F3OMAHA – CSAUP (SHAWSHANK) 01/02/21

As I lay here in my bed, pumped full of beer and Advil, an icepack on my ankle, still feeling that Q-phoric feeling from this morning, I cant help but wonder how it all happened. Eight and a half miles, three plus hours, 12 degrees, a 6:01 AM start time?  How did this all end up the way it did?

Let’s start from the beginning… It was fall of 2020 and Tater Tot and The Big One were looking for someone to lead the 2021 CSAUP. Their first thought; let’s get the most talented PAX member. Sadly that person said no. Then they said, let’s get the best looking PAX member… And he said no. Finally, they called Brazilian… They asked him if he would lead. He told them simply, “I have told you no twice already, I can’t say No 3 times.. I am in. And that’s how Brazilian ended up in the role. As for me, The Big One lost a bet and had to pick me. It makes sense right?

So it was me and Brazilian. Him a Redwood, Me, having never even participated in a CSAUP. Him a handsome lawyer, me a mid-level manager at a franchise company. What a team is would be. Clearly, he would be doing most of the heavy lifting. Now it was time to start planning.

We started with a Zoom call. It was Tater Tot, Big One, Brazilian and I. It was very high level. We talked about a date, possible locations and some general information. It was exciting and a little overwhelming. There was a lot to figure out and about 60 days to do it. We needed a theme, a t-shirt design, a route, a team of willing and able men, and some coffee.  Seemed simple right?

We started with the theme. We talked about 2020 and how tough it was. We threw out words like rebirth, comeback and redemption. And then someone threw out the idea of Shawshank. Shawshank redemption. Breaking out. Swimming through a river of shit. Coming out clean on the other side. It was starting to make sense. Shawshank was perfect. We had our theme.

From there, the details started coming together. We recruited teams of people to lead beatdowns. We finalized the route. The T-shirt looked great. With each Zoom call, we got closer and closer until all of a sudden it was January 1st. New Year’s Day. The calm before the storm. We were 24 hours away from the CSAUP and I was a wreck. I was nervous, anxious, worried, excited, terrified and completely pumped up. I couldn’t wait to see how it all came together but I couldn’t help but think, “What the hell were Tater and Big One thinking putting me in charge of this thing ?” I was really starting to question their decision making…

Regardless if we were ready, it was here. I hardly slept. Woke up every 30 minutes. It was like the night before a Q or an early flight. You know the one I am talking about. Can you imagine oversleeping the CSAUP?? What a nightmare that would be.

I got out of bed at 4 AM and started layering up. Tights, long johns, sweats. T-shirt, thermal shirt, half-zip, jacket. Three pairs of socks. Two sets of gloves. Two hats. I think I was ready. I got in the car and headed towards Aksarben. I arrived right at 5 AM and as I pulled into the parking garage, I almost ran into a group of pre-runners. What a bunch of lunatics… Pre-running for the CSAUP?? Now that is completely stupid…

I got out of the car and chatted up some of the guys already there. Khakis, Panty Hose, Griswold. My partner is crime, Brazilian, then pulled into the lot in his minivan. I hopped into the front seat and we discussed the plan one last time. I think we were ready. Tater and Slow Pitch were out on the course putting out cones and lights. Cars were starting to pull into the garage. This was happening. I was antsy and needed something to do. I decided on the most mindless task possible. I walked down to the entrance of the parking garage to direct people to go up to the fourth floor to park. Car and after car pulled in. Many rolled down their windows to chat and offer encouragement. Others simply saluted or waved. It was about 5:50. We were starting at 6:01. Suddenly it hit me. My feet were cold. Really cold. Oh no! We had not even started yet and I was cold. How could that be? I had 3 pairs of socks on for Pete’s sake. I was nervous…

Finally I headed over to Stinson Park and found a lot of HIMs. More than I expected. My heart started beating against my chest. The nervousness turned to excitement. There was lots of mumblechatter. Lots of energy. There was nothing left to do.

At 6:01, Brazilian brought the group to order. He welcomed everyone to Shawshank and gave the usual F3 welcome. The mission, the five core principles, he nailed it. Like a pro. Then he handed it to me. I welcomed everyone and explained a little about the theme. I talked about the brainstorm and how we landed on Shawshank. In the movie, Andy Dufresne crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. 2020 could be described as a river of shit. Today represents our redemption. So take your challenges and your struggles from this year and leave them out on this course today. Because we will not be taking them with us.

I then asked Tuna Fish to pray over us as we started out journey, our redemption. Once we finished, Brazilian acknowledged Redwoods Roll Bar, Lemon Law and No Doze then asked if there were any other Redwoods among us. Wait Time, Selleck and Tonight Show stepped into the circle. They would be leading beatdown #1. They called us into the snow at Stinson into a giant circle. It was incredible to see all these men starting their day and their year with this CSAUP. After some side straddle hops, string rippers, imperial walkers and “real” Abe Vigodas, Wait Time called for the Steinl. Of course he did. He worked us through it, asking for volunteers to help throughout. After the Steinl, the group of Redwoods  split us up into three groups and directed us to mosey back to the parking garage.

The significance of the this first location was enormous. This is where F3 Omaha all began. The original 5-6 guys who started working out, learning the exercises, understanding our mission. How cool is that? The 3 groups work their way up the ramps, lunging and doing burpees along the way.  When we got to the top, Selleck, Tonight Show and Wait Time shared their own COTs. Short yet powerful. What a way to start today.

The next part of the CSAUP was Shirley and there was only one man who could lead us there. They call him Slow Pitch. He has a complicated relationship with Shirley. He hates her and yet meets her every week. Slow Pitch represents everything that is great about F3 and he was the only choice to lead us up this monster. He moseyed out of the garage towards Shirley. Her size and steepness could be seen from a long ways away. This would separate the PAX a bit.

When we got to the top we were greeted with 21 Burpees. Perfect. And from there is was on to the Woodshed. The PAX moseyed up 60th street and down into Elmwood Park. This where beatdown #2 awaited us. And who would lead this one? The South Side Boys; Huffy, Toadstool and Gobbler. They greeted the group and kept us in our 3 groups. It was 3 stations. One was at the UNO stairs. Merkins at the bottom. Burpees at the top. Then a core station. 40 reps to represent Andy Dufresne’s 40 year sentence. And finally creepy corner where we got pummeled with Monkey Humpers. Omaha was called and we all gathered. The 3 leaders each spoke about their 2020 lessons and how much the group means to them. Now it was on to the next stop. Smashmouth would lead us.

And that stop was Futurerama. We moseyed to Dodge street and crossed the overpass. It was incredible to see the huge group of PAX cross that bridge. We looped around the park and up Underwood until we arrived at the circle drive at Memorial Park. But who would be leading this beatdown?

Who else but a group of Veterans. Knobbs, BetaMax and LPC. They first acknowledged the other Vets in the group and then explained the meaning behind the workout. It was inspired by the Korean War. There would be four pain stations each one representing a hero from the USA history. We worked  through each station, a series of exercises at each until Omaha was called. Incredible job by our Vets!  The group gave us some words to remember and then asked who would be leading us to the next station.

And that’s when it happened. Like something out of a movie. The PAX was gathered at the bottom of the steps and upon hearing the request of who was leading, we all heard a voice. We looked up to the top of the stairs and there was Tater Tot, the NanTan himself. “That would be me boys”, he declared as he strutted down the stairs. What a moment!

He led us down the hill at Memorial, across Dodge and up through Campus. At this point the sun was rising, the moon was still large in the sky, there was shockingly no wind and there were traces of fog in the sky. The route was hilly and long. We were teetering on putting the “Completely” part of completely stupid. As we reached our fourth site, we took and turn and headed into the trees. There was fog in this landing and between the trees and the magical aura, it felt important. It felt special. 

This run had separated the PAX more than it had previously. While we waited for the six, we did a series of Hand Release Merkins followed by Chuck Norris Merkins. The six arrived at the leaders took charge. We were at the site of Shakespeare on the Green so it could only be led by one man. The one and only, Othello. He and Lucky Charms and Polaroid would lead this beatdown. And a beatdown it was. Three pain stations. One focused the chest and arms, one on core and one on legs. We bear crawled from one to the other until Omaha was called. The three men shared some wise words and gratitude for the group. We then called on Jean-Claude to lead us to the final stop. He recruited a few of the south siders to help and we moseyed.

This mosey was long and difficult. It started in the snow and then got us to Pacific. We then crossed into campus and ran along the Papio Creek. Finally we reached Stinson Park. We were over on time so the decision was made to modify. This last workout was led by the Respect group; Vandelay, Khakis, and TC. They had us circle up in the snow and asked the others Respects to join them in the middle. Patton, Hawg, Cyclone, Chiclets joined them in the center. Vandelay led us in some Colt 45s and then each Respect led us in a Mary core exercise. They called Omaha and everyone relaxed.

Polaroid set us up for a group picture from the stage and we were done… Or were we. TC called out. “Guys this was stupid, but I am not sure it was completely stupid. Let’s head to the parking garage. With a collective sigh, the group moseyed to the garage. We headed up to the top floor and were greeted with a wonderful surprise. It was our dear friend Waffle House.  He was going to lead us in one more exercise. Some of us did Rocky Balboas while others did Side Straddle Hops. And finally we were done.

The Respects all offered some inspiring words and TC led us in an activity about how we all need each other to get the life we want. It was a perfect way to finish. The PAX helping the PAX.

There were only a few more things to do. Name a rama first. We then counted off. We had 84 still with us. And a few had to leave early. Wow, what a turnout. Then we had to name our FNG… Incredible that this man chose to join F3 with this CSAUP. We named him Red, after the great Shawshank character. We then asked Sparty to talk a little bit about the F3 Omaha Foundation. This CSAUP kicked off the fundraising for this incredible new part of F3. Brazilian shared his COT and I shared mine. The gist of  both was this- Thankful for the group and in awe of its character. I added that the only group of men that would start their year like this is a group that has the ability to change the world. And then I challenged us to do just that.

And with that, Shawshank was over… It was over 8 miles, over 3 hours and completely stupid and utterly pointless. What an amazing start to 2021! 

Huge shoutouts to so many people who helped make this happen. Tater Tot for is leadership. Big One for his help. All the groups who led beatdowns. Lemon Law, BetaMax and Honey Stinger for driving from beatdown to beatdown with water and snacks. Brazilian for being the great leader that he was on this event. And everyone who was there or supported us in any way along the way.

This is what F3 is all about.

-Roadhouse

CSAUP- SHAWSHANK- January 2nd, 2021

As I lay here in my bed, pumped full of beer and Advil, an icepack on my ankle, still feeling that Q-phoric feeling from this morning, I cant help but wonder how it all happened. Eight and a half miles, three plus hours, 12 degrees, a 6:01 AM start time?  How did this all end up the way it did?

Let’s start from the beginning… It was fall of 2020 and Tater Tot and The Big One were looking for someone to lead the 2021 CSAUP. Their first thought; let’s get the most talented PAX member. Sadly that person said no. Then they said, let’s get the best looking PAX member… And he said no. Finally, they called Brazilian… They asked him if he would lead. He told them simply, “I have told you no twice already, I can’t say No 3 times.. I am in. And that’s how Brazilian ended up in the role. As for me, The Big One lost a bet and had to pick me. It makes sense right?

So it was me and Brazilian. Him a Redwood, Me, having never even participated in a CSAUP. Him a handsome lawyer, me a mid-level manager at a franchise company. What a team is would be. Clearly, he would be doing most of the heavy lifting. Now it was time to start planning.

We started with a Zoom call. It was Tater Tot, Big One, Brazilian and I. It was very high level. We talked about a date, possible locations and some general information. It was exciting and a little overwhelming. There was a lot to figure out and about 60 days to do it. We needed a theme, a t-shirt design, a route, a team of willing and able men, and some coffee.  Seemed simple right?

We started with the theme. We talked about 2020 and how tough it was. We threw out words like rebirth, comeback and redemption. And then someone threw out the idea of Shawshank. Shawshank redemption. Breaking out. Swimming through a river of shit. Coming out clean on the other side. It was starting to make sense. Shawshank was perfect. We had our theme.

From there, the details started coming together. We recruited teams of people to lead beatdowns. We finalized the route. The T-shirt looked great. With each Zoom call, we got closer and closer until all of a sudden it was January 1st. New Year’s Day. The calm before the storm. We were 24 hours away from the CSAUP and I was a wreck. I was nervous, anxious, worried, excited, terrified and completely pumped up. I couldn’t wait to see how it all came together but I couldn’t help but think, “What the hell were Tater and Big One thinking putting me in charge of this thing ?” I was really starting to question their decision making…

Regardless if we were ready, it was here. I hardly slept. Woke up every 30 minutes. It was like the night before a Q or an early flight. You know the one I am talking about. Can you imagine oversleeping the CSAUP?? What a nightmare that would be.

I got out of bed at 4 AM and started layering up. Tights, long johns, sweats. T-shirt, thermal shirt, half-zip, jacket. Three pairs of socks. Two sets of gloves. Two hats. I think I was ready. I got in the car and headed towards Aksarben. I arrived right at 5 AM and as I pulled into the parking garage, I almost ran into a group of pre-runners. What a bunch of lunatics… Pre-running for the CSAUP?? Now that is completely stupid…

I got out of the car and chatted up some of the guys already there. Khakis, Panty Hose, Griswold. My partner is crime, Brazilian, then pulled into the lot in his minivan. I hopped into the front seat and we discussed the plan one last time. I think we were ready. Tater and Slow Pitch were out on the course putting out cones and lights. Cars were starting to pull into the garage. This was happening. I was antsy and needed something to do. I decided on the most mindless task possible. I walked down to the entrance of the parking garage to direct people to go up to the fourth floor to park. Car and after car pulled in. Many rolled down their windows to chat and offer encouragement. Others simply saluted or waved. It was about 5:50. We were starting at 6:01. Suddenly it hit me. My feet were cold. Really cold. Oh no! We had not even started yet and I was cold. How could that be? I had 3 pairs of socks on for Pete’s sake. I was nervous…

Finally I headed over to Stinson Park and found a lot of HIMs. More than I expected. My heart started beating against my chest. The nervousness turned to excitement. There was lots of mumblechatter. Lots of energy. There was nothing left to do.

At 6:01, Brazilian brought the group to order. He welcomed everyone to Shawshank and gave the usual F3 welcome. The mission, the five core principles, he nailed it. Like a pro. Then he handed it to me. I welcomed everyone and explained a little about the theme. I talked about the brainstorm and how we landed on Shawshank. In the movie, Andy Dufresne crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. 2020 could be described as a river of shit. Today represents our redemption. So take your challenges and your struggles from this year and leave them out on this course today. Because we will not be taking them with us.

I then asked Tuna Fish to pray over us as we started out journey, our redemption. Once we finished, Brazilian acknowledged Redwoods Roll Bar, Lemon Law and No Doze then asked if there were any other Redwoods among us. Wait Time, Selleck and Tonight Show stepped into the circle. They would be leading beatdown #1. They called us into the snow at Stinson into a giant circle. It was incredible to see all these men starting their day and their year with this CSAUP. After some side straddle hops, string rippers, imperial walkers and “real” Abe Vigodas, Wait Time called for the Steinl. Of course he did. He worked us through it, asking for volunteers to help throughout. After the Steinl, the group of Redwoods  split us up into three groups and directed us to mosey back to the parking garage.

The significance of the this first location was enormous. This is where F3 Omaha all began. The original 5-6 guys who started working out, learning the exercises, understanding our mission. How cool is that? The 3 groups work their way up the ramps, lunging and doing burpees along the way.  When we got to the top, Selleck, Tonight Show and Wait Time shared their own COTs. Short yet powerful. What a way to start today.

The next part of the CSAUP was Shirley and there was only one man who could lead us there. They call him Slow Pitch. He has a complicated relationship with Shirley. He hates her and yet meets her every week. Slow Pitch represents everything that is great about F3 and he was the only choice to lead us up this monster. He moseyed out of the garage towards Shirley. Her size and steepness could be seen from a long ways away. This would separate the PAX a bit.

When we got to the top we were greeted with 21 Burpees. Perfect. And from there is was on to the Woodshed. The PAX moseyed up 60th street and down into Elmwood Park. This where beatdown #2 awaited us. And who would lead this one? The South Side Boys; Huffy, Toadstool and Gobbler. They greeted the group and kept us in our 3 groups. It was 3 stations. One was at the UNO stairs. Merkins at the bottom. Burpees at the top. Then a core station. 40 reps to represent Andy Dufresne’s 40 year sentence. And finally creepy corner where we got pummeled with Monkey Humpers. Omaha was called and we all gathered. The 3 leaders each spoke about their 2020 lessons and how much the group means to them. Now it was on to the next stop. Smashmouth would lead us.

And that stop was Futurerama. We moseyed to Dodge street and crossed the overpass. It was incredible to see the huge group of PAX cross that bridge. We looped around the park and up Underwood until we arrived at the circle drive at Memorial Park. But who would be leading this beatdown?

Who else but a group of Veterans. Knobbs, BetaMax and LPC. They first acknowledged the other Vets in the group and then explained the meaning behind the workout. It was inspired by the Korean War. There would be four pain stations each one representing a hero from the USA history. We worked  through each station, a series of exercises at each until Omaha was called. Incredible job by our Vets!  The group gave us some words to remember and then asked who would be leading us to the next station.

And that’s when it happened. Like something out of a movie. The PAX was gathered at the bottom of the steps and upon hearing the request of who was leading, we all heard a voice. We looked up to the top of the stairs and there was Tater Tot, the NanTan himself. “That would be me boys”, he declared as he strutted down the stairs. What a moment!

He led us down the hill at Memorial, across Dodge and up through Campus. At this point the sun was rising, the moon was still large in the sky, there was shockingly no wind and there were traces of fog in the sky. The route was hilly and long. We were teetering on putting the “Completely” part of completely stupid. As we reached our fourth site, we took and turn and headed into the trees. There was fog in this landing and between the trees and the magical aura, it felt important. It felt special. 

This run had separated the PAX more than it had previously. While we waited for the six, we did a series of Hand Release Merkins followed by Chuck Norris Merkins. The six arrived at the leaders took charge. We were at the site of Shakespeare on the Green so it could only be led by one man. The one and only, Othello. He and Lucky Charms and Polaroid would lead this beatdown. And a beatdown it was. Three pain stations. One focused the chest and arms, one on core and one on legs. We bear crawled from one to the other until Omaha was called. The three men shared some wise words and gratitude for the group. We then called on Jean-Claude to lead us to the final stop. He recruited a few of the south siders to help and we moseyed.

This mosey was long and difficult. It started in the snow and then got us to Pacific. We then crossed into campus and ran along the Papio Creek. Finally we reached Stinson Park. We were over on time so the decision was made to modify. This last workout was led by the Respect group; Vandelay, Khakis, and TC. They had us circle up in the snow and asked the others Respects to join them in the middle. Patton, Hawg, Cyclone, Chiclets joined them in the center. Vandelay led us in some Colt 45s and then each Respect led us in a Mary core exercise. They called Omaha and everyone relaxed.

Polaroid set us up for a group picture from the stage and we were done… Or were we. TC called out. “Guys this was stupid, but I am not sure it was completely stupid. Let’s head to the parking garage. With a collective sigh, the group moseyed to the garage. We headed up to the top floor and were greeted with a wonderful surprise. It was our dear friend Waffle House.  He was going to lead us in one more exercise. Some of us did Rocky Balboas while others did Side Straddle Hops. And finally we were done.

The Respects all offered some inspiring words and TC led us in an activity about how we all need each other to get the life we want. It was a perfect way to finish. The PAX helping the PAX.

There were only a few more things to do. Name a rama first. We then counted off. We had 84 still with us. And a few had to leave early. Wow, what a turnout. Then we had to name our FNG… Incredible that this man chose to join F3 with this CSAUP. We named him Red, after the great Shawshank character. We then asked Sparty to talk a little bit about the F3 Omaha Foundation. This CSAUP kicked off the fundraising for this incredible new part of F3. Brazilian shared his COT and I shared mine. The gist of  both was this- Thankful for the group and in awe of its character. I added that the only group of men that would start their year like this is a group that has the ability to change the world. And then I challenged us to do just that.

And with that, Shawshank was over… It was over 8 miles, over 3 hours and completely stupid and utterly pointless. What an amazing start to 2021! 

Huge shoutouts to so many people who helped make this happen. Tater Tot for is leadership. Big One for his help. All the groups who led beatdowns. Lemon Law, BetaMax and Honey Stinger for driving from beatdown to beatdown with water and snacks. Brazilian for being the great leader that he was on this event. And everyone who was there or supported us in any way along the way.

This is what F3 is all about.

-Roadhouse

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