5 of F3 Gastonia’s finest, and 1 from the Livermush Capital of the World took a little trip down memory lane and paired up with the PainLab to crown the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express as the undefeated tag-team champions. Here’s what I remember:
Knowing Latte from F3 Shelby was coming in, YHC worked on Woody to try to get the band back together. Woody’s been on the IR, but wanted to give it a go, so the stage was set. Reached out to Tube with an idea, he was game, and with a late-night Weinke ready to roll, 7 o’clock came and it was time to go.
One problem. No Woody. Turns out Father Time catches up to all of us, and we just don’t heal like we used to. To see if he was ready, he did some light work, and it wasn’t going to happen. If you know Woody, he’s only got one speed, and that’s balls to the wall, so today wasn’t the day.
- 10 x SSH (IC)
- 10 x Hillbilly Walkers (IC)
- 10 x Cotton Pickers (IC)
- Train (5 Burpees – OYO)
At this point, we heard from the man himself and followed it up with
- 4 Wooooo! x Ric Flair Burpees
Pledged and split and bootcamp moseyed to Grier.
When YHC was just a young Flintstone, my family started going to Brookleigh Baptist Church off Robinson Rd. in Gastonia. Latte’s dad was the preacher there and Woody’s family attended very regularly. It was the kind of church where everyone attended regularly and everybody knew everybody really well. As we grew older, the 3 of us spent a lot of time together, and as the youngest, YHC was always a passenger in Woody’s Ford Taurus SHO or Latte’s Chevy S10.
So that explanation took forever, but not as long as it took to call the exercise. In Triple Nickel fashion (but definitely not a Triple Nickel), we did 5 rounds and 5 reps at these stations:
- BBC (Brookleigh Baptist Church)
- Bonnie Blairs
- Big Boys
- Chuck Norris Merkins
- SHO (Woody’s Ford Taurus SHO)
- Sandy Vs
- Hand-release Merkins
- One-legged calf raises (each leg)
stopping halfway between stations for
Took a couple rounds to find the rhythm of it, but it eventually went down like a nice raw egg. Work done, on to the next one.
We used to play 21 a lot, not Blackjack, but the basketball version of 21. Nutria explained it well, calling it “basketball without the rules”. So we partnered up and each partner went a separate direction to do the exercise at that station, ascending in reps from 1-10. 2 partners x 10 reps = 20, and then you take a free throw to make 21 and win the game. Stations were
- Apolo Onos
- Dying Cockroaches
With time running short, YHC called a number of Omahas, took advantage of rule changes that allowed my teammate a clutch second free throw (nice work Watts Up), packed up my balls and headed back to the shovel flag to meet up with PainLab.
As a teenager, Monday nights were all about wrestling, WCW Monday Nitro and WWF Monday Night RAW were in a battle of their own, and we watched Flair, Hogan, Stone Cold, HBK, the Undertaker, the nWo, DDP, The Rock, Mean Gene, and the whole cast of characters put on a show every Monday night.
Together with the PAX of PainLab, we put on a show of our own, with a little tag-team tournament. After a trip to the Footmobile for some bricks and a quick split into partners we were ready.
- 2 Teams of 2 PAX squared off in 3 minute matches
- PAX #1 does reps of called exercise and keeps count while PAX #2 holds a position
- When PAX #1 can’t do any more, he “tags” in his partner, and the 2 switch
- Total score for each team for each match is the combined total number of reps of the 2 PAX
- Team with the highest number of reps wins the match
- Tube & Dirty White Boy
- Les Nessman & Flintstone
- Nutria & El Toro
- Bandit & Latte
- Linus, Handcuff & FNG (Ziptie)
- Dirt, Clavin & Hermie
- Voodoo & Watts Up
- Merkins / Plank
- Michael Phelps (w/bricks) / 6 inches
- Overhead Presses (w/bricks) / Hold bricks to the side
- LBCs / Lateral Planks
- Standing Shoulder Taps / Bricks overhead
4 rounds of intense staredowns, lots of hollerin, and questionable counting led to a championship match between Voodoo & Watts Up (Rock ‘n’ Roll Express) and Dirt & Hermie (who got the name “Bert & Ernie”). Rock ‘n’ Roll Express finished the job, remaining undefeated for all 5 rounds and earning the first tag-team title that I’ve ever given out. I guess we need to have championship belts made and challengers to the title to make it official.
Had a blast with the guys from PainLab, as the tournament was a good time. I didn’t even catch too much crap for coming in at 8:02 (as I recall, the best Monday night’s ran over too, so it was an authentic experience).
- Strides of March – March 6th – Sign Up
- Rooster – March 13th
- Mortimer Team raising money – Sargento to post info
- Dirty White Boy w/programming course
- Latte’s sister-in-law recovering from surgery
- Firemen & Law enforcement officers
- Texas and the south
- Bandit’s friend Rob is doing better
- T-Square & family
- Tube’s brother-in-law w/addiction
Part of growing up and getting older is the regular rotation of people into and out of life’s orbit. Changes in homes and hometowns and jobs and phases of life and kids and their friends and parents generally mean that at any given moment on any given day, the people you spend the most time with and those you trust could be very different than those from, say 5 years ago. We go our separate ways, lose touch, and find it hard to recreate the same conditions that brought us together in the first place.
It’s an obvious part of why family is important. Whether your family is your family in a literal sense, or a group of people that have stuck with you through thick and thin, they’ve been there through all the phases and really know you. They’re genuinely irreplaceable.
Latte and Woody who have been there through it all and still keep coming back for more. Sure, some times are more frequent than others, but we’ve always got each others’ support, and a strong foundation built by years of trust that we can always lean on.
By joining F3 and being a part of the PAX, we inherit a family that will know us and support us to the extent that we allow ourselves to be known and supported. The fundamental principles of inclusion (for all men) and the COT make this possible. As we go hard and bump fists in The Gloom, we forge the same kind of foundation with our F3 brothers as we do our friends and family. We lock shields with those most like us, and celebrate and mourn with each other as life happens. The national reach of F3 means that no matter where we go, we have brothers in the area who have likewise done more Merkins and Burpees than they can count.
It’s why reaching out and bringing back Kotters is just so important. Each day that goes by makes it harder for them to come back. Injuries, life, or just chronic fartsacking have a way of derailing things and making a SadClown of anyone. We can’t make decisions for anyone else, but a strong EH game and constant support can go a long way. There’s too much good in F3 for men who have been a part of it and needed it to feel like they can’t be a part anymore.
At the end of the day, family is all we got. I’m thankful for mine. I’m thankful for Latte and Woody. And I’m thankful for the men of F3 Gastonia. Grateful, as always, for the opportunity to lead.
Yabba Dabba Doo