Thursday, October 29
F3RVA
Always 70 and Sunny
F3RVA
Always 70 and Sunny

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that

12

ANNOUNCEMENTS
None this morning because I wanted to spend a bit of extra time in the Circle of Trust

NAKED MOLESKIN (NMS)
After an absolutely awful weekend for Charlottesville, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States generally, it was especially nice to see 11 PAX roll into Washington Park for an early morning beat down and to just be together.

We had the good fortune of welcoming our first French-Canadian member of F3 (by lineage, he’s actually from Northern Virginia like everyone else), who brews beer at Random Row Brewing Co. and whose new F3 name is, of course, Hoser.  In case you’re wondering what that word means (I hadn’t heard anyone use it since I watched Rick Moranis’ iconic Strange Brew in the early 90s) there is a succinct and interesting wikipedia article about it.  Wondering if you too might be a hoser?  Click here for a great infographic.  Once it starts getting cold we’ll find out who the real hosers are.  And no, F3 does not make earmuffs, in case you were wondering.

WARMUP CIRCLE OF PAIN (COP)
Side Straddle Hop
Don Quixote (windmill)
Merkins (pushups)
Little Baby Crunches (LBCs)
Superman

THANG
Triple Check (Run up hill, WW-II, tiny soldiers)
Tunnel of Love up the hill
Partner Leg Toss (3 x 20 each)
Modified Dora (50-100-150) pull up, Merkin, monkey humpers (while sprinting around tree)
20 elevated Homer-to-Marge, 20 dips, 20 box jumps ALL TIMES TWO
Mary
– Weezy Jefferson. (legs from 90 deg. to 5 & back)
– Penguin Crunches
– LBCs
– Flutter Kicks
– American Hammers
– 6 inch hold

CIRCLE OF TRUST (COT) / BALL OF MAN (BOM)
I was planning to continue reading from my book of Stoic philosophers but obviously changed my mind after last weekend’s events.  This has been hard on everyone.  It is important to me that F3 Charlottesville remains welcoming to all men and apolitical, which is convenient for me since I most closely identify with Libertarians (the real ones that believe in personal freedom and non-violence, not the charlatans you read about in the news), but I must say I have been shocked about the amount of anger (and now violence) on both sides of the political spectrum these last few years.  As a country I worry we’re entering a vicious cycle from which we will not be able to escape as everyone digs in and gets more and more angry at the other side, without trying to understand their perspective (this goes both ways).  Whatever happened to humility and the belief that you might, just might, not always be correct?

Take, for instance, rural America.  Some of what we saw last weekend can be at least partially explained by a group of people who are increasingly desperate – they are increasingly excluded from our economy, their jobs have been either outsourced or automated, their kids are addicted to opioids (and dying from it at alarming rates), while “the rest” of America has a 5% unemployment rate, record stock market highs and wealth, and scoffs at them.  All people need a purpose in their lives but when your back is against the wall, it’s hard to predict what that purpose will end up being and it is unsurprising that some people mis-direct their anger and frustration.  There are two articles worth reading about this – one in The Economist: America’s urban-rural divides, and one in the WSJ: Rural America Is the New ‘Inner City’ – if you have time.  And if you really thirst for more, read J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, the controversial memoir of a young man from Middletown, Ohio who “made it out” through his service in the U.S. Marine Corps followed by college, Yale School of Law, and then most recently his writing.

The Buddha taught that all beings are interconnected, and Jesus taught us to love both our neighbors and our enemies.  Ironically, in this age of text messaging, internet, Facebook, SnapChat, Amazon Prime, ATMs, and express pay gas stations, people are increasingly disconnected from each other – you can live your entire life in 2017 without interacting with a real human being!  There is something very “inhuman” about these “connections” and it is dangerous when they replace real social interactions – a phone call, a visit, a handshake or even simply signing a receipt and leaving it for the $2.35/hr waitress to pick up.  Which makes me appreciate getting sweaty, dirty, and exhausted doing Tunnel of Love and Wheelbarrows with you beasts twice a week.

So what is my quote for this week’s Circle of Trust?  Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be quoting a Martin Luther King speech dealing with hate and the Ku Klux Klan and that it would be directly relevant to my community but, unfortunately, I am.   MLK’s message of universal love can be tough to swallow when you are angry and upset but given the societal whipsawing / increasingly fractured country transitioning from anger to violence we are now bearing witness to, I think we have to all have to agree he was onto something when he said that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that” (from his 1963 book, Strength to Love).  He elaborated on this concept four years later with the following speech:

Martin Luther King Jr., August 16, 1967 (Atlanta, Ga.) “Where Do We Go From Here?”
And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear.”

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12 Comments

  1. Speed Limit – Outstanding job here and way to be a leader among men. If there was ever a more clear signal that strong male leadership is needed as a guiding light, let these acute moments not be lost. Keep up the great work brotha!

  2. Speed Limit- Awesome backblast and fabulous message. Really makes me appreciate my brothers in F3 all the more. Look forward to meeting you in the gloom someday soon.

  3. Speed Limit, Thank you for the time and thought that required. With all the emotion-driven, often hate-filled rhetoric flooding the airwaves and internet that message; those facts and historical perspective was refreshing and inspiring.

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