6.24.21 — The Usual Suspects

As a beautiful sunrise lit up the clouds over MASTODON, 14 PAX (Archive, Aloha, Jolly, Sparrow, Whittler, BOGO, Jailbreak, Cookies, Bloomer, Banks, Beaker, Katniss, Captain Crunch) wandered their way into some pleasant weather and some odd muscle groups.

Warm-o-rama

Motivators IC x 7
Mountain Man Poopers IC x 15
Abe Vigoda IC x 7
Michael Phelps OYO

Squat Form (90 or bust!)

40 Certified Squats – no one goes up until everyone is at 90

MOM-E:

5 Bonnie Blairs (each side)
5 Derkins
5 Dips
Plank for remainder
(then 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then descend back to 5)

Work Like an Animal

Around the BASE of Hoffa – Bear Crawl 1st half / Crab Walk 2nd half
Dutch Skate while the fireman watches on
Broad Jump(Frog) / Duck Walk to the parking lot

6MOM

Curb Stomp your partner
Crunchy Frogs (aka Dutch Bazookas) IC x 40

COR/NOR/COT: prayers for traveling PAX — praise for DBC’s safe return — for Archive’s return to the Gloom — for our eyes to see and our ears to hear those who need us this week.

6.21.21 — Ruck Day Classic

After a surprisingly eventful night of severe weather, the midsummer dawn arrived serenely as 14 PAX (Banks, Big Mac, Shiplap, Da Vinci, Jolly, Panhandle, Dr. Phil, SAGA, Noodles, Cookies, Getaway/Babysitter(disambiguation?), Reels, Babe, Captain Crunch(QIC)) arrived groggy but ready for their weekly dose of monday. 2 Runners, 5 Ruckers, and 7 Murphers.

After a warm-up:
– 10 Mountain Man Poopers
– 10 Goofballs
– 10 Abe Vigodas
– Arm Circles OYO
Ruck Crew got a treated to a classic Crunch prayer-walk:
– Merkin Mile (Mile Loop, 25 Ruck Merkins on the quarters)
– A brief stop at Rucker Point to lift up those who will find there way to F3 Wheaton in the future.
– Thruster Mile (Mile Loop, 10 Thrusters on the quarters)

COR/NOR/COT: prayers for Banks’ son, heading to camp for the first time — for Panhandle’s son off to the Dominican Republic on a missions trip — for Tortuga, DBC and other PAX travelling or soon to be travelling — for Cookies’ M’s friend and her many struggles — for those who walk alone and need F3 in their life

MOLESKIN: It was easy to see and feel the difference of time from 2018 to now. I am grateful for the impulse to pray for unknown PAX during those months, and overjoyed at the current form of Mondays.

BACKBLAST: Thursday, May 6, 2021 “Sands of Time” 5:30AM @ AO Mastodon

We did PT with sandbags. Pretty simple stuff.

WOR:

20 Bat Wings

20 Goofballs

40 Slow Merkins lifting alternate leg (the moaning started here)

THANG 1:

PAX take turns with Sandbags going from lantern to lantern around the AO Path

At each lantern:

PAX with the Fat Man (120lb sandbag) calls an exercise from the pool of suggestions or comes up with something of their own and all the PAX do that exercise.

  • Fat Man does 10 reps

  • Small Bags do 20 reps

  • Bagless do 40 reps

Once complete do the holding exercise for the 6

Drop the bags and someone else carries it.

Sandbag

Bagless

Holding Exercise

Chest press

Merkins

People’s Chair

Side Lunges

Plank

Bent over Rows

Tricep Dips

Boat

Squat-press

Air Squats

Reverse Plank

Curls

Leg curls

Canoe

Good Morning

Al Gore

Overhead squat

No Surrenders

Side Plank

Split Squat

Low squat

We had enough sandbags and PAX that everyone had one turn with Fat Man, and had a small bag about every 2nd or 3rd lantern.

THANG 2:

Man Rise up Hoffa, sandbags included, Sandees/Burpees at the top. Shiplap did his sandies with the Fat Man followed by Nantan Banks getting in his own 10 bonus reps. YHC tried one with the Fat Man and found it could barely be lifted overhead, so the workout ended abruptly.

Mosey back to the flags was definitely slow today.

NOR: Aloha, Archive, Banks, Beaker, Big Mac, BOGO (FNG), Cookies (Q), Dress Code (FNG), Gummi Bear, Hotbox, Jolly, Katniss, Picasso, Shiplap, Sparrow, T-Bone ¡Respect!, Tortuga ¡Respect!, Wet Burrito ¡Welcome Back!

Capture the Bag

A fast paced, high-heart-rate role playing game with dedicated roles for runners and ruckers. 


If future pax are reading through backblasts looking for ideas, I recommend skipping this one. It was a lot of fun to plan, but would have worked better with a smaller field of play or about 20 more PAX. Regular capture the flag might be fun to try. If you need a visual cue to recognize who is one what team, I thought “hats vs heads” worked well.

For natural and healthy reasons, our Mondays are divided between ruckers and runners. But there is much that unites us, not the least of which is sweating with friends before the sun comes up.

A game was designed with the following goals

  1. Ruckers carry heavy things
  2. Runners gonna run
  3. Everyone sweats 

Before the game starts, each pax will choose a running or rucking role, and maintain that role for the entire game. 

Runners will be running throughout the game, unimpeded by weight or pain stations. 

Ruckers will be carrying their rucks and occasionally a sandbag. Runners cannot carry. 

The entire pax will be divided evenly into two teams, with the runners and ruckers split evenly between the teams. 

The AO is divided into two even halves, four bridges divide the territory. Islands belong to the Northern team.

All of our available sandbags will be divided evenly between the two teams, let’s say team had 2×60 pound sandbags. 

At the start of the game, the ruckers on each team will carry their sandbags away from the starting bridge all the way to the other end of the park. If all pax reach the other end, they earn one point (In hindsight, this was probably unneccessary. It did create a more traditional ruck feel, but used up most of the time that could have been spent playing the strategy game).

The ruckers are trying to defend their sandbags by moving them around  constantly or by stashing with partial visibility them within 12 feet of the outer track.  Each sandbag was given a “certificate of visibility,” which had to be visible. (in hindsight, we had more daylight than expected and slightly less visible sandbags would have been fine.)

When ruckers are on their home turf, they will be referred to as “defensive ruckers”.

When a Rucker leaves his home turf and crosses a bridge in search of the other team’s sand bags, he is acting as an offensive Rucker. 

The runners primary job is to gather intelligence for their team. Runners should be able to spot the location of stashed or moving sandbags and report it to their Rucker teammates. Stashed sandbags must always be visible from the outer track. Runners also have the ability to send an offensive pax to jail when he is discovered out of his home territory. Finally, runners can empty their own jail by running past and tagging it. (in hindsight, the runners mostly just ran.)

In order to steal a bag, the offensive team has to challenge the defensive team to an exercise. If there are more than 2 pax involved, the challenges take place man-to-man. If one team is outnumbered, their pax have to compete more than once. For this reason, numbers are an advantage.

In the end, Archive’s team was a strong contender, both in strategy and exercises. Sparrows team (hats), proved a competent defender. Each team stole one bag, defended one bag, and made it across the park, for a tie score of 3:3.

Welcome FNG “Babysitter”
Welcome back Kotter, “Picasso”

Throw and Go

Backblast, 4/24/21, 7am, AO Mastodon

Throw and Go

Eight PAX gathered in the gloom for this morning’s beatdown.

WOR: Michael Phelps OYO, arm circles, copperhead merkins (slow count down IC), copperhead squats, tappy taps IC.

Thang One: Partners shared a frisbee. The goal was to hit each lamppost in order from the west bridge to the north westernmost lamppost. Throws were earned by reps. 10 hand release merkins, 20 flutter kicks (4 count), or 30 squats.  Rep order was not mandated, but all three had to be completed before repeating any reps.  Frisbees were advanced frisbee golf style: each throw was attempted from the landing spot of the previous throw.  Tap-ins were allowed but still counted as a throw and had to be earned.

Thang Two:  Same reps and rules from north westernmost lamppost to the monkey bars.  Winners of round one started at the first lamppost.  Second place at the second, etc.  At the monkey bars each PAX went down and back.  Only one frisbee made it into the pond.  (I’m looking at you, Banks.)

Thang Three:  In Dan Taylor alley.  New reps.  10 Bonnie Blairs (1=1), 20 shoulder taps (2=1), 30 lunges (1=1).  Goals – baseball field backstop followed by the four soccer goals.

Thang four: No reps.  To travel to the frisbee you had to bear crawl for the first two goals, lunge the next, crab walk the fourth, and mix and match to the final goal.  Throws must alternate between partners.  If you arrived at the frisbee before your partner and it wasn’t your throw, you could double back to them.  Once you reach them, both PAX can mosey to their disc.  (Saga arrived in the middle of this round.)

Thang five: mosey back to Hoffa, zombie crawl up, first to the top called out “Manrise!”  The rest of the PAX moseyed up to hold an Al Gore.  We did have a couple on a picnic blanket for the sunrise at the top of Hoffa, so it had to be done.

BigMac and Loafers had to go, so we did NOR before Mary, thus the seated NOR video.

NOR: Banks, BigMac, Captain Crunch, Jailbreak, Jäzz Händz, Loafers (respect, respect!), TBTF, and Tortuga (Q)

Mary: flutter kicks with PAX reciting the verse in place of the count made it through the first chunk of our passage before running into multiple versions being recited.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith.”

COT: prayers were lifted up for Cooper, Bloomer and their family, BigMac’s church as they will be presented with their pastoral candidate Sunday, Brian as he will be moving to rehab soon, Saga’s M, who is having some brain scans to try to figure out what’s going on.  Praise for bodies that work and men to push us on.

Donuts were consumed (Thanks Jäzz Händz!), directions to Tortuga’s church were shared, and after a brief coffeteria, most PAX headed out to move some mulch.

4/23/21 Town & Country Run Club

Be kind every man is fighting a hard battle aphorism.

10 Pax for a Town & Country run (Archive QIC, Banks, Shiplap, Tortuga, Whittler, Shamu, Dr. Phil, Hotbox, Panhandle, TBone). Route was as follows: Town: east on Prairie Path to Parking Garage. To the top of the garage. North past library. West on Lincoln to Prairie Path. North on Prairie Path. West through the Marsh to overpass. East on Childs to startex.

COR NOR BOM: Prayers for Boomer and Cooper, giving thanks for wonderful surroundings to run in.

Moleskine: “Be kind for every man is fighting a hard battle”

Distance Dora

Backblast, 4/10/21, AO Tarpit, 5:30 AM

Twelve brave PAX came out on an overcast warm morning for a beatdown at AO Tarpit.  After a quick WOR of walking arm circles and Michael Phelps, high knees skips, grapevines and a short mosey, we partnered up at the track.

Thang one: Distance Dora

B.I.B.L.E.

Broad Jump Burpees

Inchworm

Bear Crawl

Lunges

Ephesians 2:8

Partner one ran a lap around the track while partner two made his way around the track doing Broad jump Burpees.  Flapjack: partner two ran, partner one did broad jump burpees.

We repeated this pattern with Inchworm, Bear crawl, and then Lunges.  Once partner two finished his run after his lunges, both partners walked together while reciting Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.”

Repeated as time allowed.

Thang two

  1. Round 1: Using three pull up options at the playground we split into three teams.  One person completed six side pull ups while the rest of the PAX completed slow merkins IC. We rotated through the pull ups twice.
  2. Round 2: Just four pull ups, first person at your station to get 50 merkins OYO ended the round.

Mary

Back at the flag.  We completed 25 flutter kicks IC, then 22 more with PAX calling out the verse, Eph 2:8, in place of the count.  One, two, three, By, one, two, three, grace, One, two, three, you, One, two, three, have, One, two, three, been, One, two, three, saved, etc.

NOR: Archive, Banks, Big Mac, DaVinci, Jolly, Katniss, Noodles, Panhandle, Saga, Shiplap, Tortuga (Q), Whittler.

COT: We lifted up Whittler who has an exam on Monday that he is continuing to study for this weekend, Noodles and his continued job search, and Saga who has some training today and a difficult classroom situation that will be coming to a head soon.

Moleskin: One way to think about grace is as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  By grace we have been saved.  We have been adopted as God’s sons and been made co-heirs with Christ through nothing more than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was given freely, at a great cost.  And it was not plan B.  Earlier in Ephesians it says that we were “chosen in him before the foundation of the world.”  Christ’s sacrifice to purchase our salvation was Plan A.  This is the God we serve.  Let’s live into that reality.

Good work on the verse, fellas.  Keep it up.

Backblast: Revised SuperDora 03/23/2021 5:30AM @ AO MASTODON

One month ago YHC attempted to create something Super, but as has been observed lately, this PAX never does anything half-assed. In this case it was not only too complicated, but also an insane quantity of reps that even the valiant baker’s dozen HIMs could not complete. Now, with the warmer weather, a new version of the SuperDora has emerged, and the PAX of F3-Wheaton were ready to meet the challenge: Banks, Beaker, Big Mac, Cookies (Q), Da Vinci, Hotbox, Jolly, Katniss, Panhandle, Saga, Shiplap, T-bone, Tortuga, Whittler

WOR: Daisy pickers and some leg stretching, Arm circles and some arm stretching.

THANG: SuperDora, revised version

Instead of pairs, the entire PAX was challenged to complete exercise reps including both cardio exercises and PT. Carry your coupon with you everywhere you go, and don’t linger at any one station too long. Exercise completion tracked by moving tokens from one bucket to another at 4 stations:

Station 1 – Hoffa: 50 tokens

1 Redrum up and down Hoffa per token

Station 2 – Cooties: 100 tokens

5 Pull ups or 10 Inverted rows or 10 Kettlebell swings or 10 Derkins per token

Station 3 – SHOP: 150 tokens

10 Curls or 10 Chest press or 10 Overhead press or 10 Tricep Extensions or 20 One arm rows or 5 Picnic table press per token

Station 4 – lamppost: 200 ‘tokens’

10 BBSUs or 10 Outlaws or 10 American Hammers or 5 Hodors per token

The PAX split up and got to work. It turns out that the Cooties and SHOP were very popular and all reps were finished before 6am, but there were plenty of Mary and Redrums still on the board to keep the PAX going to the end. With one Redrum token remaining and less than a minute left a beautiful Manrise rounded things out and the Q deemed the SuperDora complete!

3.24.2021 – This Goose Was Cooked (Martyr Q) @AO Tarpit

Warm-O-Rama

Early morning gloom, so early the sun hadn’t even posted yet, but 13 PAX had (well 12 had and SAGA would be joining shortly) (Babe, Panhandle, Shiplap, Banks, Whittler, Da Vinci, T-Bone, Gummi Bear, Noodles, Tortuga, SAGA, Katniss, Big Mac (QIC)).

Disclaimer (and Spoiler) Jan Hus found a cause worth dying for, an F3 morning workout is not worth dying for. Modify as necessary.

Warm-o-Rama:

Jan Hus – Born in the late 14th century. The exact year is disputed (sometime in the range of 1369-1375)

14 burpees

Born in Husinec, literally “Goosetown” from whence he received his surname.

10 Goose steps (like a tin soldier but elevate foot on ground to tip-toe)

Born into poverty to peasant parents,

10 lunges

Huss trained for the priesthood "I had thought to become a priest quickly in order to secure a good livelihood and dress and to be held in esteem by men."

10 good mornings

Committed to study hard

10 mountain climbers

Headed to Prague

Mosey to wheel

Earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate – 50 curls for bachelors run the hill, 50 bent over rows for masters run the hill, 50 overhead press for doctorate run the hill.

Along the way ordained- Rifle carry up and down the hill.

Encountered the writings of John Wycliffe, stirred interest in the Bible. "When the Lord gave me knowledge of Scriptures, I discharged that kind of stupidity from my foolish mind."

Preacher at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel (Seats 3000) Preached in Czech not Latin

Mosey to the stadium and run the steps

Starts placing more emphasis on Bible, and more authority on church councils. Re: Bible "desiring to hold, believe, and assert whatever is contained in them as long as I have breath in me."

20 thrusters to lift up the Word of God.

Rift emerges, German and Bohemian sects, Two Popes vie for rule of Christendom

Murder bunnies to opposite ends, rifle carry back. It’s a race.

Everybody loses, both popes deposed. Church council elects Alexander V. Alexander bribed to side against Huss. Huss is branded a heretic and excommunicated. Excommunication only on paper.

Continues to preach.

20 thrusters to lift up the Word of God.

Antipope John XXIII replaces Alexander. Tries to raise money to conquer others vying for papal authority by selling indulgences. Huss is outraged.

10 Blockbees.

Speaks out and is excommunicated for real this time.

Mosey back to Wheel.

1414 – Council of Constance, Huss invited by Holy Roman Emperor, promised safe conduct and enticed by possibility of significant church reforms agreed to travel.

Two Laps around the wheel and then rifle carry to flag.

On arrival immediately arrested and asked to recant on views (papal authority is higher than protection of Roman emperor). No recanting, stops appealing to king, structures of medieval church or even the pope. He appeals to higher authority, Jesus Christ.

20 thrusters, uphold the Word of God.

He is buried in a mound of wood up to his neck. Asked one last time by Duke of Bavaria to recant beliefs.

"No, (said Huss;) I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.

20 thrusters

From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs "You are now going to burn a goose, (Huss signifying goose in the Bohemian language:) but in a century you will have a swan which you can neither roast nor boil." If he were prophetic, he must have meant Martin Luther, who shone about a hundred years after, and who had a swan for his arms.

Every account I’ve read has him singing hymns as he died in the flames.

Moleskin – There are many cries for justice these days. I’m not sure I could clearly state what the word means, but by listening to those crying out it seems to be a deep sense that all is not right in the world and a longing for something better. Perhaps the climax of Huss’s life is the point when he stops appealing to any earthly authority. All had let him down, the Bavarian King, the Roman Emperor, the Medieval Church and the Pope, all he has left is Christ, and it is to Christ he makes his final appeal. As Christians, we lament injustice, but it does not surprise us. Our hope is not in any of the institutions of earth but in Christ.

Prayer: Babe’s grandfather, T-bone’s M (medical procedure), Noodles for wisdom in job-related conversations.

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