Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

1/16/02: An Honor. A Tribute. A Silent Search For Why


Twenty-four regulars and one FNG posted today to help YHC remember and honor some very important people in his life, and to search for the why. And while we may never find the answer, may we rest easier knowing that “the purpose of our spiritual journey is to not replace the darkness with light, rather it’s to integrate and honor all the parts of ourselves … all of life’s energies.” – unattributed.

We started off with a COT, where YHC shared a very personal story. On January 16, 2002 at 1:12 p.m. a classmate entered my law school and went on a shooting spree. In the end, three lives were taken, and three more were critically injured. I’m not going to recapture the rest of what I shared here. You all are my brothers, and if you weren’t there today, or want to understand more, I will talk with you. The purpose of sharing this story today was to invite reflection and introspection on an anniversary I wish never existed. It was also to ask for help – as Spit encouraged us to do a few weeks ago. YHC needed you all with me this morning, and I cannot be more grateful for each of you that was there, as well as all of you in the F3RVA brotherhood.

At the conclusion of YHC’s words, the PAX joined me in a silent one mile run. Every day we challenge each other to be better men and leaders. But then often times life gets in the way and we aren’t able to find time for true reflection and introspection, which are necessary to foster and grow quality leadership. YHC really needed that opportunity today, and hopes that the PAX found it meaningful and useful as well.

Once we reached the Carillon field, silence was broken. Again, thank you all for sharing that time with me. It was truly awesome. A week or so ago, YHC received blessing from Circle K to use The Hard Way, so we did. I could not think of a more fitting way to get through today than a silent run followed by The Hard Way, which consisted of Merkins / Carolina Dry Docks / Flutter Kicks / Hello Dollies / Squats / Burpees x 6 each and compounding.

Back to the flag where YHC took us out. Again, I don’t want to completely rehash here what was shared, but leadership comes in many forms, and always comes at times when it is needed most. The young man I spoke about will always be a leader to me.

Prayers: Flatline’s wife’s grandmother is not doing well. Lift her up. Pray also for the Sutin, Blackwell and Dales families. They lost their family bedrocks on 1/16/02 at the hands of a coward. As they are no doubt reminded of this day 17 years ago, I hope they find internal peace.

Announcements: New AO at Huguenot HS starting 4/4. The Forge. Dr. Try Hard has the Q. Puppy Pile 1/26 at 7:05 – Ollie has the Q. Welcome FNG Weird Al. He likes to play guitar, and YHC likes the name. How can you not, really?

Life is precious gentlemen, live it to its fullest.


About Author


  1. Gentlemen, I was nervous about today. I had not really shared that story with many people. But you all are my brothers. I truly mean that. And today was awesome. Each year on this anniversary I ask why. And while I’m still searching for the answer, having you all there with me today on that silent search made all the difference in the world. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart brother, and the opportunity to spend some time reflecting on life‘s blessings and hardships. Here’s the word God provided me this morning: It is more about what we have been saved FOR, then what we have been saved from. Make it a great day gentlemen!

  3. Swirly (F3 Corporate) on

    Wow – what a powerful morning. I can’t begin to say I understand how you feel Vinny – but I can say we are here for you – we will support you – we are thankful for you- and we love you.
    An opening run in silence and reflection – was extremely powerful.
    Circle K’s Hardway – is always an ass kicker – getting up off the ground – freaken brutal.. Absolutely fantastic Q Vinny!
    This was a tragic event no doubt. Every moment is a gift fella’s – let’s give this life everything we got!
    (Swirly’s Board) – Today – Be the reason someone feels Loved !
    See y’all in the gloom..

  4. Vinny, thanks for sharing your story with us, that took courage, and we are here for you and with you.
    Normally a silent mile is what happens when posting at a run AO without anyone your speed, but for us to all be together, but quiet with our own thoughts, just powerful. Thank you for that.
    I don’t want to talk about the Beast, the Hard Way.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this backblast all morning. When I saw it was up, I closed and locked my office door and read in silence. Well done and well said, Vinny. Sorry I missed, but I know you will tell me the story soon.

  6. Thanks for sharing with us Vinny, powerful way to start the morning with your COT and a silent mile. I cannot begin to understand what this day means to you but it was an honor to help you start it off the Hard Way.

  7. Great workout to honor those victims. Powerful story and thanks for sharing. Will be thinking about it all day. That kid’s mercy and grace is something we should all reflect upon.

    On a side note, didn’t find it hard to be silent for a mile at all.

  8. Vinny thank you for sharing this with us. Sorry I couldn’t make it out today. This is what F3 is all about. Being there for our fellow brothers when they need it the most. Will keep you in my prayers today!

  9. Great Q Vinny and thank you so much for sharing. More importantly thanks for sharing something that is not easy to talk about and very close to the heart with the group. This is a great example for us all. TClaps to the men this morning for giving our brother space to share, to grieve and to grow. This was powerful stuff and an incredible reminder that we all have burdens we carry alone. If you’re training for anything let it be that you are strong enough to care and brave enough to do so.

  10. 100% agree with Singer. One of the most emotional and powerful and painful beatdowns I have endured in my time. It covered the spectrum. I’m glad I was there with you all. Vinny, thanks for your leadership today. The messages were powerful and heard loud and clear. Well done, brother. It is amazing to have a group like this with so many different experiences and perspectives but with one simple mission – make ourselves and each other better every day! No doubt that was accomplished this morning. AYE!

  11. It’s been a privilege to get to know you Vinny and also to be part of today’s workout and tribute to those who lost their lives.

    On a slightly lighter note it was interesting hearing Lab Rat attempt to keep quiet during the run.

  12. Vinny, we are all better men with your leadership and inspiration. My heart breaks for those who were lost in that tragedy, but I’m also over joyed that you are here among us. The Hard Way was the best way today, my man! Thanks to Sugar doing the quick math in his head half way through to remind me there were still 100+ Merkins to come!

  13. Vinny, for you to open your heart and soul to the PAX this morning was amazing, remarkable, and a complete dedication to F3! You amazed me this morning and again, showed why F3 RVA is such a powerful blessing from God! I express similar sentiments that I cannot, for one moment, begin to understand the pain, guilt, and all other feelings that you have had to deal with for 17 years. Your dedication and friendship over the past year is truly awesome. I am honored to hear “Flatty” and to call you a friend.
    The mile run in silence was a great call for all of us to have our moment and reflect. But, I chuckle knowing that was killing Labrat!!
    No kidding aside….most profound and spiritual Q I have seen. This morning was as real as it gets!!
    Thank you Vinny and all PAX members. Words cannot express my love, dedication, and honor to be part of such a glorious group.
    Loud and Proud!

Leave A Reply