12/24/21 Golden Spike/Omaha Burke High School – FOGGY, 38 degrees (!?!), calm wind
11 PAX: Superfly, Barbershop, Black Flag, Romeo, Scoober, Skidz, Mulch, Golden Pike,
Gipper, Skipper
QIC: Oompa
Oompa welcomed the PAX to F3 Omaha at 5:30 AM. The Mission Statement, Disclaimer,
and 5 Core Principles were given. An inquiry about FNGs was also made, but no FNGs
were in attendance. The PAX then moseyed to the berm/bowl/field at the corner of
120th and Burke Street where, what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a
Christmas tree trimmed with lights and F3 ornaments, complements of the
extremely-limited artistic talents of YHC.
● Stretched and did the following exercises:
o Tappy Taps IC x15
o Big Ones IC x15
o Abe Vigodas IC x 15
“Bah! Humbug!”
● Pax lined up on the line created by lanterns in the middle of the bowl.
● PAX performed exercises individually, each trying to be the first of the group to
reach 100 reps. The first PAX to reach 100 reps yelled “Bah! Humbug!” (he being
Scrooge and ruining everyone else’s workout fun) at which point, the PAX ran to
the other line and started the next exercise, each of which were called out by
YHC. Rinsed and repeated until first Omaha
o Air Squats
o Low dollys
o Carolina Dry Docks
o Overhead claps
o Apollo Onos
Mumble chatter was strong during the pre-thang, as Christmas spirit was high, despite
Scrooge’s best efforts to derail fellow PAX members’ counting and spoil the fun. Skidz
showed the PAX a unique way to allow Apollo Onos to evolve into the Carlton dance
from Fresh Prince of Bel Air over the course of 100 reps. New version/name for this
exercise will be forthcoming (“Apollo O’Not Unusual to Be Loved By Anyone”?)
The Thang
Teams of 2 PAX worked together to complete a Christmas Star Circuit of the berm area.
Each team of 2 PAX started at the Christmas tree, did 12 Christmas Star Jumps, and
moseyed to one of 9 stations at the top of the berm, where they performed the
following workout reps before returning to the Christmas tree, repeating the Christmas
Star Jumps, and moseying to the next station.
Stations were as follows:
● Station 1: 24 Merkins
● Station 2: 24 Squat jumps
● Station 3: 24 Low Dollies
● Station 4: 24 Bobby Hurley’s
● Station 5: 24 Mountain Climbers IC
● Station 6: 24 Air Squats
● Station 7: 24 Plank Jacks
● Station 8: 24 WWI sit-ups
● Station 9: 24 Hydraulic Squats
During the Thang, YHC had set the relatively lax expectation that teams could go at their
own pace and talk with their partner. However, Santa brought the PAX a special early
surprise of the hill being higher and the reps harder than Oompa had imagined when he
planned the workout. Whoops. By the end of the thing more PAX than not looked like
they had been dragged behind a sleigh for a couple miles.
Mary was audibled out of the workout, despite 12/24 being perhaps the most notable
day for the name Mary in the whole calendar year.
Announcements and Prayers
“Fellow Passengers to the Grave”
I was reading Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” the other week and came across a
speech by the character Fred, Scrooge’s nephew. He says: “I have always thought of
Christmas time as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, and pleasant time. The only
time I know of in the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their
shut-up hearts freely and think of others as if they were really fellow passengers to the
grave, and not another race of creatures, bound on other journeys”
Fellow passengers to the grave? Sounds a bit morbid for Christmas, right? But I started
to think about how often I do think of my coworkers, neighbors, F3 PAX, even friends
and family as “bound on other journeys”. We all are fighting our own battles. Heck, we
probably all experience Christmas differently, depending on where we are in our
For example: the characters we encounter at Christmas all have different experiences:
Scrooge: Starts the Christmas season as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping,
clutching, covetous old sinner”. But, he learns how to show love to his fellow man, and
how to strive for personal reclamation and redemption
Clark Griswold: Learns that just being with his family, warts and all, is much more
important than Christmas traditions, how many lights he can string on his house, or how
perfect he can make the holidays for others
Ralphie Parker: Finally gets that Red Ryder 200 shot range model air rifle, with a
compass in the stock and this thing which tells time, and realizes that his family listens to
his wants and needs and that his parents will always have his back.
Kevin McCallister: Even though his family picks on him, looks down on him because
he’s the littlest (“I wouldn’t let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass”)
and even overlooks him when vacationing internationally, he realizes that his family
loves him and misses him more than he knows, and that he loves them just as much
The same is true of the characters we meet in the story of Jesus of Nazareth. The
characters had wildly different experiences:
Shepherds: They saw angels in the sky proclaiming Jesus birth and telling them
where to find him. They saw him and instantly believed and were filled with joy.
Wise Men: They did not get specific directions. No angels told them what they were
seeking. They had to follow blindly, but then were rewarded, only to have to worry
again when they disobeyed Harrod and returned to their homes by other paths.
Joseph: Who knows what the hell he was thinking? His Christmas, despite all the
amazing things that had happened, was probably a Christmas of skepticism. His fiance
got pregnant by the Holy Spirit??? Suuuuuuure.
Mary: She pondered the events in her heart and treasured them
Mothers of Bethlehem and Judea: How must they have experienced the season
when their government, fearing that this baby would someday have the power to
overthrow it, sent out a decree that all boys under age 2 were to be killed. That was the
experience of the Mothers of Bethlehem and Judea.
So when I think of all these characters and their experiences, and the real life people I
meet who truly are my fellow passengers to the grave, I will try to realize that I might be
encountering a Mary, a Ralphie, a Clark, a Kevin, a Scrooge, or, God forbid, a Mother of
Judea. I encourage us to open our shut-up hearts and love them wherever this holiday
season finds them on their journey.
Merry Christmas, my fellow passengers, I love you all. God bless you on your journey.

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