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.

Santa’s Secret Snack Hunt

Santa needs our help.

Mrs. Clause put Santa on a diet, so now Santa does his snacking at Northside Park (Ho, Ho, Ho.) Santa was not wearing a mask (does the beard not count?) so the COVID police chased him all over Northside park. A fan of action films, Santa tried tossing out his snacks to see if it would distract the cops, but alas, covid cops are vegan.

Now Santa is in the lockup, and there will be no Christmas, period.

Christmas cannot be saved, but it’s killing Santa to think about all those snacks going to waste. I saw Santa during a recent prison ministry visit, and he slipped me a map rolled up inside a twinky. Now it’s up to us to find Santa’s snacks and eat them.

If our group is under 10 on Monday, this will be a leisurely walk in the park. If we are over 10, we will split into teams of 4 for a cut-throat, eat-or-be-eaten snack hunt in the park.

Teams will be allowed to self select around themes:

  1. Fast track/need for speed/everyday-I’m-shuffling
  2. Beat down.
  3. Hold me back: diet accountability group.
  4. Pax just wanna have fun.

Welcome FNG “Beaf Stick”

11.7.20 — Jacked!

MASTODON PAX: HotBox, Archive, Noodles, TBTF, Jolly, SAGA, Cookies, Panhandle, DaVinci, Beaker, DBC, Jazz Hands, Sparrow, Big Mac, Captain Crunch (QIC)

Special Mention: Shamu, Tortuga, T-Bone, Gummi Bear, and Wishbone(T-Bone’s 2.0) made the Name O Rama after touring 13.1 mi of Wheaton.

It was a gloriously warm November morning and the PAX were eager to close out on the first week of DaVinci’s madness, the last thing between them and the glories of decorated coupons was whatever came to mind in the twisted brain of YHC. With eyes on the prize they braced for impact.

Warm O Rama

  • Motivators 7 + 7 + 7
  • Batwings ICx20
  • Mountain Man Poopers ICx20

Thang 1: Jacked Dora 7-7-7

For each PAX, At least one hill-run (up) must be crawl-bear and another must be inch-worm another Bernie, lunge down. Reps below are split, except for Pistol Squats

  • 700 x Hundreds (or American Hammers)
  • 70 Pike Push-ups
  • 7 Pistol Squats (that’s 7 for each leg, for each PAX)

Yurpee for the 6! (Just a burpee with a clap merkin + 2-tuck jumps, no big.)

Followed by a plank circle with each PAX doing one Yurpee around the circle

Thang 2: Spartan (Light)

  • 5 x hill sprints with 10 merkins at the top

Thang 3: Yoga Time! But first, Ironsides!

Ol’ Ironsides (Boat/Canoe + IC x 20 American Hammers, repeat as needed. This time, just 2 rounds)

Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, we did some light yoga for the last 15 min to help those who plowed through the week. Table, Low Lunge, Crescent, Half-Camel, Camel, then wrapping up with Pigeon, Half Happy Baby, Spinal Twist

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for both Cookies and Hotbox as they hit the road for work this week and for good sleep for Jazz Hands and work opportunities for his M.

10.21 Hilltoppers Coupon Club

Wet Burrito VQ

We warmed up with motivators, imperial walkers, Baryshnikov squats, Alabama @sskickers, arm circles.

Then had fun with 15 rounds of Hilltoppers!
30 squats (descending by 2) at the base of the hill/ramp and 15 alternating blockies/burpees (descending) at the top. Run/mosey or walk (like Banks) up and down in between.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I was a frozen burrito at 5:30 and a sweaty burrito by 6:00am.
Thanks team for the support: Banks Big Mac Da Vinci Saga T-bone Panhandle Tortuga & TBTF

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.

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!

7.28.20 — Keep Tuesday “Extra” (Again?)

With mist off the lake and plenty of dew on the ground, the PAX rolled in (DaVinci, Big Mac, TBTF, Shiplap, Banks, HotBox, and Crunch(QIC)) ready to get after it. The Q had recently injured himself in a brief 2 seconds of woodworking stupidity, so his planned coupon-heavy beatdown was out the window. The challenge, to bring the heat with some classic bodyweight movements worthy of the name of beatdown and balance out the merkin mania that has seized the Qs of recent weeks.

The Standard

  • Motivators
  • Don Quixotes x15
  • Mountain Man Poopers ICx15
  • Dora 1,2,3 (but with Bernies (Bernices?) on the hill run) — It was fun to introduce this bread and butter workout to a few of the newer PAX. As Shiplap explained, “it’s like Greta, but without the coupon”. lol.

The Business End

Time to repeat those muscles but with some heavier hitting reps to dial things up. 

  • Archer Push-ups x10
  • Ol’ Ironsides (Boat/Canoe + American Hammer ICx20 (x2))
  • Dan Taylors (you know and love them, now do them up to 11!) — we worked in some wider side-to-side lunges to mix things up a little bit. TOTALLY different muscle groups…

“Abs for Days” (15 min of Mary)

The flip side of “if you can’t do it, don’t Q it.” is “Q to your strong suit”. Apparently, I’m known for core exercises, so we did some until it hurt, then we did some more.

  • Dr. W’s ICx15
  • 100s OYO
  • Crunchy Frogs (aka “Dutch Bazookas”) ICx10
  • Heel Touches ICx20
  • J-Lo #1 ICx15 each side
  • J-Lo #2 ICx20

COR/NOR/COT — It was a beautiful day that made you grateful to be out and awake for it. Prayers for the group, for God’s presence to be with each of us as we go about our day serving those around us. Lifting up the brothers here, in Naperville, and beyond that more would be added and that the PAX would grow in grace and wisdom in this season.