The Oracle 6 AM 9/19/20 Backblast – Find Your Shield Lock

AO – The Oracle at Aldrich

Saturday, September 19, 2020, 57 degrees F

QIC – Birdman

PAX: No Doze, Selleck, Buns of Steel, Tube Socks, Scrapper, Frosty, Touche, DaVinci, Pothole, Super Tasty, Vandelay, Panty Hose, Folsom, A Bomb, Convoy, Magic, Sparty

5:30 AM Pax met in the parking lot by the shovel flags. No FNGs were announced. Principles, mission statement and disclaimer were provided. YHC informed the Pax that the point of the beatdown today would be to stay together given the shield lock theme…and that the beatdown was modified at 11:00 pm the night before to make it easier since YHC had consumed much more whiskey than he had anticipated. 

YHC then read an excerpt from Q1.7 summarizing the Shield Lock as an introduction to the theme of the workout: 

Man’s eyes are up front. We are hunters not hiders. In fact, we are the apex predator of the Earth’s apex predators. But unlike the other hunters, our success is not based upon strength, speed or the size of our fangs. It is our ability to hunt together in a very complex way that puts man at the very top of the food chain. No other animal can do that.

Some animals, like wolves, do hunt in packs because they have evolved to be more successful that way. But their focus is solely on their prey, what they can see before them with their eyes up front. When they claim their prey it is distributed along a vertical pecking order starting with the alpha male of the pack.

Pax then moseyed to the north playground lot where warm a rama ensued. 

20 – Side Straddle Hops IC

15 – Tappy Taps IC

15 – Imperial Walkers IC

20 – Sun gods IC (10 forward, 10 reverse)

15 – High knees IC

A lot of mumble chatter from Selleck during Warm a rama. YHC was not able to clearly hear the mumble chatter.

Pax then moseyed to the field directly behind the school for the Pre-thang. YHC stood in the middle of the Pax as they formed a circle around him. The Q explained to the Pax that they would be “chopping” their feet (running in place) until YHC yelled “down” at which point Pax would perform a burpee. This was to be repeated until the next command which was to have the Pax get on their 6 to perform LBC’s in cadence. YHC led the Pax as follows:

5 – Feet chop and burpees

15 – LBCs

4 – Feet chop and burpees

12 – LBCs

3 – Feet chop and burpees

13 – LBCs (YHC forgot that he meant to stop at 9)

A lot of mumble chatter from Selleck during the Pre-Thang. YHC was not able to clearly hear the mumble chatter.

The Thang

Pax moseyed to the field across the creek to the west for The Thang. A cone was placed in the center of the field where the Pax gathered. Once Pax reached the field YHC read another excerpt from Q1.7:

The man-pack hunts differently. Instead of focusing solely on his prey, a man also works cooperatively with other men in the pack to see what might be behind him. He recognizes that his eyes up front can only see from 9 through 12 to 3 o’clock. He is blind to his Six unless another man watches it for him. After all, what good is the hunt if the hunter himself is taken by something that sneaks up on him from a place that he, by himself, cannot observe? No man can see his own Six.

YHC then explained The Thang. 

Pax divided into 2 groups. There were two stations with cones marking each station. One cone was where we were gathered and another cone was located in a field to the south underneath the Dodge street bridge. Pax were instructed to run as a group from cone to cone. Each cone had a list of exercises in which the Pax would perform in rounds as a group prior to running from one station to the next. During the run from cone to cone, Pax were instructed to choose one of their group members to run in the middle while the other Pax formed a Shield Lock (circle) around the person in the middle. A new Pax rotated to the middle from station to station. 

YHC was happy to see Pax rallying around each other, locking shields, and protecting their fellow HIM in the middle. Exercises at each station were as follows:

Station 1:

20 Merkins, 20 Monkey Humpers IC, 20 Pickle Pushers IC, 20 Mountain Climbers IC, 20 Heel Touches IC

Station 2: 

30 squats, 20 Alternating Shoulder Taps IC, 20 Cherry Pickers IC, 20 Freddie Mercury’s IC, 10 Burpees

Omaha! was called at approx. 6:40. 

Post Thang 

Pax then mosey’d back to the north playground lot for Post Thang. Upon arrival Pax were instructed to find a spot along the building wall where donkey kicks would be performed. At this point, YHC could taste the whiskey from the previous night and I wasn’t sure how many donkey kicks I could perform without Splash Merlot’ing (or Whiskey’ing) all over the concrete. I figured we’d do about 8-10 before I quit. I started by yelling “Up!” and Pax followed each “Up!” with the correct count. (At this point, I felt great! I have no idea how or why but I felt great. Must’ve been super charged Whiskey because I made it all of the way to 35 before realizing that the voices around me had faded and only a handful of us were still moving on my “Up!”)  One to-be-remained-nameless Pax informed me at coffeteriaafter the beatdown that he was pissed at me for going past 15. Sorry Pax! I felt freaking fantastic though…until Mary)


Feeling really good about my 35 donkey’s against the wall, I sat down in the middle of the circle for Mary. That’s when it hit me! I was certain I was going to splash whiskey all over the place and the impressiveness of my 35 donkey’s was sure to quickly fade into the spillage out of my mouth. Thankfully, I called upon several members of the Pax to lead us in some Mary. (I don’t even remember who I called on or what exercises we did. I was trying to shove night old whiskey back down my esophagus.)

Beatdown ended.


YHC shared a final excerpt from Q1.7:

By locking shields with other men, the HIM hedges his brother’s peak against his own valley, and vice-versa. He knows that his valleys will tempt him to the Flux, and that he will need the strength of his brother’s peak to maintain Acceleration. Likewise, he knows that it will be his peak that provides his brother the bulwark he will need when a valley draws him toward the Flux. This, not companionship, is the ultimate Purpose of the Shield Lock and its primary distinction from a Club.

Periodic is the final element of the 3P. The Shield Lock must come together periodically to be Effective. For the HIM, this is a form of preventive maintenance. The Amateur waits until the needle is on empty before he stops for gas, but the Pro fills his tank periodically–regardless of where his needle is pointing at any given moment. By meeting periodically, the Members of the Shield Lock recognize each other’s incipient valleys and proactively initiate the fight against the Flux as a Team. In this way, the Shield Lock parcels out the pain felt by the man in the valley and bears it together as a team.

Pain is finite. The more it is parceled, the easier it is to bear.

I love F3’s concept of the Shield Lock. As men it is imperative we find, strength, and maintain our Shield Locks. F3 has provided support and guidance to me. The Pax have made me a better man, husband and father. I have even found new members of my Shield Lock within the Pax, men who I did not know prior to joining F3. I urge Pax to find men who will help them stay atop the peak in those moments where we find ourselves on top of life and to find men who will lift them up, build them up and never let them give up in those moments in which we find ourselves in the life’s valleys. I’m grateful for my Shield Lock! I, quite literally, would not still be here without them. 




Magic lost his car key during the beatdown. In a sort of symbolic Shield Lock moment, without hesitation the Pax divided into groups to look for said key. Didn’t take long before Touche’ found the key, saving Magic from having to complete a “call of shame” to his “M” to bring him an extra key. Great job Pax! And thanks for saving the day, Touche’!

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