In a quest to cure Sad Clown Disease …
Five teams of 5 or 6 men. Points given for extra stuff for bragging rights.
1700-1800 – Registration / check in and put stuff in the cabins
1800-1900 – Basketball and fellowship
1900 – Dinner and CPR review from Whoopee
1930 – Talk from CSPAN
2000 – Talk from DREDD
2030 – Fellowship
0530 – Wake up
0600 – Work – out warm up
0620 – Sasquatch – Climb 1
0650 – Third F Devotional / Sunrise
0700ish – Red Pills (8 beatdowns throughout Crowder’s Mountain State Park and Camp Crowder’s Ridge
0850ish – Climb 2 – Finish on top of the mountain
1000 – Breakfast
1100 – Cleanup / breakdown
The teams were:
Team 1 – Squirt, Blart, Def Leppard, Dolph, Gomer, Gumby
Team 2 – Oompa Loompa, Roscoe, Short Sale, Photobomb, Ashhh Pond
Team 3 – Freight, JJ, Stroganoff, Spiderman, Easy Rider
Team 4 – Billy Madison, Bacon, Hushpuppy, Edison, Whoopee, The Mayor
Team 5 – Huckleberry, Sargento, SLAW, Sledgomatic, Monk, Linus
Red Pills (after warm up and mosey up Crowders Mountain):
1- Two team members run to the Linville Rd. Park access and retrieve a park map. Other members complete 50 CDDs then run to the trailhead to meet other two members. Everyone completes 10 burpees and returns up the hill.
2 – Follow the path back towards camp where you will find a stack of blocks. Retrieve a block and return. Ask ToolTime, “Permission to piss, boss” then complete 15 overhead presses with blocks and return them for your next pill.
3 – After dismantling a rather large swingset YHC saw a massive set of monkey bars that screamed CSAUP. Overhead presses and squats (50 each) as a team while in the deep sand and holding the beast of a coupon is a fellowship event in and of itself.
4 – Go kart roll. Teams ride the go kart to the entrance of Camp Crowders Ridge. Team must then push the go-Kart up the hill … yes, it burns
5 – Dolph’s World – What would a CSAUP be without tractor tires, sledge hammers, kettle bells, and a backward sled pull? Not sure, BUT it definitely wouldn’t be Dolph worthy. Four stations of “fun”
6 – On the waterfront: One PAX is blindfolded and sent to bear crawl around the docks. Other team members hold plank and shout instructions to keep blindfolded team member on dry land. Each instruction shouted cost one merkin.
7 – Various exercises on the basketball court to be sure no muscle groups go left out.
8 – Team rolls 4′ X 8′ trailer around back parking lot retrieving one tire per man then returning trailer to the start.
Extra Credit – Each team received a sheet of stickers with an aggregate number (300) of different exercises. Exercises included merkins, plank jacks, flutter kicks, and LBCs. In addition, teams were promised additional points for catching a bear, possum, or Sasquatch.
Thirty-two men locked shields at Camp Crowder’s Ridge at the base of Crowder’s Mountain for the Gastonia region’s first CSAUP, named The Climb. With the event promoted to begin between 1700 and 1800, over half the PAX had arrived by 1630. Registration efforts (and early set up) were led by Freight using a double blind technique that “just happened” to yield a solid combination of speed and size to his team. Teams were housed together in independent cabins to provide the opportunity for some Goerge W. style “strategery” or a carefully executed Code Red.
Pre-dinner fellowship and basketball continued until 1900. The nervous anticipation of the unknown beatdown gave the PAX an abundance of energy. The basketball resulted in one injury to body (Sledgeomatic, ankle) and many injuries to pride. Ashhh Pond came with an arm wrapped in Saran-Wrap saying something about fresh ink, but we all knew he was going for the Winter Soldier look.
A delicious spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings was enjoyed by the PAX. It was a great privilege to be joined by DREDD (F3 co-founder) and CSPAN (F3 GasHouse expansion leader and some other big time leadership position that he explained, but we didn’t understand). After Stroganoff blessed the meal spaghetti and trimmings were consumed in abundance. After dinner GasHouse Nantan, Whoopee personalized the importance of CPR and provided an abbreviated course to be sure F3 men will take action in the face of a life threatening event.
CSPAN began his remarks with a Veteran’s Day reflection and recognition of those who have worn the uniform. Thank you veterans! He then provided a brief history of how the Gastonia region has grown in number and continues to develop #HIM. A reminder and challenge was issued to pay attention to the Concentrica placing your M at the center of all that is worldly going outward with family, shield lock, blades and stones (Whetstone process), outer ring friends, the rest of the world. CSPAN also challenged us to continue a strong commitment to the Third F. Our development will naturally lead to a shift from the first F to the third F in order of impact. CSPAN has been a steady mentoring leader for the region. His impact is seen and heard through the students of his Q school and all PAX in the region. Thank you CSPAN!
DREDD began his remarks expressing gratitude to CSPAN and recognizing his impact on other men. DREDD asked that three things be remembered: Fatigue makes cowards of us all, It all starts with love, and Ask, Listen, Remember. Sharing powerful stories of personal events, DREDD brought home what it takes to lead men. Throughout his remarks DREDD remembered the PAX by name and recalled stories they had shared as he mingled before and during dinner. The highly engaged audience was challenged to keep physically in top shape so you CAN lead. DREDD’s story of a Medal of Honor recipient and his experience leading soldiers in adverse conditions echoed the example of Christ’s leadership beginning with love. DREDD went on to share that men want to be known. Ask questions, intently listen to the response, and remember. Share that information later showing men that they are worthy of being heard and known. The men in the room were ready to attack the mountain right then. Aye!
The evening continued with great fellowship, some adult carb loading, and the Whetstone process in full motion. Oompa Loompa and Gomer seemed to be sharing some life wisdom, while others mixed corn hole and cough medicine to complete a perfect evening.
During the night the foot traffic between the cabins and the bathhouse was heavier than beach access on the 4th of July. See a doctor men.
After a few hours of shut eye I awoke to visions of fuzzy math and the need to add an additional “Red Pill” station. Spending a couple hours making an additional sign, staging the event, and fabricating more “red pills” was incredibly peaceful. The wind, woods, and mountain seemed to create a peaceful music which could only be broken by Miley Cyrus’ CSAUP anthem The Climb. As the PA system reverberated thought the countryside, men arose, and all motivated by that new knowledge that it “ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side … it’s the climb.” Music made the perfect segway into Enter Sandman … and the people were happy.
After reviewing the morning’s plan extra credit stickers were provided to each team along with a promise that extra points would be awarded to teams for catching a bear, possum, or sasquatch. Roscoe led the PAX through a warm up and a series of scripture readings. The stage was set Freight to lead the PAX through camp and into the woods for a covert mission to the Crowder’s Mountain summit. With headlamps burning and reflectors placed to mark the path, the PAX heard rumblings in the forest before a sasquatch did appear, or someone on the IR dressed in the Whoopee family Halloween costume running through the trees. I believe Roscoe, Edison, and Photobomb (not really sure) were the ones who pursued the deadly creature earning the self satisfaction of the hunt and the thrill of the catch. Roscoe’s contact lens was knocked out during the chase, but as all Alpha males do, he spit on it and stuck it back into his eye, while uttering a pledge to destroy the tree branch that dared to inflict such harm.
The PAX continued the mosey to the pinnacle of Crowders with the sky getting progressively lighter and the sun beginning to appear on the horizon. Monk shared a powerful Third F with the sunrise as a backdrop:
Small as we are, our hearts and minds possess an immense capacity for love. To love fully, we need to be loved by God first and then, like God, to act so that others might live, as in 1 John 4:9-10. But loving action must be learned. Consider how Jesus teaches how to love in your favorite parable, teaching, or Gospel story, such as Jesus’ last encounter with Peter (John 21) – (Hushpuppy), or the Prodigal Son (Bacon).
Inspired and ready to conquer the task at hand the teams divided and began to execute. Tool Time reappeared from Friday to instruct the teams on the first two red pills. While Tool Time wasn’t supposed to be with us on Saturday, a poster with his name on it provided the EH to bring him back.
I will have to admit, the 8 red pills were tough. Watching the PAX pull each other through was a blast. Each PAX had his own approach. Dolph was just happy to be picking up heavy stuff. SLAW took the blindfolded task as an opportunity to take his shirt off … just like he does in the school pickup line. Gomer took his perfect merkin training (which had impressed DREDD) and practiced a lot. Short Sale had to leave a little early as part of his concentrica training, so he did a couple thousand flutter kicks first. Remembering when … Huckleberry … awesome. Running from station to station is was great to see the intensity that did not waiver. Billy Madison decided to complete station 4 with a Bud Light in hand, possibly a CSAUP first.
PAX fully engaged the downhill ride on the go-kart but the push back up was often volunteer only. The group lifting with the ladder proved especially tough for the tall guys. Easy Rider and Sargento had to assume the squat position the whole time. Stroganoff yelled a lot during the overhead presses but all made Miley Cyrus proud.
Upon completion of the red pills the return trip up Crowders was tough. Spent legs began to cramp and burn but I personally enjoyed some quality conversation bringing up the six.
On top of the mountain the PAX traded in their 8 red pills for the cure to Sad Clown Syndrome. Each PAX received a new stone which read “Keep Pushing.” The cure does lie in the journey so I guess Miley (before she climbed up on a wrecking ball all naked and such) had it right. It was The Climb.
We descended at our own pace and found a full bacon and egg breakfast waiting. As we recovered together Whoopee stood and reminded everyone of what F3 has meant in his life. Sandy V had especially taught him to be a better emptier of the dishwasher. The PAX nodded because everyone knows they are in a different place with a special group of brothers than they were a year or more ago. What we do to pay it forward is the real mountain pinnacle. Keep pushing!
Thank you to everyone for jumping in, cleaning up, and doing whatever was needed. Great work!