For weeks, the PAX of F3 have detected telltale signs of summer subtly inching their way into perception.
A flower blooms, delectably enticing a buzzing honeybee from YHC’s backyard hives.
An extra one-in-a-hundred vehicles on the open roads emblazons the logo of an Air Conditioning contractor, like an apex predator emerging from its long winter slumber, to hunt and devour the weak and crippled among the herd of long-dormant home A/C equipment.
Students of all grade levels crescendo at an imperceptible rate of change from Spring Break to Memorial Day from Puritan rule-following into a frenzied, bacchanal state of mind – legit senioritis for those graduating, angsty senioritis-in-training for those still indentured to year(s) of classroom monotony – ready to throw off the shackles of today’s intransigent school-day structure for tomorrow’s ribald Saturnalia of chaotic summer revelry.
Any one sign in isolation, gradually materializing from the ether like a gentle tug on a single hair of the upper arm, would not register a conscious recognition that summer approaches.
But this confluence of signals culminated like a startling trumpet blast from the heavens, initiating Summer session in earnest at Bushwood AO on May 27th, 2022, with the seasonal reopening of this F3 Alpha-East summertime favorite AO. Eight mighty PAX witnessed and participated in the annual declaration that summertime acceleration belongs to the brave, who challenge themselves and others to grow stronger in all dimensions, whether by land or by sea.
One unlikely prerunner treated himself to unplanned road-running acceleration at 5:30am, an unexpected gift from God by forgetting that Bushwood’s start time is actually 6:00, not the F3 Alpha normative 5:30. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Eight PAX gathered in the Bushwood Country Club parking lot at 6am, comprising five adult PAX and three 2.0s. YHC’s disclaimer rang truer this morning than most, given that two of the three 2.0’s were fruit of YHC’s loins, as YHC desires not for his 10- or 8-yo to sue me nor our neighborhood HOA, of which YHC is a fiduciary contributor.
Mosey up the hill and back, then circle up for SSH, Weed picker, Windmill, Michael Phelps, and overhead claps IC.
YHC prepared a water / maritime themed Spotify mix as a tribute to the water challenges the PAX would hazard this fateful morn and summer. Maguire was vociferous in support!
Ride Captain Ride (Blues Image)
Don’t Drink the Water (DMB)
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads)
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)
Black Water (The Doobie Brothers)
The Ocean (Led Zeppelin)
I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home (Grand Funk Railroad)
Sloop John B (The Beach Boys)
Thang 1, by land
With the annual Memorial Day Murph approaching in a mere three days, the PAX trained with a mini-Murph at the Bushwood playground:
A little Mary for the finishers, and one final set to pick up the six, and the PAX were satisfied with a worthy land program.
Thang 2, by swimlane
The PAX transitioned to the Bushwood pool, doffing shirts and donning goggles, for the water portion of the program.
100 meter individual medley: One pool length each of Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle
At the end of each length, exit the pool to perform 50 alpha-count American hammers. Because the ladies are looking forward to feasting their greedy eyes on those pool-side abs, fellas! (YHC clearly still fails to understand the psyche of the mysterious M.)
YHC modified to helping one of his 2.0’s mitigate the customary swimming pool nosebleed while the PAX broke Bushwood records for speed and acceleration.
Thang 3, braving the deep end
YHC’s 2.0 Fridge inspired this endurance-challenging slog.
PAX tread water in the deep end, tossing around a rubber football with which they are tasked with keeping above the water’s surface.
Should the football strike the surface, all PAX must exit to poolside for three burpees and then re-enter the water.
After about five sets of burpees resulting from chlorine-tainted butterfingers, YHC called for the final exercise.
Thang 4, Indian Swim
YHC called a 2021 favorite pioneered by Ballboy to fill the remaining time:
PAX line up in single file in the main part of the pool
PAX swim slowly counter-clockwise around the pool, efforting to not touch the bottom
The PAX in the back speed-sprints to the front
Thanks and praises for students (three of whom were present as 2.0s this morning) that completed another year of acceleration in the classroom.
Prayers for the Mellot family grieving the loss of a daughter.
The Bushwood PAX achingly pray over the memory of Ready-Mix, who posted to Bushwood nearly every Friday of every summer, bringing a 2.0 on occasion. We miss you, brother. How long, oh Lord, until we see You and our dearly departed brother again? Only the Father knows.
On opening day last year, YHC threw up in the Bushwood ceremonial trash can. What a memorable lesson that fitness on land does not necessarily translate to fitness in water, aka the great equalizer.
This year, YHC was wiser in preparation and pacing. Also this year, YHC brought two 2.0s for opening day. Bushwood is a favorite option for summertime 2.0 co-acceleration, and YHC encourages all readers to engage 2.0’s in acceleration, whether in F3 or in other settings. We are charged with raising these precious ones in a rare window of special influence in their lives while in our homes.
May we take inspiration from Ready-Mix’s playbook. Whether in summer, fall, winter or spring, may we seek avenues to be especially intentional in imparting love and life to these we are charged with. May we challenge each other to push ourselves to accelerate in fitness, fellowship and faith, whether by land or by sea!