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.

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

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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.

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Pre Blast: F3 Birmingham’s New Year’s Day CONVERGENCE

Yes, “pre-blasts” are a thing.  And they are warranted on occasion. This is such an occasion.

On January 1st in the Year of our Lord two thousand eighteen at 0600 at Birmingham’s Railroad Park F3 Birmingham PAX will converge for a one hour boot camp-style workout to welcome the New Year with dauntlessness and determination.  YHC will co-Q the athletics with the esteemed Brad “Tinactin” Acton.  The setting is a 19-acre urban playground (courtesy of Brasfield & Gorrie) that is, verified by yesterday’s reconnaissance, very well-suited to F3 operations.

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It will be COLD, the sort of cold that many most men would not voluntarily venture into for a recreational activity.  We all know already that F3 men are not much like most men.  F3 men see self development and feel a sense of boldness when confronted with a forecast of dry ground, clear skies, 17 degrees, and a “real feel” of …4 degrees.  Yes, the air is predicted to feel like 4 degrees at 0600 on New Year’s Day.  Are we a bit crazy?  Maybe.  Have we conditioned ourselves toward a toughness that is uncommon?  Probably so.  Do we do what we do for reasons that are good for ourselves, good for those around us, and good for our fellow F3 brothers?  Absolutely.

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The work promises to be challenging, but the mood shall remain festive, as there is true joy in waking up in America – able to participate in such an activity.  You, the Men of F3 Birmingham, are invited to join your brothers in a triumphant way to begin your next year, in the arena, and during the first hours of light that 2018 brings to us.  If you are in town and able-bodied, post with us.  Feel resolute.  Start the year accomplished.  Be able to say “I did it”.  Enjoy your freedom.

Yours faithfully,

Barney Fife

A CONVERGENCE IS A FIRST F AND SECOND F ACTIVITY.  COFFETERIA WILL FOLLOW.

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.

Samuel Johnson

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