello Dollies, 20 Flutter Kicks, 20 Bicycle Kicks, 20 Box Cutters (four count each exercise).  Sprint to Corner 2.
  • Corner 2:  20 Squat Jumps, 20 Star Jumps, 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1), 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  Lunge to Corner 3.
  • Corner 3:  With CMUs – 25 Overhead Presses, 25 Curls, 25 Rows, 25 Squats.  Bernie Sanders to Corner 4.
  • Corner 4:  20 Merkins, 20 Bottle Openers (both hands = 1), 20 Carolina Dry Docks, 20 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1).  Hop to Corner 1.

Mosey to Flag Pole at Entrance Way to Northern Ball Fields.  We will run to following areas and do the following exercises:

  • Flag Pole:  20 American Hammers (4 count)
  • Benches at playground:  20 Bench Jumps
  • Dug out at ball field:  20 Seconds of Pull ups
  • Pavilion:  20 picnic table pull ups.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Mosey past batting cages to beginning of Cardiac.  We will go up Cardiac doing the following exercises at each of the following areas:

  • Curve 1:  10 Hand Release Merkins
  • Curve 2: 20 Dive Bombers
  • Curve 3:  20 Decline Merkins
  • Benches:  20 Bench Dips

Mosey back to AO.


Twelve men, no FNGs.

God created us in His image.  He also created us for relationship with Him.  If we are without God, there is a void within us.  We as humans try to fill that void with other things besides God:  riches, power, success, or finding that perfect person who can take care of our needs.  But those things don’t work.  Only God can fill the void.

I used a song by John Mellancamp in a former message I gave and I want to use it again.  It describes the narrator’s attempt to fill the “void in his heart” with things that just don’t work.  He claims, “I did everything like they said so that I could find happiness.”  The problem is that he “is running from eternity” and trying to fill the void with worldly versus Godly things.  Toward the end of the song, the narrator, frustrated and questioning why the void in his heart remains, exclaims “Hey, Lord, well you made me like I am.”  In other words, if you made me like I am why does this void remain?  The narrator is correct about the Lord making him like he is.  The Lord made each of us with a “void in our heart”.  And, He can heal the “restlessness” that the narrator suffers with.  We will all be unsatisfied until we fill the void with God.  We must look to God, fill our lives with what He gives us, to fill the void.  Listen to God.  What does God want for you?  What is He telling you.  What direction does He want you to go in with your life?  Focus on Him, read about Him, take His message in – there you will find the true stuff that fills the void in your heart.

John Cougar Mellencamp Lyrics
“Void In My Heart”
There’s a void in my heart
I can’t seem to fill.
Been a parent, had three children
And a big house on the hill.
Hundred dollar in my pocket
And it didn’t buy a thing.
Now there’s a void in my heart
And a hole in my dreams.
Well I poured miles of concrete
And strung wire for telephones,
Dug ditches when I was a young boy
When I first left my parents’ home.
Sang my songs for millions of people,
Sang good and bad news,
Now there’s a void in my heart
And a fire at my fuse.
Well I did everything just like they said
So I could find happiness.
Went to school and got a college degree
And at my job I did my best.
As I sit here alone tonight
I see a billion just like me
With a void in their hearts and running from eternity.
There’s a void in my heart I can’t seem to fill.
I do charity work when I believe in the cause
But in my soul it bothers me still.
Hey, Lord, well you made me like I am.
Can You heal this restlessness?
Will there be a void in my heart
When they carry me out to rest?

God, my prayer to you is that each of us will see the voids in our heart and turn to you to fill them.  If we seek you, we will find the strength, comfort and love that can fill the void.

Prayers for our brother, Pinto, who finished a recent bout of radiation treatment for cancer and will be also getting stem cell treatment along with chemotherapy.
We will be launching in Morristown on April 4.  We have received enough donations for the pull up bars and will be putting them up in the future.