“Sweet are the uses of adversity”
A celebration of cuffering
Temp: It was a crisp and windless 23 degrees and the lightly cloudy sky provided a welcome canopy of stars and a bright moon.
Pax: 32. Hart Hat, Spacebar, Buns of Steel, Blue Chip, Falafel, Patton, Wentworth, Grease Fire, Spreadsheet(hate), Frosty, Folsom, Port-a-John, Hashtag, Hipster(respect, respect), Nugent, Tater Tot, FDIC, Biff, Mac N’ Cheese(hate), Lucky Charms, Vandelay, Slow Pitch, Khakis(respect), E85(hate), Two Step, Polaroid, Hoosegow, Sticky Bandit(hate), Sparty, Othello. No FNG’s.
Q: U-Haul (VQ)
YHC arrived at a little before 5 am excited to see a healthy size group of pre-runners, Sugar-Rays and Clydesdales, alike gathering in the early gloom. Everyone was already in eager spirits. The excitement was palpable with eye contact and foot bumps. Shortly after the pre-runners took off, Othello and YHC got moving to “set the scene” with cones and lights which were so generously supplied by the site Q. As the site was cleared of larger sticks and impediments, final decisions were made on placement of cones. The stillness of the gloom brought on a sense of calm that was unforgettable.
Then the PAX poured in and it was time.
The Opener: YHC presented the 3 F’s of F3, the mission statement, the 5 core principles, and the standard disclaimer. YHC reminded the PAX to look out for the six (which this site Q was excellent at) and to have some fun.
The Q was a little too excited to get started and forgot to check for any FNG’s before explaining where the first Mosey was going to end. He called out “My name is U-Haul, so Let’s Move” and took off. Most of the PAX was receptive to silly setup and Sticky Bandit even said “Ha! I get it.”
Mosey: To the west field.
There was already good mumble chatter in the moseying PAX when we arrived at checkpoint one for Warm-a-rama. After the six was in, YHC began with SSH’s. He smiled wide in the dark as this was the first time he heard the whole of the PAX counting to his cadence. It was already turning out to be a responsive morning primed with willing HIM’s.
Warm – a – rama: (Inspired by Othello’s Checkpoints)
Checkpoint one: In the west field .
20 (IC) SSH
12 (IC) Tappy Taps
After the first Checkpoint, we kept it moving with a mosey to the small wall on lower southern landing. Along the wall, there looked to be enough room for all the HIM’s to execute DIPS and Derkins. This was indeed a larger concern of YHC even though the site Q assured him earlier by saying “Don’t worry about that. The PAX will find a way”.
Checkpoint two: Mosey to the bottom landing of the stairs wall.
20 (D) Dips
15 (D) Derkins
“Let’s Move” was called once again and we moseyed to the eastern hill, lining up facing up the top of the hill.
Checkpoint three: To the eastern hill.
20 (IC) Oh Yeah’s (10 on each side)
15 (IC) Imperial Walkers
Then we were already in place for the Pre-Thang.
Pre-Thang: (Inspired Slow-Pitch and Grease Fire’s pre-thang hill and Tugboat’s B-theory)
YHC instructed that on his command of “Let’s Move”, the PAX would individually sprint up the hill, then do 5 Burpees, then Bear Crawl down the hill, and finally do 5 Big Boys (facing up the hill) AMRAP’ing until the six had completed their 5 Big Boys. Once the six did that, they would cry out “Six is in.”
That’s when we would repeat but the next time ADDING 2 more Burpees and 2 more Big Boys to the sets each time.
YHC was again pretty excited and jumped the sprint the second time. He called out “Let’s Move” before the six was ready. Only 2 seconds later up the hill, did he realize he heard Slow-Pitch calling out “not yet, NOT yet, NOT YET!” but by then it was too late. The majority of the PAX was already charging the hill in response to the call. But no one lost their cool as expected, especially in the middle of the last set of Burpees when 2 observing walkers cried out in earnest, “Nice job guys!”.
By now, bodies were warming and we were ready to mosey to The Thang on the South Field.
The Thang: Push Group on the south field.
Once in the center of the field, YHC explained what was to happen next before we counted off. A Push Group with 4 extra stations were to be done AMRAP, one letter per round. He also explained an exercise he added to CORE station. A heavily modified Jim Braddock situp called BIG BOY BUTTERBEAN’s named after the boxer Butterbean. Hereafter shortened to “Butterbean’s”. These are Big Boy situps with a Right Hook and then a Left Hook at the top done (IC).
With that we counted off into groups of 5. Group 5 was the push group.
Push Group: 10 Hurpees (Hand Release Burpees). Then Sprint to Station 1.
A – (D) Werkins,
B – (D) Ranger Merkins,
C – (D) Chuck Norris Merkins,
D – (D) Diamond Merkins,
E – (IC) Tempo Merkins.
Backwards Run to Station 2 (parallel to dodge)
A – (D) Alternating Leg Lunges,
B – (D) Bobby Hurley’s,
C – (IC) Monkey Humpers,
D – (D) Jump Squats,
E – AL Gore until Pushed.
Sprint to Station 3
A – (D) Carolina Dry Docks,
B – (IC) Sun Gods,
C – (IC) Alternating Shoulder taps,
D – (U) Air Presses a.k.a. Roof Raisers,
E – (IC) Mahktar N’ Diayes
Backwards Run to Station 4 (parallel to dodge)
A – (U) Heals to Heaven,
B – (IC) Big Boi Butterbean’s (RHook and LHook at the top),
C – (IC) American Hammers,
D – (IC) Frozen Freddy Mercury’s,
E – (IC) E2K’s (switch legs every 10 reps)
Sprint to Push Station
During the Thang, the individual groups among the PAX were freed to lead each exercise which is admittedly one of YHC’s favorite parts in the first F. Hearing other members of the PAX lead exercises in smaller groups. There was one or two surprise sticks on the ground, but no one got hurt. There was plenty of time to embrace the difficulty of the stations provided amidst the sparse mumble chatter.
Omaha was called @ 6:07am
Cones were grabbed as we moseyed back up the hill to the Shovel Flags.
Get outta here. This is Futurama!
Name-a-rama was done with high spirits.
Othello reminded us about CSAUP event on Saturday, Jan 2nd 2021. More details to come on that, but check slack and twitter for more details. It is difficult, but it is an excellent time to build Fellowship and it is sure to be a good mix of all 3 F’s.
Prayers were offer to our brother Huffy and his family, as they deal with the recent loss of a close family member.
Then with no other prayers or announcements to offer, I dove right into the COT sharing text with the PAX.
This speech I had heard for the first time shortly after I began posting back in the middle of Sept. The text itself is from As You Like It by Shakespeare, Act 2, Sc 1. It is a speech I tell myself that inspires me to put on my clothes and shoes before a beatdown. I hadn’t intentionally memorized it, but I had always pictured sharing it with the PAX from the moment I read it. Having rehearsed it this way, these words came to me without warning the PAX.
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
‘This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.’
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it.
The book Freed To Lead discusses the Mean Mean Stride of the modern-day warrior as one who looks forward to the harder way. As modern-day warriors, we are galvanized by the difficulty and suffering of the tasks we choose to do. My question: what is it that moves you to put your shoes on in the morning? Why take the harder path?
There’s a reason we show up time and time again to the Gloom. A reason Othello has a smile on his face no matter how difficult the activity. This thing, this personal reason, whatever it is, helps us to feel more alive in the moment when it sucks.
Everyone’s reason is different of why they embrace the suck. Why they choose suffering. Everyone’s “precious jewel” in their head is their own reason, intrinsic or intentional, and it sits amongst the “ugly and venomous” voices that tell us otherwise.
I remarked that rather than go into extreme depth on this subject or prescribe my own thoughts here, I asked us to reflect individually on what makes the adversity in your life so sweet a use to you.
And with that, YHC took us out in prayer.
It’s was truly an honor to Q these modern-day warriors today. In retrospect, it is very apparent that we exchanged love, gratitude, and the shared difficulty of our lives quietly with one another. I have never felt so supported and encouraged to lead as I did on this day. Thank you to each of you. You make my life better.