5.29.21 — Just a bit of silliness, really

In the immortal words of Dolly Parton: “Hit ’em where the sun don’t shine.”

In contrast to Wednesday, the sunrise was crowning the trees in glory at AO-TAR PIT, as 10 intrepid PAX (Big Mac, Beaker, Draper, SAGA, Panhandle, Noodles, Hot Box, Da Vinci, Katniss, Capn Crunch(QIC)) gathered for what promised to be an atypical day. The Q did have a plan, but the details were yet to be filled in in their entirety. Without much explanation and some odd warnings, they began their adventure. The objective was to work out some muscles we haven’t used since grade school.

Warm-O-Rama:
– Goofballs IC x20
– Abe Vigoda IC x10
– Batwings IC x10
– Mountain Man Poopers IC x20

Recon Jog

Thang 1: DIY OCR

We all pray in different ways, and in our own way we lended our thoughts and support to those brave souls entering into the Frontline OCR. We divided into two teams of 10 and took turns making stuff up, establishing routes for us to race across or around the playground, performing different exercises or feats of athleticism against members of the other team.

Highlights include Bear Crawls, more Bear Crawls, Bear Snake, Bear Indian Run, pull ups at extreme heights, Dolly Partons(reprise), Derkin sprints, gimpy one-legged-race + burpees (gimpees?), and a kiddy slide that almost defeated the entire gathering of the PAX, and Hot Box and Beaker closing out the day showing everyone how it’s done on the 5 meter beam cross.

Thang 2: Adult Duck Duck Goose

Inspired by one of (not yet)FiA’s workouts, the PAX circled up for a bit of Duck Duck Goose before continuing their OCR. Like normal duck duck goose (or grey duck???), except that all the PAX perform a standing exercise, and when you get called “duck” you perform 10 merkins. Afterwards, we continued the choose your own OCR.

COR/NOR/COT: prayers of thanks for Noodles’ opportunities and the many blessings of life — thanks and intercession in the midst of SAGA’s trials/blessings — for Panhandle’s daughter in Mexico — for the Frontline OCR crew and their endeavors and camaraderie

4.22.21 — Cap’n’s Hill

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood at AO MASTODON. Possibly the last frost for the season blanketed the ground and mist rose off the lake as 12 PAX (Hot Box, Archive, Da Vinci, Whittler, Jolly, Tortuga, Beaker, Big Mac, SAGA, Noodles, Shiplap, Cap’n Crunch (QIC)) arrived and threw in their lot with their deranged Q. Having made vague promises of restraint in his pre-blast, YHC will leave it to the PAX to decide if he kept his word.

Warm-o-Rama:

  • Motivators IC x 7
  • Mountain Man Poopers IC x 10
  • Abe Vigoda IC x 10

The Thang: Cap’n’s Hill (a terrible Dora)

  • 99 Yurpees (clap merkin + 2x tuck jumps)
  • 198 Monkey Humpers
  • 297 American Hammers
  • Split the above with a partner and take turns doing Bernies up the hill with 20 Star Jumps at the top

The Filler: PAX’s choice

  • Welsh Dragons or Dan Taylors up Hoffa, up to 9
  • Aiken Legs: 20 x (Squats, Box Jump, Lunges, Split Jacks)

Overtime! 3 Min of Mary:

  • Hurricane Hoedown (Motivator Style Countdown Cadence from 5) (Thanks Tortuga for the co-Q getting the count right for everyone else!)
    • Seated Flutters
    • Recline Flutters
    • Normal Flutters
    • LBC Flutters

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for Noodles job search — praise for Whittler passing his exams — praise for good health and prayers for the continued blessing, protection, and healing for those looking at surgeries or who are currently recovering (Cooper, Bryan, Katie)

4.9.21 — Duelling Stairmasters

With YHC being a 2nd time poster, 1st time Q to the mysterious Ground Zero Run-club, he figured he should have some semblance of a plan, but otherwise not bring too many expectations to burden the PAX with. At the same time, he had a reputation to maintain for bringing too much of a good thing and today would be no exception. With the rain looming, and an otherwise breezy cool morning, 14 PAX posted in the Gloom for leg-day #2, hot on the heels of Shamu’s Thursday lunges.

The mission was basic, go somewhere, run stairs, go somewhere else, run more stairs. With two good parking garages in downtown Wheaton, the PAX only had so many options, but they set in with their usual enthusiasm.

After an unorthodox run-club warm-up, with something that almost counted as stretching(!?), they were free to accomplish the mission as they saw fit.

NOR: (Cookies, Shiplap, Panhandle, Jolly, Banks, Beaker, Dr. Phil, Noodles, SAGA, Gummi Bear, Shamu, Whittler, Katniss, Capn Crunch(QIC))

COT: Prayers for the group to lean in to life as we lean in to workouts, choosing action, even imperfect action, done with good motivation.

MOLESKIN: Confession on YHCs part to having thought ill of a brother even during that workout, and exhortation to the PAX to consider someone they think ill of and choose today to think well of them, reject cynicism, and embrace goodwill and a generous heart.

3.20.21 — The Vanilla* Spartan

In the early dawn 12 PAX (Banks, Jolly, Panhandle, DaVinci, HotBox, Katniss, Beaker, Bloomer, Saga, Gummi Bear, Tortuga, Capn Crunch(QIC)) found themselves at a frost covered TAR PIT where YHC was eager to start the clock. After a quick warm-up of usual exercises, and some mumbled comments about leg-work. They shouldered the available sandbags and ruck (120/65/65/30, respectively) and did a recon mosey of the south football field, ultimately deciding to make due with the IronPAX field despite its tarp cover.

Having attempted a full Spartan at the Mastodon without success on multiple occasions, the Q had his eye set on the full 30 rounds today, with ample time available if they didn’t mess around. He had full faith in the PAX.

Warm-o-Rama:

  • Motivators x 7
  • Mountain Man Poopers IC x 10
  • Abe Vigodas IC x 10
  • Sandbag recon mosey

The Spartan:

Having attempted something like a Spartan a few times, always with heavy modification, this would be the first time the F3-Wheaton crowd had done it vanilla (i.e., flat ground, 100 yards, no coupons), and the routine was new to many of the PAX. Thankfully it was incredibly easy to explain. But that didn’t stop the Q from failing to fill in all the details, opting instead to start the PAX off with just the first third having been verbalized.

Rounds 1-10: The Time Hack

  • Run 100 yards, 10 Merkins, mosey back, EMOM — This was vanilla enough. However, our mosey was timed, and an aggressive benchmark of EMOM Spartans was thrown down by the Q, while still waiting for the return of the 6 before starting each round. We were close, but averaged about 1min 12 seconds overall, for a 12 minute finish time on this third. The Q decided a quicker pace was needed to ensure victory.

Rounds 11-20: The Millennial Mosey

  • Run 100 yards, 10 Merkins, 30 LBCs(Millennial style) — To shorten the cycle time without killing the 6, we dropped the mosey, and instead “rested” for the length of time it took for the first PAX to reach 30 LBCs. At that point all PAX jumped to the line for the next run.

Rounds 21-30: No Bag Left Behind

  • Run 100 yards, 10 Merkins, mosey back (+sandbags) —With the time gained by the Millennial cheat on the middle third, we had 20 minutes left in the Q to finish the final 10 rounds. We could afford an actual mosey. The group was fairly close together on pace, so the Q explained that the sandbags were there in case someone was too far ahead of the group and needed more resistance in their workout. The PAX took this as an invitation and for most of the remaining rounds all bags were shouldered for the first half of the run (dropping them at the 50 yard and finishing the sprint).

Finishing with a few minutes left on the clock, they rounded out with some Mary, and appreciated just how much hip-flexors are involved in our favorite “ab” exercises.

3MoM:

  • Ol’ Ironsides: (Boat/Canoe + American Hammer IC x 10) x 2
  • Oblique LBCs — Right IC x 10, Left IC x 10
  • LBCs IC x 10

MOLESKIN: Break your tasks into small chunks and keep chipping away. Achieve what you set out to do.

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for Jazz Hands’ friends Bryan and Lauren — Wisdom for Hot Box and M as they seek to navigate family conversations — For Tortuga’s M and Saga’s M — for all the brothers, that they would lean into life / work / family as well as they do their workouts, and that we would both have and give support in those spheres.

Glad to hang with the TAR PIT boys after a long time away, seeing faces old and new and appreciating just how much is going on across F3 Wheaton in a given week. Not captured on film, but seared in my memory of this morning: The glory of Gummi Bear’s tireless flying across a field of frosted grass yards ahead of the pack. DaVinci’s dogged grip on his bag for the full 100 yards plus the merkins and the return. Bloomer cleaning 120 pounds just like everyone imagines themselves doing in the moment before their first attempt.

The TAR PIT HIMs and their weight
Post-Spartan Mood

2.27.20 – The Thermopylae 150

After the Q promised a day of mud, the 13 PAX (Archive, Babe, Beaker, Cookies, DBC, Jazz Hands, Sparrow, Crash, Crack, K-Pop, Jailbreak, TBTF, Capt Crunch) who posted were greeted with a thick fog and and a decidedly un-thawed AO Mastodon hovering at 32 degrees instead of the promised 40. The main element of the day was still ice, and the Q kept to the hill, making traction the primary obstacle.

Warm-o-Rama:

  • Motivators
  • Albatross Wings
  • Mountain Man Poopers / Bolt 45s
  • Side Plank Practice

Super SPARTAN Circuit:

  • Divide into two groups: one group will be Spartans, the other Base Camp, switching roles each round, each group will get 30 rounds of each role (if time allows). [Dear Reader, time did not allow]
  • Spartan = 30 Hill Sprints (or 100 yard dash), 10 Merkins at the top each time, walk/mosey back
  • Round 1-5, ARMS
    • Spartans: Sprint the hill, merkin x 10, return. 
    • Base Camp: AMRAP Albatross Wings: 20 x Moroccan Night Club, hold, 20 x Forward Arm Circles, hold, 20 x Backwards Arm Circles, hold, 20 x seal claps, hold, 20 x overhead claps. Repeat.
  • Round 6-10, CORE
    • Spartans: bear crawl the first half of the hill, sprint the rest, merkin and return
    • Base Camp will pick ONE exercise and AMRAP until Spartans return (switch exercises each round): Right Side Plank / Left Side Plank / Shoulder Taps
  • Round 11-15, LEGS
    • Spartans will lunge the first half up the hill, then sprint, merkin and return
    • Base Camp will pick ONE exercise and AMRAP until Spartans return (different exercise each round): Mountain Man Poopers, Monkey Humpers, Bolt 45s 
  • Round 16-20, ARMS [called here for time]
  • Round 20-25, CORE
  • Round 26-30, LEGS

Recover with 15 rounds completed. One half leftover to complete when the snow is gone.

COR/NOR/COT: |Prayers continued for Jazz Handz’ friends Lauren and Bryan — for Bloomer’s family — prayers for the PAX to keep pressing in and completing the hard things that await them in their week.

2.8.21 — Return of the Death-Sled

Mush! Mush! Mush!

On a lovely morning at AO Mastodon where it couldn’t decide if it was 1º or -1º, but 13 PAX posted for the first combined Ruck/Run day (Cookies, Shiplap, Da Vinci, Sparrow, Panhandle, Beaker, Big Mac, Jolly, Archive, Hand Warmer(FNG!), Crack, Banks, Capt Crunch). The Q had deliberated on whether some Dan Taylor variations or a PT Medley would best serve the PAX on a cold day.

Ultimately the snow and a desire to keep some good effort going the whole time got the better of him and he chose to enjoy the potentially fleeting opportunity to Q in sled-weather. And Feb seemed like a good month to work pulling muscles anyway. With the potential for a decent number of pullers on the team, a makeshift dog-sled harness was constructed to keep some distance while still affording a good 7-man team. An APB for weight of various kinds and the plan was set.

Warm-O-Rama:

  • Motivators (the usual 7)
  • Mountain Man Poopers, IC x 14
  • Side Lunges, 14
  • Arm Circles, OYO for time
  • Michael Phelps

The Thang:

After our arm-heavy warm-up, the 5 Run Clubbers decided to peace out leaving 8 men to man the sled with 4 sand-bags and a spare ruck inside (estimated 280+ pounds). Rucks on, and sled behind we dragged to the near-bridge by Hoffa and dropped Banks into the sled. We proceeded to drag him across the island and then swapped him for “Old Nan’Tan” Archive and proceeded to the field of dreams.

Here the game changed slightly, to pay full homage to the “Bataan Death Sled” days of 2018 when we dragged tube-sand around the AO. We broke into teams of 4 and one team did 10 Merkins in the elbow deep snow and caught the other team to exchange the sled. After a few rounds Banks wisely recommended a non-hand exercise, and we opted for squats but transitioned quickly back to team-drag with one rotating rider.

Completing the circuit back to Hoffa gave us enough time to enjoy two very different hikes up the hill. The first time YHC enjoyed a well-timed turn in the sled. The second and final time, he made the ill-advised change of putting all of the rucks in the sled and having the now much lighter PAX drag a much heavier sled up at about half the speed of the previous attempt. Cresting the hill the final time, we saw run-club back from their 3.2 miles so we shoved the sled (and the Q) down the hill to rendezvous back at the parking lot.

It’s all fun and games from the comfy seat.

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for health, especially Big Mac’s friends’ M finishing up chemo and Hot Box’s M as she weathers Covid — prayers that the PAX would keep the momentum of the day at work and home, that the week would be productive and we would support those who need added strength in their week.

1.20.21 — The Slippery Slope of the TAR PIT

A light dusting of overnight snow added a little sparkle to an already snowy Gloom. As the snow plows worked the parking lot, six hearty PAX (Shiplap, Banks, Cookies, Noodles, Tortuga, Captain Crunch(QIC)) (Flag count: 2; Tar Pit and Mastodon) found a spot to warm up before venturing to the location of their mystery beatdown.

SLIPPERY SLOPE Q

  • Motivators IC x 7
  • Mountain Man Poopers IC x 15
  • Goofballs IC x 25
  • Jog to the slope on the peninsula (East end of the AO)
  • Dan Taylors down (up to 8+32)
Who lives here? Looks a lot like Dan Taylor’s house

A Bicycle Built for Three?

Arriving at the slope, the PAX found a pre-staged sled, dropped off at Crunch’s house in July by an anonymous PAX (thanks Gummi Bear!). The PAX added Banks’ sandbag to the current load of Bertha plus two rucks (pushing somewhere around 200 lbs). The TAR PIT flag stood about half-way down the peninsula, beckoning.

The groups divided up in teams of three, (Banks, Tortuga, Cookies) (Shiplap, Noodles, Crunch). Shiplap’s team took the first leg, and were “timed” by the number of reps the other team could complete before they returned. Lowest score wins that heat. The AMRAP team did Overhead Claps, Merkins, and Star Jumps.

Round 1: Sled Team with sand-bag, go down the hill around the flag and back up the hill.

Round 2: One PAX rides the sled until the final return slope.

Round 3: Stop the sled at the base of the hill, run the sandbags and rucks out around the flag and back, then re-load the sled and get up the hill.

The return trip

Banks’ team was decidedly victorious on each round, but graciously suggested that they owed it to some cleverness on their part in getting to rest before doing their reps and not letting us have the same break. YHC noted that they had two PAX with Yaktrax™ while we only had one, but couldn’t fault anyone but himself for being under-prepared for his own Q.

With time once again being the friend of the PAX, we called it and avoided a Tar Pit ABPOCALYPSE for the second time. Flags were collected and the gear sled dragged back to the parking lot.

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for the good conclusion of Noodles’ internship — For Tortuga’s family travelling for the next month away from home and his responsiblity and virtue on the home front — for our country to be peaceful and responsible on this day as we inaugurate a new president and for our mutual respect and good will to grow from this low place — for the brothers across the nation to lead and serve well.

12.21.20 — The Three Kings

8 PAX (Gummi Bear (35!), Panhandle, Big Mac, Beaker, Jolly, Tortuga, Too Big To Fail, Capn Crunch (QIC)) started this week like it was any other, rucks shouldered in the Gloom, ready for whatever randomness awaited them.

Today, with Jupiter and Saturn converging overhead, it was also the meeting of too very opposing themes. On the one hand, the spirit of rivalry over who would ascend their hill more often or complete more cycles of reps for their team (Santa vs the Snowman). On the other, the spirit of honoring, following in the footsteps of the magi, humbly seeking to offer token offerings to the great king declared in the heavens. Afterwards they enjoyed a good loop around the park for old time’s sake.

Warm-O-Rama:

  • Ruck-Motivators ICx5
  • Abe Vigoda ICx10
  • Mountain Man Poopers ICx12
  • Form Demo: Ruck Thrusters, ICx5
  • Form Demo: Ruck Swings OYOx10

The Thang: The Battle for the North Pole

Teams divided up at the base of Hoffa and each PAX took an exercise:

  • Seeking the Star — Hill sprint + 10 Ruck Merkins + 10 Ruck Star Jumps + return (one point for the full trip)
  • Offering Gold — Ruck Thrusters (each full set of 12 completed is one point)
  • Offering Frankincense — Ruck Swings (each full set of 25 completed is one point)
  • Offering Myrrh — Ruck Plank (no points. just do it)
    (PAX work on their exercise, completing sets until the Star Seeker returns. Then Star Seeker offers Gold, Gold offers Frankincense, Frankincense offers Myrrh, and Myrrh becomes the Star Seeker)
  • Once all PAX have been Star Seeker, the group lunge-walks away from Hoffa, while singing the first verse and chorus of We Three Kings. Then repeat the exercise AMRAP for 20 minutes. (about 4 full cycles)

Cooldown Ruck: Archive Mile ~ 15-16 min mile pace.

COR/NOR/COT: Prayer and praise for Tortuga’s daughter’s continued recovery after having 5 wisdom teeth pulled — for the spirit of Christmas to fill our homes and hearts and families this week, and for God’s presence to abide with us.

Meditation: May we, like the magi, offer our wealth, our prayers, and our bodies to the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords who has drawn near to us to save us from ourselves.

11.7.20 — Jacked!

MASTODON PAX: HotBox, Archive, Noodles, TBTF, Jolly, SAGA, Cookies, Panhandle, DaVinci, Beaker, DBC, Jazz Hands, Sparrow, Big Mac, Captain Crunch (QIC)

Special Mention: Shamu, Tortuga, T-Bone, Gummi Bear, and Wishbone(T-Bone’s 2.0) made the Name O Rama after touring 13.1 mi of Wheaton.

It was a gloriously warm November morning and the PAX were eager to close out on the first week of DaVinci’s madness, the last thing between them and the glories of decorated coupons was whatever came to mind in the twisted brain of YHC. With eyes on the prize they braced for impact.

Warm O Rama

  • Motivators 7 + 7 + 7
  • Batwings ICx20
  • Mountain Man Poopers ICx20

Thang 1: Jacked Dora 7-7-7

For each PAX, At least one hill-run (up) must be crawl-bear and another must be inch-worm another Bernie, lunge down. Reps below are split, except for Pistol Squats

  • 700 x Hundreds (or American Hammers)
  • 70 Pike Push-ups
  • 7 Pistol Squats (that’s 7 for each leg, for each PAX)

Yurpee for the 6! (Just a burpee with a clap merkin + 2-tuck jumps, no big.)

Followed by a plank circle with each PAX doing one Yurpee around the circle

Thang 2: Spartan (Light)

  • 5 x hill sprints with 10 merkins at the top

Thang 3: Yoga Time! But first, Ironsides!

Ol’ Ironsides (Boat/Canoe + IC x 20 American Hammers, repeat as needed. This time, just 2 rounds)

Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, we did some light yoga for the last 15 min to help those who plowed through the week. Table, Low Lunge, Crescent, Half-Camel, Camel, then wrapping up with Pigeon, Half Happy Baby, Spinal Twist

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for both Cookies and Hotbox as they hit the road for work this week and for good sleep for Jazz Hands and work opportunities for his M.

10.3.20 — The Menagerie Mile

17 PAX made it out for a standard 7:00 start at MASTODON (Fruit Loops, Sparrow, DaVinci, Archive, Noodles, Wet Burrito, CATS (the Musical), Jazz Hands, Cookies, Panhandle, Bloomer, Tortuga, Smokey, Double Beef n’ Cheddar, Loafers, Big Mac, Captain Crunch). The goal was to have a good memorable time and work out like animals.

Warm O Rama:

  • Motivators IC x 7
  • Goofballs x 15
  • Goofballs #2 IC x 15
  • Bat Wings (IC x 20 on each of the following: Forward Arm Circles, Backwards Arm Circles, Seal Claps, Overhand Claps)

Duck walk to the Tennis Courts

Thang #1: Animal Travel

  • Bird Dog IC x 20
  • Bear Crawl one tennis court
  • Orangutan one tennis court
  • Inchworm one tennis court
  • Lizard crawl one tennis court
  • Crunchy Frogs x 20
  • Crab walk one tennis court
  • Orangutan one tennis court
  • Alligator Merkin one tennis court
  • Lizard Crawl one tennis court

Duck walk to the other tennis courts

Thang #2: the primate house

  • Howling Monkeys, circles of 8-9 PAX each.

Repeat Thang #1 and Thang #2 (but three times around the Monkey circle with one round of Gorilla Humpers)

10 Minutes of Mary:

  • J-Lo #1 IC x 15 each leg
  • J-Lo #2 IC x 20
  • Flutters IC x 50
  • Flutters IC x 50

Lest one think there was no method to the madness, these exercises were all core and back focused, giving a good work out to the stabilizers that we depend on to not hurt ourselves. With any luck we all escaped injury this time around and helped work those muscles that will keep us from injury in the future.

COR / NOR / COT: Prayers for strength, courage, and endurance, for the week ahead — for unity for our nation and our people and healing for our president — that we may be examples of brotherly love and faithful witness amidst trying times — for TAR PIT, it’s growth, and our finding of the people who most need this in their lives.