Fishers of Men

I hate mornings, I love sleep, and I’m not too fond of groups of people. That’s what I use to tell myself. At least, until I was reluctantly introduced to F3.

I fought F3 every time it was mentioned to me, starting with this weird group of guys with painted faces in the parking lot of Oak Mountain after a mud run in 40 degree weather. I fought it from the same friend I ran with after he decided to give F3 a try. It’s the mornings. Those sweet, precious moments when you are dead asleep in a warm bed, hopefully next to a beautiful woman. I thought there was nothing better. But there is!

Now I find sleep to be the necessary ingredient needed to help me have the energy to get up in the Gloom of the morning to crawl, sweat, hurt and fellowship with my new found Brothers. That initial rise out of bed in the wee hours of the morning gets overshadowed by the excitement I find when I pull up to a parking lot filled with guys I love and respect.

So, now I find myself attempting what F3 lovingly refers to as a Headlock. But, unlike most workout groups, I don’t find myself looking for that guy that is already in shape and may want to save money with a free workout (which you do). I literally tell everyone. Because everyone needs to be part of something bigger than themselves. It is less of a workout group and more of a brotherhood. Matthew 4:19 states – Jesus said to them “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to be fishers of men” There are few places to put that message from God into practice better than F3. Don’t just invite people to F3. Tell them your story. What does F3 mean to you?

This isn’t Fight Club. The first 2 rules are NOT  “Don’t talk about F3”. Slumlord ends all of his emails with “ALWAYS BE HEADLOCKING”. So, lets do our part. We are 1,000 PAX strong. Imagine the impact we can have on our community if that number doubled or even tripled. Imagine the differences we can see in our 2.0s, our M’s that witness us attempting to better ourselves. You may not realize it, but it affects them too. Its like a spark igniting a flame. This world is in desperate need of Male leaders. I can’t imagine better leaders than men that have the discipline to do the hard thing in the gloom of the morning while also following God’s word.

Let’s go be Fishers of Men

 

Memorial Day Murph

Here’s a quick backblast for today’s Memorial Day Murph out of Railroad Park.

30 PAX including one walk-on FNG (welcome Smelt) answered the call to honor a fallen American hero.  Rabbit circled us up in the rain beside the Railroad Park pavilion at 0600, and led a healthy warm-up.  We made a last minute change to a straight line 1-mile run down the Rotary Trail, instead of running around the park’s path.  Keep in mind if you are ever to use this park for F3 workouts that it officially does not open until 0700, and it does have 24 security.

It’s a good little run down that urban trail.  Rabbit stopped us a mile out at a nice little overgrown fire ant field (I only have about 40 bites on my thigh, which are burning as I type this – thanks Rabbit).  In groups of 6, we got to work on 20 sets of…. 5 burpees/10 merkins/15 squats.  A walk-on steel worker we found in the park (now F3 Smelt), was in my squad, and he did quite well.  We took this photo before heading back.

Photo May 28, 7 52 25 AM.jpg

On the way back, one more photo of Rabbit’s design.

Photo May 28, 6 59 57 AM

Rabbit capped off the fitness activities with a group set of 5/10/15.  After that, name-o-rama, announcements, and Sparrow prayed us out.

YHC mentioned in the COT, the Kohima Epitaph.  I have found it to be very moving since seeing it on a plaque in Canterbury many years ago.  It occurred to me over the weekend that although Memorial Day was created to honor American service members who made the ultimate sacrifice, many of them – were they here with us today – would likely themselves also seek to honor those who served in allied forces, either side-by-side with our American heros, or separately, but for the same cause – freedom.

In April through June of 1944, British, Indian and Nepalese forces were fighting the same cause against the unyielding Japanese, but in a theater apart from most American forces.  The Battle of Kohima (India), part of the larger Burma Campaign, was called the “Stalingrad of the East”.  The Allies saw over 4,000 casualties in that battle.  The Kohima Epitaph, which can be found at the cemetery for those fallen allies, and has been reprinted on plaques throughout the world, is as follows.

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

– Fife

Photos: Korean Memorial in Washington.  A war that claimed over 33,000 American lives.

korean-war-veterans-memorial

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The Snake (and a word on 2nd F)

YHC enjoyed what I believe to have been only my second Q at The Forum.  Here is a quick Backblast to commemorate that workout.

Conditions: 50 and warming, dry, full sun…as good as it gets.
PAX: 16, including FNG “Roadrunner”
WARM UP
IC SSH
IC Imperial Walker
IC Arm Circles > Raise the Roofs
SC GF (“Good Form”) Merkins
MOSEY TO SUPERMARKET
(YHC caught some flak during the mosey for referring to Walmart’s small grocery store format as a “supermarket” – not be confused the company’s larger Supercenters. After a quick google search, I stand by the chosen terminology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarket )
In front of the…market…we did, to the amusement of a few early arriving employees:
IC Shoulder Taps
SC WWI Situps
SC Sumo Squats
Slow GF Merkins
IC Flutter Kicks
THE SNAKE
The meandering climbing sidewalk that cuts through the eastern edge of Wald Park (and on through that section of Vestavia Hills), was dubbed “The Snake” for that day. After moseying to The Snake, we took off on a run up the path, in pairs, roughly 15 seconds apart. Each telephone pole along the way was a “snake bite” requiring 2 burpees. As PAX finished at the end, The Donald led everyone in that planking/arm lift thing.
LITTLE BEAR HILL
At the steep grass hill at the end of that portion of The Snake, in 2 waves, we bear crawled up and shuffled back down. Rinse and repeat.
THE SNAKE, AGAIN
After moseying to the bottom of The Snake, we went the full length, in new pairs. This time, we lunged the whole distance. The snake bites were 5 GF Merkins at each pole. YHC was paired with 3PO and got to listen to his watch periodically inform him in a female C3PO-like voice, how many calories he had burned. We planked again at the end, were PAX got a preview of the 3PO’s enthusiasm for leading something called a “core workout”.
MOSEY TO BENCHES BY THE TRACK
Here…dips and declines…repeated a few times

MOSEY TO THE FLAG
Back at the flag, YHC called on unsuspecting PAX to command us into another 10 or so exercises. It worked out well.

COT
I didn’t realize it at the time, but one man among us, Copay, had not been around in quite some time. He was at our very first workout, a founding father of F3 Birmingham. Welcome back Copay. During the name-o-rama video, The Donald knocked my water bottle all over me, and pretended it wasn’t intentional. Jiffy closed us out in prayer. We put in some work that morning, and I really enjoyed my time out there. I hope that most others can recount the same.

EPILOGUE
We’ve got a couple of 2nd F events coming up. Please prioritize these, particularly the Anniversary Toast on May 4th at 8 p.m. at Oak Hill, being Q’d by Stuntman. We’ll have workouts this week, next week, the week after that, and the week after that. We are doing great with getting in 1st F. But the 2nd F opportunities are just as important, and there are much fewer of them. We’ll have two workouts during our F3 Birmingham Anniversary weekend. We’ve also got PAX doing a CSAUP (Homewood 5K). If you can only get to one event — make it to The Toast. Even if you just stop by for one pint, and even if you don’t drink….make an appearance. #FELLOWSHIP

– Barney Fife

or
F3BHM One Year Anniversary Celebration (Stuntman)
Stuntman has wisely moved the event to FRIDAY NIGHT, MAY 4TH to avoid crossover with the We Love Homewood Day celebration on the 5th.  May 6th marks the one year since the first F3 workout in Alabama.   To celebrate this triumphant occasion PAX will likely raise a glass in a toast (hopefully several toasts) at 8 p.m. (exact time and confirmation location coming soon).  If you can bring your M, or girlfriend, do so.  If you can only manage to duck out alone, after the kids are in bed, that will do.  Just be there to join your F3 brothers in celebration. Don’t miss this.  berghof-wine-3rdID-flipped-to-corect