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”

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

“Stairway to Mary” aka “Mary’s Ladder” 01/30/2021 @ AO TARPIT

 

This workout was advertised as having stairs and having Mary, several brave HIMs accepted the challenge.

Quick Warmorama with Motivators gave way to a trek around the football field carrying sandbags on the extended ladder. 4 PAX at a time, cycling through so everyone gets warm.

Landing at the base of the stairs for the Thang, the less literal ladder on the board was revealed. PAX were given choices of Mary with a quantity that needed to be populated onto the board in multiplier slots from 1 to 10 then back down to 1. As the rules were explained there was significant chatter requesting clarifications, and whether we would be able to complete the entire ladder.

Here is how it worked.

 

  1. PAX would note the exercise posted on the board, including the multiplier, running up the stairs and completing all reps at the top of the hill, then running back down the paved slope (driveway).

  2. Back at the board, for each PAX if there was already another exercise posted that they have not completed then they would repeat step 1 with that exercise.

  3. If a PAX returns to the board and they have completed all posted exercises then they choose a new exercise to post in the next available slot and perform a “posting fee” of 30 burpees or 30 sandbag exercises (squats, curls, rows, overhead presses, etc.) then proceed with step 1 based on the exercise they just posted.

Here is what the PAX chose:

1 x 100 100s

2 x 5 Plank Up-Downs (High low plank)

3 x 10 BBSUs

4 x 20 LBCs

5 x 15 Dollys

6 x 30 Leg Raises (thanks @Saga)

7 x 5 Flutter Kicks (4ct=1)

8 x 5 American Hammers

9 x 5 Crunchy Frogs

10 x 20 LBFC (thanks @Captain Crunch)

9 x 1 Plank Up-Downs (High low plank)

8 x 10 Leg Raises

7 x 40 LBCs

6 x 10 Manatees

Incomplete exercises left hanging that would have filled 5-1

20 Flutter Kicks (4ct=1)

20 BBSUs

25 Dollys

20 American Hammers

15 Crunchy Frogs

Warning to all, this workout will be brought again, probably sometime late spring and summer with more choices thrown in, including more of the much needed back exercises to balance them out.

Cookies VQ: 12/30/2020 @ AO TARPIT

After an overnight snow turning to rain creating extremely wet and “crunchy” conditions, this morning the rain tapered off at TARPIT for 45 minutes allowing 9 HIMS to emerge for a beatdown treating their cores with special honor. @Shiplap @T-bone @Hotbox @Da Vinci @Archive @Big Mac @Gummi Bear @Tortuga (Respect), and @Cookies marked their workouts in the temporary trappings of the ground, the snow will melt and wash away but their gains will remain. The only angels in the snow this morning were the PAX!WOR: Arms out the whole time, core tight
“Baseball” Bat wings and lunges – like bat wings, eagle wings, or dragon wings, but holding two baseballs in each hand. Forward circles with palms down, backward circles with palms up.
· 20x small forward, 20x small backward (fast)
· 20x medium forward, 20x medium backward (fast)
· 10x large forward, 10x large backward (slow)
· 20x bringing arms together in front and crossing over then as far back as possible (like Michael Phelps but slow)
· 20x bringing arms together overhead then all the way down at sides (medium pace)
· (Q forgot the last one) 20x standing lunges with arms straight out to the sides or at right angles then twist at the torso as far as you can without bending in the direction of the forward knee
10x SLOW Abe Vagodas (keep holding baseballs if you want)
15x GoofballsThe stairs/hill running activities were shelved for a future beatdown due to the wet/slippery conditionsTHANG: Paired up and each pair carried a coupon and a baseball bat to the grass on the far side of the field for a paired up AMRAP in 5 minute segments. One PAX in the pair performed the A exercise, the other the B exercise until one of them called switch then they would switch, alternating thusly for 4 minutes then a new A/B exercise was assigned during the 1 minute rest period. While this was an AMRAP workout, PAX were reminded that form is more important than sheer number or reps, focusing on correct shape of the spine and protecting their lower backA1 – Plank up/down with an Annie
B1 – American HammerA2 – Nolan Ryan
B2 – Lunge position but leaning forward (straight back), one arm coupon rowA3 – Coupon pull through
B3 – LBBBCs (LBCs w/ or w/o a baseball bat behind neck, only lift one side of the body with each crunch)A4 – Sit Through
B4 – Marching bridgeA5 – Dancing Bear
B5 – BBSU, twisting alternate elbow to kneeFinisher:
5 sets: Sprint to the fence and back then 5 flutter kicks (two kicks with each foot counts as 1) followed by a clockwise and counterclockwise Outlaw
Hold Al Gores for the 6
Laying down in the snow some of us took a couple of back stretches while @Gummi Bear tried hitting snowballs with the baseball bat
Mosey back to the parking lot for COTMoleskin:
1 Corinthians 12:12-23

12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the [oblique], “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the [lower back], “I don’t need you!”22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.

We lift up all of this PAX, our Ms and 2.0s. We lift up all that cannot join us in the gloom because their bodies don’t work the same as ours or their schedules make it impossible. We remember that in the body of Christ we are all together and interdependent but also all dependent on Christ.

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.

11/4 at AO Tar Pit: The Bearmuda Triangle

14 weary-eyed PAX rolled in to AO Tar Pit at 5:30 for a post-election day beatdown. Shiplap, Tortuga, SAGA, Panhandle, Katniss, Banks, Captain Crunch, Big Mac, Sparrow, Cookies, Da Vinci, T-bone, Noodles and Gummi Bear. Many reported turning in late the night before as they anxiously awaited the election results that are still outstanding. After planting some flags, we rolled into the warm-o-rama:

7X Motivators
10 burpees
10 slow merkins IC
*Head to field w/ coupon*

The Thang

PAX partnered up into teams of two

Partner 1:
Runs a suicide line (3 stops with a graduated 1, 2 and 3 merkins owed at each)
At the third line, PAX runs straight to the “Bearmuda Triangle.” (Bear crawl to each of three stakes arranged in a triangle, graduated 1, 2 and 3 merkins owed at each)
When complete with this cycle, runs back to switch/relieve partner

Partner 2:
Partner who was not performing suicides/crawls does AMRAP of exercises below until partner returns to relieve/switch.

Burpees100
Overhead press w/ coupon200
Big Boy Sit Ups200
Bent Over Rows w/ coupon300
Totals above are team total (DORA fashion)

COT:
Prayers for our country as we adjust and accept the results of a close election. Thank the Lord for this fall season with beautiful weather, colors and the morning bootcamp fellowship.

Improv Comedy workout

Warmups
Motivator
Bat wings by ,
Mountain Man Poopers to 20
Abe Vigoda

The Thing

Circle of Block Exercises: “Go With It”

16 exercises, 16 reps each
Overhead Press
Curls
Block Burpees
Hodors
Leg over block
Jump over Block
Goblet squats
Superman on the Block
Nipple Scrapers on the Block
Kettle Bell Swings
(If you remember the other 6 block exercises, please put them in the comments below.)

Broken promises don't upset me.
I just think “Why did they believe me?”.

Merkins to the count of 10.

One person, and only one, says the number after each merkin. Count goes back to “1” if two people talk at the same time.

Heroes and Villains on Hoffa Hill

(This was ok, but not as strenuous as expected. I probably won’t do it again.)

Nipple Scrapers to 15

First Nations runs with two flags, two columns.

Circle of Trust

Bonus excercises:
10   Merkins.
“End on a Nipple Scraper” – 

Ruck Q: Getting to Know You


It is my opinion that the majority of male friendships develop gradually. Rarely do you say “You and I are going to be friends, so go ahead and tell me your life story now, so that I’ll know the details moving forward.” Sometimes years go by before you find out your friend knows how to fly an airplane, speak Spanish, or catch catfish with his bare hands. Those are important details.

Today, we hit friendship head on, sharing relevant personal details voluntarily, instead of waiting for a back alley run in with a polish street gang to teach you which of your friends is a closet bilingual. Relationships were built.

Begin workout:
Warm ups, with special attention to calf stretching.

Thing:

22’S

20 calf raises + two squat thrusters
18 calf raises + four squat thrusters.
Etc.

Ruck to Dan Taylor Alley,
DTs up to five.
Ruck back.
10 merkins

Along we the way we shared important details for future friendship.

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9.26.20 — 3rd Anniversary Ruck

Every ENDEX is a new STARTEX.
14 Ruckers (Triple XXX (Family Restaurant), Wet Burrito, Cookies, SAGA, Smokey, Noodles, TBTF, Gummi Bear, Tortuga, DaVinci, Shiplap, Banks, Archive, Captain Crunch) Some old hands, some new recruits, some returning, some just waking up out of habit at this point.

All woke up slightly earlier than usual to commemorate three years of consistent effort at AO-MASTODON and to connect that with the breaking of new ground at AO-TAR PIT. Shovel flag in hand, they shouldered their rucks and started the trek. Having expressed their joy and affection in the heart-language of concrete blocks on Thursday, today they chose that brotherly, common language of time-under-load called “ruckership”.

Across differences of life experience and opinions about acceptable coffee-drinking pace and concerns about the Q’s sense of direction, the conversation flowed freely in the Gloom as the PAX rucked double-file. Work, unemployment, parenting, gardening, and the whole round world was ranged in our broad collection. YHC marveled at the assortment of interests and talents on display in such a narrow subset of individuals as had descended on F3 Wheaton in the past year. The miles ticked off quickly as the fellowship sped on in merriment.

Having received intelligence of a potential large object that could be “returned” to the dig-site of our mascot, we made a quick detour to try our strength against a discarded remnant of Perry (a broken chunk of telephone pole). While our heart was in the attempt, and even as the best among us were digging deep to soldier on at all costs, we ultimately saw wisdom less than 200 yards later. Nails, bulk, and the inability to get enough men underneath the load convinced us to let Perry repose in the Gloom only slightly nearer to our destination than before. We did however manage to bring a considerably smaller but no less symbolic relic of Perry along with us, and traded off carrying the more manageable load.

Crossing the new AO we wandered out the other side on to side streets and down dirt paths (even as the PAX’s doubts began to mount once more). But we had arrived at that forgotten remote spot where Perry had been unearthed years before. Our resident historian-bard, DaVinci said a few appropriate words to mark the occasion, and we set our relic adrift on the waters as the dawn rose.

Returning to the TAR PIT, Archive lead us in a prayer of gratitude and hope, as we asked for blessing on this AO and to the PAX who would labor there in the Gloom. Then, flag planted, and mindful of the time, we celebrated the moment with some Thrusters IC, before beginning the return trip to be present for the beatdown that was soon to take place at MASTODON.

The route home was direct, but hilly. YHC, unable to shake his one year of cross-country training, took it upon himself to charge up every hill of significant speed, exhorting the rest of the PAX to do the same. Flagging energy, but excellent pace saw the PAX quickly returned to their starting-place, to be greeted enthusiastically by the PAX who held down the day’s regular schedule. Partnering up, they moved seamlessly from Rucking to Blocks, to cap off not just an historic day, but an historic month for F3 Wheaton. And all before breakfast.

The PAX spent, they sat down to feast on burritos and (eventually) donuts and coffee. The energy of the day seemed a good omen for the group as we turned to our dual objectives of growing into two AOs and weathering the deepening Gloom of another Chicago winter.