I mean, where do I start? I think it’s best to start with my F3 story and how F3 has impacted me:
It’s hard to believe that one year ago, I finally gave in to Thumper’s annoying & consistent EH’ing for me to go to this crazy-early-morning workout called “F3.” I had resisted him for months with the same excuses everyone uses: (1) I’m a night owl, so that’s too early for me, (2) The Wreck is too far away for me, (3) I don’t want to wake my wife up, (4) I’m not in shape enough yet, but once I run for a few weeks, I’ll come out, (5) blah blah blah blah…. Once Thumper told me that they were Launching an AO at East Roswell Park (only 3 minutes from my house), I finally gave in to his never-ending banter about this cult. “Fine, I’ll show up once so you stop nagging me.”
So there I was, 364 days ago, weighing a lazy 220 and listening to some guy whom I figured had an identity problem (he kept saying his name was Spandex?!). This guy Spandex kept reading a disclaimer from a scroll that had to be 3-4 pages long. “What do you mean I can’t sue you if you injure me?! Is everyone wearing gloves to mask their finger prints? What have I gotten myself into?!”
I remember barely making it through that 1st BD. I literally remember being tempted to jump in my car and leave about 20 minutes into the BD. I remember another crazy (Scar) who was way to excited for 5:15 in the morning yelling “Remember Gentlemen, This is the best part of your day!” “Who let him out of the insane assylum?!” I thought to myself. I remember my body being locked up for 6 days after the 1st BD that I could barely move. Because my body was so shocked, I remember the agonizing pain I experienced trying to simply get up off the toilet after taking a dump. “This is stupid.” “I have nothing to prove, why am I doing this…” “These guys are a bunch of crazies.” All thoughts that went through my head that next week. But 2 weeks later, I started coming back, and I kept waking up, and I kept feeling regret every time I fartsacked. Months later, I could finally make it through a BD without much modification. Maybe I wasn’t doing the exercise the Q called out, but at least I was doing some kind of exercise; I no longer had to sit there and catch my breath for a few minutes.
I figured Thumper would be off my case, but he kept taking it another step. “Viking, you need to step-up and lead a BD. Sign up on the Q sheet.” Once again, the excuses were quick to set in: (1) I don’t know all the exercises, (2) I don’t know the cadence, (3) I’m still in the middle-back of the pack during the beatdown, so I’ll Q when my fitness gets me to a level where I’m near the front, (4) I’m just really enjoying the workouts that others lead, and I don’t want to take the time to plan a BD, (5) blah blah blah blah… Thumper had none of it and I’m pretty sure he signed me up for my first Q. I still remember the excitement and adrenaline I had from my VQ. It made me have more respect for the other Q’s and their willingness to lead. It challenged me to step-up more often and not be intimidated, and it has given me a great avenue to practice leadership skills that I need to continue developing in my professional and personal relationships.
364 days ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me that I’d get the opportunity to Q at the 1-Year Gladiator Birthday. But here we were this morning, 37 HIM’s ready to take on the humid & muggy Gloom. The Q-drenaline was strong all yesterday, last night, and this morning. While planning for this BD, I felt it appropriate to Mosey Down Memory Lane to that 1st BD one year ago. I looked up Spandex’s VQ from 6/19/2018 and decided to mimic most of the actions we took that day. (Click on this link to read Spandex’s BB and to see a picture of what the group looked like one year ago).
However, slight modifications from Spandex’s original BD were implemented. It’s hard for YHC to NOT include the Burpee Balls these days, and Wendy & Portable DJ really wanted to come. (Many of the Gladiator PAX complain loudly now when Portable DJ does not attend). With Wendy’s legs wrapped tightly around my waste and Portable DJ sitting comfortably in Wendy’s pouch, I finally decided to crown my temple with the “Make CPA’s Funny Again” hat. “This will surely convince everyone that I’m not a professional” I hoped to myself.
All systems Go; it was 0514.
YHC distributed six Burpee Balls, much to the joy of the birthday attenders. (There is nothing better that seeing a bunch of grown men’s eyes glitter with excitement and then to hear the same men giggle with anticipation). Disclaimer was given. Thanks was given to those AO’s and PAX who helped start the Gladiator. YHC felt it appropriate to remind everyone of F3’s mission, which was : F3 is a national network of free, peer-led workouts for men. Our mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership.
And then it was time To Get This Party Started.
We moseyed to the front parking lot by the softball fields while simultaneously tossing the Burpee Balls. Whenever a Burpee Ball hit the ground the PAX were rewarded with 3 Burpees. YHC couldn’t tell if there was a lot of giggles or mumble chatter, but either way, the PAX were lively.
Once we arrived to the parking lot, YHC explained that the PAX had just moseyed 1,521 feet from The Flag. That number is significant because in the Gladiator’s 1st Year, 1,521 PAX attended the beatdowns. Another shoutout was given to those AO’s and HIM’s who started the Gladiator. Then it was time for:
YHC instructed the PAX to Corner 1 of the Parking Lot. Just like when Spandex Q’d one year ago, the PAX were instructed to run to each corner and perform:
Corner 1 – 20 Squats
Corner 2 – 20 Merkins
Corner 3 – 20 Mountain Climbers
Corner 4 – 20 BBS
YHC then explained that we were going to do Four Corners again, but this time we were going to do 32 reps at each station. 32 x 4 = 128, which is the number of beatdowns that occurred at the Gladiator in the last 12 months. Once again, thanks was given, and then the PAX were rewarded with a 2nd round of Four Corners.
The gazelles air chaired, until YHC instructed everyone to be in a plank. Hold. Right Arm Up. Left Arm Up. 10 Merkins IC.
Now it was time to head back to the North Pitch for some Partner Suicide Relay. YHC instructed the PAX to partner up and hold hands while they moseyed back to the Pitch.
The Warmup was over.
Portable DJ kept our spirits high on the mosey back. Once we arrived at the North Pitch, YHC explained the exercises before sending half of the group with Scar to the other end of the field:
The Suicider alternated between (1) running to half field and back and (2) bear crawl to penalty box and crab walk back.
The gazelles led Mary at half field until the Six Was In.
It was 0552, which meant there was time for Navy Seal Situps. 20x IC. The PAX have never felt closer, and many probably don’t want to feel that close ever again.
0555 told us it was time to head back to the flag. Mary was led by various PAX, the most notable being the classic DC2 robbery of Wicka-Wicka’s callout for American Hammer. Thanks for answering the call DC2.
YHC ended the BD a few seconds early to leave some extra time for COT.
Welcome FNG Hall Pass! It was a pleasure having you out this morning!
YHC once again shared the Mission of F3 to keep it fresh in everyone’s mind. Although data points were already provided, YHC left the best & most important stats for the end:
53 FNGS at the Gladiator in the last 12 months 49 different Q’s at the Gladiator in the last 12 months
^Those numbers are not possible if not for the goal-setting and sacrifice of various Alpha PAX. It would have been easy for our forefathers to simply remain “comfortable” and stick with the “normal.” But instead, they planned to expand their horizons to reach more sad clowns. Many of these FNGs and Q’s have grown physically, socially, and spiritually in the last 12 months because the Gladiator was started. YHC challenged the PAX to keep goal-setting and to keep focusing on the process which requires patience and perseverance (it takes time!) in the physical, social, and spiritual goals they have set for themselves. Each day, you are either taking a step forward or a step backward. It is my prayer that each man takes one step forward today in their physical, social, and spiritual life.
Quotes of the Day to help apply the principles shared:
Zig Ziglar – “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Proverbs 21:5 – “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:00 p.m. – Come out to Senior Patron for a 2nd F celebration (Gladiator 1-Year Birthday Party). M’s are invited!
AFLAC hits the big 5-0. He Q’s on Thursday at the Rubicon and Friday at the Wreck. All are invited to so that you can yell RESPECT.
Special Thanks to Spandex for taking video/photos of today’s BD. Keep an eye out for a promo video he is putting together. It would be great to share on social media, etc.
Today I weighed in at 200. I haven’t weighed that low since 6 years ago when I was in college. And you know who gets credit for that? The guys at F3 that push me each week to be better. Although it is expensive to lose weight and buy new pants, I’m so thankful for the healthier lifestyle F3 has given me.