Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

If a Workout Falls in the Woods, and Nobody Hears It, Is It a Workout?


One PAX posted for this morning’s rendition of Heaven’s Gate.  For what?  Heaven’s Gate.  YHC had never heard of it either…here’s how it went down.

06:59:59 DST (DaVille Standard Time) and there are only empty, scattered cars in the Chicahominy Middle School parking lot.  Looking like a solo…
07:00 YHC decides to Q.
07:01 Mosey to track. (YHC did not wear a watch, so this is the last time YHC was able to verify).
Full circle of the track and then hold up at the bleachers for COP.

SSHs x 100 (4 count)
Calf stretches, torso stretches
IW’s x 20
Arm Circles…wait for it…5 big, then 10 small (see what YHC did there?), then 10 helicopters…then reverso, but also reverse the order.  Sunday’s are no gimmee at Heaven’s Gate.  Anything can happen.
LBC’s x 40
T – Mercans x 20 (see NMS)

Track Laps
Full circle of track, followed by 40 (or more) of an exercise
Reverse crunches (50x)
LBC’s (first round 40, second round 50)
Traditional Mercans
Repeato x2

Lap around the Hanover Public Schools Metroplex.

(Prior to talking to oneself, make sure no one’s watching and make the COT fast)
Number-rama, Name-a-rama, Announcements, YHC took himself out.


Before YHC launches into today’s diatribe, a note on the T-Mercans.  The US Army is testing a new Physical Fitness Test.  The Army is changing the definition of a push-up.  Going forward, they will measure T-Mercans…essentially, a Hand Release Mercan in which the arms are extended fully right/left from the torso while the torso is flat on the ground.  YHC found these to be The Real Deal.  #20wasPlenty

On to the Main Event…As many of the Nation are aware, YHC is on a quest to visit every AO this year (27 on the Website Plus Puppy Pile makes 28 in total).  YHC had visited 23 as of 06:59 a.m. DST today…24 as of now.

Several PAX have asked YHC, “Which one has been the favorite?”  YHC has no clear favorite, mostly because each Workout is a combination of the Q, the PAX, the weather, and the AO (and whether Wilson has had salmon and merlot for dinner the night before).  This has, however, raised the age-old philosophical question…when is an AO actually an AO?  Or, when is a Workout a Workout?

Simple Examples:
45MOM…happens every week, outdoors, rain or shine, free, open to all men, peer led, ends with a COT.  Boom!  It’s an AO.  It’s a Workout.  Bonus…there’s a backblast, mumblechatter, announcements, it’s on the Q-sheet, and the regulars start to learn what’s in store while the PAX moseys from one area to the next.  There also gradually develops an aura…”Remember that time when (fill-in-the-blank) Q’d?  My (fill-in-the-blank) hurt for (fill-in-the-blank number of) days afterwards.”
Dogpile, W-Dog, NoToll, SOT, DaVille, and lots others all fall into this definition.  The PAX know It when they see It.

Sunday Funday…all of the above.  Curveball: While rarely is there an actual name signed-up on the Q sheet, someone has, in their heart, prepared to Q.  So what if there’s the occasional Sheila who posts and busts the all-men thing.  Good for the PAX, good for The Sheilas, and it’s Sunday.  Family Day.  Bring a friend, bring the 2.0s, bring an M, and YHC has even witnessed bringing a Friend’s M.  Unwritten F3 Rule…There’s no place outside for a list of dumb rules, no just don’t have dumb rules at all.  Boom!  It’s an AO.  It’s a Workout.

Off the Books…now, THIS is how to do the Occasional, Fair Weather AO.  The Locals Know about It. The Locals Talk about It.  It’s like the local’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  The Locals Don’t Advertise It, because they don’t want Outsiders to ruin It.  Yet, It happens.  It’s outside, it’s rain or shine, it’s open to all men, it’s free, it’s peer led, and it (usually) has a COT(Note: It is Saturday night, beer consumption dependent).  And, if it were on the Q-sheet, the Locals would Be Expected to keep it going each week.  But, the Locals know Themselves, and They Know that It might not happen, so it’s Off the Books.  Boom!  It’s an AO.  (And, after a few months of being a Run, It has graduated to being on the Website and the Map…from Baby AO to Adolescent AO).

RAMM Gears…this is the ultimate AO…if the PAX can ride on two wheels from the Starting Point to Some Farthest Point and return within 45 minutes, it’s part of the AO.  Downtown?  Check.  U of R?  Check.  Northside?  Check.  Petersburg?  If the PAX can ride It within 45 minutes, it’s part of the AO.  Does this have a Q?  Usually, no.  But, it does have No Tools, Default Q Extraordinaire, with a weekly EH of the PAX that turns into HC’s for the next morning.  Boom!  It’s an AO.  Bonus…it’s on the Q-sheet, it might appear in a backblast (more of a Cameo, usually), and there is mumblechatter (“Doh!” – Anyone hurt?  Nope, that’s just Clavin hitting a bump and re-breaking his already-broken ribs).

This brings YHC to Heaven’s Gate, and YHC’s effort to visit every AO.  27 AO’s are on the Website and the Map.  28 workouts have a name, counting Puppy Pile.  But, how many Workouts happen each week?  Heaven’s Gate is not on the Q-sheet.  Prior to today, there were precisely zero back blasts tagged “Heaven’s Gate,” perhaps because It’s not on the Tag List.  It does appear on the Website, and It does appear on the Map.  Yet, where It matters most, Heaven’s Gate finishes last on YHC’s list of Favorites…no PAX.

(Side Note: YHC showed up at ET’s today.  Not less than 9 PAX came and went…YHC guesses 3 had heard of this AO, but 2 believed It was an Inside Joke.  One noted YHC’s workout attire, including F3 logo apparel, and declared YHC the “Ultimate Starsky” before learning of Heaven’s Gate.)

(Side Note #2: YHC, in his full, Super Type A, competitive state, wishes to thank the PAX for this moniker…YHC is thrilled to be The Ultimate at Something / Anything.  But, YHC must decline as it was, for today, anyway, an Actual AO, and YHC did an Actual Workout.)

(Side Note #3: One big upside of this AO…Heaven’s Gate does sport the “Fields Closed” sign, so The Campos would be proud.)

(Side Note #4: YHC saw Swirly and his M leaving ET’s today.  YHC mentioned “Heaven’s Gate,” and The Look on Swirly’s face said, “Never heard of it.”  If It happens, or It doesn’t happen, in F3RVA, and Swirly does not appear, at first glance, to know about It, YHC posits that It hasn’t actually happened.)

(Side Note #5: YHC has visited 24 AO’s this year plus Charlottesville.  4 to go…Chain Ring, The Creek, Timberwolf and Green Acres.  Several PAX warned YHC this morning about Green Acres…darkness, skunks, and loneliness (no PAX)…Yeah, Green Acres.  YHC is calling you out.  YHC is coming for you.  Many PAX is a Workout / AO.  One PAX?  That’s just Trespassing after Dark.  Fields Closed.  Don’t leave a Brother out there by himself.)

UpChuck spits the bit.






About Author


  1. OK, first off, RESPECT.

    Secondly, this is the absolute longest backblast for a pax of one HANDS DOWN. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

    Thirdly, you missed your chance on the Green Acres. Consider it and Heaven’s Gate closed for business. Sorry ’bout that. Spit saved Tomato Run from the same fate, but nobody stepped up for the other two.

  2. To have you call a post of mine long-winded is a Honor and an Accomplishment. Thank you, my friend.

    I say good riddance to unattended AO’s. And, an AO that doesn’t exist is an AO I don’t have to visit. Problem solved.

    That said, I forgot MANNDate, or MannDate, or mannDATE, or Mandate, whatever it’s called. My M’s Purple 10 lb. Kettle Bell will soon make an appearance. White Deer can send his outrage.

    Still four to go.

  3. Also to answer your M’s question on whether I have authority to axe two AO’s just like that, please tell her that I have the same authority as anyone else, which is slightly more authority than HER. However, when I have to listen to you bitch about it for 20 minutes, then write a short novel on the subject….I give myself SUPREME authority. I mean, you might show up to Green Acres Thursday, then I end up running with you on Friday. For the sake of familiarity, I took out an insurance policy for my ears.

  4. UpChuck, you’ve inspired me to hit the last remaining few. Would I be a fool to show up at RAMM Gears on a mountain bike? I do not own a road bike, and frankly don’t really know how to ride the mountain bike. In my day, all I had was a BMX and you pushed the pedals backward to brake. Uphill, downhill, flats were all the same gear.

    Anyway, I digress, I hit 20 different AOs plus 2 2nd Fs and a 3rd F back in August, but it bothers me having missed a few. The goal was to hit em all in a month, but the SOJ gang screwed up my plan by adding OTB after my plan had been put together then launching Timberwolf that month as well. I substituted Timberwolf for Circus, but never made it back to Circus before the month ended. DaVille also messed up the plan by reviving Tomato Run then adding “Heaven’s Gate”. I convinced myself that RAMM and RAMM Gears was the same and a post at RAMM counted for both. I never acknowledged Chain Ring because I’m not convinced Swirly knows about it. But if you’re going to hit them all, I need to do the same. I called my plan for August the Nomad Challenge.

  5. YES! We need a name for hitting every AO. Doing it all in one month would be a serious challenge…it’s like batting for The Cycle. 28 workouts in 31 days. That’s Saab-style activity, Hutton. Hats off just for trying it.

    I believe someone has shown up at RAMM Gears on a mountain bike. Memory says maybe Flipper? My guess is that you’ll certainly earn some EC for the effort. If you want, you can borrow my wheels sometime. Just let me know when you want to do it (I’m out of town Thursday, so let me know tomorrow if this Friday might work and you can borrow my wheels.). All you have to remember on a road bike is “left brake” and “right brake.” If you try the backwards brake, you will crash (and break).

    Happy birthday, my friend.

  6. I know its not rocket science, but I’d probably want a lesson before taking out your 2 wheeled Ferrari. I’ll give it a go one week, but this Friday seems like a bad idea. Has a determination been made on Chain Gang, ie real workout or not?

  7. Chain Ring is done. Abacus got this started before he moved to Charlotte. 2 of our Davillians (Wheelie and Sugar Baby) kept it going for a while but it slowly dead of after lack of interest a few months in. So its no longer a “real workout”

  8. I appreciate the notion that my wheels are Ferrari-like. You are no doubt referring to the gear box as neither how I ride it or how I look riding it are Ferrari-quality.

    Let me know…happy to do a quick training…simpler than it looks.

  9. I tried to Q all AOs in RVA during the calendar year last year but missed a few with Daville expansion. Might be time to renew the Q-quest.

  10. UpChuck, if you find yourself at Heaven’s Gate as the Q again, The First FNG should be St Peter