AO: The Labyrinth
July 6th, 2023
57 degrees, cool July morning, gorgeous sunrise, PERFECT!
PAX- Cheap Seats, Chowda, Chernobyl, Fun Dip, Ozark, Blades of Glory, Gator, Pitstop, Barndoor, Kielbasa, Wait Time, Sweet Sweet
I love the Labyrinth. I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the location. Maybe it’s the Site Q and secret behind the scenes AV site Q. Maybe it is the “little brother to the Maize” feel that it has. Or maybe it’s the invitation to creativity that it sends out to anyone who Qs. There is one rule; run a little bit. And that’s about it. The rest of the beatdown is a tabula rasa. A blank page with the curser just blinking at you. It begs for something fun and my hope was to bring that fun on this morning.
The weather app said 57 degrees and after the hot streak that we have had lately, that felt downright chilly. It was an unusually cool, July morning. Perfect for a run!
I pulled into the lot around 5:10 AM. There were a few cars there already. Some pre-runners at the running site. Interesting… I walked over to the shovel flag and saw two basketballs sitting next to them. I had asked Ozark to bring them if he could and he delivered. This would be a critical for the success of the workout.
I started walking around the lot, getting loose, and waited for the PAX to arrive. The pre-runners arrived back at the flag and a few more cars pulled into the lot. By 5:30, we had 13 total, myself included. An excellent number for what I had planned. The group was diverse too. Chernobyl and Fun Dip made the trip from Sarpy. Kielbasa came from Midtown. It was a kick ass crew!
I fumbled through the intro. 3 Fs. 5 core principles. I forgot the mission and the credo but I did let the group know that not only was I not a professional, I also was not a runner. With that we grabbed our balls (basketballs) and headed to the North side of the parking lot. It was time for Warm-a-rama.
It was a short Warm-a-rama. If we were going to run and get into my fun activity, we needed to get going. Having not posted here much, I asked the PAX to help me navigate. Get me towards the park I said and with that, the men started to run. We headed through the neighborhood and came to a roundabout. The men stopped and waited. I turned around to see what they were waiting for. Apparently, this was a frequent stop on the path. They looked at me with anticipation, hope and curiosity. I got Chernobyl out of the side of my eye and was inspired to do something hard. His beatdowns were legendary widow makers and I wanted to pay homage. I looked around and finally said, “50 Merkins”. Several PAX members questioned the number 50? 15? Five- Zero? How many are we doing? Dammit men, I said 50! Let’s go!
We knocked out the 50 quickly and started back on our mosey. We headed down the hill and came to the path that goes around the lake. We took the path and I noticed the sunrise coming up over the horizon. It was gorgeous and the reflection off the water was stunning. I stopped us right there at asked for 25 sunrise facing monkey humpers. Gator led.
We then made our way to the park. Big shout out to the new playground at the Maize. As an Omaha Park aficionado, I am impressed with the layout. We ran through the park and ended our mosey at the basketball court. It was time to have some fun.
The game was knockout. The objective is to make a basket before the person in front of you in line. If you do, they are out of the game. Once knocked out, you had to plank or do some core exercise till the game was over. If not, they stay in and end to the back of the line. In the group, we had two college basketball players, one wrestling coach, some other athletes of varying degrees and Gator. This was going to be a blast!
Game One was a learning process. Who had game? Who did not? Who did I want to be behind in line for the next game and more importantly, who did I not want behind me in game two.
Some of the the PAX started to catch fire. Wait Time started hitting some shots. Cheap Seats had a sweet stroke. Fun Dip started to heat up which was shocking for a wrestling coach. But there was one man who separated from the PAX. With a delivery ala Larry Bird, Sweet Sweet slowly but steadily removed the competition. It came down to him and Cheap Seats at the end. An epic battle but one where Sweet Sweet came out on top.
We had time for one more game. And it started with a shocker. The first man eliminated was… Wait Time. Oh boy, this was not going to sit well. He tossed the ball back to the line and assumed the plank position. His teeth gritted, his face began to redden and if you looked closely, you could see a little smoke coming out of his ears. I have not seen him this mad since something brought up Billy Packer at coffeeteria… (Quick PSA: do NOT bring up Billy Packer in front of Wait Time when children are around).
The rest of us continued on. And in the end it was two. Fun Dip and…. You guessed it, Sweet Sweet! Within minutes the wrestling coach was on the sidelines with us while Sweet Sweet stood alone on his kingdom. Two games. Two wins. That is just how he rolls baby!
It was time to mosey again and we headed up the hill towards the flags. We stopped at the stop sign and circled up for 50 more Merkins. Halfway through, one of the basketballs got loose and rolled towards me. I grabbed with the agility of a housecat and uncertain what to do with it, placed it under my thighs to hold it. This was quite possibly the best and worst thing to happen to me.
I continued the Merkins but now with the ball creeping up to my crotch. The next thing I knew, I was practically dry humping this NBA regulation ball with the veracity of a jungle cat. Thankfully we got to 50 shortly after and I was not able to… “finish”. The PAX moseyed up the hill, I stayed at the rear as not to show off my recent excitement.
We did a lap around the parking lot and ended back at the flags. It was time for Mary.
American Hammers – Rancid Style
And with that, we were done. The beatdown was over.
Name-a-rama went fairly smooth. Couple respects. Beautiful shot of the sunrise.
There were some..
Twelve Gauge and a quick recovery
PitStop and his family
Hacksaw’s family members recently diagnosed with cancer
My COT was inspired by a quote I saw recently from our man Warren Buffet, for whom the Oracle is named after. He said, “Surround yourself with people that push you to do and be better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.”
Upon seeing this I immediately thought of F3 Omaha and the PAX that make it what it is. I think we all have friends and people in our lives who do not bring out the best in us. People who candidly lead us to reverting back to bad habits or our old ways. I know I do. And I have reflected lately on where I want to invest my time and my energy.
And it has to be with people who are striving to get better. People who are on this journey with us to improve and learn and grow and resist the complacency that so often accompanies us along the way. We need to surround ourselves with people who do not look in the mirror and think, “This is as good as I can get.” There has got to be a constant effort to improve.
When Wait Time first EH’d me, I thought this group would be a bunch of meatheads trying to outdo each other or see who had the smallest dick. Instead I found a group of support, of like challenges and opportunities, of brotherhood. And it has changed my life. Since I have been in this group, I have done things I never dreamed I could do. I jumped out of a plane. I tried standup comedy. I left a job after 15 years. And I did it because I saw you all do the same things. I was inspired by your courage and your support and your faith in me.
So reflect this week on who you are spending time with. Are they making you better? Or are they making you worse? And choose who you want to be around. And in the words from the Knight in the cave in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “Choose wisely…”
I love you guys!