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

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.

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.”

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!

3.20.21 — 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

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).

Backblast 2/24/2021 (Billy Madison Workout)

Challenge: Complete k-12 in 45 minutes.

15 PAX showed up for class, in attendance:

Warmorama

Motivators (x7); good mornings; arm circles

Run up the wheel with coupons.

Each grade consists of an exercise and a question aimed at students of that grade level. Graduation from each grade to the next requires running down and back up the wheel.

Kindergarten: Little Baby Crunches (50) (How many PAX are in attendance?)

1st Grade: Hodors (20) (Laura has 7 cupcakes. Jeremy eats 2. How many does Laura have left? 5; What does Jeremy have? A black eye.)

2nd Grade: skull crushers (25) (Which is not a state of matter? Solid, Color, Liquid, Gas)

3rd Grade: Star Jumps (30) What is the name for someone who studies dinosaurs? (Paleontologist)

4th Grade: Blockbees (11) 44 divided by 4

5th Grade: Bonnie Blairs (27) 5 and 2/5 into an improper fraction.

6th Grade: Wall climbers (6) Give number and symbol for Carbon (6, C)

7th Grade: Coupon swings (20) Obnoxious is to pleasant as radiant is to: (dull, bright, loud, quiet, soft)

8th Grade: Coupon curls (70) 4x-10=18, what is x? (7)

9th Grade: Big Boy Situps (90) What’s the formula for area of a circle? (pi)r^2

10th Grade: Merkins (100) What gas is needed for photosynthesis (Carbon Dioxide)

11th Grade: Air Squats (110) What is the belief that the US has the right to occupy all of America? (Manifest Destiny)

12th Grade: Flutter Kicks (120) SAT Vocab: What is an antonym for enervating (feeling energized, like after an F3 workout or after finishing all of school in 45 minutes)

Graduation Ceremony: Your coupon is your diploma, hold it high (rifle carry) and walk back to the parking lot.

Moleskin: Unlike Billy, you’re likely not a drunk who may fail to inherit his father’s business, but like Billy, working towards a clear objective in a community is pretty helpful. Thanks to F3 for helping me do better during COVID along several dimensions.

CoT; Prayer: Energy, focus, perseverance, Bloomer’s son, Jazz Hand’s friend

SuperDora 02/23/2021 @ AO MASTODON

Knowing that it has been cold lately and there is a LOT of snow and ice on the ground that will be in various states of melting due to the warmer temperatures, the challenge was to create a workout that left the PAX warm and not too wet for coffeeteria. It turns out that the snow was not melty, but instead was packed down firmly with a nice crust on top.

YHC has always been a fan of the Dora, but the Exicon came up short while planning this workout so a new Dora was born, the SUPERDORA. Answering the new challenge were many of the stalwart HIMs: Big Mac, Bloomer, Cookies, Da Vinci, Hotbox, Jolly, Katniss, Panhandle, Saga, Shiplap, TBTF, T-bone (first RESPECT workout!), Tortuga.

Warmorama was a simple classic to get the blood pumping: motivators, goofballs, and a quick lap of high knees around the parking lot while the Q explained the beatdown.

Queue the SuperDora:

Instead of pairs, the entire PAX was challenged to complete exercise reps with interspersed bursts of cardio. (up to 4 exercises between cardio, the PAX chose various strategies)

Cardio options were: run up or down Hoffa, Run to the cooties/SHOP or back (convenient if targeting one of the exercises that are executed there), 15 Burpees, 25 Star Jumps, 30 Mountain climbers

Exercise rep targets were determined by number of PAX to show. The Q failed at math and targeted about 2000 reps per PAX to spread around. It should have been half of that. The board was prepared with 72 marks per exercise group, each mark originally representing 75 reps which the Q revised to 60 reps, it really should have been 30 reps per mark.

Categories and exercises available per type:

4320 – Chest/shoulders: Derkins, Chest press, Picnic table press

4320 – Back/shoulders: Bent over coupon rows, Inverted rows, Pull ups

4320 – Mary: Leg raises, American Hammers, jumping crunches or imperial walkers

4320 – Legs: Weighted squats, Calf raises (4 = 1), Pistol squats

4320 – More: Kettlebell swings, Coupon Curls, Rifle carry (4 paces = 1)

There was a bit of confusion at the beginning, but the PAX quickly figured out their strategies and started their exercises. After a few minutes YHC noticed it was rather quiet, the grunts of hard work and an odd picnic table being dropped were about all that broke the silence. Thankfully Shiplap had already taken matters into his own hands and came back from his rifle carry to the car with Jock Jams pulsing, this clearly invigorated the PAX and they picked up the pace.

Nonetheless, the absurd number of reps planned were not coming off of the board fast enough and ⅔ of the way through the beatdown the Q called “double credit” and each set of 60 reps took 2 marks from the board. Alas, it was too little, too late and we ran out of time with quite a few marks on the board. At least we didn’t run out of exercises before the end of our time.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Treasure Hunt Remix

Story: Through a strange twist of fate, you find yourself stuck inside a library of surprisingly morbid 1980’s “Choose your own adventure” books. Jumping from book to book, you are threatened on all sides. Zombies, cowboys, rival workout gangs, everyone is out to get you. There is only one way to survive: keep moving.

An oddly appropriate theme for a beatdown during life-threatening environmental conditions. 3° temperature, -14° wind chill, unplowed roads, cars stuck in snowbanks, duct tape giving up due to cold,  frozen coupons, back-to-back workouts in the same morning. Why did 12 PAX brave these obstacles? Were they driven by a simple treasure lust? Learn the truth at the end of this post.

The following story segments were stationed around the AO. Each workout accomplished earned PAX one of 6 puzzle pieces, which assembled would reveal the location of real, actual, buried treasure.

Choose your own adventure F3 Q treasure hunt
Your school is on a field trip to the zoo, and you’re trying to catch the attention of your new crush. With your friend holding on to you shirt, you lean way over the gorilla pit and smack the largest gorilla on the back of the head. Your friend loses his grip, and now you’re eye to eye with an angry gorilla, who is trying to decide if you are another gorilla, a snack, or his long lost girlfriend.
You’ll have to do your best gorilla impression if you want to survive until the zoo keepers arrive.
Do 75 total reps in any combination of these:
Overhand Pull ups Underhand Chin ups. Toe to bar.
You’ve aroused the anger of time traveling cowboys. They decide to teach you a lesson by “making you dance”. With pistol shots at your head and feet. You’ll be ducking and jumping to survive.
To dodge the bullets perform 150 reps total of any combination of:
Bench dips
Box Jumps
Step ups


You’ve fallen into the hands of several elderly zombies. They will eat your brains, unless you can blend in with them.
To blend in, you must perform 400 reps on 4 of the permanent workout machines in this area. Choose 4 machines. Bodyweight chest press, inclined sit-up, elliptical movement, etc.
Any machine, any rep count, until your team gets to 400 reps total.

A rival workout gang claims Northside Park as their exclusive territory, unless you can beat them at their own game.
To prove you’re the strongest, you need to do 150 reps in any combination of:
Merkins,
Burpees,
Star Jumps,
Squat jumps

Out of innocent curiosity, you wandered behind the bathhouse. You walked right into a secret meeting of bully’s club called Rodney and the Rathbones.
They’ll let you go free, but only after you do 150 of these (total reps in any combination):
Bent over rows,
Kettle bell swings,
Coupon lunges
You drank something, and it wasn’t Kool-aid™. You can’t tell if someone laced your drink with PCP, Speed, or just the heady power rush that accompanies becoming commander in chief.

Work off your power rush and prove you’re the best by performing 150 Total Reps in any combination of:
Coupon Bicep Curls,
Overhead Press,
Scull Crushers.

Pre Workout: Treasure is buried under snow in the middle of a frozen lake.
Story segments and workout options were positioned around the AO.

Pretty good snow camouflage for the treasure
Thermal imaging makes the treasure spot more visible
This was enough to lead Tortuga and Jazz hands to the treasure.
The Real Treasure map
Approaching the winners
The Victor’s circle
The Treasure

Archive and Captain crunch showed off by getting to the treasure 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Getting tired of counting and re-counting their treasure, they then returned to the workout to “wave their beef sticks in our faces.”

This workout was nobody’s first rodeo, but it was still a wild ride. Why did we do it? Because we know these things to be truth:

  1. Adversity brings us together.
  2. Working hard makes us stronger.
  3. Friendship is the real treasure. Friendship, and toe-warmers.

    Thanks for the memories.
    -Sparrow