9.14.20 — Ruck Merkin Mileage

While Crack had to bail to wake up early and move weight around like a crazy man, Crunch managed another ruck-day take-over in which 9 PAX (Archive, Shiplap, Big Mac, SAGA, DaVinci, Gummi Bear, Panhandle, Sparrow, Captain Crunch (QIC)) woke up early and moved weight around like crazy men. At least Crack had the excuse that he was paid. For the rest of us, grit was its own reward. The brief was very simple, with the added benefit of prepping for IPC on Wednesday.


  • Motivators (no ruck) IC x 7
  • Don Quixotes IC x 15

The Thang:

  • 400m ruck + shuffle
  • 25 Ruck Merkins
  • 50 Squats (after round 1, down-graded to 30 squats, but with good form)
  • Repeat the above 4 times, circling the park

The Extra:

The circle completed at the hill, where we marked off the distance from one fence to the other. AMRAP of the below (we ended after about 2 rounds):

  • 20 Lunges (each leg)
  • Bear Crawl Ruck Drag (30m)
  • 20 Overhead Press
  • Rucked to the flag for a quick set of Flutters IC x 40

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for the people, property, and emergency workers in California and for an end to the fires. — for integrity in our work, home and personal lives — for Wheaton’s campus and the general health of our city.

MOLESKIN: On the heels of two 6-packs, finally having gotten consistent about bedtimes, waking times. (after 3 years) Really appreciating the gauntlet being thrown down this month and the opportunity to be as regular as I’ve wanted to be with my morning routines. Still approaching that 100 merkin hurdle on IPC week 3 with some trepidation, but we’ll see how Wednesday goes.

9.7.20 — Labor Day: Fellowship of the Ruck

The Fellowship: 9 Ruckers (Gummi Bear, DaVinci, Panhandle, TBTF, Tortuga, Noodles, Shiplap, Sparrow, Captain Crunch)

Jumping at the long weekend’s opportunity for some extended ruck-work, the nine met at AO-Mastodon at the customary time to begin their trek to breakfast. (not exactly a shortcut to breakfast, but it was perhaps “second breakfast” for some.) Flag in hand, they filed out 2 by 2 to at a brisk, but conversational, pace. (Just outside the AO, penalty burpees were awarded to the whole group for the only flag-drop of the journey. Whether from punishment or patriotism, vigilance was maintained the rest of the morning.)

No Motor Vehicles were used

We rucked to good conversation down Jewell Rd. and up the Prairie Path to Geneva Rd., heading over to the beginning of the Geneva Spur. Our destination: The (soon* to be properly renamed) “Hopewell” Mounds. A short trek on a narrow path and we found ourselves at a nondescript spot with a sign. Thankfully, local guide DaVinci filled in the picture we lacked with historical background and a brief description of the people who had come thousands of years before us and lived by and migrated on the rivers that we now crisscross with our own journeys.

After a brief reflection, the bugs and the time turned our path homeward, and the fellowship began breaking. Gummi Bear and DaVinci began their trek directly back to the AO as the remaining 7 headed south, to pass by Sparrow’s residence and wave at his family.

Despite the Q’s best efforts to foul up his navigation, we did manage to make good time back to Wheaton, saying farewell to TBTF and Panhandle after navigating Lincoln Marsh, and proceeding on to downtown meeting, now 5, for a good hearty breakfast at Egg’lectic’s tent dining on Hale St.

Overall about 8 miles covered before breakfast, with a total time under weight of 128 min, including stops (16 min/mile overall average).

COR/NOR/COT: Blessings on the group, healing for the aches and pains of the PAX — gratitude and intercession for the Ms that made the trip possible — for those working and those unemployed amid the pandemic — for courage and durability as we look to the winter.

After a good breakfast, Tortuga headed south and Noodles parked downtown, leaving the remaining 3 to make the return mile back to the AO.

Great conversation the whole time. After this ruck and HotBox’s Q, I feel like I’ve gotten to know people a lot better and can more appreciate the depth and richness of the collective story we are building. An encouraging day at the start of a new year of school and the rounding out of the 3rd year of F3 Wheaton. Thanks, HIMs of Wheaton!

9.4.20 — Yoga Day (reprise)

Back by popular demand and bodily necessity, 10 sore PAX (DaVinci, Sparrow, Shiplap, Wet Burrito, SAGA, Compost (FNG!), HotBox, Banks, Bloomer, Captain Crunch) arrived for an EC recovery day. The day was slightly chilly and misty so they got warm and then got limber.


  • Run a quick half-mile, including the hill. Get a lather going. Then head to the tennis court for some good traction and a non-lumpy surface.


  • Straight leg forward fold (note how far you can stretch)
  • Seated forward fold (hips then round back)
  • Squat Butterfly


  • Begin in Child’s Pose, extending arms in front of you
  • Plank to Down Dog to Forward Fold
  • Extra: Hands interlaced behind your back, stretch knuckles to sky and lean forward slightly

Table / Mountain (Cycle x 4)

  • Forward Fold (toe-touch)
  • Table Pose (straight back, bend knees if needed)
  • Forward Fold (toe-touch)
  • Mountain Pose (hands raised but open in a Y-shape)

Low Lunge

  • Plank (knees if needed) / Up Dog / Down Dog
  • R Leg Lift then forward to Low Lunge to
  • Crescent Pose (arms raised but open, tail-bone tucked in, abs engaged)
  • Split Prep (hands down, forward leg straight, rest on back knee)
  • Walk hands forward and lift back knee, then raise forward hand high Low-Lunge+T-Plank (hold)
  • Lower back knee, reach high hand back for a quad stretch (hold)
  • Both legs back into Cobra
  • (Switch legs and repeat)


  • Down Dog
  • Move R foot forward to Low Lunge
  • Turn out back foot 90 degrees and move into Warrior 1 (hands raised) (hold)
  • Warrior 2 (hands forward and back)
  • Reverse Warrior (move forward hand high, back hand rests)

Camel Cycle

  • Table Top to Kneeling (toes curled is slightly easier)
  • Half-Camel pose (hands out straight in front, then rotate gaze and hands straight up)
  • While still looking/reaching up, reach behind with your R hand to touch your R heel (hold)
  • (repeat this motion with the other hand)
  • Full Camel – work both hands back to your heels and open your chest to the sky

Pigeon stretch

  • Lying down, place R foot on left knee, raise left knee and pull gently towards your body with both hands
  • Half-Happy Baby – place your R hand in the arch of your R foot, keeping the 90 degree bend at the knee, straighten the opposite leg to the floor, and pull R knee gently towards the ground.


Advanced Circuits (if time allows; attempt with caution)

Deep Lunges

  • Low-Lunge position, but elbows down alongside your front leg (or just reach your hands down as far as you can)
  • Side Lunge – rotate your straight leg out on the heel, hands planted for support
  • (switch sides)

Bridge(+Wheel) and Plow

  • Bridge on your back, bring you feet right below your knees. Lift your hips (inhale, then squeeze your glutes and abs before you engage your back muscles) and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Wheel (crazy): from bridge, place your palms flat on the ground (by your ears, fingers toward your toes, elbows close) with your core engaged, then push upward with your arms, stabilize and then hold
  • Shoulder Stand / Plow: From your back, lift your legs up and support your lower back with your hands (elbows on the ground). Work your weight onto your shoulders, pointing your legs as high as possible. For Plow, slowly move your legs over your head to touch your toes to the ground (if possible). Hold.


Spinal Twist (closing)

  • Grab your R knee in your opposite hand and pull it across your body, straightening your right arm out away from your body. (hold)
  • (repeat this cycle with your other leg)
  • Pull both knees to your chest and rest in an egg shape, rolling slightly on your back
  • Corpse Pose (hold for a while, relax, breathe)


  • Straight leg forward fold (note how far you can stretch)
  • Seated forward fold (hips then round back)
  • Squat Butterfly

COR/NOR/COT: Prayer for the recovery and health of the group as they hit it hard this month. — for JazzHands’ battles with insomnia and other PAX as they fight the fartsack and attempt to live out their best intentions.

8.17.20 — Killer Bags

7 PAX (Shiplap, Too Big Too Fail, Banks, DaVinci, Sparrow, Archive, Captain Crunch(QIC)) continued their August with the singular goal of being too sore to do IronPAX. Shiplap brought some heat this morning with an EC sandbag/coupon circuit for the four PAX who wanted to kick-start their Monday.

Shiplap with that wild animal look in his eyes on a heavy-hitting EC:


Afterwards they kept the weight heavy as the sandbags left the AO for some time on the march and a small reminder of the pain in store next month.

Warm O Rama:

  • Motivators IC x 5
  • Mountain Man Poopers IC x 15
  • Standing leg and back stretches


Ruck to the Falcon’s fields. PAX divided up into two teams, forming two side by side columns. Each team took one sandbag for the frontmost PAX, who set the pace, dropping the bag for the next PAX and falling in at the rear of their column (reverse scout-run style). Gung-ho PAX (Archive/Banks) initiated a ruck+sandbag shuffle, which set an accelerated pace for the remainder of the march.

Arriving at the closed football field, the PAX marched on for the baseball fields and a modified reprise of last years IronPAX “Killer Bs” workout:

Each team of PAX complete the following set on repeat.

  • Ruck Drag (10 yards)
  • 10 Burpees (Jumping over rucks)
  • 10 Bonnie Blairs (or standing lunges) while holding ruck
  • 10 Big-Boy Sit-ups

PAX take turns running the sandbag down to the third base line and back to the group, handing off to the next PAX. AMRAP until time to ruck back, using the same formation and a faster pace.

Brief Mary:

  • 40 ruck curls OYO
  • Copperhead Deep Ruck Squats IC x 20

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for the group to continue pressing in hard this week to the challenges and obstacles that we will face. — To remember our need to share our weight and to take on others burdens — for strength and wisdom to protect and support those who are weak and resist those who are strong but evil. — Blessings on the good line-up of VQs this week!

Slow Burn: the Eccentric Jane Fonda Workout

On a morning that was slightly warmer (and slightly darker) than most days this week, 6 PAX (Too Big To Fail, Banks, Noodles, Archive, Crunch, and F3-Birmingham’s Sparrow!) posted for an odd workout that aimed to hit them in some strange places. The main drumbeat of Good Form was preached and we settled in for a not-so-sweaty but stealthily difficult exercise.

  • Motivators x5
  • Bat Wings IC
Eccentric Murph Training (Circuit) (15min) — slow-lowering reps done in reverse of the normal exercise to build strength and practice proper form and muscle activation. Done in a circuit for 15 min.
  • Eccentric Pull-ups x3–5
  • Eccentric Merkins x8–10
  • Eccentric Squats x15
Locked and Loaded — an opportunity to put that practiced form into action going the right way through the exercise
  • Dead Hang Shoulder Shrugs x5
  • Full Range of Motion Merkins x10
The Jane Fonda Circuit — The Gluteus Medius. Look it up. Work it. Get injured less.
  • The Jane Fonda ICx10 (each side)
  • Hip Raises ICx10 (each side)
  • Curb Stomps ICx10 (each side)
  • Plank Fondas ICx8 (each side)
A little more Mary — not letting that rotator cuff off the hook. Not enough time to hit this like I wanted to.
  • Pike push-up 5 OYO
  • American Hammer
  • Pike push-up 5 OYO

COR/NOR/COTprayers for travels — focus and stamina at work — that word would be swift in coming on job interviews — that rest would be abundant for young parents — that Birmingham and Wheaton would be closer for Sparrow’s journey to us.

Moleskin Testimonial – Talking with Sparrow this week, and thinking through the past 2 years and the WAS/NOW of my own journey, I started F3 a listless time waster who couldn’t get up in the morning without his M. Getting my butt off the couch to take care of the house or get down on the floor to play with my kids was a mental wall I often could not push through. I wasted most of those evenings on video-games and YouTube, lonely, underused, and ill-spent. When Archive came calling, I knew I needed discipline, fitness, energy, and guy friends in my life. I said “sure” in as nonchalant a way as possible. I’d post. So I did. And it was fun; silly enough (Side Straddle Hop? Really? It’s a jumping-jack guys…) to not take itself too seriously, but purposeful in the small ways that build up week by week, as long as you show up for it. So brick on brick we made a small community of men leaning into each other’s lives. It was definitely a small community at times, but the need to show up and be there for each other was clear. I would have quit in the first year if I were on my own or if the group didn’t need me. But here I am, still at it, more fit, disciplined, and connected than I’ve been since I was 20. Whatever hits the to-do list at work or at home, I regularly think to myself: “Suck it up, man, you’ve already done harder things than this today. Get after it.” So, thanks, guys. I hope your story is similar. Keep showing up for it.