2/11/21 – The Sandlot Backblast

AO: The Sandlot

Weather: Snow Showers, 4°F, Feels like -7°F, Humidity 74%, Wind 6mph from NE

PAX: (13): Gobbler, Firewalker, Trench, Biff, Squeaky Clean, Baby Shark, Skittles, High Life, Tony the Tiger, Ferdinand, Tater Tot, KOA, Q: Knobs

0515: YHC arrived to the frigid Lincoln Rd entrance to Halleck Park. While driving closer to the shovel flags, I secretly placed six cones out spread out in 50 m intervals so we could add some additional speed work today. Much to my surprise I did not see any pre-runners who would expose my evil plan. When I pulled up to the shovel flags I noticed three flags already stuck in the ground plus 6 cars parked so those pre-runner’s were out there getting a few extra miles logged.

0524: Stepped out of my vehicle, said a four letter expletive and immediately dove back in car for more warming layers. The wind was especially cutting today and I was anxious about getting out there so I could warm up a bit.

0527: Placed my shovel flag in the ground and was greeted by Gobbler who cracked his window because he was sitting in his warm truck. He also knew how awful running in this weather sounded but I knew was ready to embrace the suck. Around that time the pre-runners Trench, Firewalker, TaterTot and JeanClaude were starting to come back in which made me anxious to get started so they didn’t get too cold while waiting on me. Selfishly I didn’t want to sit idle in this gloom either. I quickly asked Trench if the route was slick or if there was any areas to avoid because the roads were still snow packed in areas.

0529: I quickly welcomed the PAX fully expecting a late entry from Zorro (which did not happen) and told them we were starting a little early. Reminded their foggy brains that they were at F3: Fitness, Fellowship, Faith and rolled through the five core principles (Nailed it!) and that I was not a professional. I knew all the PAX today so we did not have any FNGs. Before we kicked off for our run I let the PAX know what our route was going to be. I wanted them to take a loop around Halleck Park heading west on Lincoln Rd, south on Monroe St or Washington St and then east on Halleck Dr in order to get back closer to the rally point near the shovel flags. This route gave quite a few options to run just over 1 mile, 2 miles or 2 1/2 miles based on their pace, but I informed them they need to be back at our rally point by 0548.

0532: The PAX shot out of the gates like a cannon with Trench, Ferdinand and Triple T setting the pace. The fellas in “chariots of fire” have nothing on these gents. There was a lot of mumble chatter as we headed west straight into the wind, but there was a welcomed frenzy in the air because we were suffering together. Sixteen minutes later, I took a quick headcount using my fingers and toes and all the PAX had converged on the rally point. Even TaterTot was amazed that we hit the rally point at the prescribed time. Aye!!

0548: With all 13 PAX at the rally point, I explained that we were going to work on getting faster together by throwing in a good old fashion ladder sprint drill. The mumbles and looks sent in my direction gave the impression they thought I was seriously nuts. Since I had placed the cones out earlier and it was still dark, the PAX were not aware of what they were about to get after. I explained that they will sprint to the first cone and jog back to the rally point, then sprint to the second cone and jog back to the rally point and repeat this process two times. The group was then broken up into 2-3 PAX so we could easily and safely sprint to the cones. Also told them we would do this NASCAR style, which meant you would sprint down the right side of the road, do a left u-turn and jog back on the other side of the road in order to avoid any mid sprint collisions. As the sprints started, I made my way down the line turning on the lights for all six cones so that they knew where they were to turn around. It didn’t take very many sprints into the wind for our legs to start burning and the air in our lungs to feel cold and heavy. As hard as these sprints were, the PAX were so encouraging. I have only witnessed this type of encouragement and motivation for others when I was in the military. It was such an amazing and uplifting moment to watch all your brothers pushing through their struggles together. The PAX wanted to continue to pushing themselves and others past their perceived physical limits.

0602: Once the PAX finished their last set of sprints, I could sense the relief in the air that we are getting close to being done but we were not done yet. I explained that I wanted them to run the same route west on the Halleck and then south on Monroe for eight minutes. At the four minute mark we would turn back and make our way to the shovel flags. At the turnaround point they were encouraged to increase their pace and have a negative split time. This meant they would be running faster pace back to the shovel flags than the pace they just had been running. The Intent for this type of run was to be encouraging while pushing them past their normal pace. More importantly this allowed for all the PAX to finish at the same time. “We are only as strong as our weakest link” i.e. we are only as fast as our slowest team member and I’m happy to report that this group finished together with our chins held high and our pride intact.

0611: We arrived at the shovel flags and took deep breath in a sigh of relief that we had finished. All PAX had worked significantly hard and we’re absolutely gassed after this beatdown. With YHC’s head being incredibly foggy we breezed through announcements (blood drive) and prayers (teachers and healthcare workers) and moved onto the CoT.

My CoT was simple but I also asked a lot of the PAX. We started off by discussing that there are many around us who are struggling in this pandemic. They’re struggling with family, financially, friends and a myriad of other emotional aspects of life. What it takes in times like this is to be a great HIM and reach out to others. I ended the CoT by reading a quote by Marcus Aurelius “Waste no more time wondering what a good man should be. Be one.”

0614: YHC Asked the group to take a knee in prayer and then asked SkyQ for guidance and continued prayers for those affected by pandemic. Most importantly, I thanked SkyQ for introducing me to this fantastic group of high impact men. In your name we pray- Amen

⁃ Knobs Out! Aye!

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