F3 Gastonia

Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Month: October 2017 (page 1 of 5)

Trick, Treat, or Burpees?

I heard the other day that Halloween is the #2 holiday in America behind Christmas. After being in a few neighborhoods this evening, there are more decorations and parties than I remember. The costumes have certainly come a long way in creativity, much better than the nylon suit and plastic Batman mask of my youth. So when I took the Q for The Storm I had a ready-made theme to leverage the Halloween “Holiday.” I figured with Midoriyama cancelled because of the nights festivities, some of those men might post in the gloom but that was just a dream; #fartsack. On this am there was only one “visitor” with Whoopee posting in the 40-ish degrees temperature in shorts and short-sleeves. I would offer the good doctor is lacking common sense but I’ll suggest he was going for toughness. With many of the regulars, including Mayor, still fighting “the muck,” we clocked in. I was so excited to get started I failed to announce the disclaimer and missed the Pledge. So let’s get to it:

Warm-Up:

  • Frankensteins (aka Toy Soldiers): IC x 10
  • Mummy Kicks: IC x 10
  • Zombie Walk to the tennis courts

Thang:

Preparing for this workout I read some information about how many reps of an exercise would be required to burn off the calories if one were to indulge some of the candy that is readily available this evening. Factoid: it would require 22,000 crunches to burn a pound of fat. That’s a lot of damn crunches and we were limited to 45 minutes. But the one cardio exercise that elevates the heart rate is the burpee and that was at the beginning of the weinke except that as I was explaining the exercise – a train was heard and we all knew what that meant. With 5 down that cleared the way for the burpee suicide: run the width of each tennis court, perform 5 burpees, return to the start for a total of 20 (more) burpees. Whoopee either was hopped up on Ritalin or the Cialis had yet to wear off – in either event he tore through the first setting a rapid pace for the PAX to follow. Way to get it Whoop!

Once that round complete, the next event kept us at the tennis courts for a Four Corner Accumulator. A lunch bag had an exercise written on it where a flashlight gave some illumination to light the way. At each corner we did:

  • Merkins
  • Plank Jacks
    • Bear-crawl to the 3rd corner
  • WWI
  • SSH
    • Mosey to start

We went 5 rounds, beginning with 5 reps and increasing by 5 each time until we did 25 reps each. For this round Dolph lead the way with Slim Shady giving pursuit. Strong work by all men, especially our Respect guys: Dr. Seuss and Tesla. A quick count-off before it was time to mosey to the school entrance for the “bag of treats.”

The grab bag was filled with candy. The PAX would reach inside and pull a piece. Each one represented a different exercise. We were going four escalating rounds of 10, 20, 30, and 40 with a 50 yard mosey between each set.

  • Skittles = Donkey Kicks
  • Starburst = Dips
  • M&M’s = Sumo Squats
  • Twix = Flying Squirrel

A question for the PAX when trick or treaters ring your bell. Do they get what the get or do they get to pick? An age old question. For the PAX, there were a few “put backs.” With the Twix bar representing the dreaded Flying Squirrel, I’m sure the 9 men posting this morning will think twice the next time they see a Twix. I know I will since I drew that candy for both the rounds of 30 and 40 and can tell you 70 Flying Squirrels is no joke. This segment certainly raised the chatter that had been quiet up to this point. A quick check of the time showed we had a solid five minutes so Ms. Mary could feel the love. Mosey back to the start and get on your Six:

  • Flutter Kicks – IC x 10
  • Lazy Freddie Mercury – IC x 10
  • Leg Raises x10
  • Chop Sticks – IC x 10
  • Mountain Climbers – IC x 10
  • Merkins – 10 OYO
  • Burps – IC x 10
  • Modified V Sit Ups – SC x 10
  • Long Arm Crunch – SC x 10
  • Checked the time – still have 3 minutes and don’t need to short change anyone – back to the top:
  • Flutter Kicks IC x 10
  • Lazy Freddie Mercury IC x 10
  • Leg Raises x 10
  • TIME

COT

Announcements for Advisory Meeting at Cavendish at 6:30 on 11/12; Speed For Need Movie this Thursday – reach out to Tool Time; Mayor grabbed some Q’s for the next few weeks, Tesla picked up Thursday at The Goat. Prayers for each other and a safe Halloween night.

Moleskin

The Mayor got on me for not having music today, since he remembered to bring it last week. I wasn’t on my game today: forgot the disclaimer, name-a-rama, and nearly the pledge. Some days, it just goes that way. But hopefully the PAX enjoyed the workout. I heard a few grunts in the Mary segment and that is always a good sign of effort. Great push by everyone today and hopefully the work allowed for a piece of candy or two, maybe a Twix. Until the next time.

Short Sale

Christmas Party 2017 (#2)

It’s time for the 2017 Christmas Party! I know what you’re thinking-didn’t we just have the Christmas party? Well yes but that was the 2016 party. We are going to do the 2017 party in 2017 and it will even be in the month of December!

Date and Time: Friday 12/1/17 at 7:00 pm

Where: Lotus Bar and Eatery 1941 Hoffman RD Gastonia

Cost: $30 per person

I have the upstairs balcony reserved for us. This is an evening to get together outside of a workout and break bread with your brothers. You can come solo or get a sitter and bring your M or Girlfriend(not both) and have a nice evening out.

I need to have the final numbers turned into the restaurant by 11/18 so a HC is cash in my hand. I will be circulating the various workouts over the next few weeks so squirrel your money away just in case we cross paths. I will be at The Yank this Saturday 11/4 and Gashouse(Schielle) on 11/11. Please share this info in the COT’s and plan to come out!

80s/90s Halloween Costume Party/Workout!

I put my hand up on your hip. When I dip, you dip, we dip……

 

….blared from my speakers as I pulled into the Gashouse with my neon-banded head banging and fist pumping out my window. Is that Richard Simmons, I see in the parking lot to greet me? No it’s just Hushpuppy. Then I see Mayor wearing his actual workout gear from his HS wrestling days and Strogonoff has raided his wife’s workout drawer. Then things really got crazy as Patrick Swayze walks right off the Roadhouse set and onto the Schiele parking lot. (Edison in all his “jortsy-glory”!)

Alright let’s blast the tunes and workout!

The thang:

  • Warm-up (“aggressive warmup” according to Mayor) in Schiele parking lot.
  • Pledge.
  • Then mosey to Grier track with “Baby Got Back” blasting alongside this group of “Outsiders” as women and children screamed on Garrison Blvd.
  • Split into 4 groups of 3 to work at assigned stations:
    • #1 = 25 Merkins & 25 WWI Situps
    • #2 = 25 Squats & 25 Arm Squats (aka: dips)
    • #3 = 25 CDDs & 25 Freddy Mercurys
    • #4 = 25 LBCs & 25 Thor Hammers
  • After each station we grouped up on the track to complete a Snake Run around the track. (Music playlist = Tootsie Roll, Bust A Move, OPP, Jump, It’s Tricky, and of course, Ice Ice Baby!)

 

  • We then split into 2 teams of 6 and played an epic game of Ultimate Frisbee. Every time a team scored the opponent had to do 10 burpees. —- I thought I was tired from the workout but literally almost splashed merlot when I tapped into those competitive juices.

The good guys won and we moseyed back to the schiele. Mayor had an extra challenge on the return run with the extra sized head on his shoulders to carry back after a diving (uhhhmmmm…..falling) TD catch!

 

Great time had by all. Thanks to all the good sports that joined the costume party.

 

I want to thank TimeFrame for sharing a very good word that was on his heart. I was honored to meet him and to hear a part of his story and how F3 has truly helped him become a better man this past year. Aye! Thanks for the share brother. Perfect end to a great morning.

After essentially taking a 5-month break from F3, I really needed that workout and good time (more than many of you know). Thanks men.

Named our FNG, welcome to CarLot! Announcements. Prayer. Close.

 

 

Better Late Than Never X2

4 HIMs posted on a nice and cool Thursday morning. 05:30 hit, it’s time for the beatdown.

Warmarama;

SSH, Hillbillys, Don Quixote, and Gravel Pickers all x15 IC.

Thang;

Let’s mosey to the flag at the entrance to the park. Mumble chatter already started as Medicine Woman had brought the shovel flag with him.  Well YHC has entered the McAdenville 5K and needs to run, so off we go. As we get to the top of the hill we see the lights of a truck entering the park. Another HIM? Turns out it was Sparky and as he passed us he says “Better late than never” we give him the aye’s and continue to the flag.

Get to the flag and do some exercises (YHC doesn’t remember what we did due to having slept since then) to let Sparky catch up to the rest of us. We say the pledge and mosey to the parking lot across from the entrance. Mosey down and around the parking lot then do some Mike Tysons and mosey to the divider for some LBCs  10 for the first round and repeat with 20 OYO.  Mosey again down and around the parking lot then head back toward the parking lot near the ball fields on the left. With 5 burpees at every speed bump along the way. Another round of the exercises that were done at the flag.

Mosey across the road and around the parking lot 2x and hit the turd shack for a round of donkey kicks and hip slappers x10 OYO.  Mosey back to start and trying to get as much mileage in as possible pass the start and head down the hill for a lap around the parking lot and back to start.  Logging 2.6 miles.

 

Announcements;  Speed for Need and Sister Acts VQ

Prayer Request;  Each other, our kids and family.

COT;  Awesome work by each of the PAX, as always an honor to lead a great group of men!

And as Sparky says, YHC posts this backblast on 10/29/17 “Better late than never”

The legs, Broseph

I had a few weeks off due to a shoulder injury which, may or may not, have been caused by two Pax ganging up on me while Mtn Biking. Cough… Cough… Gumby and Freight.

Since I feel like we haven’t done a lot of legwork lately I decided today’s workout should be all about it and the workout commenced as follows:

Warm Up

  • Arm Circles
  • Side straddle hop – 25 IC
  • Don Quixote – 25 IC

The Thang

  • Route 66 Bobby Hurleys
  • 2 mins of Rocky Balboas
  • 2 mins of LBC’s
  • Lunge walk length of horseshoe pit. (it’s forever long)
  • 15 Burpees
  • Low Plank and hold to 10 High plank jacks and repeat
  • 50 WW1’s
  • 50 Dips
  • REPEAT

After completing two rounds we finished off the day with a round of Mary.

Prayer requests, COT, announcements. No Midoriyama workouts next week due to Halloween and the I’ll Push You movie coming Thursday.

It’s good to be back, aye!

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. –John 3:17

Zero Dark Thirty at the Yank

13 brave warriors showed up in the dark to take on the challenges of The Fighting Yank in Belmont this morning. Went something like this:

*Mosey from the street down to the park and up Heart Break Hill to the Field of Dreams in a frontal assault mode that would have made Chesty Puller proud! Like Pockets said “There is no hill if you can’t see it”. True statement!

SSH X20

10 burpees OYO

IW X 20

8 burpees

copperhead squats X 20

6 burpees

LBCs X 20

4 burpees

Mountain climbers X 20

2 burpees

Partner up for a set of Kevorkians, AKA partner assisted suicides.

Round 1:

P1 runs to midfield and does 10 hand release merkins, end of the field and 20 hand release merkins. P2 does jump squats. Flapjack partners and go.

Round 2

P1 to midfield and 10 flutter kicks, end, 20 flutter kicks. P2 does merkins. Flapjack.

Round 3

P1 to midfield, 10 LBCs, end of field 20 LBCs . P2 does WW II situps. Flapjack.

One set of Bear Crawl slalom to the end, all pax.

One set of “mosey slalom” back.

Mosey to the Corner of Knowledge.

Round 1: 10 dips, run to the other end of the school house for 10 dirkins

Round 2: Rinse and repeat, 15X each.

Round 3: Rinse and repeat, 20X each.

mosey down to Heart Break Hill for elevens, which means 10 trips up and down the hill.

Bottom: Merkins, 1 -10, Top: Jump squats 10 -1

Move to fountain for some pax called Mary which means one pax calls the move and runs around the fountain then next pax is up. Included mountain climbers, fence humpers, monkey humpers, SSH, merkins, Rosalitas, and other assorted moves.

Done! Pledge time.

NMM:

Great work in the dark today by all pax. Yank is strong and offers great opportunities for creative work. Glad to see Wheezy back and our recent FNGs Orangeman and Tiger! Let’s keep it pushing on guys! And good 2nd F afterwards today. really want to expand that.

Tool Time is up next week, Sargento week after. Need a leader on the25th, Tesla is out the 25th but will take the 18th no problem.

Great to be part of this crowd! Everybody pushed it hard today. way to go men!

WAO BlockBuster

Coming off the Tuna 200 YHC thought that the BlockBuster would be a good workout to bring back.  Mayor made the suggestion of incorporating the stairs that led to the upper lot so I couldn’t disappoint. After dropping off the coupons, I made my way to the parking lot to wait on the Pax.  We might have to find a new place to park at #GoatIsland.  I believe there are 4 different workout groups taking place now.  As the Pax rolled in I started counting to make sure everyone would have a coupon.  12 on the money.  Let’s go get it.

 

Pledge

NO WARMUP

Thang; Mosey around sidewalk and incorporate stairs for 2 laps, ( just over a 1/2 mile) then meet in the upper parking lot where the coupons were waiting.

6 exercises with coupon for 10 reps IC per exercise.

Curls, French Curls, Squats, Overhead Press, Good Mornings, Front Raises

Run 2 laps.  Repeat exercises.  Run 2 laps. Repeat exercises.  Run 2 laps.

Circle up for 5 mins of Mary; 10 burpees OYO, 10 Monkey Humpers IC

Moleskin;  Nice work by all Pax, there was a train somewhere in the mix so we hit 5 burpees OYO.   Gastone asked when the fun was going to start and I told him it started when he got out of the car.  Thanks to Spec and Slim Shady for the push on the runs.  I have learned that fitness at any level  is mostly mental.  There is a battle taking place inside your head and all you have to do is keep pushing through what your mind is telling you.  The last leg of the Tuna 200 had me fighting this same battle and no matter what DFQ!  It was an honor to lead you men.

BOM;

Announcements, Prayer Requests

Thanks Gastone for taking us out.

The Enemy Inside

Gastone fartsacked.

SSH x 10

Squats x 10  Pledge of Allegiance

Slow, great form Merkins x5

Clavin showed up late so we hit some more SSH to get him in the game

LBC’s x 10 or something

Indian Run around parking lot

A brief word:  The toughest battle you’ll ever fight in your life is the battle within yourself.”  You can’t expect to lead your family if you aren’t winning the battle inside yourself.  Do things that are good for you and stop doing the things that are bad.

Mosey to bridge:  Bear Crawl the bridge and Lung walk back

Run to Methodist parking lot for deconstructed 8 count bodybuilders=

8 squats, 8 merkins, 8 plank jacks,  8 squats   One set altogether and 3 sets OYO

Run to Methodist steps.  Two rounds of 50 calf raises counted by Slaw and then Hush Puppy.  Whoopee started singing “Do Diddy Do” which confused Hush Puppy but I believe he counted….in order.

Train- 5 burpees OYO

Run to bottom of parking deck…

Partner carries to the top of deck….switching as needed.  Several PAX were well over the 240 mark but not EZ Rider who claimed a shredded 175.

Run down to bars and 10 pullups

Run to Art Circle

11’s  Dips and 10 Derkins

“The most challenging of all resistance comes from within. The similarity with all warriors is that they’re always battling demons within themselves. It’s a constant battle, that has to be fought non-stop.” Tim Kennedy

Stop before the Pavilion for descending burpees 10-8-6-6-6? with some sharing in between.  We learned the struggles within can be confidence, struggles with family illness, etc.  We need to do our best to fix ourselves and give the ones closest to us our best efforts and model proper behavior to those around us, particularly our children and spouse.

During the burpees SLAW either couldn’t count (likely)  but as the trains continued to roll by, 5 burpees oyo became 6 and then at one point Slaw couldn’t stop doing burpees so I had to call time.  Jailbreak was called by EZ Rider and we returned to the Pavilion better men just in time for the COT.

Prayers for Clavin’s mom, EZ Rider’s family, Def Leppard’s son Logan, Hush Puppy’s M.

A pleasure to lead as always!  You don’t need to Q to have that Q strength, but it helps!

Overcoming Fear with Fury’s Expedited Mosey to the Coast

Prologue – Spring of 1984 and 2017

If I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, running sucks. If I’m chasing a ball or someone or someone is chasing me, then I’m down with that part of the sport/activity. But the simple activity of just running – for the fun or supposed enjoyment? The exercise endured one step at a time, traveling various distances within nothing but one’s legs. Nah – that sounds like work to me. I’ll take the Slaughter Starter for my cardio – thank you very much and may I have another? Why is running at the bottom of my list you ask? As I continue to open my kimono, I’ll admit there is one sport that in my entire amateur/recreational/intramural athletic career that I have quit – only one: Junior High School Track.

As a gangly 7th grader lacking toughness for football, height and quickness for hoops, and a broken jaw that ended my baseball career, there was only one team that I had any chance to represent the Grier Knights back in 1984 – track. I should mention the coach didn’t cut either. My athletic limitations once again pushed me far from my vision as the white Carl Lewis or Edwin Moses. I was relegated to the slow heats of the famed events like the 400, 800, and 1600. After countless, miserable hours of “practice,” my primary goal was not to finish last in our weekly meets. Every day after school was running various distances for a few hours and it sucked to the point that I decided one afternoon to catch a ride home with my carpool and skip the few remaining weeks of the season. Why? I can’t recall. Is it something I regret? Maybe – the bold words of quitter are permanently etched on my resume. That was a long time ago but likely a rock in my shoe that I’ve failed to shake free.

So earlier this year, in late spring at The Fighting Yank one Saturday morning, Quiche begins to work on me: “I’m putting together a team for the Tuna 200; I need you to run in it…” I’d heard the stories from fellow F3’ers that participated in the Blue Ridge and Palmetto 200. There was intrigue, but admittedly more for the 2nd F than the 1st F. “I’m not a runner – there are some other guys you should ask.” I replied on that occasion and the others when asked. Sargento joins the recruitment process and as many of you in F3 land know, Sargento is relentless in his pursuits to EH someone. “I think I have Plantar Fasciitis,” I tell my fellow Wolfpack fan. “Ah, me too, just rub your foot on a golf ball…fix that right up. So the race is in October – when do you want to start training?” Temptation and curiosity began to wrestle inside my mind. I buy a pair of Brooks – like all the cool runners are wearing these days. On May 25th I find myself in the parking lot of Publix instead of The Goat – my virgin voyage to the mid-week running AO. Stroganoff, Gastone, and Outhouse are stretching and welcome me. At 0530, there is no warm-up, just a fleet escape that I apply chase – a new attempt at the sport – this is gonna suck.

Thang: October 20, 2017 – The Fury’s Expedited Mosey to the Coast

The second platoon of Team GasHouse arrived at the rendezvous point Friday at 0800, following our Nantan’s detailed parking instructions, aligning our vehicles without the benefit of parking lines. This apparently had not occurred in the past two events meaning we were off to a good start. With Mayor captaining our van, Dolph, Qehshe, Freight, Def Leppard, Outhouse, and Short Sale, collectively known as The Fury, headed east in the St. Marks Church van decorated with the logos of our F3 tribe. With two prior races under his belt, The Mayor had planned our mission with flawless detail, complete with water, snacks, maps, and most importantly precision timing to arrive well ahead of our pre-arranged times. If you think Mayor is nothing but a pretty face – you must think again.

We dropped off I-85, east on I-40. I noticed a stand near exit 270 there was a large sign offering free degrees but the line was too long and we were on a mission. About 20 miles south we circled around Raleigh, home of the #14 ranked Wolfpack football team before exiting to top off our tank at a Sheets (clearly Mayor’s preferred fueling station). Our pre-race meal was at Sub-Way where we ran into a few Tuna competitors. We quickly sized up team Skid-Marx as a future kill (we beat them by nearly 2 hours), ate our food and headed to the Four Oaks Civitan fields that looked like an holding lot with multitudes of white Ford Transit vans waiting for assignment. We found some shade to rest our bodies for the upcoming challenges. This is where Freight and Mayor broke out the Air Lounger ($29.99 at Amazon). This invention is an air hammock that inflates like you were pulling a kite. As Mayor settled into his that just so happened to be the color pink, our juvenile humor quickly observed it looked like Mayor was resting in a big vagina. As we laughed at the joke, a female walked by and said “that is so cute, I’d love to have one of those…where can I get one?” We connected more to the question than what was intended, increasing the intensity of our belly laughs, Freight quickly responded “Amazon – you can buy anything Amazon.” It was going to be one of those trips where plenty of humor would be needed to distract our minds from task at hand.

We exchanged greetings once Red Wolf arrived and cheered as Stroganoff made the exchange with Qeche, who took off at an envious pace. We stuffed the pink vagina into its case and loaded our van for the next exchange zone. We passed Qishe as he sped toward his first target ambling along a lonely highway prompting Mayor’s observation “it must be hell to be dead and not even know it…” True as it was, that poor sap was the first kill among the many by our relay leader.

The Fury would maintain the same batting order for each of our three segments with Quiche, Freight, Def Leppard, Outhouse, Short Sale and Dolph. It would be easy to bore you with round by round highlights and lowlights of the team’s various travels on foot. For those that have competed in this event, you know the drill but for those who have not, I’ll do my best to add some color. Def Leppard was the beneficiary of a late change in the race order, shortening his first run to 1.67 miles, daunting for some but not for our respected cat. Def tore out like the guy ahead stole his Harley. Once he caught that guy, he killed three more. DL joked that it would have been nice for us to offer him water and a gel at the one mile mark to get him through.

After Outhouse brought the baton about 5 miles, it was my first turn of 4.3 miles. I had been forewarned of the adrenaline that surges into your body as you take off in front of the small crowd which feels a bit like “Q-Power” leading the PAX. I can attest to that truth as my legs churned and my heart-rate climbed into the upper 160’s limiting my breaths to gasps. Walking was not an option as it was earlier in the summer as I built my stamina to gradually exceed five miles before I would allow myself a slower break. What I learned on those training runs is the adage that it truly is mind over matter. My legs will run as long as I tell them to. The same thing applies to an F3 workout when we’re grinding through our most hated exercise – keep pushing the rock as Bandit often says. My team pulled to the side of the road and offered a water bottle to combat the warm humid air. I had yet to train for running and drinking and this attempt quickly failed, chunking the water bottle to the turf and re-focused my mind toward the remaining distance, happily tagging Dolph for the final leg of nearly 7 miles – a walk in the park for him. It was at that point after only one segment that I considered my exploratory effort into this running akin to a University of Kentucky freshman: one and done. Whoopee offered some advice to slow down and find my pace.

Upon the exchange with Van 1, team Fury headed for dinner where there were limited options on a Friday night in Eastern NC, settling on Ribeye’s in Mt. Olive, NC. We settled in the upstairs bar joining another Tuna team in the Rotary room. A hired DJ shuffled through an entertaining playlist quietly in the background prompting the conclusion it must be a slow night in Mt Olive. Outhouse was the only one to actually order the ribeye to which the kitchen completely missed the order, eventually getting his plate as the others were nearly finished. I think it was comped – you’ll have to ask him. We then traveled to Pink Hill Elementary School for as much rest as we could find before Qweeshe had to run his second leg around midnight. This is difficult to explain in this cult of overnight relay races. While there were a few tents and a few hammocks (Enos), the best description I can attempt to provide is to imagine a field of homeless people in expensive sleeping bags scattered over the ground, kind of surreal. As a rookie, I had a sleeping bag but nothing to separate my gear from the wet grass. While the two blow-up vaginas were once again employed, Def Leppard and I opted for the not quite long enough bench seats of the van. If you’ve ever attempted to sleep on an airplane, where deep in the recess of your mind, you know there is only a two hour window to rest; you never truly get past much more than 15 to 20 minute increments of “sleep” to which Def and I seemed to alternate listening to each other snore, twist and turn. Shortly before mid-night Van 1 arrived literally waking the make-shift neighborhood when backing in front of our vehicle with the commercial beeps activated by the reverse gear. Uggg – time to move – no rest for the weary.

At this juncture of the race additional participants competing in the 70 mile portion of the event had entered the course. These poor souls became quick targets as our lead runner Keeeshe picked off 14 kills of his 7.5 mile stroll. The weather had dropped into the 40’s removing the barriers of heat and humidity we faced in the earlier legs. Perfect running weather I was told by the veterans. Under a clear and starry night, we plowed through our intervals and only Def Leppard reported being chased by a barking dog. I imagine for the locals, they’d be better off out of town with the steady stream of lighted runners keeping the various guard dogs barking, doing their jobs to warn of passing strangers in the night. Our shift concluded around 4:30 am and we headed to Midway United Methodist Church in Stella, NC, prompting Def Leppard to request “I need one of them vaginas to sleep in.”

The team was able to grab a few hours of rest amid various contorted positions and chilling outdoor temperatures. There were few breakfast options at this early time of the morning. Against better judgment a McDonalds was found in what we thought was a reasonable distance away. This time it was my turn to have an order botched where in the eastern part of our state a “plain steak biscuit” clearly means add ham, egg, onions, and cheese. “WTF?” – If they only knew the turd that had been crowning in my ass the past two hours…it was difficult to get one down and keep the other in. But hey – this is the Tuna and we must overcome obstacles.

With the sun slowly climbing and shortly after 8 am, the final team exchange was completed and Fury took over with Qeeeshe once again speeding down the road. Freight sported his F3 Speed for Need tank top and his blade sunglasses. We all agreed he looked much faster in this attire. He had 5 miles ahead of him, including the bridge to Emerald Isle. Upon completing his fastest times of the weekend Freight confided “that bridge looked a lot flatter on paper…” In reality, the new bridge had a 250 foot peak over the Intercoastal Waterway that was not made very clear in any of the race documentation. Now we know. Leppard ran a quick 3 miles handing off to Outhouse that had his longest run of the event at a little more than 7 miles. The good news it was flat while the bad news is the day had warmed significantly and there was little shade along the straightaway. I was lucky that my final segment was only 3 miles, my shortest one and with all of the team running their best times, I was determined not to detract from the team’s success. The first half mile was great, a near sprint. I was getting the hang of this running I thought and then my legs turned to mush. The image of Scooby-Doo’s four legs rotating in a circular fashion while standing still flashed through my mind. All I could do was keep pushing. I saw a figure ahead moving slowly – could it be one more kill? I set my target and pressed onward until arriving and passing a Tuna competitor “Pow-Pow!” and then a lady stepped onto the sidewalk, tying balloons on a sign – I passed her and thought ‘did I just killed a civilian?’ But when you’re spraying bullets – there are bound to be some casualties – “Pow-Pow.” I made the final exchange for Dolph to finish our race with a little more than 5 miles to go. I wiped off the sweat with baby wipes and powder to hide the stench from my weary body, changing into clean clothes and joining the members of Van 1 on the Atlantic Beach Boardwalk where the finish line was set. Our two groups mingled and exchanged stories watching with anticipation for the final member of our team. We finally caught a glimpse of a shirtless Dolph had speeding into view. Mayor had correctly guessed he would be topless which could have been due to the heat or the fact we were at the beach, then again there were a number of ladies present. Someone suggested the GasHouse team should join him but that idea was thankfully buried. Dolph rounded the corner and we followed, crossing the finish line just over 28 hours, good enough for 10th place among the 90 entrants.

When you live in a van with six other guys for literally 30 hours, it can do nothing but allow you to get better acquainted – this much is true and I surmise why reality tv shows have remained popular. There isn’t enough time or space to list all the things shared among the Fury. As it is sometimes said “you’ve got to show to know.” There were plenty of laughs, more than could be counted. I made a few notes and a few quotes are listed below:

  • All women hate the word “moist” (try it on your M and see)
  • “Son, you’ve got to get a pedicure – it feels great. After that, get your legs waxed.” (if you guessed Dolph said that, you’d be correct and then go play the lottery)
  • “Success is a dish best served cold.”
  • “Cajun filet biscuits were a big contributor to the making of Fat Ricky.”
  • “We’re playing Hearts? I thought we were playing Spades?”

Moleskin

When your alarm sounds in the wee hours of the morning or your inner conscious suggests at some point it’s time to exercise, the easiest thing to do is tap the snooze. I know I’m guilty of that. The daily red pill (#DRP) can be sour or sweet at times but it always makes us better. Running was an obstacle I allowed to cast fear and doubt. Did participating in the Tuna conquer those challenges? Not entirely, but training and competing certainly provided the ammunition to reduce my inhibitions allowing me to participate for Team GasHouse. Like a workout, the team pulled together and got each other through the challenges. Quiche was the QIC for this event and did a great job to organize and plan the overall logistics and communicate to the team. Once in the van, he was focused and determined in his pursuits to lead the team. He got us off to a fast start of each of Van 2’s legs, traveling 24 miles in all and earning the most kills of our team. Along our journey, Freight mentioned a lesson he heard from OBT discussing the different types of F3 members. The top-left box of the chart were the “Gorge Runners” aka thrill seekers where guys will blindly join the cause looking for the thrills – this is where our Nantan lives. He lives and speaks from F3 as he proudly transformed from a Sad Clown to the leader he is today. I also learned of Freight’s game face as he prepared for each of his legs, improving his splits each time out. (I think he secretly is a runner – but don’t tell him). I knew Def Leppard was an experienced runner. He might be in the Respect category but he gets it done and age is nothing but a number. He may perform merkins in a CDD form but he runs with ferocity, attacking the course with high intensity. Outhouse is a three-tour veteran of the relay races and steady contributor to whatever leg was assigned. I still remember one of my first workouts at Martha’s where he made us carry rocks (one of his favorite things). At F3 workouts, he maintains a quiet persona, a man of few words but get a few cocktails in him and the floor becomes open, but be forewarned his dry humor has some bite to it. We all see Dolph as one of the fittest among our region. Flipping tires, lifting blocks, and most assuredly executing the burpee. Many Saturday’s he has been challenged on the return to the Schiele parking lot for a ‘sprint to the finish’ to which unofficially he may be undefeated. He covered 18 miles for our team and never complained despite battling a sore calf muscle. But more than strength, he supplies a positive and encouraging attitude. In this relay event, more important than the fastest runner is the van driver. These men are the core of the event to ensure timely arrival and Team Fury was fortunate to have a veteran with Mayor in the captain’s chair. Though his political career is coming to a temporary hiatus, it was clear to see why it may someday resume at higher levels as he warmly greeted the volunteers at each exchange zone. He could have easily sat in the warm van but instead he was at the road to inspire confidence for the next man up and congratulate the man that just handed the baton. The opportunity to lock arms with the men of Fury as well as our brothers in Van 1 far exceeded my expectations when I registered for this event.

Epilogue – Saturday, October 21st 2:45 am – State Highway 41 Trenton, NC

(If you’re still with me on this long diatribe – hang on as I speed toward the finish)

I set off on my second leg with 4.3 miles ahead on a lonely two-lane highway. I’ve completed Shaun T’s Insanity but this is truly insane. In my life, would I ever predict I would be running along a highway in the early hours of a cold morning? The short answer is never – but F3 has broadened my fitness journey beyond following a dvd in my garage. The First F is not always what brings me out of the fartsack – I know I need it, but worst case, I can get that on my own. In my view it’s the Second F that is the secret to this organization’s success. To have met so many great guys, pulling for and supporting each other through workouts and more importantly life – this was why I did this event. Sure, my willingness to run increased but each time I wanted to walk or slow down, I thought about my team waiting at the finish. As my legs churned along the road I adhered to Whoopee’s advice “start slow.” I also listened to Quiche – “make sure you look at the stars.” Large exhales of my breath reflected off my headlamp and floated above. I paced off a runner 20 yards ahead, holding back the urge to pass until my running app announced the first mile was behind me. I hastened my pace until I was alone and then my thought’s gravitated toward the Third F as I studied the heaven above that felt more like running under the dome of a planetarium but this was the real. Perfectly clear to allow the stars and moon to glow providing a calm that allowed a peaceful and prayerful exchange intermittently for the next half hour, thanking God for many things in my life. This memorable moment couldn’t have been experienced without F3.

With the 2017 Tuna 200 completed I have been asked – ‘would (will) you do it again?’ Quite literally I’m raising my arm – try not to twist too hard. Thanks to Quiche, Sargento, Stroganoff, Monk, Defib, Whoopee and especially Madoff (my accountability partner) for the emotional push prior to the event. Thanks to the members of GasHouse in both Vans 1 and 2 for the memory of a lifetime.

Short Sale

Impromptu Q

The week leading up to the Tuna 200 and in driving shape, I was trying to come down with something.  After a long weekend where I was couldn’t shake it off and wanting to sleep in, I put out a tweet to support Tesla in his post because a few weeks back, I recruited some Qs and Tesla stepped it up for this day.  Oops, hes out of state….oh well, step up and get it done.

Again, one of my favorite workouts is the 99.  Keeps you moving, hits a lot of the body and is just a lot of fun.  It was 5:22 and no one there.  5:23 and tophat shows up.  5:29 and they roll in hard.

Warmup
MCCs ICx30
Grass Pokers (thanks to whoopie and dolph) ICx10

The Thang
Mosey around the parking lot to the round about and sprint up the hill to the school entrance.  Circle and begin.
99 SSH, 99 LBCs, 99 second wall sit, 99 flutter kicks, 9 merkins.  Repeat on down to 66.   At this point, SSH becomes high knees and merkins become burpees.  Push this all the way down to 22.  Run back to the start for COT and Name-o-rama with no time to spare.

Moleskin
I really didn’t want to be out there feeling terrible, but I pushed myself to make sure I was always the first done or close to it.  I have been thinking about that all week.  If I can push like that when I lead, why not when I follow?  The answer is its all in my head.  I come out to these things and get into the mumble chatter and even get mentioned when I’m not posting because of it.  I view that as a failure of mine that I have been at it this long and not shown the gains and noticed more for talk rather than actions.  I have been training to run these 5ks coming up at the end of the year and it is kicking my hind end.  I am running at a 12min pace and during these runs and I want to quit and that pisses me off because had I been putting out the effort I should have, I would be way ahead of where I am and would have been there eight months ago.  I do like that everyone holds each other accountable because that keeps me moving.  I posted today and really pushed it to make sure my laps were above a certain speed.  I even had a goal to catch Gilligan.  I didn’t, but he never left me.  Ive grown tired of the routine, but the road ahead is hard and there is a battle between what I want most and what I want now.  I don’t want to push, but I know I have to so I can get better.  Not just better for me, but my family.  They depend on me and I continually let them down, or at least I let myself down by not being the best man that I can be.  Thanks to Gods grace, we get another day and another shot.  Its limitless through him.  Sorry to get real, but that REAL TALK.

It was an honor men and I look forward to it again.

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