Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

Flip the Switch-The Hard Way


22 F3RVA faithful and 2 FNGs arrived at Dogpile ready to go this morning. Some new what was coming, others were surprised, but all put in the effort. YHC announced that is was YHCs father’s birthday and we would complete The Hard Way.

The Hard Way is a combination of Old Glory, Beast and The Lucky Horseshoe. More importantly, The Hard Way is YHCs way of saying thank you to the PAX for all the support during YHCs father’s illness and ultimately his passing.

1 mile run-stopping a various points to keep the PAX together.

Arrive at the Carillon field

Run across field stopping at the 25, 50, 75 yard line and perform six of each called exercise, run to other end and return stopping at the same points to perform the exercises again.

Round 1 – merkins

Round 2 – merkins and squats

Round 3 – merkins, squats and carolina drydocks

Round 4 – merkins, squats, carolina drydocks, and lunges

Round 5 – merkins, squats, carolina drydocks, lunges and WWII

Round 6 – merkins, squats, carolina dry docks, lunges, WWII, and burpees

1 mile run back to flag, again stopping at various points.

2 minutes of Mary.

Numberama, Namearama, YHC and 7-11 took us out.


Gumbo and Vinny Stache for Cash to raise money for Raise.

Faceplant hosting a run the Friday to honor a classmate.

NMS : YHC was watching the Nats Wild Card game earlier this week and during the pregame show the moderator asked the other analysts the following question:

How do you flip the switch for a win or go home game?

The analysts (Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield, and Jimmy Rollins) were all former MLB players that played in plenty of big games. Each analyst answered the question with the following answer:

The switch is flipped to the ON position during workouts in the offseason. The switch is flipped to the ON position in how you practice during Spring Training. The switch is flipped ON during the season in how you prepare for each game and how you support your team mates. In other words, the switch is always ON.

This is really what The Hard Way is all about. We need to make sure our switch is flipped ON every day all day with 100% Effort, 100% Commitment, 100% Focus and 100% Determination in every aspect of our lives. Family, Marriage, Faith, Kids, Profession, etc. If we have a bad day or need assistance flipping the switch ON, each of us has an F3 brother that is standing at the ready.

Why is it important for our switch to be ON – Somebody is going to notice how we lead our lives and make the decision to flip THEIR switch ON. That is true Leadership.

Living life The Hard Way is something YHCs father emphasized to YHC his entire life and it is something YHC has tried to instill in YHCs 2.0s. This what inspired the eulogy YHC delivered and YHCs father’s funeral, which I have included below.

Happy Birthday Pop.

Circle K

The Hard Way

Pop, Dad, Coach, Friend, Cadet, Marine.  These are just some of the names Dad answered too.  The operative word here is “Answer”.  Every time and for any reason, Dad would always answer a question or address a need.  Sometimes, you might not have liked the answer you received, just ask some of the umpires during his time coaching or I can certainly attest to not liking some of his answers to my questions. 

Everybody knows that Dad had his “own” way of doing things.  His “own” way was very particular and structured.  Some people may have the idea that Dad was stubborn or bull-headed.  Just like the rest of us, Dad may have been a little stubborn, but when it came to accomplishing a task, Dad knew only “The Hard Way”.

                Let me tell you a little about “The Hard Way”.  If Dad identified a task, or if a task was assigned to him, Dad would always approach a task the same structured way:

  • Every task was treated with the utmost seriousness.  No matter how small or large the task.  Each task was tackled with complete Commitment.
  • The accomplishment of every task started with precision planning.  This included what materials were needed and who was responsible for completing the necessary steps.  The plan was always adaptable depending on the situations that would develop during the course of the plan.
  • Carrying out the aforementioned plan was always performed with maximum effort.  Half-hearted effort was not tolerated.
  • Upon successful completion of the task, Dad displayed a humble pride.  Dad never boasted of his accomplishments.
  • On occasion, Dad would not complete a task successfully.  While that was not part of the plan, Dad would always learn from his mistakes and try to ensure that others would learn from his mistakes as well.

While I could further describe “The Hard Way”, I think everybody gets the picture that “The Hard Way” could also be described as “The Right Way”.

                Now that I have described “The Hard Way” a little, where did Dad learn “The Hard Way”?  Dad learned “The Hard Way” partly from the era he was born into and “The Hard Way” was definitely instilled in him at an early age through his family.  But Dad was absolutely exposed to the principles of “The Hard Way” in a formal fashion at The OLD John Marshall High School.  It was here as a member of the Cadet Corps, Company ‘F’, that he was enveloped in a setting that espoused, expected and demanded attributes such as : Duty, Honor, Country.  The young men of The Cadet Corp are expected to learn and incorporate attributes such as these in their teenage years.  A perfect illustration of what Dad learned as a member of the Cadet Corp is contained in the words of The Cadet Prayer.  A portion of The Cadet Prayer contains the following phrase:

                “…Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life.  Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won…”

                After high school, Dad enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.  It was here “The Hard Way” was literally drilled into every fiber of his being.  While in the Marine Corps, the following values were ingrained into Dad’s “The Hard Way”:

  • Honor This is the bedrock of our character. It is the quality that empowers Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior: to never lie, cheat, or steal; to abide by an uncompromising code of integrity; to respect human dignity; and to have respect and concern for each other. It represents the maturity, dedication, trust, and dependability that commit Marines to act responsibly, be accountable for their actions, fulfill their obligations, and hold others accountable for their actions.
  • Courage The heart of our Core Values, courage is the mental, moral, and physical strength ingrained in Marines that sees them through the challenges of combat and the mastery of fear, and to do what is right, to adhere to a higher standard of personal conduct, to lead by example, and to make tough decisions under stress and pressure. It is the inner strength that enables a Marine to take that extra step.
  • Commitment This is the spirit of determination and dedication within members of a force of arms that leads to professionalism and mastery of the art of war. It promotes the highest order of discipline for unit and self and is the ingredient that instills dedication to Corps and country 24 hours a day, pride, concern for others, and an unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor. Commitment is the value that establishes the Marine as the warrior

and citizen others strive to emulate.

The integral part of the Marine Corps Values is that each and every Marine is expected to possess these values.  Not for the benefit of the individual Marine, but for the betterment of the Corps as a whole.

                After Dad’s active duty service to our country, Dad continued serving through the Marine Corps Reserve.  In addition to that, Dad did what was expected of a Marine, he gave “The Hard Way” away to those he associated with on a daily basis.  How did Dad give “The Hard Way” away?  By raising Michele and I in a caring, loving and demanding fashion.  By mentoring countless numbers of youngsters through coaching baseball and football in a manner that pushed us to our limits, all while teaching us valuable life lessons along the way.  By exhibiting dedication to his family and showing others the definition of support, as his wife battled cancer.  By demonstrating loyalty and adaptability by working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond for 37 years.  I could continue for hours about how Dad exposed others to “The Hard Way”.

                It has been said that I am as strong-willed as Dad.  It took me many years into adulthood to realize that “The Hard Way” really is “The Right Way”.  In closing, I would like to share an anecdotal story.  Occasionally, I may make a smart alleck comment to Kay or I may act with a mannerism that resembles Dad.  Kay usually responds with “that sounds exactly like something your father would say” or “you are acting exactly like your father”.  May standard response is always the same and consists of two simple words : THANK YOU.


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  1. Respect, my friend. I love this workout. It’s a good opportunity for each of us to remember the lessons your father taught you and, frankly, remember own fathers.

    Thanks also for scheduling it on a cool day.

  2. Circle K, thank you for your story about your “Pop”. I often think of the ideals my father instilled in me. And yes, every once in awhile have that feeling he is riding shotgun as I drive down the street.
    3 years to get an FNG….geez! Dial-Up glad you made it brother! Now, keep posting. Brockovich, welcome too. This has been a crazy summer and my Dogpile work outs have been less than consistent. My life is in a state of calm when I am at Dogpile and ET’s to follow. Totally makes my week.
    Thank you for letting me share!
    Loud and Proud,

  3. If The Hard Way was the only thing I completed today I could go to sleep with a sense of accomplishment.

    Thanks for leading today.

  4. It’s always nice working out next to Upchuck. He knows me well enough to know I battle the mental game so he makes sure he acknowledges it.

  5. Glad to help, Handshake. The Beast portion of this workout is all about managing fractions: 25/100, 50/100, 75/100, etc.

    The Lucky Horsehoe portion is all about 1/21, 3/21, 6/21, 10/21, 15/21, and 21/21.

  6. Glad I posted ⭕️K – thanks for leading. I think I’ve been at every “The Hard Way” so far and I plan to be at the next one. Cheers to your Pop.

  7. Circle K I can tell you that the last thing I wanted to do was run back down that hill after a grueling Beast(the hard way). As I made my way down the hill I was thinking of something my dad said to me was the easy answer is yes, no usually means you need to do more, do it better, do it right then yes will be the answer. I did not know your dad, but was glad to be part of this special workout. A cool morning made it great and started my weekend off right! Cheers and See you in the gloom! CB