Three’s Company

Thunderstorms and lightning subsided by the start of our run. Three PAX made run club as well as our four legged companion, Dooley Dog.

We ended up doing stairs and rounds between Front Street Garage and Willow Avenue Garage to get in a good run while still being mindful of thunderstorms and lightning.

CoR:

CoT: Prayers for the overall health of PAX, most recently Shiplap’s heel. Prayers for Cooper’a continued recovery. Prayer’s for Shiplap as he continues to look for a new home/community. Praise God for the job opportunity that he has presented me. Prayer’s for my M as she continues to battle depression and recover from hospitalization.

KUBB with 28

Backblast

AO Mastodon, 5/18/21, 5:30AM

Twenty-eight PAX posted for a friendly beatdown this beautiful morning.  After a quick WOR of 5 count motivators, OYO arm circles and Michael Phelps, and 10 copperhead merkins IC, we moseyed over to Dan Taylor alley for Thang One.

Thang One: KUBB 1

With way more men than I anticipated, I made some modifications to my plan as we moseyed to Dan Taylor. KUBB was set up between two soccer goals. Men partnered up. I sent seven pairs to one side of the pitch and seven to the other side. In each partnership, one HIM ran around a marked route while the other earned tosses and tossing.  A toss was earned with 30 merkins, 30 lunges, or 30 squats. When a team knocked a block down, the PAX present on that team ran a short lap around their soccer goal before continuing. When the runner of the pair returned, partners switched roles.

Instead of tossing a baton at the blocks, PAX could choose to take a frisbee and attempt to hit a set target. A successful hit resulted in a free block knock down. 

Once a team knocked down all the blocks they did ten burpees before attempting the king.

Team 1 was victorious in round one.

Thang Two: KUBB 2

Same as round one with shorter running route, 15 reps each: hand release merkins, Bonnie Blairs, jump squats.

Team 2 won this round.

Mary/ tie breaker

Back at the flags teams circled up for a plank-off to determine the winner. After a few minutes of planking, merkins were mixed in.  With six or seven PAX left we went to plank with arms bent to 90 degrees.  It came down to Waterboy and BigMac with Waterboy pulling off the win. Go team 2!

NOR: Gummi Bear, Wet Burrito, Doublemint, Panda Express, Ralphie, Achtung, BOGO, Captain Crunch, Shiplap, Saga, Binford, T-Bone (respect), Hot Box, Cookies, Cheese (respect), Bloomer, Panhandle, Jolly, Crack, Sparrow, Getaway, BigMac, DaVinci, Waterboy, Watson (respect, respect, FNG), Beaker, Heist (FNG), Tortuga Q

COT: Prayers for Crack’s M with a doctor’s appointment for a long term problem on Friday, Crack’s family as K-Pop graduates, his oldest comes back home from her internship, and all the changes coming their way, Tortuga and his M go to a new psychologist this Friday for some intensive therapy for her anxiety.

Praise for bodies that work and men to push us on.

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”

Backblast: Rucking and Running With Cookies 04/19/2021 5:30AM at AO MASTODON

We Rucked, we ran. Ruckers got in 3.33 miles which is a personal best for 45 minutes for at least one PAX. Some of the runners came early for a “warm up mile” EC and logged north of 6 miles.

NOR:

Archive, Babe, Captain Crunch, Crack and Doolie Dog, Cookies (Q), Da Vinci, Dr Phil, Jolly, Panhandle, SAGA, Shiplap, Tortuga

Backblast: Opening Day a la Cookies 04/03/2021 7:00AM @ AO MASTODON

Spring Training has finished, opening day had some goofy events:

  • first home run of the season was hit in the snow and the batter thought was a double

  • home run bouncing out of the fielder’s glove and yielding an out instead of 2 runs based on a base running rule

  • the Cubs had more runs than they had hits (and still lost)

But F3 has no off season. We have been getting out beatdowns all winter! The PAX came out in force and three FNGs (who will be posting mostly at other AOs, but we got to name them!)

WOR was a baseball classic to get us going:

  • High Knees

  • Butt Kicks

  • Karaoke

  • Frankensteins

  • Toe Touches

  • Lunge Twist

  • Arm Circles (with 2 baseballs in each hand) Palms Down Forward, Palms Up Backward

THANG:

5 stations on the baseball field. 9 innings, 5 minutes each, Q kept time and called out at the top of each inning. PAX distributed to the stations and did the exercise that goes with the active inning until fatigue. Then they would take a chance to throw a baseball to the net at home plate. If they hit the sides they would go to the station displayed, if they got it into the strike zone they would call Merkins (or Burpees if your name is SAGA) and everyone would stop to do 5 and go to the station of their choice.

1st Base

2nd Base

3rd Base

Left Field

Right Field

1

Squats

Side Lunges

BBSU

Flutter Kicks

One arm Rows

2

Star Jumps

Calf Raises

Crunchy Frogs

Supermans

Chest Press

3

Bonnie Blairs

Bear Crawl

100s

Am Hammers

Plank Pull Thru

4

Side Strad Hops

Burpees

Outlaws

Shoulder Taps

Curls

5

No Surrenders

Seal Jacks

Leg Raises

Manatees

Coupon Swings

6

Rev Lunges

MM Poopers

LBC

Plank Jacks

Skull Crushers

7

OH Clap Jacks

Pickle Pounders

Plank

Oblique LBC

High Pull

8

Monkey Hmprs

Walking Lunges

Mountain Climb

Reverse Plank

Overhead Press

9

Arm Circles

Imperial Walker

Plank High/Low

Supermans

Bent Over Rows

Before the 7th inning we took a stretch with a JOLLY for a double ten count.

We finished up with 20 penalty merkins for the 4 who never threw a strike.

NOR:

Captain Crunch, Crack, Crash, Cohiba, Cookies (Q), 3xFNG (Bob the Builder, Trout, Roxxy sp?), Jailbreak, Jazz Handz, SAGA, TBTF

Run Club

Backblast, 4/2/21, 5:30AM, AO Ground Zero

Eleven PAX posted for this morning’s festivities. @Cookies, @DaVinci, and @Sparrow modified as needed and rucked to spare their knees and/or ankles.

The rest of us warmed up with a 1.4 mile jog over to the Blanchard Road hill, located next to Crossway Books. We ran the hill slowly the first time, made the return trip back down and did it again, increasing our speed each rep so that by the fifth ascent we were at an all out sprint.

Once hills were finished we sprinted the length of the island on Crescent Street that starts just east of the College Ave train station and goes to the end of the block. @Shiplap crushed us. (I think he might need to gain some of that weight back to slow him down a bit.)

The return trip got us back to the AO just after 6:15. We ended up just shy of 5 miles for the run.

NOR: (in alphabetical order) Beaker, Cheese, Cookies, Crack, DaVinci, Jolly, Katniss, Shiplap, Sparrow, T-Bone, Tortuga (Q)

COT: We prayed for T-Bone working to finish a deal with work, Crack and his work trip out east next week, for new believers Sparrow and his team witnessed to from Iran last week – for the strengthening of their faith, Sparrow whose feeling were hurt (not by @Jolly or anyone from F3, surprisingly).

Moleskin: Keep working on our verse of the week, and don’t leave the six behind: check in with your team and encourage/ push the stragglers to finish off the first part of Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Next week we add the next chunk, “and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Monday 3/15/2021 Ruck club – First Q after DST change – Sparrow

It takes a special kind of PAX to attend the first workout after daylight savings ends.
Most PAX will be in bed enjoying a well-earned rest —with my blessing!


But there will be a few, just one or two, who know that F3 improves the rest of their day, every day. They know that daylight savings isn’t getting easier tomorrow, and they want to start getting better today. They know that friendships formed in the gloom are priceless, and they want to be there when it happens. That’s the PAX I want to ruck with.
I’m not looking for numbers this Monday. I’m looking for a few good men.

Backblast:

We warmed up with an emphasis on avoiding injury.

Sparrow suggested “What are you good at?” as a topic of discussion while we rucked/ran.

The Ruckers circled the park, passing around a sandbag as desired. We finished by climbing hoffa hill about 5 times while continuing to hand off the sandbag.

Ruckers: Babe, TBTF, Noodles, Saga, Sparrow, Cookies.
Runners: Shiplap, Tortuga, Jolly, Banks, Crack, Beaker.

Saga shared a Moleskin about being present in the moment.

We then did COT without a camera, as a way to be present in the moment.

Coffeeteria with a beautiful red-sky background. It was dreamlike. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. 7 hours later, with snow and sleet pelting my office window I’m thinking “That escalated quickly.”

Although we might have been short an hour of sleep, today has felt like waking up after a really satisfying dream.

Poison Pill

Backblast, 3/6/21, 5:30am AO Tarpit

Poison Pill

Tortuga – QIC

Eleven PAX posted on this beautiful nearly spring morning. After a quick WOR of daisy pickers, Michael Phelps, 4 count motivators (Hotbox style – run in place rather than jump), and 10 slow merkins IC, we split into teams. Needing teams of three and falling just short of a handy multiple of said three, I asked for two volunteers to be a team of two. Shiplap and Banks took up the challenge.

Thang one: Poison Pill

Each team had chalk, a gallon of water, and two coupons. Only the six staircases starting on the southeast corner of Glenbard West and moving west to the southwest corner were used. Teams were required to carry their supplies up an unoccupied staircase. At the top, if there was no exercise listed in chalk, they wrote one, descended the same staircase, and went to a different staircase. If there were any exercises listed, the team had to complete 100 reps of all listed exercises. Upon completion, the team added a new exercise to the list. Repeat.

If there were three exercises listed when a team arrived at the top of a staircase, they complete the 300 total reps, erase all the chalk with their water, score one point, and go to a new staircase. Teams earned a five point bonus for completing all six staircases, regardless of the number of reps needed.

Exactly one coupon exercise per set of three listed exercises was required. No team may do the same staircase twice in a row. They must complete a different staircase before returning. Only one team at a time was allowed on each staircase.

Shiplap and Banks were given a slight head start and a reduced number of reps (75. They asked for 66.) Team DaVinci, Hotbox, and Tortuga wrote burpees at the top of their first staircase then climbed the staircase vacated by Jolly, Cookies, and Katniss. They left us blockees. Sweet as. This trend continued throughout the beatdown. There were very few soft reps. Our team had one round of lbcs, but that was it for easy. Hodors, blockees (again), burpees (2x), lunges(2x), curls, Peter Parkers, BBSUs, were completed by our team.

Time was called at 6:25, and all PAX returned to the parking lot for some Mary.

Team Banks and Shiplap tied with Team DaVinci, Hotbox, and Tortuga with seven points. Squat off to determine champ went to Hotbox.

Mary: Flutter kicks, 4 count, IC, 50.

NOR: Panhandle, Shiplap, Banks, Cookies, Saga, Jolly, Hotbox, Beaker, DaVinci, Katniss, Tortuga (Q). Guest appearances from Crack and Crash at the end with some biking down the stairs by @Crash who, thankfully, did NOT live up to his name this morning.

COT: Praise for a beautiful morning, a God who loves us, friends to push us, and a good workout. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James chapter one (somewhere in there).

Prayer Ruck for Wheaton 02/15/2021 @ AO Mastodon

Ruck day does not always have to be hard, but it will always be work!

Another Shackleton, eight PAX accepted the challenge to lift up our community in prayer: @Archive, @Banks, @Crack, @Cookies, @Da Vinci, @Katniss, @Shiplap, @Sparrow.

Warmorama inspired by @Jolly’s VR boxing video, we worked the (imaginary) small bag, took down our virtual opponents on both sides.

The Q hoped in vain for clear sidewalks, instead we made our way the best we could in and out around the perimeter of the AO, praying for the community as we traveled. We prayed for:
– Our neighbors, and the PAX
– Our local churches
– Our local government
– Disadvantaged, refugees, and the poor among our community
– First responders
– Healthcare workers
– Veterans and active military
– Schools and educators
– Our families

Arriving back at the #AO-Mastodon-flag and #OG-Wheaton-flag, we had some extra time so we knocked out some quick warm-down of Mary and Merkins.

Moleskin: It can be easy to get distracted when we pray, wanting to reach out to someone that comes to mind or check up on something. There is nothing wrong with that, but we can’t let that keep us from returning to prayer, for that is where the difference is made.

COT: We have many folks among the PAX that need prayer, keep lifting them up.

Dueling Doomsday Clocks

Backblast, Tuesday, 2/9/21, 5:30 AM, AO Mastodon

It was definitely a Shackleton today. As I arrived at 5:21, the parking lots had not yet been plowed, but a plow was hard at work. By 5:26, I was able to pull into a plowed spot by the tennis courts. The plow was still clearing the rest of the lot as other PAX pulled in. The driver commented, “I thought you were a gang or something.”

WOR: motivators, tappy taps, goof balls, jog to cooties.

Thang one:

Two stations, teams of three. Station One: pull ups and jump squats. Station Two: Bulgarian Split Squats and SSH. The team member at each station stayed in motion doing the first exercise switching exercises as needed. Third team member ran around the obelisk circle to station one. Members rotated through the stations. (Continued this until QIC finished his 50 strict pull ups.)

PAX were encouraged to recite James while at stations. I think we got through verse eight a few times.

Thang two: Dueling Doomsday Clocks, part one

Moseyed back to the tennis court lot. Two groups for Dueling Doomsday Clocks. Each group formed a circle. At the start signal, each PAX got into the plank position. One PAX did one merkin and returned to the plank, then the PAX on his right did one merkin and returned to the plank, after all PAX in the clock did one merkin, the starting PAX did two merkins, etc. Once a PAX was unable to hold the plank or complete the merkins, he was out of the clock and began doing squats. As soon as one group was down to two remaining PAX, the round ended. One group got up to 10 merkins.

Thang three: Dueling Doomsday Clocks, part two

Moseyed to the pool lot. Repeated clocks with new groups and flipped the script. Clocks started in the squat position. First PAX did one squat, then returned to the squat hold with arms above the head. Eliminated PAX planked. (I was the first out on my team.) We had to call it a tie as time ran out.

NOR: Saga, Banks, Davinci, Whittler, Shiplap, Sparrow, Katniss, Beaker, Big Mac, Jolly, Cookies, Crack, and Tortuga (Q)

COT: Lifted up Hot Box’s M, TBTF with a rough work schedule this week, and Bloomer and Captain Crunch’s 2.0s.

Sparrow sang the praises of hand warmers and made an altar call (forgiveness and salvation being even better news than hand warmers).