F3 Gastonia

Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Author: Grattan Brown (page 1 of 4)

F3Gastonia Whetstone Update Oct 2018

F3Gastonia Whetstone has been up and running since July.  Many Stones and Blades are having conversations every few weeks or so; one pair almost weekly. The PAX into it have good things to say, so it must be moving them to advantage.

But remember that not every meeting brings immediate results; sometimes it takes a while for things to get moving. If that’s the case, try to continue for another few meetings. If it’s really not working, let’s talk. Sometimes the Stone & Blade just aren’t the right fit. There are PAX willing to serve as Stones who are currently unmatched, so we can reshuffle a pair.

New initiative: Have a good conversation and don’t mind posting some insight? Create a new post as if you are writing a backblast and give us a few sentences, a paragraph or two.  (HT: Roscoe for the idea)


F3 Basketball

Better late than never. Yes I’m trying to break the habit of posting late backblasts and not doing a good job of it.

In preparation I decided the PAX at Snoballs would play a game, so I asked my daughter for ideas. She came up with something that involved holding hands, so I moved on. Keep reading.

Warmup: I noticed someone coming in hot, so we started with Monkey Humpers in the latecomer’s direction. Much to my chagrin it was an FNG, and worse, one I had EH’d, and even worse, one of my Belmont Abbey College colleagues. Well I gave him a hearty welcome, explained the five F3 principles, and continued warmup with SSH, Merks, LBC’s

The Thang: We ran to the soccer fields in Martha Rivers and did four corners three times: 10 burpees, sprint, 20 merkins, sprint, 30 LBD’s, sprint, 40 squats, sprint. Rinse/repeat… Rinse/repeat in reverse.

The Game: I call it F3 basketball, and we played it on the soccer field. Divide PAX into two teams (ideally of about 5-8 HIMs). One HIM/team is the goal. That’s right. Not the goalie; the goal. The two goals lie on their backs about 20 yards apart and perform LBC’s continuously. Each team positions itself near the opposite team’s goal and tries to place the ball (volleyball recommended) on their goal’s abdomen. Once the ball is on his abdomen, the goal must control the ball for 3 seconds to score.

Rules: Don’t hurt the goal; your goal or the other team’s goal. This requires attention or you will fall, step on, or otherwise abuse the goal. Run no more than 5 steps without passing the ball. You may catch and pick up the ball with two hands. Otherwise control the ball with one hand. Substituting goals is allowed.

Announcements: not many; all obsolete at this late date

Prayer requests: Gastone’s family at passing of his mother-in-law, Squirt’s wife’s surgery and recovery, Toto’s wife on b’day,



12 HIMs posted Downtown Friday for a fun run with a few exercises. The day before at The Pub, Whoopie treated us to a tirade against running, so I had hoped that he would post for more of the same. But ah, alas … on call!

Warm-up was high knees, of course, with occasional burpees, then merkins, and LBCs, then a run around a few blocks to get to the parking deck.

I decided to try something different with the first part of the beatdown. Not a complete bust, but not a complete success either. Think four corners with the corners at the top and bottom of the two stairwells in the parking lot. The exercise consisted of lunging across the deck and running up and down the stairs, performing exercises at each corner. The rest of it is too complicated to describe, and I’ll never do it again, so we’re movin’on.

Then DORA 123 with the runner going up & down the stairs, followed by a sprint to the top, then a sprint back to the bottom of the deck and back around a few more blocks of downtown Gastonia to start. A minute of Monkey Humpers brought us to 0615.

Announcements: Tubing Saturday, CSPAN send-off, women’s workout in Dallas, Roscoe w/ Q downtown next week; CSAUP probably closed but you can still run; Sargento’s gathering next saturday

Prayers: Hacksaw, Gastone’s in-laws, Pedal’s wife stress-fracture.


Final Site Q Q

Today was my last day as Site Q for the Pub. I’m sure I’ll Q there in the future, but next week, I’m handing over the shovel flag to another HIM who has stepped up to lead. He’s already started with a F3Pub Twitter account. Keep an eye out for it, and show to know next Thursday.

I started The Pub a year and a half, or so, ago. Whoopie had just led the first F3 Gastonia BRR team, and I wanted a running workout to keep up the pace. It’s been great to see other running workouts pop up too.  It’s gratifying to see the regulars who post at the Pub these days. And thanks especially to those who encouraged me to keep the doors open when few to none were posting.

Oh yeah, and today we ran. Diva, Roscoe and I ran the first route I made for the Pub: Hoffman/Rosebud to Pamela to Gardner Park, to Armstrong Park to start. Oompa Loompa ran the other way down Hoffman and looked tired enough when we returned that we believed he actually ran.

I hope to see some regulars + new HIMs turn out for next weeks site Q transfer. Who gets the shovel flag? S2K

Announcements: 2nd F this Saturday; CSAUP in late August




F3 Gastonia WHETSTONE update 062918

Last night I emailed everyone who is currently signed up for Whetstone letting them know who is their Blade or Stone. Nearly everyone who asked to be a Blade was paired with a Stone. Not everyone willing to serve as a Stone was given a Blade.

Blades and Stones  should be contacting each other in order to arrange their first meeting sometime during the next 2-3 weeks. Slack or email me if you need contact information.

We will communicate via the Whetstone group in our F3Gastonia Slack channel. If you have difficulty joining, email me or HIPPA.

It’s not too late to sign up. In fact, it’s never too late. If you’re not signed up and decide you’d like to participate, sign up at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeA1L2_-3iZoItOEx1F7o8Q3JbXLHjjKj8hlynkThx7YQOBmw/viewform


Just in Time!

I knew it was going to close. For the record (you know who you are), I didn’t speed or run red lights;) I hit the middle of the PAX at 5:29:57, and started a few seconds later. Spiderman smiled.

Disclaimer & Pledge

  • Warm-up: SSH, Merkins, LBC, Toy Soldiers, burpees, Wal-mart Burpees,* monkey humpers
  • Thang:
    • Run to top of lot; pair up for…
    • Blueberry biscuit BOMBS: one partner runs down a flight of stairs, across parking lot towards the other side, stopping halfway to perform 5 Burpees , and then completes lap. Partner 2 begins
      • 100- Overhead Claps (during which Toto said something about how his grandmother could do the overhead claps until (see Bat Wings below)
      • 150- monkey humpers, instead of Merkins. This was the promised “arm friendly” part of the workout until (see Bat Wings below)
      • 200- Big Boy Sit-ups
      • 250- Squats
    • Bat Wings* as described on the F3 Exercise page: “Progression of arm exercises that are deceivingly difficult and named after Austin’s bats. Start with 20 x Forward Arm Circles, hold, 20 x Backwards Arm Circles, hold, 20 x seal claps, hold, 20 x overhead claps. Everything is on a 4-count. Remember to enjoy the pain on the faces of your fellow men.” I did.
    • Run to Pavilion
    • Monkified partner combination of bear crawling up and down stairs with boo yah merkins atop the Pavillion riser and squats at the bottom of the stairs off the riser.
    • Gastone led flutter kicks
  • I browsed the F3 Exercises page. Apparently these were new exercises for everyone. Reference to Wal-mart in particular provoked cryptic mumble chatter at Slaw.

Announcements: Whetstone pairings went out last night via email. Stones and Blades are now contacting each other to get started sometime during the next three weeks. Others may sign up at any time, whenever they’re ready.

Prayer requests: Toto’s mother-in-law is in very poor health


4 Top

Four PAX pounded the pavement this AM at the Pub. Gastonia was already there and just finishing a mile or two of EC when the rest of us pulled in.

The Thang: We ran … up Gaston Day School/Armstrong Park ROAD to Perry Rd, turned left. Perry to Lee St., turning right to rejoin New Hope Rd, turning left. New Hope to light at Armstrong Park DRIVE, turning right. To Armstrong Park ROAD, turning right to take us back to start. 5 mi.

Announcements: F3 Gastonia WHETSTONE is launching. If you’re not sure what it is or whether to participate, talk to someone who does; then sign up with the interest form. If you know/think you would like to participate, fill out the interest form. Pairing Stones and Blades continues this weekend so they can begin meeting in July.

Other announcements:  3rd F EventFriday June 22nd at 7:00pm at First Presbyterian on Garrison across from Grier meeting at the building in the back at the top of the stairs. Speakers are Short Sale & Pockets. Hike this Saturday.

Prayer requests: my M’s job search and safe trip to visit family; my business trip tomorrow; Sly in Afghanistan;

Monk out

F3 Gastonia Whetstone update

F3 Gastonia Whetstone launched a week and a half ago.  We have a bunch of guys signed up  as Stones or Blades or both.  But we know there are guys out there who haven’t signed up, or are still thinking about it. NOW IS THE TIME!

Whetstone is one of the best opportunities for personal growth and leadership that you will find.  Whether you are a blade or a stone,  you will become a better person and advance in an area life where you need it…  and live more happily because of it. Here’s how the Q Source describes it: https://wp.me/p8Y5do-1EpP

We will continue pairing blades and stones this weekend, so sign up now at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeA1L2_-3iZoItOEx1F7o8Q3JbXLHjjKj8hlynkThx7YQOBmw/viewform

The form does not take long to fill out.   It asks you  for info such as  your hospital name, F3 name, where you work, where are you often post, and allows you to request another guy as your stone or blade.

Next week, we will begin emailing blades and stones to tell them who they are paired with. The idea is that  each stone and blade will start meeting in July, meet 45 to 60 minutes every two or three weeks, and continue at least a few months  to give the pairing a chance to work.

So sign up now  or ask another F3 guy if you’d like to understand Whetstone better.  You can always contact me at Grattan.brown@gmail.com  or speak with Tool Time, JK2, Roscoe, Def Leppard, or Whoopie, who are helping me with Whetstone.  Their contact information is in the F3 app.





Complete Q Fail

It all started when I forgot to post the BB for the Pub two weeks ago on Thursday, May 31. The next week (last week already) the PAX helped me remember who had posted the week before. Then I forgot to post the BB after last week’s workout, AND in the COT I had absent-mindedly usurped the Q from Stone Cold, who was good enough to answer my call to Q last week. (See his BB, posted promptly last Thursday!) Finally, at the Convergence last Saturday I had to listen to Freight go on for about three minutes about how important it is to post backblasts.

Well here it is! For the workout we ran.

Completely monkified and in need of a Stone,


Pre-Blast: F3 Gastonia WHETSTONE Launch

Tomorrow (Saturday 6/9) F3 Gastonia launches its Whetstone program. F3 Whetstone gives HIMs a chance to learn from each other beyond the beatdown, fellowship and faith events. It’s essentially a mentorship, giving one guy (a Blade) has the opportunity to learn from a (somewhat 😉 wiser guy (a Stone).

I can think of times when a good mentor would have saved me a lot of grief, and good times that would have been even better with a bit of added wisdom. I’m sure other guys (especially those who hear “respect” now on a regular basis) can do the same. As Dredd points out in the Q Source, older guys have a desire to pass on what they know. Younger guys have the need and desire to know. F3 creates the kind of relationships where that can happen. Let’s tap into that in Gastonia!

I’ve pasted below a Whetstone introduction sent to me by Stinger, Whetstone Q for F3 Nation, who will speak to us tomorrow morning (along with a few brief nuggets from our own Nantan Tool Time). Check it out!

See you tomorrow 0700 at Midoriyama!


F3 Gastonia Whetstone Q

Here is a link to the interest form: F3 Gastonia Whetstone Form
Whetstone Introduction
In F3, we stipulate that every man has been born with an innate, hard-wired quest for purpose and meaning in his life. In response, most men live their lives striving for significance (through family, career/success, power, reputation). This striving is admirable, albeit flailing and misdirected at times, and when there are small gains towards relevance, many men find themselves unconsciously distracted and contented as they enjoy the satisfaction of their success. They became fat and grow soft, admiring their own contributions. On the flipside, without success a man will inevitably grow weary, discouraged, and numb, their spirits quenched and their desire for meaning gradually dimmed. For each man, the journey toward fulfillment is often long and arduous, individualized with a mixed bag of failures and setbacks, successes and gains. But, for all men, there are commonalities along the journey, and the targeted destination is essentially the same. In the end, we want our lives to have mattered, to have been for some thing or some purpose greater than ourselves. And we want to know that we lived it in such a way that it did matter.
But deep within most men is a nagging thought – perhaps even a fear – that the trajectory of their life will fall short, that they are off target, that complacency and fatigue will stall the advance, that their own blind spots will be their undoing. Consequently, wiser men throughout history have sought direction and counsel from other men a little further down the path. This is traditional mentoring where the trusted and more experienced man provides guidance to the less experienced man in pursuit of meaning and purpose.
History offers many great examples of mentor/mentee relationships. Some of these relationships have been more formalized (e.g., apprenticeships, knighthood, coaching), while others are formed organically over months and years. Admittedly, many of today’s more institutionalized mentoring programs fall short due to insufficient direction, standards, and commitment. As a result, today’s cultural premise of mentoring often lacks substance and thus appeal, while the need is arguably as great as ever.
The Whetstone is F3’s response to this very significant, but often unmet, demand for traditional mentor/mentee relationships. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Just as a whetstone is used to sharpen the blade of a knife, F3’s Whetstone program enables a Stone (mentor) to more effectively sharpen his Blade (mentee) as they walk through life together. Intuitively, sharpening demands that the whetstone be harder (i.e., made of tougher stuff) than the blade, and the process can be painful to the object to be sharpened. It is not coffee talk. Whetstoning requires friction to be effective, the Stone grinding away accumulated rust and dross from the Blade’s life, leaving him focused with a renewed sense of direction and purpose.
This is not a ‘fix it’ program in that, after considerable time together, the Stone will have resolved those flaws and issues the Stone has identified in the Blade. Both Stone and Blade are flawed and imperfect men. However, given the blessing of more – or a deeper well of – life experiences (not necessarily age based), the Stone has an obligation and the privilege to engage with another man, a Blade, to help him identify and achieve his God-given purpose for being.
An effective Stone must be vulnerable and transparent, an effective listener, committed to the Blade’s journey, an encourager but also willing to speak the Hard Truth when necessary. It involves accountability, shared wisdom and counsel, and a deep sense of earned mutual trust. Through the Whetstone, the Blade is not gaining a new buddy, although a deep friendship may develop over time. The Blade should enter the Whetstone relationship with respect for and patience and trust in the process, honestly assessing his current position and life circumstances with an appreciation for his strengths and his current challenges and vulnerabilities. Assuming a posture of humility and ready to receive from the Stone, the Blade leans into the friction in order to be pruned, strengthened, and sharpened, gradually being transformed into a High Impact Man ready to serve his family and community, and ultimately as a Stone for another man down the line. This is F3’s Whetstone program.

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