5 years ago I posted at my first F3 workout. I wore adidas sneakers like the Run DMC wannabee I was ( remember what DMC stands for: “ D’s for never Dirty, C’s for Mostly Clean”). After 15 minutes, I thought I was gonna die. After 30 I wanted to Die. I didn’t die, and I messed up my first C.O.T. I thought I had to have a nickname, so I tried to name myself Rudy as I had seen the movie the night before . The Colonel blew a gasket– he literally blurted out “ He named himself!!” in a tone more appropriate for “ He burnt the flag!” or “ He punched my Mom!”. In response to The Bishop’s inquiry, I explained that I had learned about F3 from my sales rep in Jacksonville Florida. Bishop said “ You are now Flo-Rida.” Foolishly I complained, to which The Bishop offered “ How’d you like to be Ass-Rida?”
I quickly realized that Flo-Rida wasn’t so bad.
As an act of contrition for causing the pax to have to spend most of the time planking while I caught up, I offered to say the prayer– which I never would have offered to do before F3. Bishop dug the prayer, and immediately I became “The Reverend Flo-Rida”.
I have yet to meet another pax with a 7-syllable nickname.
And yet, 5 years later, here I am. Grateful for the Indy brothers that encouraged me to come back. I have been enriched by the CORE pax that love me and let me love them. Amazed by all of the AO’s that have welcomed me as I travel.
Interspersed in this backblast are 5 memories from the last 5 years. Not necessarily the top 5, but 5 that stick out.
#5. In December 2013 I was really struggling. First holiday season as a separated man. Struggling with the effects that a loved one’s drinking had done to my previously perfect life. It’s cold and windy on a Saturday Indy beatdown led by H.E. Experts and historians can confirm that we were at the Castle ( 8 level parking deck) doing circuits with burpees at the top and merkins at the bottom. I have been running and praying at the same time, asking God why I have to hurt so much. I know this sounds weird, but God answered me saying “ Pain is the only way to get through to you. You have layers around your heart like the layers you are wearing to stay warm. Pain is the only way I can communicate with you and you hear me”.
I am really struggling to remain lapped by only one lap and when I am about to start my last circuit. H.E. announces “ On your feet. Everybody run Rev’s last lap with him.” Without hesitation, everybody gets up and runs with me. At the top, I am about overwhelmed with emotion. Between hearing God’s voice, and having everybody run with me, it is almost too much. H.E. runs up behind me, and says “ You know, right now, you look like John Candy in the movie SPLASH.”
Yes, that is what F3 is all about. You have the perfect gratitude/spiritual moment, and get called fat.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming… I thought I had everything planned today. I loaded the plates, the ropes, the kayaks and the chains last night. I had the playlist ready. However, just like you can’t always predict the rain, you can’t always predict SH*T STORM.
Here’s how it happened:
COP. The standard. Because unlike Bitcoin, I provide a consistent reliable return on your investment.
Count off to determine how many pax we have. This is when I should have known we had a problem. It took 4 tries to count to 15. I was an Elementary Education major for one semester ( it ended after I encouraged a paste Eating competition amongst the 1st graders at St. Timothy and Somebody else Catholic school. I was encouraged to try something else where I might not have such a negative effect on small children). I remember being taught that you should adjust your lesson plan so the stupid kids don’t feel left behind. I forgot that.
Line up for grinders . Pulling grinders. 50 pounds of weight at the end of a rope. We messed this up to, and then the chains that were around the weights broke. And Nibbler was whining. So, we did hair burners. That shut everybody up for a while.
#4. I had lost a bunch of weight by the spring of 2014. I passed Double Eagle running up some Elizabeth backstreet as part of a Jacob’s ladder, to which he exclaimed “ I liked you better when you were fat.” It doesn’t take long to figure out why Double Eagle’s internship at Hallmark ended after 2 weeks.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming…
After 30 minutes of that silliness, we went to the field and took turns pulling kayaks. First running forward, then running backwards. Oh, and each one had 50 pounds of weight in them.
#3. I was selling disposable clothing like the coveralls a painter wears. As the ALS q in the winter of 2015, I brought enough for everyone to wear. I wasn’t sure I could get the pax to go along, but the Cougar was there early, and he put one on. Next thing you know, everyone has on a white or blue disposable coverall. It proved the theory of the “ Shirtless Dancing Man” that Dredd loves to cite. It was awesome and hysterical. And, we did monkey humpers facing traffic on Runnymede. I don’t know how Homeland Security wasn’t called in, but we were never arrested.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming… We started to do an easy COT, but too much bitching from Nibbler so we did 10 burpees.
#2 The whole week of my countdown to respect tour. Especially the last of the 7 workouts. EmnEm brought a cake. And forks but no plates. We all ate it . Like 40 people ate it all at once. And, I got a hawaiian shirt like hawaii 5-0 since I was 50. I still have the gift wrap signed by everyone that was there on my office door. And, most everybody came to my party at The Thirsty Beaver that night.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming… We ended with some mary. This entire workout went off the rails. Technical difficulties started the poop downpour. Then, RopeAdope made a comment about Keefer eating gas station sushi. To which Keefer replied “ There are 3 things I don’t f*ck with: 1) rattlesnakes. 2) Gas station sushi. And 3) Condoms.” Now I know Keefer is catholic…but….really??
Nibbler complained about my playlist. Again!! Then he tried to get everyone to skip MIP 5 year anny and got get Bloody Mary’s.
So, skoal gave me a 5 year present that included:
A national Enquirer. A can of Spam LITE. A scratch off lotto card. A can of vienna sausages. male enhancement supplement. Condoms. Beef jerk. powdered sugar donuts, and a can of PBR. I will never understand this , and i don’t want to.
Great group today.
And my #1 F3 memory over the last 5 years: After a workout, DRM and i are in a parking lot. He yells “ Hey Rev!” I turn, expecting something funny, and he says “ I love you.” I probably mumble back “ I love you too.” but I don’t recall for sure. I do recall getting in my car, trying to drive, and pulling over.
It had been a long time since someone had told me they loved me. Alcoholism robbed me of that. And when I least expected it, I found out i was loved. Thank God for DoReMi for having the guts to say that. And thank God that I was there to hear it. F3 is about hard workouts, and pushing yourself, and having a fun time doing it. But it is always. Always ALWAYS! About the love. That’s why this whole thing works. Love. No matter why you came to F3, the LOVE is why you keep coming back.
I love you guys. Thanks for making me know that I am loved.