Peach suggested the title of this back blast after suffering through an hour of Planet Pain boot camp as advertised, which included 2 miles of distance without venturing far from our base station. 16 Pax, including several Kotters and 3 FNGs, warmed up with our usual SSHs, MNCs, Squats, Merkins, and LBCs. The gloom was cloudy, but no rain, and perfect temps compared to what we have suffered through most of January. A short mosey to the adjacent parking lot and we did a minimum of 5 laps of 4 corners to include 10 merkins, 20 American hammers, 20 mountain climbers, and 10 Bobby Hurleys. Those who wanted to go faster and further could quickly catch up to the brothers going slower and provide courage and support. I proudly watched several F3 old timers stay with FNGs to talk them through a round and then switch off with another brother to make sure they got their own workout challenge. Without any time to consider the pain we quickly moved to our Flag and proudly said the Pledge of Allegiance. On to the benches on the other side of the ATC where each brother grabbed a spot to work arms and core. 10 merkins, 15 dips, 2 step ups with left foot leading, 10 derkins, 15 more dips, and 20 more step ups leading with right foot. We did a lot of cadence count work so the reps are higher than they appear, and it did this old corps Marine/Soldier good to count out in unison. We stepped into the parking lot and did a set of 6s using the big parking lot lights as markers, 1 squat, 5 merkins, 2 squats, 4 merkins, until done. Again, brothers could push harder and get extra rounds in, while encouraging and picking up the brothers in the six. Stretched our calves and did 20 calf raises OYO, then a short mosey to the back of my old reliable F-150 parked under the Planet Pain globe of ATC. Every brother grabbed a brick for each hand, moved away from the vehicles and gave each other some space. In cadence we did sets of curls, military press, wings, and arm lifts with the bricks, with no rest in between sets. Arms got heavy, but no one dropped a brick. We returned the bricks to my truck, and circled up to finish with an ab lab of 6 different exercises. Not a lot of mumble chatter, but strong motivation and focus on the cadence counts. A couple of the FNGs were surprised to find they actually got +/- 2 miles distance while working through the boot camp.
While recovering I talked about how we need to pursue uncommon unity, a theme at my church (Newspring) last week, and how we do that as an F3 Nation. We must always be intentional as we reach out to new Pax and our community to be inclusive of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, incomes, and fitness levels. When we come together as a group of diverse men, to develop strong leaders and betters ourselves and each other, the differences, labels, and boundaries that the world assigns us seems to melt away. We have to be intentional in reaching out to those different than we are to grow F3 in unity and strengthen the communities we live in. I can’t help but believe the more inclusive we are as brothers, the less likely we will suffer the tragedies we have experienced the last 2 weeks.
Ponytail kindly recorded our naming circle, and we then named our FNGs Birdman, BlackJack, and his son YingYang (who may have gotten more rounds of 4 corners than any of us!) After announcements and prayers in COT, several brothers went to Patti Wagon for F2 breakfast, where WhiteHat generously surprised us paying the tab before we knew it. WhiteHat is on Q at Independence Monday, Remember the rain just washes away the sweat and dirt faster!