F3 Knoxville

This One’s for Jinxy

THE SCENE: Sunny, slight breeze, mid 60s… not bad.  Not bad at all.

My BACKBLAST disclaimer is that I’m writing this for Mr. Jinxy, who was crying about doing one.  “I don’t know how to do it… the line spacing is all messed up… do I need to do it?  Wah wah wah…” So I’m just doing it for him this time.  THIS time.

I think he got through the welcome and disclaimer without too many screw ups.  I was Q2 for the beatdown, due to having more than 10 people show up (#covidsucks), and was frantically scanning the workout he printed out and handed me, oh, five whole minutes before starting.  Gave me PLENTY of time to try to figure out what the <radio edit> he had in mind.


We did some warm up stuff.  I recall SSH, Cherry Pickers, Tempo Squats, BACs… again, I was trying to kind of stretch and decipher his workout at the same time.
Mosey down Roadshow Run.  Nickle/Dime/Quarters along the perimeter trail (run 1 light, do 5 reps of exercise, then 2 lights do 10 reps, then 5 lights, do 25 reps).  Exercises: American Hammers, Burpees, Merkins, CDDs, Bobby Hurley’s, BBSs.

Mosey to Field of Dreams.  Bernie up the hill at the side of the field 3 times, doing 20x jump squats, deep squats, star jumps.

Four corners around Field of Dreams.  Run one long side, Bernie the other.  Bear Crawl on the short sides.  At the corners to 10x BBS, Flutter Kicks, Hello Dolly’s, Elbow to Hand Planks.

Mosey to the bench on the hill near the Admin Building.  This was a long uphill mosey, and the suck factor was pretty high.  Brick almost lost it, but he held on like a champ. Abscess: “I would NEVER do this all by myself.” I heartily agree.

Capain Thors, Leg Lifts, maybe one other thing?  I was kind of making stuff up at this point.  Jinxy’s group was late (sooo typical), so it was just us doing the Mary.
15 Strong, including two FNGs (one of whom was Pluto’s 2.0), who we named Utah and Crank Bait.
Jinxy had a bad day and told us all about it. We were super sympathetic.  He said something really awesome about getting joy out of setbacks.  I’m getting a #&%^-ton of joy out of the setback of having to write his backblast.  That’s for DANG sure.
Impressed with the strength of Brick’s stomach, but was a bit disappointed about not witnessing merlot spillage.  Nice to see a good crowd out in the Fake Gloom.

Optimism and Faith

THE SCENE: Just about perfect.  60s and mostly sunny, light breeze

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.  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 will be splitting up into groups smaller than 10 if necessary.  We need to set good examples and be good neighbors out here at this public park, especially with so many folks out and about.  Please push yourself, but modify the workout as necessary to avoid making any existing injuries worse.  The goal is to get better together!


MOTIVATORS, 7-ct, decreasing / 10 CHERRY PICKERS (4-CT, IC) / 10 WINDMILLS (4-CT, IC) / 10 BACs forward and backward (4-CT, IC)

We split up into 2 groups, as we had more than 9 folks.  Mr. Jinxy was Q2 and took my workout and did something similar with his group.

A) MOSEY to Stop Sign at northeast corner of circle drive.

TOTEM POLE: We will do a Totem Pole, starting with all 10 exercises and eliminating one exercise each round, starting at the top.  So for the first round, do all ten, then run up to the big tree on the left.  Then the second round, start at 9 and do the rest, etc.  The exercise numbers (the numbers are also the reps) are:

10        Burpees

9          Mountain climbers (4-ct)

8          BBS

7          Hello Dollies (4-ct)

6          Carolina Dry Docks

5          Merkins

4          Bobby Hurleys

3          Iron Mikes (4-ct)

2          Pinto Twists (4-ct)

1          Imperial Squat Walkers (4-ct)

B) MOSEY to the hill off the path on the Tail of the Dragon.

PYRAMID: We will do the first set of exercises, then run up and down the hill. Then do the second set of exercises, run the hill, etc.:

  • 20 Tempo Squats
  • 20 Tempo Squats, 20 Star Jumps
  • 20 Tempo Squats, 20 Star Jumps, 20 Diamond Merkins
  • 20 Star Jumps, 20 Diamond Merkins
  • 20 Diamond Merkins

(This was modified in my group due to time and public presence at the park to doing 5x BBS, CDDs, and Tempo squats, running up a hill, then rinse and repeat with 10x reps, rinse and repeat with 15x reps)

C) MOSEY to the CMU Pile. 3 sets of 20 reps (3×20) of each exercise, one at a time, 10 second rest in between: 1. Overhead Press, 2. Triceps, 3. Curls, 4. Rows, 5, Chest Press, 6. BBS w/CMU

(This was modified in my group due to time and public presence at the park to moseying to the rock pile by the new Coliseum area and doing overhead press, curls, and rows with two rocks, and American Hammers with one rock)

20 flutter kicks 4-ct, and plank stretches and holds until Jinxy’s group returned.
11 Strong!

Optimism and Faith and the Corona pandemic

One definition of FAITH is the assurance of the things you hope for, and the conviction of things that are not apparent.  Over the past few weeks, months (??) we have been asked to make sacrifices.  Sacrifices in our movements, how we interact, even how we worship as we deal with this pandemic.  But there is comfort in the knowledge of shared sacrifice and that you are not alone… we are in this all together, both collectively as a community, and individually with our Faith in our God.

In a letter to some protestors during the Civil Rights Era, Dr. Martin Luther King said (and I’m paraphrasing a bit): “You have again proven that there is nothing more majestic and sublime than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for improving the situation of others.  You have discovered the meaning of the Cross.” …Referring to going through pain and sacrifice for the benefit of others.

Through the sacrifices we have been asked to make, I think that we to some extent have discovered the meaning of the Cross during these challenging times as well.  We have FAITH that the reality of our current challenges are temporary, and that God is with is during our path to better days ahead. I know many people are frustrated and angry that some of their freedoms are being limited, but we have to have faith in our medical community, science advisors, our elected leaders (who are hopefully wise enough to listen to the scientists and make decisions that are best for our communities), and of course, our God.

OPTIMISM is born of the human spirit, and its strength is the strength of the spirits of individuals. Over time, Optimism can be broken down and chipped away.  Faith is the conviction that God is working in this imperfect world to bring about something marvelous.  Faith does not leave us, and provides a buttress against fear when optimism starts to fade.  We don’t need to be discouraged because God is with us, out of sight sometimes, often mysterious. But God will never leave us, and Faith is the conviction that He is there with us, and will bring us a brighter tomorrow.  I bid you all to be optimistic during these challenging times.  And when that optimism begins to crumble—and it will for all of us, if it hasn’t already—take comfort in your Faith.  We WILL get through this.  And after the storm, comes the rainbow.

Great to have Manilow and Hands join us! Praise for Manilow’s new job and raise! Prayers for Lillydipper and his wife, and for those affected by the pandemic.

We need more Qs to step up at the Asylum PM! Please let one of the senior members of the PAX know if you would like some help or to do a Co-Q.


THE SCENE:  A balmy and crisp 37.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER(Explained Importance of Qing, common anxieties and tips on how to overcome them, discussed mistakes Q has made and the importance of making adjustments ) Free, Voluntary, Q not a professional, here at own risk, know limitations – modify if needed.

WARM-O-RAMA: (Explained Calling Exercises and Cadence) SSH (IC)x20, Imperial Walkers (IC)x15, Tempo Squats (IC)x15, Tempo Merkins (IC)x10, Mountain Climbers (IC)x15, Flutter Kicks (IC)x25, 8ct Body Builders (IC)x7.

THA-THANG: Mosey to lower parking lot…..

4 Corners: (40,30,20,10) of Merkins, then Squats.  Mosey to Playground parking lot:

Quarter Pounder (4 cones separated by comfortable distance, Cone 1-25 Merkins, Cone 2-50 Squats, Cone 3-75 Mountain Climbers, Cone 4-100 SSH). Run back to start after each completed cone.  Mosey to bathroom parking lot….

Totem Pole: 10 Burpees, 9 OHC, 8 Merkins, 7 Mountain Climbers, 6 Squat Jumps, 5 8ct Body Builders, 4 Diamond Merkins, 3 Calve Raises, 2 SSH, 1 Good Morning – Perform all exercises then run to other side of lot and back, knocking off the top exercise each round. Mosey to Dragon’s Tail……

1 Burpee at each light pole as we mosey up the hill back to shovel flag.

Dealer’s Choice: Had a few of the PAX who have not Q’d yet call the exercises and cadence. They did awesome!

37 Strong to include FNG “Twilight.”

Talked about two actions/traits that helped early Christians overtake the Roman Empire against insurmountable odds:
1) Love – they demonstrated a type of love that had never been seen before in Roman society. They loved sacrificially. They loved the unloveable. It was strange and did not make sense to the largely unbelieving Roman populous. Unbelievers took notice and were attracted to it, adding to the numbers of believers.
2) Generosity – They gave sacrificially to the poor and outcast with joy in their hearts, people who were marginalized by Roman society. Again, unbelievers noticed, were amazed, and added to the Christian population.

How can you cultivate this type of Love and Generosity in your own life?

When we all go home today, you will be surrounded by a different “PAX”: your wife, your kids, your friends, coworkers, etc. Step up and be their “Q”, leading virtuously. Let what we learned out here today transition and have an impact in our daily lives outside of F3. That’s what F3 is about!
There was a lot of discussion and “teaching” by the Q.  I hope the men that showed benefited from my efforts.  It was a blessing to lead today.  Grow School afterwards was awesome: Abscess talked leadership and more Q101 while Steam showed his tech skills and showed everyone how to post a BB, add FNGs, etc.
Dog Pound Pull-Up Bar Install immediately after.

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.

2 For Tuesday feat. Tour de Pavilion

THE SCENE: 55 – 60ish degrees #Amazing

PAX gathering early brought back an old Asylum PM tradition – the ceremonial tossing of a frisbee (or football). There’s something really special about this, it made my heart happy. Grown men, who just got off work, or left their family to come do F3 perhaps, tossing around a frisbee lightheartedly, enjoying The Creator’s magnificent-feeling creation.


Themes: #2ForTuesday, Tour de Pavilion, Quarter Pounder (25th)


  • Welcome to F3: Fitness/Fellowship/Faith
  • My name is Steam and I’m honored to be your Q this evening
  • FNG: Kevin Canfield
  • Couple things before we get started:
    • Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a professional
    • You’re here on your own volition
    • And if you know your body better than anyone so if you need to modify anything we do this evening feel free to do it! But I encourage you to push yourself and the men around you
  • Let’s lock shields and rock these next 45 minutes


  • SSH: 25 (1-count)


  • SSH: 25 (1-count)
  • Frankenstein: 10 (1-count)


  • Frankenstein: 10 (1-count)
  • Squat-Bender: 10 (1-count)


  • Squat-Bender: 10 (1-count)
  • Merkin: 10 (1-count)


  • Merkin: 10 (1-count)



Tour de Pavilion commences!

Lay out the roadmap: Tour around the pavilions – each pavilion will encompass a Quarter Pounder (since today is the 25th) and keep in mind, it is in fact 2FT – so let’s celebrate accordingly! Think of it like leveling up in a game – once we pass level 1 – we go to level 2 (Pavilion 2)

(Mosey to Pav1 – baseball fields)

[Quarter Pounder 1]

  • 5 battle buddy sit-ups each
  • 5 lunges Right leg (1 count)
  • 5 lunges Left leg (1 count)
  • 5 squats (1 count)
  • 5 iron mikes (1 count)

(Mosey to Pav2 – Small overhang behind baseball fields facing the river)

[Quarter Pounder 2]

  • 5 incline merkins (1 count)
  • 5 decline merkins (1 count)
  • 5 box jumps (1 count)
  • 5  R leg squats (1 count)
  • 5 L leg squats (1 count)

(Mosey to Pav3 – small chapel)

[Quarter Pounder 3]

  • 5 half burpees
  • 5 mountain climbers (1 count)
  • 5 real burpees
  • 5 plank press-ups (4 count)
  • 5 boat drivers (4 count)
    • Wall-sit and drive the boat

(Mosey to Pav4 – small Pav to the left)

[Quarter Pounder 4]

(this one sucked the most/was the hardest/most character building)

  • 25×4 Side/skater lunges (quick)
  • 25×4 incline merkins
  • 25×4 line hops (quick)
  • 25×4 dips

(Mosey to Pav5 – Pav by fields)

[Quarter Pounder 5]

  • 25 SSHs (1 count)
  • 25 merkins (1 count)
  • 25 Imperial Walkers (1 count)
  • 25 cockroaches (1 count)

(Mosey to Pav6 – Chapel) **Chapel was occupied, stayed in small Pav next to it**

[Quarter Pounder 6]

  • 25 x 4 SSHs (all together)
  • Take a lap around
  • 25×4 Squats (all together)
  • Take a lap around
  • 25×4 Army Merkins (all together)
  • Take a lap around
  • 25×4 SSHs (all together)

(Mosey back to AO)


(Watch the video until the end – worth it)



“Nothing Worth Having Comes Without a Fight”

The past couple of weeks have felt like a fight. A fight with God, a fight with myself, a fight with reality, a fight with my decisions. Different kind of fight maybe, but still a fight. When you show up for F3 whether it’s in the morning or evening, you know you’re going to fight to the finish. But you (hopefully) know that there’s going to be a brother on your left and a brother on your right that are ready to go toe to toe with you for the next 45 minutes.

Take this outside of F3. What have you had to fight for in your life // what are you currently fighting for? Your marriage, relationship, your kids, your job, your family, your friends, to not go back to a dark place, for the heart of men and women to know Jesus?

Our fights as men come in many different shapes and sizes, whether as a young man or a man with some more notches on his belt. What makes keeping the faith and fighting the good fight worth it during those times? Just like in F3 – you don’t do it alone. F3 is just the huddle – the game is outside the COT. Call a brother out – pull a brother in.

Keep the Faith & Fight the Good Fight brothers – it’s worth it.