89 growth-oriented men loomed large in the light of day to accelerate themselves as leaders. Temps were the same as always…sunny and 70. More or less, here’s how the dogs barking in the Carytown shopping center parking lots tell the tale:
COP: Bono led a quick circle up before leading a jack-rabbit speed mosey to the closer circle for some warm up time. Exercises were burpees, burpees, and more burpees. 10, 8, 6, 4, and 10, if memory serves.
Brisk jog around the Great Lawn and then to the Amphitheater. During the run, learn about another F3er and share a story of your own. The topic was falling down and getting back up – metaphorically. YHC thanks Puffs (of Roanoke) for some good chatter along the way.
Amphitheater: Again, a variety of exercises…spotlight on the bear crawls down the amphitheater and the crawl bear back up the amphitheater. YHC has never worn shin guards to Dogpile or WDog, but will consider doing so going forward.
Circle up on DREDD for a mixture of merkins (regular, wide, diamond), flutter kicks, mountain climbers, and Q-ing instructions. YHC tips his hat to Hitchhiker for leading the group in a set of 10 clapping merkins, which shall hereafter be called Hitchhikers.
For many of my brothers, YHC included, there were a challenging few moments here. More to follow below.
Mosey to the Great Lawn for a series of team events.
First event: Team Hopscotch Races. Line up in 3 teams. Each team forms one line, facing east. Team members separate themselves side-to-side by no more than 5 feet. Assume the plank position. First man on the North End of the line bunny hops over every other man on his team. Upon reaching the end of the line, that man assumes the plank position. Every other man in the line takes his turn, building the line closer and closer to the Carillon. First team to reach the south hill of the Great Lawn wins.
Second Event: Any Three Ways You Can. Same teams, this time heading North. Every man on the team must use 3 methods to migrate the long length of the Great Lawn. Running of any manner is not permitted. All other methods are acceptable. One many on each team must be carried the entire way. A team finishes when the last member of its team reaches the north embankment. Biggest losers do 20 burpees. 2nd Biggest losers do 10 burpees. Winners plank.
Third Event: High knees and down to the ground. Slaughter led us in a 2 minute reminder that high knees are challenging to keep up, and dropping to the ground is easier than getting back up. YHC was thankful that temps were in the 30s, not the 80s.
COT: Number-am-a, Name-a-ram-a, a dude in a really bright shirt took us out.
Announcements: GrowRuck tonight, 18:00 at Dogpile. Bring a 30 lb rucksack, yourself, food, and $20 in a plastic bag (to take a cab home).
NMS: First, YHC apologizes to every man who attended, but is not listed. YHC is doing the back blast to create a forum for the guys who were present and may have thoughts / comments to share. Please add anyone who attended in the comments.
Second, YHC apologizes for the sermonizing hereafter. Our resident pastors were not all present, and for YHC the following is cathartic. Here goes:
It has been YHC’s absolute pleasure to be a part of this group for 2 and 3/4 years. This group has reinvigorated YHC’s life, and it has helped focus more purpose into each day. YHC started the run over from ETs with Saab. We talked about our expectations for the morning and the possibility that the physical side would be challenging. Alas, for YHC – and perhaps for many of us – today ended about leadership, both successes and failures. On a personal level, YHC heard things from the Q that simply were not consistent with who we are and how we want to be represented as F3Nation. Rather than rehash the situation, YHC will stick with Flatline’s motto: only those who post know. YHC’s interpretation was that a poor choice of approach from the Q to another man started a downward spiral that the Q did not know how to back out of. Instead, the Q hit rock bottom and continued digging. Later, there was another comment that YHC found frankly baffling regarding the language skills of a PAX member. YHC intends to address both situations with the Q today. YHC encourages other men to do so as well, if they feel so called.
That said, YHC’s friend Hardywood has provided a critical leadership lesson, an awakening really, over the past few years – YHC will summarize this in the form of a question: “How can we, as men and as leaders, transform a negative situation into a positive opportunity for learning and growth?” Today gave each one of us a real life experience from which to grow ourselves and others.
One of the 5 principles of F3 is that it is open to all men. That is the spirit of F3RVA. We welcome, and we encourage. And, sometimes, we roll our eyes and wonder. YHC encourages each member to remember who we are in everything we do and always be true to our principles.
A second part of F3 is that we “Leave no man behind, and leave no man where we find him.” That lays on each one of us the burden and the opportunity to provide leadership to each other – whether to a new member or to F3Nation’s Nantan. No man among us is perfect. The Nantan bears a special spotlight, illuminated more brightly than those on any of the rest of us. We may not be sure of what to do when a leader publicly tumbles. YHC hopes each of us is reminded today of who we are and of the behaviors, words, and leadership we seek to represent. YHC encourages each of us to pick up our brothers when they stumble or fall behind. And, YHC also notes…heavy is the head that wears the crown. When a leader of 18,000 men stumbles, he faces a challenge. Let’s help him up.
Lastly, YHC wants to thank Hitchhiker for his leadership. When put in an extremely challenging position in front of 88 other men, Hitchhiker stood tall when the rest of us were taken aback. Life threw a curveball your way. Rather than stumble, Hitchhiker dug deep and led us. As someone noted after the workout, clapping merkins or clerkins or whatever they are called will hereafter be Hitchhikers for anyone in F3RVA. Great leadership, my friend. Thank you.
Let’s grow from today.