My M changed her workout schedule (again) so last week I had the privilege to make an appearance both Monday and Wednesday at the Martha’s AO’s currently named the Dark Knight and Snoballs. After Stone Cold and Gastone took it to the PAX I asked Gastone for the keys to the car (upon making sure my M’s schedule did not suddenly change – it didn’t – lucky for 17 men). I got some advice after church from Whoopee yesterday – “make it a hard one – we might have a special guest.” So I went to work on my Weinke; inspired by Whoopee’s challenge and my Wolfpack’s performance Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.
Monday morning at 0530 presents the great opportunity to get your week off to a solid start. Post and get the hardest part of your day checked off, at least that was the idea. We were unable to top last week’s 20 but 18 men gathered into the circle of the damp parking lot left behind by the day’s previous rain that moved on only hours earlier (and don’t think I wasn’t checking weather.com before and after taking the Q…). All familiar faces including Tool Time – our Nantan seems to be checking up on me. Should I be nervous? I am making a killing at this Weasel Shaker job. Time to get started.
The circle is really more of a horseshoe due to the large puddle in the parking lot. Whoopee gleefully stomps into it and splashes to his internal enjoyment. I think his M must push him out the door each morning to burn off this energy. Here we go:
High knees IC x 10
Butt kickers IC x 10
Toy Soldiers IC x 10
Imperial Walker IC x 10
Squat Merkins SC x 10
Side Straddle Squats SC x 10
We said the pledge and then Whoopee asked for the floor then shared a few thoughts about supporting each other. The special guest we hoped to see did not post but that isn’t unusual. When guys are going through tough times we can get mired in our own muck. We can’t always get ourselves unstuck and need a hand. It has been said many times before and proven to be true, the guys standing among your circle didn’t come to work out alone. You might be the guy that makes the difference. Lets mosey to the old Harris Teeter parking lot.
The pre-tweet advertised this was going to be an upper body beatdown. In order to do that, I better have a challenge at the top of the menu. Line up against the blank wall.
Hip slappers x 10
Bear crawl about 20 yards to the first median
Baby dips x 10 using the median
Run to the end of the parking lot (~50 yards)
Merkins x 10
Return; rinse, repeat; rinse, repeat
A quick count off and it was back to work using the wall again:
Mike Tyson’s x 10
Plank Wall taps x 10
Donkey kicks x 10
Run to the end of the parking lot (~70 yards)
Return; rinse, repeat; rinse, repeat
For a mini rest, I had the PAX go into groups of two on a not so fast mosey to the end of the parking lot, allowing the others a breather. It was going too slow for my liking; so I started sending them off at a faster pace.
We moved into the parking lot section. All PAX were asked to find a space of their own. I had not done this one in quite a while, so I resurrected “Walk the Plank.” In honor of Allerik Freeman’s 7-7 effort from the three point arc, leading the Wolfpack’s scoring in their 95-91 victory over the arch rival Tarheels the PAX began with 7 merkins then plank walked right to perform 1 Bobby Hurley (no State player has an exercise named after them – yet). Drop down, plank walk left and do 6 merkins. The routine continued until completing 1 merkin and 7 Bobby Hurleys, always plank walking between the yellow lines.
Saturday, while sitting in the Dean Smith Center you can help but absorb the history. My old friends know but I’ll make a confession that I grew up a Tarheel. My father graduated from Chapel Hill and as a youngster I attended games and had a plenty of baby blue attire. But UNC didn’t have an architecture program, so I set my goal to attend school in Raleigh and I converted to a Wolfpack fan (BTW – I ended up with a business degree). Let me tell you the grass is not always greener, at least in terms of pulling for your team. Since converting to the Pack, I have learned a great lesson in patience in perseverance. The Sky Q may in fact be a Tarheel or at least not much of a Pack fan. The Heel’s have won 4 National Championships while the Wolfpack have made a few Sweet 16’s. It’s been a tough road. So while I celebrate my school’s victory over my former childhood love, the next set was a mini-Four Corners made famous by Coach Smith.
Each pax got a double parking spot to perform the First Half:
16 Sumo Squats
29 Mountain Climbers
19 Peter Parkers
15 Diamond Merkins (don’t know about you but these punished my arms)
30 Plank Jacks
I normally stick with even number of reps, groups of five or ten. Why such an odd count you wondered? Well there is some meaning. I announced the reps and exercises several times to ensure the PAX heard the proper instructions. The first half reps were derived from NC State’s leading scorers (Omer Yurtseven: 16, Torn Dorn: 20, Markell Johnson: 20, and Allerick Freeman: 29). The second half set was based on each team’s three point shooting. UNC went 4-19 and State went 15-30.
We had about 8 minutes remaining. Rather than go back to the AO and have Whoopee play in the puddles, I moved the PAX to the dry pavement under the covered porch fronting the dry cleaners and sandwich shop – you’re welcome.
Flutter kick IC x 20
Leg lifts IC x 15
American Hammer IC x 15
Dying Cockroach IC x 15
At this point I wanted to make sure my boss was happy – so for people’s choice Tool Time selected V up Roll ups for about 15 and then Squirt called out LBC’s for about 15 reps. Then it was time to mosey back.
A few announcements were shared. Bandit is leading a fly fishing lure tying/casting session a First Methodist Church on Tuesday evenings and welcome to members and non-members alike. Bandit tweeted the information or contact him. Sargento shared he has a 2nd F bowling event planned in February with M’s and 2.0’s welcome. More information to come. Roscoe has planned a F3 Dad’s event at Chutes (Camp Crowder’s Ridge) on 2/18. Check the pre-blast. I took us out in prayer lifting up prayers for our brother Brownstreak.
Shout out today to Boudin. If you haven’t noticed, he has been posting a lot – should win the Iron Skillet award. But for his posts, at least the ones I’ve been, he is pushing the rock and then some. Each workout is a “you verses you” but his “you” is pretty strong. Nice job Boudin.
Since Roy Williams returned to Chapel Hill as Head Coach of the Tarheels the four, yes four Wolfpack coaches he has faced have won a collective four games out of the 28 times they have competed. Last year’s 107-56 victory in Chapel Hill most likely had some part of Mark Gottfried being fired (there are a bunch of other reasons, but we’ll save it for the message boards). For a brief moment State fans have the rare opportunity to enjoy a win. It was a classic lesson to overcome the odds. Not many outside the coach, players and the diehards gave the Pack much of a chance but that is why the game is played. Kind of like posting – if you don’t show up, how are you going to get better? How are you going to connect to that guy that you didn’t know a year ago. It takes some measure of belief and commitment to the goal. Thanks for the opportunity to lead; Go Pack!
My first Q of 2018 thankfully was not last week in the frigid cold, what is hopefully the low-point of our temperatures for this year. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in the north where it is really cold and the snow thaws in early Spring. So after the New Year’s Day post, I fartsacked the first week. What is actually worse, at least in my opinion, is being up at 5 am in plenty of time to dress and make it on time is getting up at 5 am is to check my phone’s weather app to see if the gloom had breached my internal (and by internal, I mean my nut-sack) threshold of 30 degrees (note the average low for this time of year is 29). So with single to teen digits, I postponed F3 exercise but this day was coming and wouldn’t you know the initial forecast was a 90% chance of rain for Thursday. However I was fortunate some high pressure system pushed warmer air to our part of the country. Kind of bad for a Southerner when you walk outside at 40 degrees and think how warm it feels. No wonder Tool Time showed up this morning in a t-shirt and shorts. I kept a mindful eye of the weather forecast all this week, like a bride with a planned outdoor wedding. The chance of rain declined to about 50%. After doing my daughter’s grammar homework (that’s another story) last night, I wrote a Weinke designed to be completed under the cover of a picnic pavilion or gazebo and really hopeful the PAX took my twitter post to heart and do what I did last week by sleeping in. 0500 I awoke, dressed, and instantly realized upon exiting my house the ground was wet but no precipitation was falling, at least for the moment. I only used my wipers to clear the remnants of drizzle from my windshield and contemplated a change of plan.
Goat Island’s parking lot was surprisingly full, not only of the About Face Bootcamp women and men (but mostly women), but plenty of PAX as well. Dolph claimed I promised a trip to Floyd and Blackies coffee shop. That’s out with this group. It was a balmy 45 degrees, warm enough for Tesla to thankfully convert away from his tights and back to shorts. Our new Nantan was gyrating trying to keep warm in his limited garb and the mumble chatter was alive, so much that I completely missed the FNG present in the circle. The disclaimer was polite, something like “you verses you, do what you can, enjoy what you can do…” I think I said something like that. My train of thought went into defensive mode and the only way to shut the PAX up was to call an exercise.
Cotton Pickers IC x 10 (Somehow the PAX read my mind that I would stop at 10 though I failed to elevate my final count. Does this mean I’m getting predictable? For the sake of Brownstreak, and myself, I stated “All warm-up exercises end at 10…”)
Toy Soldiers IC x 10
Seal Jacks IC x 10
Imperial Walkers IC x 10
5 Burpees OYO
“Let’s mosey,” I called and began to physically move amid the cat calls from the PAX. For future reference, Floyd and Blackies apparently does not open until 0600. So we jogged up the hill to arrive at First Baptist Church’s empty parking lot. I attempted a quick count off which proved to be a challenge. Midoriyama may have some company among AO’s math skills. After a few attempts, we arrived at a final number of 11. Like a substitute in from of a remedial math class, I began catching more heat while I fumbled to organize my speaker and Weinke. I finally announced the “Accumulator” was our first challenge. It was my challenge as well, deciphering my timing app to build the progressive sets of 30 seconds for each exercise with a 30 second break between rounds.
SSH, Squats, Shoulder Taps
SSH, Squats, Shoulder Taps, High Knees
SSH, Squats, Shoulder Taps, High Knees, Merkins
Mayor was impressed with my one to no armed SSH’s employed before my speaker finally picked up the signal and led off with Jackson Brown’s “Running on Empty.” The first few rounds were fairly easy but by the 5th round, three minutes of cardio provided the impact. On the return mosey, the mumble chatter cranked up once again. I decided to go impromptu “Triple Nickel” using the hill adjacent to the parking lot (this is for you Brownstreak). 5 monkey humpers at the bottom, 5 burpees at the top for 5 rounds. This was a gasser but the guys pushed through. Should be noted the work of Dr. Seuss that was in the lead pack of Dolph and Boudin demonstrating age is only a number. Awesome work. For the final segment, a fellowship mosey was to the gazebo was called. Only a few actually listened to that (big surprise) and followed. I had a three individual sets of five exercises to do in a Tabata of 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off format with a 45 second break.
Sidebar: Mayor once again achieved comedic gold suggesting that Dolph’s squat pulses, which were going at a really fast pace, would get him to ‘finish early’ generating a few laughs then hitting the zinger that his M pays for the 60 second love package and always gets her money refunded. You had to be there for this to make sense but as a reminder for the 11 that were – another bright moment in the gloom.
Mountain climbers, Peter Parkers, pike ups, Freddie Mercury, WWI
CDD, Lt. Dans, baby dips, jack merkins, ski burps
A check of the watch indicated 0613 leaving two minutes for Mary – time for the expedited edition, calling in a quick cadence or single count:
Flutter Kicks IC x 10
Leg Lifts SC x 10
Am Hammer SC x 10
LBC’s SC x 10
Scissors SC x 10
Box Cutter SC x 10
COT: Prayers for T-Square’s neighbor that lost so much in a fire to their home. T-Square has posted daily each week (way to push) to collect donations. See the newsletter for needed items. Cash and gift cards are welcomed as well. Prayers for those getting into the flow of the new year. We have the Rooster upcoming where our region has three teams registered. The FNG was Danny Hovis, EH’ed by Dolph at the gym the night before. A young fellow that is a local product of our area works for Buchanan Concrete is now known as “Slump.” The Mayor can explain what it actually means but rest assured it has to do with concrete. Welcome to the PAX!
Moleskin: We were fortunate the window of non-rain covered our workout period – thanks to the Sky Q! I imagine even if it didn’t the same group would have posted indicating what I missed last week dealing with my Sandy V. Of the 10 men that posted, I knew two of them outside of F3. Crazy to think how excited one can be to show up in the gloomy mist to exercise outside in early January. More importantly was to enjoy the amount of abuse heaped upon the Q which is really a faint disguise of affection. It sure beats the few occasions when I exercised on my own. One day we may actually follow through the threat to skip the workout to enjoy a 2nd/3rd F at the coffee shop but not today. Today it was a good ole fashion Q bashing and I was happy to suffer through it. Thanks for the opportunity to lead.
Trouble started brew’in last week when my 2.0 brought a cold into our home. I managed to keep my distance but Wednesday, I could feel my immune system giving in. About like the final five burpees of a Slaughter Starter when body attempts to overtake the mind. My buddy Slaw was eager to use his blocks so I accepted his offer of coupons but maybe regretfully his suggestion to Q in my place. Nah, I’ll get some rest and be good for the wake-up call, I thought. Wednesday afternoon I sound the pre-blast alarm that I had the Q at “The Storm.” Brownstreak quickly caught the mistake and it would not be my last. I take shots of Nyquil like it was my 21st birthday and head to bed, only I barely sleep, tossing and turning, my body intermittently going from hot to cold. I awake ahead of my 0500 alarm and there is no backing out now.
The crowd begins to gather at 0525, welcoming ABBA back from the IR surrounded by what has become a steady cast of characters on Tuesday and Thursdays in the cold gloom of Cramerton. 0530 hits and I offer the disclaimer of being a real idiot for standing in 35 degree weather when I really should be in the sick sack. Maybe I can sweat out the germs. Here we go:
Take a lap around downtown Cramerton to get the blood flowing. About mid-run Dolph sends his train through. It just so happened that upon the return to the parking lot the first official exercise was:
5 Burpees OYO (Slaw confirmed the written word on my Weinke)
with Brownstreak in the circle, I went full disclosure that each exercise would be 10 reps which I quickly forgot as I continued with Mountain Climbers when the PAX had stopped. What a dummy I am…next up:
Hillbillies or as T-Square prefers “Appalachian Americans” Only thing is the Q performed Imperial Walkers instead – another Q-Fail
Squat Merkins IC x 10
Mtn Climbers IC x 10
SSH IC x 10
5 Burpees OYO
Mosey the long way around to the upper parking lot near the bridge for The Thang:
I was the QIC at GasHouse on Saturday and introduced the bear-crawl/merkin performed to the famous Beatles song “Let it Be.” I did pose the question asking if any of the PAX were Beatles fans to which Tesla and Dr. Seuss raised their hands. The song began and 41 merkins amid four minutes of bear crawls now has The Goat hating the Beatles as well. Onto the next bit of fun which had us mosey back to the parking lot to visit Slaw’s truck and each grab a block and a partner – time for some Dora.
P1 runs to the bottom of the hill and returns to relieve P2 performing the following exercises using the cement block in aggregate:
100 Kettle Bell Swings
200 Bench Press
Evidently it had been quite some time that Sargento had lifted anything heavier than 12 ounces as he initiated the chatter quickly complaining about everything from lifting blocks to the music selection (he later clarified he respects Rush but they are not his favorite – wonder if Whoopee’s been influencing him?). We had a bit of time remaining and needed to continue working our arms and shoulders. Keeping our partners with P2 performed:
5 Blockees and rested until P1 completed a trip down the hill and back to flap jack. This routine continued for the following exercises:
5 Block Webbs
With about 8 minutes left, we returned the blocks and circled for Mary:
10 reps each of:
Alternating Leg Lift Claps
Announcements for the Joe Davis Run and the Advisory Meeting Sunday, 12/17 at downtown Tequilas (whatever the new name is). We lifted prayers for a friend of Slaw’s M fighting cancer as well as those that have lost loved ones this year where their place around the Christmas Tree must reside in their hearts. The good news is the eternal hope that comes from the fulfilled promise the Christ Child was born. Knowing that He would eventually die for our sins provides some level of solace that our prayers can be answered.
I’ve yet to perform the perfect Q where everything goes as intended. It didn’t help that I was hopped up on cold medicine either. A few days removed from the actual event, I’m feeling the effects of the workout and the virus Q-ing a beatdown on my immune system but I’ll recover in due time. I was fortunate to partner with Dr. Seuss for Dora and he is sneaky strong busting out AMRAPs in his time with the blocks. Same can be said for the others that pushed through. Thanks to Slaw for bringing his coupons to the workout. I tried to oblige to fulfill his music requests but failed to add the TSO choice – another Q-fail – they seemed to have come in bunches this morning but I was fortunate to be among brothers sweating in the gloom and I missed that the past two mornings in the ‘sick-sack.’ Until the next time.
Stroganoff advertised the GasHouse Q was available and I had a few ideas burning a hole in my bag of Weinke’s that I was interested to try…sign me up. The “Oh $h#! moment came when the weather forecast began calling for snow. I can’t back out now, can I? I recall last year a few fools, um, I mean PAX posted in the snow. Cursed those F3 5 Principles…so I double prepare with two Weinkes; one I hoped to use with all my bag of tricks and the contingency Weinke under the picnic shelter (I’m sure there is an off color remark that I should make but I’ll abstain for now). The alarm hits 0600 and I stagger from my cozy bed and stare out the window to check Mother Nature’s agenda: no snow, just wet ground and a chilly 35 degrees was thankfully absent any significant wind. Time to suit up and pack the coupons, we’re going with Weinke #1.
Tool Time texted on the way with a screen shot of a “Tool” song – he was getting fired up to fuel the mumble chatter. Stone Cold and Roscoe were in the parking lot talking shop. Roscoe had been on a crime scene since 0300 and came directly to the GasHouse so he could post #HIM. Stroganoff hops out of his car, plants the shovel flag, goes to his six to knock out 100 LBC’s; Roscoe joins him. Bandit rolls in with his two sons, ready to work. No one shows for Rudolph’s Pain Lab (he’ll get you back) so he joins us. As I’m giving the disclaimer to ensure the PAX are mindful of the wet ground and to be sure-footed, Madoff wheels in hot to join us. We stood at attention for the pledge. Now, time to get this party started.
5 Burpees OYO
Toy Soldiers x 10 IC
MNC x 10 IC
Squat Merkins x 10 SC (this was a crowd pleaser, be on the lookout for it)
Seal Jacks x 10 IC
5 Burpees OYO
Follow me…to the amphitheater at the back entrance to the museum
Using the 5 steps we’ll do 11’s starting with 10 SSH at the top and 1 LBC at the bottom; decreasing and increasing until 55 of each are complete. The thick stairs provided a nice burn on the climb. All PAX are planking…time to mosey to First Presbyterian Church back parking lot. Upon arrival I asked if any of the PAX were Beatles fans; got a few hands raised. Our two young men Goose and Reeses may have to Google who “The Beatles” actually are. I suspect for the 10 other PAX they now have a new found association of hate if they ever hear the lyrics of “Let it Be” played again. What did we do you are now curious? Instead of the plank/merkin fun with Roxanne or Bring Sally Up, the PAX were instructed to bear crawl between the parking lot medians and each time the lyric: “Let it Be” was sung, stop and perform one merkin. In case you’d like to try this at home, there are 41 occasions for that line in the song and the song lasts four minutes…you’re welcome, and don’t hurt yourself. There was plenty of chatter during this epic event. I am Q at the Goat next week and don’t think for an instance this will not be introduced for your pleasure – you’ve now been warned. Lot’s more to do so we moseyed to the back entrance to the youth building at the church but instead of simply running up the slight incline, let’s perform side to side ski mogul jumps, just to get our legs burning as much as our arms and shoulders.
At the top of the hill were the coupon’s, the Q’s gift to the PAX. We divided into three groups where I now realized with 11 men, it should have been 3 groups of 3 and 1 group of 2 but instead I formed 2 groups of 4 and 1 group of 3 = Q Fail…blame it on the cold (which I will in just a minute). We worked through four stations of Tabata: 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off for three sets (throughly confused? I’m just glad I had a Weinke). The stations were:
Renegade Row, Merkin, Burp with either bricks or dumbbells
Block Curls (big block and half blocks – Slaw – needed your blocks)
Rifle Squats with sand filled PVC
Curtsy Lunge with rounded raise – this one takes a slight bit of coordination but quickly becomes painful lifting your arms with water jugs as your right leg crosses behind left lunge (you tube it)
I had a new set list for the workout. Once I realized Whoopee wasn’t going to post (benefit of the doubt that he is on call saving lives) I deleted my George Straight song. I made Roscoe happy with a few Dream Theatre songs. After that session we did a count off and offered the PAX a chance to catch their breath before the next segment where we went to the wooden benches left of the building. To my knowledge, they have never been used in one of our GasHouse workouts…until now. Spread out and grab some bench for:
Bench Humpers (Rudolph named this one since I didn’t have a real name for it)
Abyss Merkins (this is how they were actually intended to be performed)
Once again, 30 seconds on/10 seconds off, 3 rounds until the cold zapped my phone battery and we had to adjust to my watch for the final set. Once completed it was time to return to the museum where we had about 8 minutes for Mary.
Flutter Kicks x 20
Chopsticks x 15
Leg Lifts x 10
American Hammer x 20
LBC’s x 15
Fifer Scissor Punch x 10
Jingle Balls x 20
Plank Jacks x 15
Dying Cockroach x 10
Rather than repeat the set, I offered PAX choice:
Tool Time – V up Roll Up
Roscoe – can’t remember
Stroganoff – what else?? more Flutter Kicks
Roscoe asked for prayers for the homicide victim that he worked earlier that morning. Bandit, Goose, and Reese’s aunt is improving with her chemo treatments, Tool Time’s co-working fighting cancer and my daughter’s concussion. Announcements for the Joe Davis event in January.
We had a fun group today pushing each other and working hard. At 35 degrees with snow flurries this could have easily been a small number of PAX. It was a good push by all the guys. Something sparked 10 other men (Bandit may have strongly encouraged his boys to join him…) to get out of the fartsack this morning, well Roscoe had to work before coming, but he posted. Maybe we’re a little insane…speaking of, Tool Time said he is sneaking into my garage to steal my workout dvd’s but I’ve committed these sinister acts to memory so there is no escaping. Sometimes you just have to “Let it Be.” Until the next time (which is Thursday at The Goat).
Not sure about you but for me on the days that I am the QIC, the slowest part is the drive between my house and the AO, seems like I catch every red light or get behind the slowest driver, impeding progress to their inevitable destination. Such was the case this morning as I gathered my equipment for the workout arriving to the circle sharply at 0530 to which Roscoe replied “You’re late…” As far as I know, the workout begins when the Q decides the workout begins, so my defensive humor blurted: “My watch is the official clock today.” The surge of Q Power pumped through my tongue. The aforementioned slowest part of a Q, at least for me, is followed by the fastest 45 minutes. We all have those days where we grind through, checking the time at various intervals and groaning if the end remains a distant light. Hopefully that was not the case today as 12 other HIMs were eagerly awaiting the instructions. YHC fumbled to get the music started, announcing a brief disclaimer (I’m not good at that part, usually forgetting – anyone have a good script I can read?). Our time began like this:
Warm-Up (Insanity style)
Goofballs (in honor of Sargento – where was he?)
Each exercise was 30 seconds for three rounds without a break = 4:30. While the PAX huffed and puffed, the playlist began with a tribute to a Gastonia legend who may have rolled his skateboard over the very same turf we were standing. Back in the day Fred Durst was a young skate dude. Who would have dreamed of the success and fame he’d find in the music business. So we led off with “Nookie.”
No mosey, yet…the PAX paired off into partners with YHC joining Slaw and Whoopee for a menage a trois. Partner #1 did 15 big boy sit ups while Partner #2 held their feet and did AMRAP of Plank Jacks, then flap jack; rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. To make Whoopee happy, I played George Straight singing Jingle Bells. Turtleman inquired if it was Alvin and the Chipmunks…can’t say I disagree but the Q aims to please and I try to keep my PAX happy, especially when they make requests. GnR’s Nightrain followed and Slaw sang away.
Now, time to mosey to the FUMC/WF parking lot. Keep your partners, where each team was numbered #1-6. Group #1 would run to Franklin St and back while the remaining PAX would go through the routine below, with each group serving as the timer on their turn to run.
Flying Squirrel x 5
High Knees x 10 (count right leg)
Squat Jacks x 10
Mtn Climbers x 10 (count right leg)
SSH x 10
As soon as the running group returned, the next group took off and the set re-started. This needs some work as the timing did not work as I had hoped. Either the running route needs to be lengthened or the exercise/reps need to be reduced. I’ll tinker in the lab on that one. But I did fulfill Slaw’s request to play Trans-Siberian Orchestra (First Snow) to prep him for the upcoming show. Twisted Sister’s rendition of Oh Come All Ye Faithful was next. It sounds as awful as you are imagining it.
Check of the watch said 0551 – had to forego the Hand-Slap Merkins, maybe next time…mosey to the parking deck for the 4×4. This sounds simple and once you do a set, it goes pretty quickly: Four exercises with four reps each (counting the right side when applicable).
Peter Parker (gotta honor the AO site Q)
After completing the set, run about three/fourth’s of the parking deck, return and repeat. I had scheduled three rounds of this but the PAX were moving rapidly and my last routine needed about 15 minutes, so I added three more rounds for a total of six. The playlist included You’ve Got Another Thing Coming (Judas Priest) and Wasted Years (Iron Maiden – strong guitar beginning).
Time to mosey back to the Rotary Pavilion where YHC handed out the Core Meltdown flier I drafted at work yesterday (a nice distraction from a boring meeting). Brownstreak returned this week and I think he would be proud at not only the full list of exercises, number of reps, number of sets (3), but the graphic drawings of how to perform. They were intended for the PAX to take home and follow when unable to make an F3 workout – the gifts begin early as we hit December 1st. Whoopee said he’d wipe his arse with his. Probably so since his M threw all their toilet paper in their trees after her Auburn Tigers won the Iron Bowl. Boudin said he might throw his sheet on eBay or you can copy from below:
Flutter Kicks x 20
LBC’s x 15
Leg Raises x 10
Freddie Mercury x 20
15 Heel Touches (Penguin Crunches) x 15
Modified V-Sits x 10
American Hammer x 20
Long Arm Crunches x 15
Reverse Crunches x 10
We did three total sets with a slight rest between. Musically, we heard: Dr. Feelgood (where was he?) followed by a special treat of Rush’s Overture from their R30 tour. This prompted some PAX sharing about past concerts attended. Time Frame has quite a resume. Roscoe does as well, fresh off a Dream Theatre show Wednesday night. Maybe I’ll use a DT piece for the entire workout in the future.
With a minute left I asked the PAX to get into elbow plank for the culmination of my Weinke. I clicked to the last song: Laying Pipe by Pornosonic featuring the Hedgehog — JK2—I mean Ron Jeremy. Just in case we get to one day be as fortunate as the Mayor that ‘heart-sacks’ on Friday mornings, we practiced with Baby Makers. It’s a great way to tone our abs – you should try it as often as possible. F3nation has refused to enter this into the exercise lexicon despite my weekly submissions. So for what seemed like an eternity, we lasted about 30 or 40 seconds before the workout climaxed liked Pete North.
Prayers lifted for Pizza Man’s Grandmother recovering from hip replacement (reportedly doing well), Stroganoff’s with the loss of his uncle, and the return of those PAX that had been on hiatus. Announcements for the (Before) Christmas Party tonight at Lotus at 7 pm and Saturday morning’s convergence 0700 at GasHouse. Bring a toy for Operation Sweet Tooth. Bandit will continue to accept donations until delivery to the Gastonia Boy’s and Girls Club on 12/12.
My M changed her workout schedule that allowed me the freedom to attend F3 every morning this week. I had not been able to attend Downtown in quite some time, so I grabbed the Q slot to allow Spiderman a rest from leadership duties. I posted every day except for Tuesday and my 46 year old body is feeling it. Hush Puppy and Defib worked my upper body and the return of Brownstreak caused my quads to burn from his Sprint-ables workout. Props go out to Gastone that Q-ed five successive days back in October. Also to Whoopee who not only posted every morning this week but added extra credit, showing up before workouts to get in additional Ruck training. He’s becoming a beast – look out Dolph. Recognition to Slaw hitting a tri-fecta in the past 24 hours with a Thursday am and pm before this morning’s session. Boudin is making the rounds proving he is not only a Big Deal in Belmont, but some of us already knew that. Turtleman and Bandit were back in the fold, and all the PAX pushed the rock up the hill this morning. It was a climactic 45 minutes. Hopefully my return trip to Downtown will not be another two months. Thanks for the opportunity to lead.
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:
Frankensteins (aka Toy Soldiers): IC x 10
Mummy Kicks: IC x 10
Zombie Walk to the tennis courts
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:
Bear-crawl to the 3rd corner
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
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.
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.
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?”
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.
0500 Thursday morning my phone, serving as my alarm, chimes and I avoid the snooze button, why? because I’m the Q today at Goat Island. In order to make it on time, I can’t “tarry” as my wife often, almost daily reminds me. Time management is a vicious opponent of mine, one that provides a daily challenge. I constantly seem to be in a hurry and my family and friends will attest, often late. I can report that I’ve never been late for a Q, though when some set-up of a pain station or depositing coupons is required, I’ve managed to arrive at the start. Back to Thursday morning, I leave in plenty of time to arrive at 0520, good so far. I break up the ladies at About Face Bootcamp performing burpee-long-jumps down Center Street. I check and do not see Roscoe. His sweet M must have shared that painful exercise with the lovely Misty leading her troops. Alone in the parking lot, I stretch in the quiet gloom hopeful a few PAX will post. Mayor and Dolph are typically early birds, so I figure they have other plans this day. Finally a car pulls in and Dr. Seuss joins me. Tiny Tank was famous for skipping the warm-up and that was my plan today. At 0530 Slim Shady appears from the shadows, as I’m about to mosey he informs me GQ is expected and could we wait a few minutes. Informally I suggest Moroccan Night Clubs. After a minute we see headlights; “side to side lunge.” GQ is primping in the mirror to ensure his hair and beard are tight (lookout Frank…). 0532 Slim Shady runs to retrieve his brother in law and guide him to our circle…more informal warm-up: “Toy Soldiers.” GQ finally joins us. “Do you need any warm-up?” I ask. GQ replies that he’ll be fine. 0533 we set off on a mosey up Center Street toward the empty church parking lot at the corner of 10th and 8th. Another tip of the cap to Brownstreak, I announce the first pain station will be my version of the “Dirty Thirty.” The twist is to perform 3 burpees between 9 other exercises that were performed OYO at 30 reps, single count (when applicable). It went like this:
Wouldn’t you know a train rumbled through around CDD’s so we added two extra burpees to pay our dues. From here we moved across the street to the Rec Center parking lot. When I’m unable to attend F3, I’ll supplement my cardio with Insanity workouts in my garage. There was a good set from the most recent Max 30 Cardio disk that I thought the PAX would enjoy. I set the timer for a 30 second circuit of 4 different exercises and a 30 second rest between.
Medicine Ball Jack (pretend you have a medicine ball and as your legs split, twist from side/side)
Plank Jack then do an In/Out
Power Knee (set 1 – right, set 2 – left)
Suicide Flying Squirrels (use the width of a parking to run between and perform FS each side)
On a reconnaissance mission, I found a baby hill that Gastone would salivate to inflict pain. Individual 11’s were called. Begin with 10 Merkins at the top and 1 LBC at the bottom; progress down and up. The hill provided enough resistance to burn the quads a bit. Once that session was completed, it was time to partner up. I paired with Dr. Seuss while GQ and Slim Shady kept it in the family. Partner 1 would perform flutter kicks while Partner 2 ran down a set of steps, around the building and back up our baby hill. No time and no limit on the reps. We went two rounds. I checked my watch and thought it said 0605. So I went for another round, this time with American Hammers. After both partners complete a round, Slim Shady confirmed the time was 0613. Looks like a jail break is in order. We returned to the AO at 0618. We recited the pledge and heard prayer requests for Slim Shady’s father hoping to hear good news about an upcoming treatment; a new leadership program at The Pointe Church; Dr. Seuss and all the kids, teachers, administrators and parents with school under way. It was a little tardy on the start and the finish, but it all worked to produce another good start to our days.
William Penn said “Time is what we want most, but use worst.” My M challenged me on the way out the door this morning to be home by 0630 in order to take our kids to their youth groups Bible’s and Biscuits at Bojangles. She may have huffed under breath that she would be the one that ends up taking them. She works out at the aforementioned About Face Bootcamp, enjoying the camaraderie as well as the exercise. But they don’t have the COT and Ball of Man which are key elements of F3. The power of prayer is a weapon at our disposal. Ephesians 6:18 says: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” So in typical fashion, I get home a little later than intended and hurry to shower. My time this morning was well spent. A small group of four allowed for direct conversation with Dr. Seuss, GQ, and Slim Shady which made for very little mumble chatter. We all bared down to push through the “suggested exercises.” The Cramerton Rec center is a good spot with lights and a hill to employ as a natural coupon; we should hit that more often. Though there isn’t a set deadline to write a back blast, this is a day later than intended, but I’ll keep working on my nemesis, trying to get better, as we all are. BTW – I did gather my kids to arrive at Bojangles at 0700, right on time. Maybe I’m getting better already. Until the next time, it was a pleasure to lead.
Not sure about you but I rank Labor Day as my #3 holiday behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. Things seem to end and begin with this annual threshold. The end of summer, the last chance for a mini-vacation or extended weekend to the beach, when you can still get in the water. Summer pool clubs have their final cookouts before shutting down. But there are bright beginnings with 2.0’s beginning school – why they always begin a week or so before having a Monday off, remains a mystery. And then there is the start of football season: high school, college, and pro. I enjoyed a beautiful day on Saturday with good friends and great tailgate only dampened by my Wolfpack’s inability to make key plays against the Gamechickens. But that’s nothing new. Being a State fan requires perseverance which I’m told builds character. Must be why Wolfpack fans age in dog years. But enough of that mumble chatter. The other great thing about this time of year is the subtle change in weather. After a summer full of humidity where beads of sweat form at the fabled call of “Side Straddle Hops,” we gathered this morning at a cool 63 degrees. A brief survey of the 8 men standing around me at The Storm this morning indicated only Tesla actually “worked” this weekend (and that was by his choice). All others were able to enjoy a Monday free of their professional obligations which meant today it was “Back to Work,” so that was my theme. 0530 hit and I shared a brief disclaimer to modify as needed based on the suggested exercises. We recited the Pledge and got to it. A train seems to roll through Cramerton on Tuesday and Thursday mornings so I decided to get ahead of it:
5 Burpees OYO
4×4 – IC x 5
Get in Plank and remain:
Plank Jacks – IC x 10
CDD’s – IC x 10
Peter Parker – IC x 10
In/Outs – IC x 10
Recover – shoulders were burning
Seal Jacks – IC x 10
Mosey to the lower parking lot behind the football stadium
I employed Hand-Slap Merkins when I was Q at GasHouse last weekend and it was a crowd pleaser. I wanted the Storm boys to feel the love so we partnered and began with those. With 9, Mayor was the odd man out but he kept pace just fine. Instructions were to perform 10 Hand Slap Merkins with your partner, run about 25 yards to the opposite curb, and perform individual squats x 10. The PAX were eager and plowed through the workout faster than anticipated. I was worried my Weinke may lack the length to fulfill the task – wouldn’t be the first time. That is where the ability to improvise comes in – but that is a 2nd F discussion, maybe after several rounds of shots. Time to mosey, the long way around the front of the school’s roundabout and then to the side entrance. Time for a little bit of Tabata which is a great segment because it is timed rather than counted. Everyone stays together but free to explore their own limits. The challenge was to maintain the pace of the exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest between.
1) Hip slappers
2) Lt. Dans
3) Flutter Kicks
4) Donkey Kicks
The Storm typically features a reasonable amount of mumble chatter but today was about like a church service. A lot of measured focus among the PAX to push through both sets. Amid the heavy breaths when the final bell chimed to conclude this segment, YHC asked if anyone wanted to share anything fun they did over the holiday weekend. Tesla shot his limit of doves by 8:30 am Saturday and Dr. Seuss hiked Chimney Rock. With no other stories, time to mosey, taking another scenic route to the picnic tables outside the tennis courts. Find you partner for Dora:
100 – Derkins
200 – Dips
300 – Step Ups
P1 performs the exercise, P2 runs about 25 yards and returns to switch, sharing the load to reach the aggregate. The first two exercises added more to the shoulder work and the steps ups focused on the cardio and abs in addition to the legs. Much to my surprise, we hit the 45 minute time limit with this one. Once again, Mary was left waiting in the parking lot, next time sweetheart.
Announcements for Burpee-thon 9/16, 9 am, at Rankin Lake – register; JJ5k is 9/23; Advisory Board Meeting will be Sunday 9/17 at 7:00 pm likely at Growlers at Loray Mill. Top Hat reported his daughter and friends are recovering from their car accident and will be okay – we lifted prayers for them as well as others that are searching.
Each segment had an upper body focus to burn the shoulders. I finally got my portable speaker synched with my phone’s playlist which was hand-selected to satisfy our Site Q’s taste which the Mayor texted was “Rock.” Well, there is a bit of age difference between yours truly and our leader and Rock can mean different things to different genera’s. When pressed, Mayor’s version and mine ironically are similar and resided in my playlist. The set began with GnR’s Nightrain (Radar attended the NC show I learned during hand-slap merkins), For Whom the Bell Tolls, Crazy Train, with a few others. Maybe the music kept the chatter down but I’d think the PAX were focused and ready to get back to work. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Until the next time. (BTW – the train never came so we’re all +5 for the next one).
With football as the most popular sport, it is a fair estimate that most, if not all of our PAX are excited for the various seasons to begin. Two weeks of high school games have been completed; college begins Labor Day with the NFL opening the week after. A demanding game which requires year round conditioning but really increases a month before the season with training camps, many of them having dreaded “two-a-days.” With the GasHouse slot open an idea sparked and I grabbed the Q. As a scrawny 130 pound teenager with a few broken arms on my medical history, my body was not designed for the grid iron. Sure there was neighborhood two hand touch and later in college, intramural flag-football, but I never had the pleasure to experience the cardio beat-downs under a piercing sun, in a helmet and pads. With that in mind, I researched various drills designed to make boys into men and men into, well tougher men.
Missing from the plan was the heat, a pleasant reprieve from the August humidity, it was a relatively nice mid-70’s. I arrived to join Hushpuppy and Shrink in a 3rd F lesson about Jonah and the challenges he faced. Slowly cars began to fill the parking lot and the circle formed with two FNG’s. The disclaimer was emphasized: “the QIC’s will provide suggestions and you may choose the follow them; modify as needed; find your limit and challenge yourself when you can. I threw a bit of a twist into the warm-up asking the PAX to get on their knees (shut-up and get your mind out of the gutters…)
Child’s pose Merkins (hands stretched out front, put your butt on your heels; move forward into plank, 1 merkin. Back to start with butt to heels, forward for 2 merkins. We built to 5. A slow starter that gently stretches the shoulders. Some mumble chatter about knees on asphalt achieved desired affect).
Don Quixote – IC x 10
Toy Soldier – IC x 10
Seal Jacks – IC x 10
That was it; not as fast as a Whoopee warm-up, but pretty quick. The PAX separated with five following Rudolph for the Pain Lab and 11 coming with me, but pausing to pay our respects at the flag with The Pledge. We continued up the sidewalk making our way to the Grier Middle School football field, picking up the bucket of water left by the Q. In researching the workout two things were noticeable, a practice plan and water breaks. In honor of Brownstreak, the Weinke or Practice Plan was distributed for review. With full disclosure, the PAX would know the exercises and the reps so they could manage their pace. A quote was provided at the top of the page: “I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.” Bear Bryant. The practice plan was intentionally hard and challenging.
20 Burpees OYO ; Run to the 50 yd line; plank for 6
When last man arrives, yell “go”; team performs 10 merkins OYO
Run to the goaline, plank for the 6
Line up on left side of goal line (single file), follow Q
Karioke Left to Right; NUR to the 10 yd line
Karioke Right to Left; NUR to the 20, etc. continue to the 50
Line across the 50 yard line; High Knees in place
Q calls for 10 up/downs (burps) OYO;
With high knees, move forward to 40 yd line
Q calls for 10 merkins OYO
Continue pattern until reaching goal line
Boo-yah Merkins – partner up
Partners face each other on opposite sides of 20 yd line
Perform 10 merkins, alternating shoulder taps on partner
Partners run opposite directions 20 yards, perform 20 squats
Partners return to 20 yard line; 10 merkins, etc.
Aggregate team total of 100 merkins/200 squats (If you went to Chapel Hill, that’s 5 rounds)
Q called for P2 to rest but Pele began SSH’s so the resting partners joined in and removing the rest.
P1 begins at the 50 yd line; Q signals to ‘go’
P1 sprints right to 45 line, then left to the opposite 45 yd line, then returns to the start. Switch – 3 rounds per man
Water break – PAX sprinted to the bucket of water bottles. Q informed them there were 10 minutes left and this was the gut check time, to finish strong.
Walk – Jog – Sprint
Line up on the goal line
Walk to the 10 yd line; Begin jogging to 30, Sprint to the 50
Perform 10 CDD’s, 10 plank jacks, 10 in/outs in successive order
Perform this circuit three times
Begin at goal line, 2 burpees OYO
Run 10 yards, 2 burpees
Repeat pattern until reaching the opposite goal line
Jailbreak to the parking lot for Mary where Rudolph and his crew were waiting. Since I had the warm-up, Rudolph took the closing 5 minutes. I’m a little fuzzy on all the exercises and reps as the PAX choice was invoked. From what I recollect we did: LBC’s, Flutter Kicks for a pretty good bit with the Q slowing, speeding up and holding various counts. The Warden (a real football coach) led us in leg raises, toying with the PAX on a few hold counts as well. The Bandit was called upon and surprised us when he didn’t announce his favorite dying coach roach but 10 Burpees! Mumble chatter flowed until the bells rang and the workout was complete.
The Mayor arrived with his M and 2.0’s to accept applications for The Burpee Workout (9/16 at 9:00 am). We made note of the JJ 5k. Prayers were lifted for T-Square and his M. Smalls and Papa John found some poison ivy as young boys often can, prayers for their healing (and less itching). We then named our FNG’s. Rudolph EH’ed his neighbor, Joe Sherrill for three years with this morning being the payoff. Joe pushed for a cool name and nearly paid the price but the PAX were kind naming him as Over the Top (Joe runs a trucking company). Next is Max Rheinson, a member of Gaston County Police department whose favorite restaurant (or the last one visited) will be known as Bo Berry. YHC closed us out in prayer.
As stated, Training Day was designed to be a tough workout for any PAX. For the real football players, the grueling two-a-days transform into daily practices and weekly games which fans can appreciate from the comforts of their recliners or live in the stadium. The single hour of punishment we experienced pales in comparison to the boys and men in uniform on the field of play. That is something to keep in mind as we cheer our respective teams this season. My daughter plays soccer and I’ve been guilty of cheering a little too hard. While we all want our kids to experience the highs of success, we need to appreciate the opportunities to enjoy and learn from their competitions whether its dancing, running, swimming…any type of performance. I’ve witnessed overweight adults with large rear ends planted in chairs, taking a break from their chips and soft drinks to scream at their kids, identifying their mistakes in front of others. Imploring their kid (and sometimes others) to run faster when their own fitness is challenged by a walk from the field to the car. So Training Day reminds us of the challenge athletes of all ages face. We should strive to appreciate their efforts; cheer the positive and support through the negative. Those players are doing their best, just like all of us. The late Joe Paterno once shared with his Penn State team: “Today, you’ve got a decision to make. You’re gonna get better or you’re gonna get worse, but you’re not gonna stay the same. Which will it be?”