F3 Gastonia

Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

F3-A Damn Good Midlife Crisis

  • When: 5/22/15
  • QIC: JD
  • PAX:

After some encouragement, I was asked to tag multiple regions for this post. I am JD from Lake Murray, SC.

Here we go. This is the, “what F3 has meant to me post”. Now, I know this post has been done many times before, so hopefully I can add something to what has already been said. Disclaimer: I am not the best writer when it comes to writing about my thought and feelings. Scientific writing is my wheelhouse, give me some data and I will give you a nice report with succinct analysis. So be patient as I muddle through. I want this post to be an encouragement and a thank you to all PAX. Anyone who has been in F3 longer than a few months knows that this is more than just a workout. What we do on a daily basis is of extreme value and instrumental in changing and/or accelerating the lives of men.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot on what is F3 to me? This is the best answer I came up with. It is a gift from God I didn’t deserve or even knew I needed. God has blessed me with many things in my life. He has blessed me with so many people throughout my life whom have supported and helped me. I have an awesome wife, two of the best children and a great career. Isn’t it funny how we pray for things and instead of granting our prayers, God gives us more than we could have even conceived to begin with. I was praying to lose some weight, God gave me F3, how small was my faith?

A little history about myself. My father left when I was 2. I grew up poor, mostly in WV. I moved 16 times. I was raised in an abusive home by a bipolar mother with a revolving door of loser stepdad/boyfriends. Cocaine, marijuana, alcohol abuse were the norm. It sucked. I never felt secure and it was hard. I could write a book on the last 2 sentences. Then, I got invited to church in junior high. I accepted Jesus and found myself surrounded by a 2nd F group. Without the help of my grandparents and this group of people, I would most likely have been a statistic. Instead, I am the first person in my family with a doctorate degree (or even graduate degree). Fellowship changed it all. I didn’t know I needed those people but God did. I feel the same way about my F3 brothers. My life has been changed again with the motor of fellowship and accountability.

When I first posted to F3, I was going through one of the saddest times of my life. My grandfather passed away on June 9, 2014. It wasn’t expected. He had a heart attack. My grandfather was flawed, simple, and good. Not a bad way to live. He was the only father figure that I had and the only man I felt ever loved me. Losing him was tough and I was depressed for a while. Death is one of those things that makes you reevaluate yourself. I wanted to be better. Even armed with the knowledge of a degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate in physical therapy I found it hard to get into shape. As I looked in the mirror at a 260# size 44 waist-ed man who works in healthcare, I knew I had to change. I didn’t want my family crying over my casket like we were that day. I knelt down by my grandfather, held his hand, prayed, and promised him I would change. I would lose 40#. (Now, I had not yet read Free to Lead, and didn’t even know about POGO 40, so I find this ironic).

When I got back home, the next week I got invited to F3 by Swampy and on 7/23/2014 I showed up in all my glory for a Pothole led leg day. It was too hard for me. I pulled an ab doing a burpee, I was back of the pack wheezing just trying to keep up. Had it been any other class at a gym or crossfit place I probably wouldn’t have came back. But F3 does something different. They pick up the 6, they encourage, they inspire, they don’t leave a man behind. I couldn’t even run 100 yards my first time out, but I had resolve to #getbetter to #bebetter. 6 months later I ran a 1/2 marathon. I’ve done a 12K trail run, mud run, P200, GRL730, I’ve lost 57lbs. A guy that couldn’t run a 100 yards did all that in less than a year. Why, because men saw fit to invest in the lives of other men. #service Next up are a GRC/GRL double down and the BRR. I look forward to the fellowship. These CSAUPs/adventures have been some of the best times of my life.

Today I am in the best shape of my life. I am definitely a better father, husband, and son. It is funny, I used to think, with my judgemental POGO 40 brain, fathers in excellent shape must not be paying attention to their families and are focused too much on themselves. It became my excuse much of the time. I don’t go to the gym because I love my family. I convinced myself that my inactivity was noble. How messed up is that? I used to think, why would I go run a mile, I would be too tired to play with my kids. Now, I can double down, get home when they are waking up and still run circles around them all day. I am calmer, happier, stronger, and faster.

What we do is important. It is more than a workout. I am honored to share life with you gentlemen. I want to say thank you! Let’s keep getting these FNGs out here, keep picking up the 6, and do what we do. I love you guys!

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phillipians 3:14





  1. JD – thanks for your story

    Still amazes me each time I read these testimonials

  2. Well said Josh!! Your transformation has been amazing!! Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Well said JD. Immensely proud of the transformation you’ve made these past few months. Can’t wait to continue to #getbetter along side you.

  4. Aye. Thank you for sharing this. BZ.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to share. As an engineer, I’m also very analytical and can work up a technical article in nothing flat. Dealing with the emotions is much more challenging. I read articles like yours and sometimes tear up because I relate so well to the experience being shared. T-Claps for laying it out…raw,honest and real. Continue to share…these stories touch so many men. You’re definitely leading by example. Well done!

  6. “a gift from God I didn’t deserve or even knew I needed” – That’s the definition of Grace, brother. Aye.

    I’ve told many people a case study could be written on what makes F3 so successful and sustains its growth.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Makes want to go FNG hunting!

    The Force, NoCo

  7. Maybe this post has been done many times, but some things never get old regardless of how many times they are done and this is one of those things. Personally, I never get tired of reading what I think of as the There I Was, Then This Happened, And Here I Am Now, or the #WasNow. The #WasNow is a great thing.

    A couple of things I’ve noticed about the #WasNow. They are all different, very different. Every man has his own story, his own Was that makes it unique. Yet, while the Nows are also unique to each man, they all share a very common characteristic: the Now is a man who has become something he wants to share with other men stuck in their Was. In F3Lingo we call this being a #HIM (a High Impact Man) who becomes ThatSomebody in another man’s life, that Something Else Interceding.

    Now, this is me talking but I don’t believe in a man leaving his Was behind for the Now without a HIM. Almost every #WasNow features one. Here it was Swampy. #TClaps to you Brother. I’m guessing Swampy also has a HIM as well, who in turn had one.

    Here’s another thing. Articulating your #WasNow is a great way to be a HIM to a man stuck in his Was. A man told me yesterday that he had been fat and soft all his life, but could now see a way out of it because other men had walked the same path.

    So TClaps to you JD, but don’t stop here. Use your #WasNow to That Somebody to every SadClown you meet. The only thing between his Was and Now may well be you Brother. Aye.

  8. Agree with @Dredd that the genuine #WasNow posts do not get old. Strong brother, it has been a great realization to many of us that prioritizing the requisite Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith irregardless of the many other roles we play in life is essential. We’re called to it and I believe it works against our families and communities to over-dedicate ourselves to them and completely overlooking our personal growth need. It may be a form of laziness that causes us to give to much for so long becoming a #sadclown. Keep going. Aye.

  9. Proverbs 20:30 NLT says… “Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.” JD, We’ve never met in person, but we’re Brothers in Christ! We are third is the F3 Movement that is spreading far and wide one person at a time. Relational discipleship. Never underestimate the wisdom of #DRTF. Just as it is easy to get lost in a crowd(ed church), fellowship can suffer if we are not intentional in planning the spread of F3’s growth. Some men will just find it too easy to excuse themselves from the experience. Let’s assure AO’s be no more than 20 minutes away from a FNG. #unshacklingmoderndaywarriors #dontsettleforless #lifeasGODimagines AYE!

  10. “Today I am in the best shape of my life. I am definitely a better father, husband, and son. It is funny, I used to think, with my judgemental POGO 40 brain, fathers in excellent shape must not be paying attention to their families and are focused too much on themselves. It became my excuse much of the time. I don’t go to the gym because I love my family.”

    I’ve had to wrestle with this one. It’s a very #RedPill concept that by spending a few hours away, doing something that matters, the hours/days/years with the loved ones in your life have new quality. Thanks for your testimony!

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