05.05.2020 The Return of Courage In Numbers.

It was a misty, moist, may morning, but it brought with it memories of march, the march we missed meeting together. Molecules of water fell upon us gently, to encourage us that spring is upon us, but the sub forty degree temperature, seemed to be old man winter saying he is not far behind and may appear again at his leisure. It was gloomy, but the hints of dawn emboldened us. We were few, but we were not one; a change we had been longing for, a desire that had been reverberating through us during each merkin and squat we had accomplished alone, in our respective homes over the last forty five days. A cry, a calling, a chant, that seemed to echo in the background of every footfall during our many solo runs we had trudged through.

It was good to return, and yet it was sad. We three, we happy company, but it was bittersweet. For, deep down in our loins, we knew, that less than two months ago the world was a different place. We knew there would have been at least five or six more of our brethren at our side on a morning such as this. We miss them. The world, has changed. The hour seems bleak. But hope shines through. All is not lost. We are more serious now, we are no longer as care free, we hesitate a bit, we pause. But despite this Banks still jokes. Shiplap still laughs. Times are different, but hope endures. It is good to be together again, despite the literal physical distance of six feet or more between one another.

The Q was not early, but he was not late. He arrived precisely when he meant to. He was punctual, and that is all some hope for from this particular Q.

We three began with a nice warm up of:

20 I/C Bend & Reaches

25 I/C Squats

10 I/C Merkins

The Thang:

We then moseyed to the nearest bridge on the west side of the the pond, where the dandelions grow, where the tall grasses rustle, where you can see the picturesque view of Rosie’s in the distance; a beacon of hope reminding us that some day we may again congregate for a cold refreshing beer, together. This is where we began the simple trek. Do you know the bridge now? Can you picture it? Good, it is important that you know exactly where you are.

The Q does not boast of possessing a creative mind in the vein of Hotbox, or dare I say Noodles. He knows his limits, knows that he most likely shant ever lead a Q with a theme or story line. Knowing himself, and being quite sick of doing simplistic static exercises in the confines of his living room, as not wanting to be a spectacle to the neighborhood, the Q had chosen his exercises carefully; movements that he has not attempted in some time nor would attempt without being in a group where, for some reason it is far less scary to look silly.

Thang:

From The west bridge to The intersection nearest the pool building we joyfully and gleefully cycled through the following, as the pitter patter of rain drops fell upon our noses:

Bear Crawls

Crab Walks

Lunges

There is no limit on how long you may go before switching which of the three you do, But you must cycle through in order, and each time you switch to a different exercise you must stop and do five burpees, prior to making the switch.

Upon reaching our destination we mosyed back to the flag, doing some one legged jumps along the way.

NOT/COT- First actual meeting of multiple members since the stay at home order. Good to be back, while still keeping our distance.

3.3.2020 Some Forearm Heat

It was another beautiful morning. I arrived in typical fashion at the AO a few minutes early. As always, Shiplap appeared to be the first Pax there. There is some concern that Shiplap may in fact live at the AO. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Banks with a ruck & musical gear. He had been there for forty five minutes, completing the workout he missed when he snoozed. Then in the distance I saw with my keen eyes, Crunch coming through the fog with a coupon to boot. And last but not least, Hotbox appeared, with his standard wardrobe, of no sleeves and no pants. But no, alas, it is true, one more who did not HC came through! Katniss posted, coming in hot, despite a call to India that interrupted his sleep.

Warm Up:

  • Ski Jumpers I/C 25
  • Skater Squats I/C (10 each leg)
  • Leg Spreaders w/overhand hand claps I/C 25
  • Glute Bridge Ups I/C 15

Thang: We accomplished two sets of the following:

5 Coupon Get-ups 

15 Push ups w/ clap   

25 Coupon Triple crunches 

50 Coupon Pistol squats 

Bear Crawl while dragging two coupons until everyone is done with above.

Shuffle while holding two coupons around short loop.

NOR/COT: Prayers for health & the guys who were not here.

Moleskin: As I so poetically noted above, this morning each of the guys that showed up motivated me. It is always encouraging to see the commitment, despite each individuals’ busy life. In this lent season I have also been reflecting on the many Kings of Israel & Judah. There were many bad kings and some good. But only King Hezekiah was noted as having a heart like David. Hezekiah was only 25 years old when he began his reign, and he helped turn around an entire nation, because he sought the Lord with all his heart. May we seek the Lord in this season, and work with all our might at what he entrusts us with.

2.24.2020 Ruck Club “Take The Bridge”

A great turnout of 10 pax; Archive, Captain Crunch, Dovetail, Gummibear, Hoser, Hotbox, Katniss, Shiplap, TBTF, & 1 FNG (Now Innards)!

Thang:

We played “Take the Bridge” strategy game. This new year I felt we had worked very hard in January & February, incorporating a new standard workout day (tuesdays). This Q was a bit of a trade-off; sacrificing some intensity for some fun and camaraderie, but my aim was still to promote a good F3 workout. 

Two teams were formed: With Archive, Dovetail, Hoser, Hotbox, and Shiplap as one team (the badguys) and Captain Crunch, Gummibear, Katniss, TBTF, and FNG Innards as the the Good team.

As the game commenced Archive started us off strong with the fastest 10 get-ups and taking the nearest bridge. Essentially, what occurred is that the two nearest bridges were apprehended by the thuggish team, never to be traded hands again. The Good Guys took the far bridge and never gave it up. It was clear throughout the game that the Thuggish team never mounted strong attacks, but instead feigned attacks and concentrated their forces in the rear to defend their two bridges. Some would label this cowardice, others would call this good strategy. There were some miscounts during firefights in the fog of war, but that is destined to happen. The game ended when time was called, with a bridge never trading hands. All jokes aside, I had fun time competing against the other team, its just hard to lose at your own game.

Lessons Learned:

  1. The exercise that defenders had to do when they were on a bridge was far too easy and next time all defenders should have to do the exercise and it should be a different exercise.
  2. The rep count for firefights needs to be more even between attackers and defenders in order for bridges to actually trade hands. Perhaps different exercises as well that are more demanding.
  3. Archive and Hotbox contemplated an amphibious attack. While it was not attempted, it may be good to incorporate such an attack should the game be played again.

NOR/COT: The Brave FNG stepped forward and told us about himself. The group was brainstorming the perfect name for the FNG, when suddenly Captain Crunch had a shining moment of brilliance comparable to that of a shooting star and offered the name Innards. We then prayed for Archive’s family and his wife’s pregnancy & Dovetail’s hip.

Moleskin: It was great to have Hoser back with us and Innards. Innards has been to 3/3 workouts thus far since joining. Way to Go Innards!

I have put the rules below for reference:

Take the Bridge Objective: 

Split up into two teams 

There are three bridges total. 

First time to take all three bridges, or occupy ⅔ bridges when time is called is the winner. 

Starting the game: 

We will start near the base of the hill and split into two teams. Each team will have 90 seconds to come up with a strategy & listen to their leader’s orders. (Q will pick team leaders). Then each team member will need to complete 10 turkish get ups on his own. Once your individual gettups are complete, you can race to any bridge of your choosing. At the start of the game there are no landmines present and no one yet occupies a bridge, so in order to initially occupy a bridge it is the first team who has 2 team members to stand on the bridge.  

How to initially occupy: First team who has two men on a bridge, bridge is considered occupied and team now has possession and is considered defenders. Landmines go into place immediately upon the bridge being occupied. 

There is a cost to owning a bridge: Defenders on bridge must be doing the following are are only interrupted when there is a firefight to defend against an attack or are relieved by teammates:  

With Ruck on: 1 push up, 1 lunge each leg, 5 squats, 10 calf raises (1 set). If you have multiple defenders they can alternate and rest, as long as one person is always performing a set at one time and each person is only doing one set at a time. If there is only one defender he must perform continuously. Once you occupy a bridge this must immediately begin and does not stop until the bridge is taken by enemy forces, who will then continue the sets. Failure to continuously perform a set will result in an immediate forfeit of bridge to enemy (honor system in effect). 

Once you occupy a bridge, you must leave at least one man there at all times. You cannot abandon the bridge even for a moment. 

Those of your team who are not in the defender position must be moving (walk, run, shuffle) to mount an attack, or retrograding back to relieve defenders or reinforce. 

MINEFIELDs: Light poles nearest to bridge on either side mark beginning of minefield to bridge. Attackers must bear crawl from light pole to bridge prior to mounting an attack. Only applicable for attackers on attack. Minefield layout is known to defenders and therefore they do not have to bear crawl through their own minefields at any time. Attackers, if they lose the firefight do not need to bear crawl back, only must on attack in. HINT: Some minefields are very very small and some are larger. 

If an attacker fails to recognize a minefield and is not bear crawling through a minefield the defender yells “Mine” which results in the attacker losing his leg (all this means is that the attacker cannot partake in the attack but must go to mount an attack elsewhere or go back to a friendly bridge prior to trying to mount another attack at this particular bridge). 

FIREFIGHTS: 

Occurs when one team attacks another on the bridge. Once attackers have navigated minefield and when the first attacker touches bridge firefight begins (you must be on bridge to engage in firefight). Fist team to knock out the reps together as a team wins the firefight: 

If you are defending a north side attack: 50 bent over rows 

If you are mounting a north side offensive: 80 bent over rows

If you are defending a south side attack: 75 chest presses 

If you are mounting a south side offensive: 125 chest presses 

Firefights Begin when the first offensive attacker touches the bridge. The defenders and the agitators who are on the bridge may immediately begin their set (north or south side depending on which way they were attacked). The team that finishes first must shout their reps (50,75, or 100 depending on the direction of attack and team). That team that finishes first wins the fire fight and either keeps their position or occupies a new position. 

If the defenders lose they must exit the opposite way they came. If the agitators lose the firefight the must exit the same way they came. If the defenders were attacked by both directions simultaneously, and lost, the victors get to decide which way they go back. 

OTHER RANDOMNESS: 

SNIPER: If you hear the Q shout “Sniper” you must immediately stop what you are doing and do 25 leg spreaders with ruck overhead. Once done you may immediately resume the task at hand. This includes if you are in a current firefight. 

INCOMING: If you hear the Q shout “Incoming ” you must immediately stop what you are doing and do 5 gettups.

 Once done you may immediately resume the task at hand. This includes if you are in a current firefight 

Clues & Other Rules: 

Teammates in defense will get tired, as they are constantly performing repetitions. Make sure you relieve regularly and be strategic about offensive operations. Less then two defenders present means that the lone defender will be doing reps continuously and the bridge will be very vulnerable to enemy attack. 

When in a firefight, it is a good idea to somehow be counting the reps you do as a group. Once the first attacking member touches the bridge is when both defenders and attackers start repping in a firefight. 

You cannot Wargame and just have someone hovering near one of your bridges ready to defend but not on the bridge and therefore not performing the necessary bridge occupation reps. When you are not defending a bridge you must be moving towards an enemy position or back to a friendly position, you must be moving with a purpose. 

You may attack a bridge from both directions simultaneously. 

You cannot cross a bridge in enemy hands. 

Some mindfields are larger than others. 

You do not need to stay on the paths. 

2.13.2020 “300 in the Snow”

Shiplap, Gummibear, hotbox, banks, TBTF, Katniss, Archive, & Captain Crunch posted on a beautiful snowy morning. We broke off in pairs and did the following workout that was modified from one found online:

Warm Up: The “Beginner” 300 Workout 

  • Bodyweight Rows – 15 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats – 25 reps
  • Pushups – 15 reps
  • Jumping Jacks- 50 reps
  • Mountain Climbers – 20 reps
  • Close-Grip Pushups – 10 reps
  • Bodyweight Rows – 15 reps

THANG:

Run one outer loop. 

The “Original” 300 Workout

  • Pull-ups- 25 reps 
  • Coupon Deadlifts -100 reps 
  • Push-ups- 50 reps
  • Box Jumps – 100 reps
  • Coupon Floor Wipers –  75
  • Coupon Clean-and-Press 75 reps
  • Pull-ups – 25 reps

All of us completed the floor wipers and were working on clean & presses when time expired. Some had to go to their greater callings, while others as able stayed to finish.

NOR/COT: Prayers for Banks and Hotbox as they travel. Prayers for healing for Archive’s calf. Prayers for Noodles as he is sick.

Moleskin: It felt so good to be outside in the snow on this beautiful morning. I am very thankful for this group as there is something so rejuvenating about being outside, and I would not be outside working this hard at 5:30am without this group of men. Also very thankful for God’s creation of the beautiful AO. In addition to this, it is very encouraging having 8 paxs post on a thursday morning. It was not six months ago, that we would have only 5 paxs at most, posting on a Thursday. To have 8 post on a morning where the streets have not even been cleared yet by the plows is terrific.

02.04.2020 Windy Winter Cardio

It was a rather windy (19MPH winds I believe) day. Four paxs: (Captain Crunch, Katniss, Banks, and Gummi Bear met in the gloom.) 

Warm up: 

Cross Country Skiers I/C (25)

Abe Vigodas I/C (14)

Squats I/C (25) – hold for a stretch. 

Jog to get coupons and drop off at station 3, and jog the course. 

THANG

25 Minutes AMRAP (Complete the following course as many times as possible, running in between stations). 

Station 1 (northside pool entrance): 

One legged hops (hop up & down stairs on one leg, twice)

10 bouncing betties 

20 jump squats 

25 leg spreaders 

Station 2 (playground area): 

10 aussie pull ups 

Station 3 (tennis court parking lot area):

15 hodors

15 coupon swings

Station 4 (pull up bars): 

5 pull ups 

Time ran out when all paxs were still finishing up set number 3. But we all finished out the third set: time of about 27 minutes.  

NOR/COT: Prayers for a strong week, for God to heal Archive and his family, and  strength for Noodles. 
Moleskin: It was a great turn out of four of us on our first official Tuesday, and a very encouraging start! Thanks guys for showing up. This workout was also a bit more running than we have done in some time, and was really run focused, with the intent being to  have us moving the entire time to stay warm and get some good winter cardio.

01.27.2020 Ruck Club- Downtown Wheaton Parking Garage

Paxs Posted: TBTF, Captain Crunch, Archive, Noodles, Dovetail, Gummibear.

Thang:

Ruck to Downtown Wheaton Parking Garage (combo of shuffle and striding it out). When we arrived we did two rounds of;

10 push ups at the base, run up to the top, 21 upright rows with ruck, rinse and repeat.

We wanted to finish a third but time did not allow.

Ruck back to AO.

NOR/COT: Every pax had a prayer request, which was encouraging. I cant remember them all now, but that’s ok, as God is a God who remembers.

1.7.2020 Extra Credit Coupon Session

Posted: Banks & Gummibear

Warm up:

20 ballerina toe squats

30 second squat stretch

mosey around hill path

Thang 1:

31 coupon squat cleans

1 minute squat stretch

31 coupon triple crushes

1 minute glute bridge

31 pistol squats

1 minute glute bridge

31 coupon swings

1 minute squat stretch

Thang 2

2 sets of the following:

31 coupon chest presses

31 coupon bent over rows

31 coupon pulls

Thang 3

sandbag workout:

2 sets:

10 sandbag squat cleans

1 minute squat stretch

Cooldown: Mosey around captain crunch mile

COT: Prayers for focus and discipline and choosing the right over the easy.

01.02.2020 Holding the line.

Some PAXs are still traveling and vacationing for the holidays. Others are sick. TBTF & Gummibear posted for the first work out of the new year, as the winter takes its toll on our posting numbers. We decided to start the year out with back to the basics and simple.

Warm Up:

2 mile Jog.

THANG:

18 MINUTE AMRAP:

18 pushups

18 situps

18 pull us (Aussie style)

18 airsquats

We finished 5 rounds. I got this workout online searching for a “new years day workout”. Some may have switched the numbers to 20 Minute AMRAP and 20 reps for the 2020 year, as this workout was from 2018. Not this guy. I didnt want to get too crazy with changing things!

COT/PRAYER: TBTF transition with his current job and leaving well. Prayers for the sick and prayers for this new year.

Captain Crunch will be home for Christmas…If only in his dreams…if only in his dreams.

We have had some amazingly wonderful and auspicious Christmas themed workouts as of late. As I spent much time reflecting & pondering, it dawned on me that we will all be home for Christmas, with the exception of Captain Crunch, who must endure the harsh winter climate of Texas. Naturally, this realization brought tears to my eyes to think of our brother, who bleeds F3, to be separated from us during this whimsical time of year. Seeing as Captain Crunch led his last workout of the year as a toast to the new Qs, i thought it only appropriate to remember Crunch during this season, at least for Auld Lang Syne.

While I truly enjoy the nice walk that comes with Monday Morning Ruck Clubs as much as the next bloke, I knew in my heart of hearts, this would never due as a tribute to the man who founded ruck club Wheaton, for he uses the term “ruck club” in its most free and easy usage, often turning ruck club into full out boot camps.

I vividly recalled the first ruckclub workout I attended with Captain Crunch, which was anything other than rucking. The fateful day was July 15th 2019. We were led to the sand pit and forced to crawl through it for twenty minutes, nearly losing our dignity or recall of being a part of greater humanity in the process.

So for the last workout prior to Christmas we recreated the Crunch 7/15/19 workout nearly exactly:

Archive, Banks and Gummibear Posted: Below is almost identically copied from 7/15/19. Banks brought his wonderful music contraption so that we could listen to Classic Christmas songs such as “Leroy the redneck reindeer” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is coming to town”.

Warm up:

  • Ruck Motivators IC x 5
  • Abe Vigoda IC x 10 (I did this at an 8 count while banks made quips about my counting abilities)
  • Arm Circles over to the C.O.O.T.E.E.s ring
  • One Complete Ruck-Up (a pull-up or dead hang for 30 seconds)

The Thang:

Proceed to the volleyball courts (tucked behind the aquatic center) for a lovely patch of damp- hard sand. Try not to get it in your eyes while bear crawling.

AMRAP for 20 min:

  • Flutters x 20 (we did IC, because that’s how you count Flutters!)
  • Bear Crawl 30 yards
  • American Hammers x 20 (IC, because that’s how you count American Hammers!)

We finished 5 rounds under 20 minutes, and persevered even after time was called, finishing a 6th round together to match the original workout. (Original actually had 9 rounds complete, but we were doing 4 count and moving much faster today, then on that fateful morn so I believe it was only 1 count on 7/15/19 that was done).

NOR/COT: Prayers for a joyful holiday and love and peace between family and friends.

Moleskin: Archive did a great job pushing banks and I as he finished first. It is a wonderful time of year and much to be thankful for. All good things are from God. Amen. Merry Christmas to all you F3 brothers who could not be there today.

12.9.19 Christmas Lights Ruck Club

Pax: TBTF, Captain Crunch, Noodles, and Gummibear all posted.

Thang:

The morning was especially dark and gloomy, which made Christmas light viewing particularly nice.

At 0531 we stepped off. Our route took us south on West Street, and then we turned east on Front Street, rucking through the quiet and festive downtown area. We stopped at the public parking garage where we had a race to the top. We then continued on our route and meandered through the Wheaton College Campus before finding our way back to West street and then to the AO. We finished about 0625 am when we arrived back at the AO.

NOR/COT: Continued prayers for health, family, and finishing the year end strong.