F3 Gastonia

Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Day: May 11, 2019

Mystery Mongol


One morning a Mongol ventured far away from his Fightin’ fartsack.  He traveled 39 miles by rickshaw to the land of roundeyes, beards, and breakfast. The last time his people had been that far West was the laying of the early railroads… which history shows, didn’t end all that well for them (reference: dynamite “accidents”).  Nevertheless, he and 23 other Gastoniagols clansmen met up to do semi-ridiculous things… and strengthened their bond as brothers. This is their story.

The Thang

  • 0630… prayers for Pizza Man’s niece Courtney, quick disclaimer and we’re off
  • Fake warmup attempt … SSH, I/W 
  • Let’s do this. 35 Merkin ladder (5 reg, 5 wide, 5 diamond, 5 R offset, 5 L offset, 5 R leg high, 5 L leg high) on YHC up/down cadence
  • Backwards & sideways run up the hill to the tennis courts (any direction but forwards)
  • Agility drill #1 on tennis courts: Run the boundaries of each of the 4 tennis courts, turning hard on the corners (forward, side-shuffle, backwards). Move them hips!!!
  • Agility Drill #2 on the tennis courts: 3 rounds of suicide sprints to 4 lines on 2 tennis courts. Each round doing burpees, low squats, and Carolina dry docks at the baseline). Move them hips!!!
  • 28 Merkin ladder (4 reg, 4 wide, 4 diamond, 4 R offset, 4 L offset, 4 R leg high, 4 L leg high)
  • Backwards & sideways run up the hill to the horse track (anything but forwards)
  • Three 4 man X ~250 meter Team Relay races. 6 diff teams. Each team members sprints AYG on the horse track lap (avoiding all the poo). While runner is on the track, teammates squat and forward lunge.
  • 21 Merkin ladder (3 reg, 3 wide, 3 diamond, 3 R offset, 3 L offset, 3 R leg high, 3 L leg high)
  • On concrete bleachers, ascending and descending plank-merkins from the bottom to the top and back down. 
  • 14 Merkin ladder (2 reg, 2 wide, 2 diamond, 2 R offset, 2 L offset, 2 R leg high, 2 L leg high)
  • Mosey back to launch
  • Individual Tug-O-War… members of relay teams 1, 3, 5 versus 2, 4, 6
  • Pledge of allegiance, serious-not-so-serious pictures, Finito!!!


YHC had an absolute blast with you brothers this morning. We worked hard, we supported each other, we pushed each other. We refreshed our memory of why we F3, and taught others possibly for the first time what F3 is beyond the workout.  F3 has been the catalyst for many of the changes in my life in almost all quadrants… family, work, fitness, friendship, and most importantly Faith. So YHC feels compelled from time to time to share that with you all, so hopeful you can enrich your lives and the lives of others on your journey.

Some of you asked for the link so here’s it is…. it’s my “TED” Talk (~20min) I have about #WHOPUSHESWHO … Finding what you were meant to do >>> https://youtu.be/prEGCsHw2qw

You men in Gastonia have held a special place in my mongol heart for a while. In addition to breeding great leaders, having one of the sickest newsletters, and just being a fun loving crew. YHC always will remember the tremendous support you threw behind SPEED FOR NEED, time and treasure, when it was just an idea. And that just hasn’t stopped in your caring for the community SFN. So thank you. 

On that note, a couple of other musings from the morning… 

  • Tooltime tried to kick off the mumblechatter very early…. but YHC had none of it, and quickly transmitted my NPR podcast into his noggin and he became the Wikipedia of F3 nowlege.
  • On the horse track, Def Leppard went down like Frazier.  The Kentucky Derby replay official was not present to review if there was jock interference and if disqualification was warranted.  Nevertheless, that stud still has game! No need to send him to the glue factory….yet
  • Pizza Man almost refusenik’d the ascending planks on the concrete bleachers. Claiming concern over messing his teeth up. YHC agreed to cover dental bills from any new injury, but not that pre-existing condition of a messed up grill that he already has!
  • Slaw is a beast… showing off his #perfectform on the merkin sets and also could win a staring competition with his Q eye-contact focus. Appreciate the effort today, and the pancake!
  • Oompa showed up 30 minutes early to do his promised 30 burpees.  Pro-tip… you can sleep in 15 minutes more, if you do them in 15 minutes. (Pro-tip coming from the guy who did not offer to do any with him)
  • Even though it took 6 trips to the gas station to get to the AO, Col Allen Tate rode up with his boyz in one of the sickest military humvees anyone’s ever seen! 
  • Rock A Billy never quit. Even worked some of his stomach muscles with dry heave at some point. Keep it up brother. 


  • Please keep Pizza Man and his family in your prayers as they try to deal with the loss of his niece Courtney.


JRR Tolkien aka Fighting Mongol aka El Chino Guapo




So this “flash CSAUP” idea was basically wanting to do something that was harder than normal and stupid but without the normal planning and effort.  I had a rucking CSAUP in mind that would take a lot more preparation than I had time for and a busy summer coming up precluded any real effort to get that done.  A few weeks ago I settled on this date and told Whoopee and Stroganoff that I had an idea and it would be called “The MORON” and they were of course humbled that I would think of them.

If I were to define a Flash CSAUP, it is basically like a regular CSAUP except it can’t be announced until less than 48 hours from the actual start so no one can prepare and the planning and organization is done more “on the fly”.

Without knowing how many people would show up, I prepared note cards with routes based on run times so I could group folks together.  This wasn’t necessary since we ended up with seven and decided to stay together.  Here is how it went down…

YHC couldn’t sleep so he got to the AO early.  The parking lot was full of cars and I thought “what have I done” but realized the Scouts were sleeping at the Schiele again.  I think everyone shared that thought as they pulled in.

A little after 0300 Stroganoff pulled in and then WATTS-UP.  Freight, Defib, and finally Whoopee.  I collected ruck sacks from everyone and drove Whoopee to Snoballs near Martha’s House to stage his truck and coupons for later.  I knew HIPAA was a HC and he was late so I gave him a call.  No answer.  Whoopee and I drove to Snoballs and were heading back when HIPAA called and said he was on his way.  I told him to drop his ruck at Whoopee’s truck and to meet us at the Schiele.

I started with a quick safety briefing and disclaimer.  When I announced that the first part of the CSAUP was a six mile run, Defib went to change his shorts.  Freight looked like I kicked sand in his face and took his woman.  They were obviously ready to ruck and didn’t anticipate the “pre-exhaust” run.

At 0340 we stepped off and ran a modified Pub/Coconut Horse route.  It worked out where everyone got to Snoballs with 5-6 miles depending on the route they chose to run.  Big time credit goes to Watts-Up as he announced that it was the furthest he had ever run in his life!

A quick unpacking of rucks and water and a few sandwiches and we were ready to ruck along with Whoppee’s heavy ass GORUCK sandbag “Alberta”.  We launched on time and went about 200 yards when YHC told everyone to get in the parking lot at the old HT for a quick beatdown.  I don’t think the PAX anticipated this but whatever.  We broke down the reps/sets but in total did a minimum of 100 Squats, 100 Merkins, 100 Mountain Climbers, 100 Flutter kicks, and 100 Lunges.  Sometimes we had rucks on and sometimes not but what really made the workout was the bluetooth speaker Whoopee brought along.  It was a gift for ten years of service at his job.  Apparently the speaker only plays George Straight, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty but to the PAX surprise the speaker had a malfunction and played some RUSH!  An even bigger surprise occurred during Flutter’s when the “Thong Song” came on.

After this quick smokefest we walked away towards the Coconut Horse and did the reverse route to the Greenway, handing of “Alberta” a few times between the PAX.  In all honesty, Whoopee, Stroganoff, and Defib carried that wench the majority of the time.  True #HIMS!

It began to get lighter so the headlamps went off.  We took the pedestrian bridge into the neighborhood and Stroganoff had a thought to go see his old home down the street which was a longer way.  No objection to that here.  We found out the house is actually for sale.  Hopefully a nice young family and future leader in the community will get it and achieve some of the Stroganoff mojo on the way to community service domination.

We continued and hit the big hills at Laurel and Nottingham and took the long way back to Parkwood and finally arrived at the Gashouse at 0648.  Just enough time to drink all the water we could find and get ready for the bootcamp and/or Painlab with TimeFrame and HushPuppy on Q respectively.

I must admit, the Moron’s weren’t looking too hot, especially knowing that Time Frame had announced a 5k training plan for his Q.  A quick warmup and pledge and an attempt to EH the Scout Dads coming out of the Schiele and then off to the races.  YHC was pretty much the six the whole time but I had good company along the way as we stopped and did different exercises.  A little more than 5k distance on this Q had the majority of the Moron’s up to 15 miles for the day.  The COT concluded the MORON as the Painlab and Bootcamp groups converged to close it out.

Coffeerama was at Union Road Diner which has established itself as the new breakfast hotspot.  The PAX felt the results of the MORON and were beginning to shiver from cold sweat soaking their clothes.  Lots of coffee and water were consumed at breakfast with very little mumblechatter until Freight ordered “Deuces”.  Something about that gets the immaturity to come out.  Then while waiting for the food Whoopee informs me that YHC’s M is on a group text with Whoopee and Stroganoff’s M’s and they were wondering if the “Morons” were alive.  YHC’s M apparently didn’t know that when I told her I was going in “a little early” for the workout meant leaving the house at 0245 and that it was called “THE MORON” and it was YHC’s idea.  I may or may not have heard about that later.  Good times!

Thanks for the PAX that showed up.  As mentioned, Whoopee, Defib, and Stroganoff led the way thorough most events.  Stroganoff pushed the pace on the run portion and the Ruck portion.  Watts-Up get huge credit for being “all in” and F3 has helped him lose more than a ruck sack of weight and he is a posting machine.  Freight has heard all the stories from the old neighborhood during various rucks and is now basically a Gashouse local.  He is pointing out things and reminiscing about the old times.  HIPAA avoided the fartsack thanks to my courtesy call. He announced this was his first run since the P200 but you wouldn’t have known it.  #Beast  It is true that Iron Sharpens Iron and these PAX pushed themselves.  The quote for the event was “Idleness and luxury are your enemies”.  Get out there and get after it.

I was a little concerned about the CSAUP moniker being used for what we usually just call “extra credit”, but this was a little more than that and the start time was pretty stupid so therefore both the “flash CSAUP” and the title “The Moron” are spot on!

Happy Mother’s Day to all your M’s and moms!


Gashouse 5k.

In preparation of the upcoming Belmont 5k exactly 2 weeks from today I thought it may be a good idea to have some preparation (and maybe a reality check) for the event.  My hat is off to the guys that did the Moron this am.  An 11.8 mile ruck from the Schiele to Martha’s and back that started at 3:15am and back-to-backed it with the running heavy beatdown that I had Q’d up for a grand total of 15 miles this morn.  NICELY DONE Roscoe, Stroganoff, Hushpuppy, Watt’s Up, DeFib, Hipaa, Whoopee, and Freight!!!




SSH x 25 double count

20 merkins oyo

SSH x 10 double count

Hushpuppy and Painlab separate from bootcamp to push their respective rocks.  Give em’ hell guys!

Da Thang

Mosey to Greir front parking lot for 20 merkins oyo

Mosey to croner of Burtonwood and Dixon for 20 imperial walkers IC.

Mosey to Sherwood Elementary parking lot for 20 big boy sit ups oyo.

Mosey to Castlegate and Nottingham for 20 monkey humpers oyo in front of a personal friend’s house of Google and myself.

Mosey to Castlegate and Bucknell for 50 LBC’s oyo.

Mosey to Laurel and take right.

Up to Cambridge for 20 more imperial walkers and 20 merkins…Stroganoff 10 count…lets mosey

Mostly moseying with some meandering sprinkled in up Laurel to parking lot of Community Foundation.

20 Calf Raises

Meander to hill at corner of Garrison in parking lot for 20 big boy sit ups and 20 merkins (feet at top of hill for both).

20 monkey humpers and a salute to traffic.

Follow Hayzus back to home base where we meet up with Hushpuppy and Painlab for more monkey humper saluting to traffic.

Whoopee leads hip slappers.

Zombie walk back to start for 6 min of Mary

there was some combination of LBC’s, American Hammers, Mountain Climbers, Flutter Kicks, Oblique Crunches, In and Outs, Freddy Merks, and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten something but you get the point.

The glorious sound of Presbyterian church bells ringing signifying the end of our due diligence

3.2 miles fellas.  That’s a 5k.  Great job!

Soooo very happy to see Anchorman and Hushpuppy back with the regulars.  Can’t keep good men down.


Monk goodbye party May 31 at The Station in Belmont

Mount Mitchell makeup next Sunday

Rice N’ Beans this Tuesday

Mothers Day


Gastone and family

Setzer Family

Pizza Man


Sargento’s family

It is absolutely my honor to be a part of such a thing as F3.




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