Nobody Knows Paul Simon Anymore?

14 brothers of F3 set out from Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Rebound on a brisk and gloomy Saturday morning in March. Here’s what they did, together, to get better:

  • Congregate in the driveway for a little to-the-beat-of-the-music COP. YHC reprised an oldie but a goody, Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al:
    • SSH during the instrumental portions and choruses;
    • LBC’s during Verse 1;
    • Mountain-Climbers during Verse 2;
    • Squats during Verse 3;
    • Star-Jumps (with a Rev. Flo-Rida-led “wheeeeee!!!” with each) during the piccolo solo.
  • Mosey down to Frazier Park;
  • Bear-Crawl over the bridge and into the Memorial Park;
  • Gather in the Memorial Garden, partner up:
    • Partner 1 runs up the stairs to 4th Street Extension, and back down the ramp, while Partner 2 performs an exercise. Flapjack.
      • Derkins;
      • Mountain-Climbers;
      • Step-Ups;
      • Sumo Jump Squats;
      • Russian Twists;
  • After a 10-count, Pax made a plank-o-rama circle and we placed Beaver in the middle. One by one, a pax rose from the plank and ran to the middle of the circle to pound a fist-bump on Beaver. Repeat until all 13 others had gone, and a new exercise was born and named… #PoundTheBeaver.
  • Mosey to the soccer-field, circle-up, and one-at-a-time sprint to midfield and back while Pax performed:
    • LBC’s;
    • Low-Slow Flutter;
    • Rosalitas;
    • Dolley;
    • J-Los;
    • Merkins;
    • Squats;
    • Imperial Walkers.
  • Start together –> Finish Together. Formed lines four wide and, in lock step with your brothers, lunge-walked half-way up 1st Street, then jogged (still in line) the rest of the way in.
  • COT.

NMM: The most-important man at every workout is the first-timer, and we were blessed with the presence of six FNG’s: MuffinTop; Floyd; Waffle House; Golden Corral; Tripper; and Volkswagen. We won’t call anyone out by name, but suffice to say: if you suggest a nickname? You’re probably gonna get crushed with something like MuffinTop (OK, maybe we will call someone out). But the man’s 19, we’ll give him a pass for not knowing the rules. Still — MuffinTop. All good-natured kidding aside, great to have you brother. Keep coming back.

This workout is a special one, and different from any other in #F3Metro. I texted a special friend afterwards about how “my heart is so full” after each hour with these guys. Every single time. I also try and interject a little recovery-something into workouts when I have an opportunity to Q, and this one involved the ubiquitous (or so I thought) song You Can Call Me Al. The song, few realize, is written about recovery, and was a tribute to Chevy Chase’s rehab process: the chorus is littered with references to sponsorship (“if you’ll be my bodyguard”), re-discovering one’s self in sobriety (“I can be your long last pal”); treatment (“call you Betty” in reference to the Ford Clinic); and AA’s (“You Can Call Me Al[coholic]”).

More inspiring than the relatively trite chorus, though, are the verses, that chart a story of a man emerging from the depths of despair in alcoholism (1st verse), putting in the work of recovery (2nd verse), and then re-emerging into the brave new wonderful word of sobriety (3rd verse).

The workouts were clumsily paired to each concept:

  • on our backs for the first verse (“why am I soft in the middle?” … “I want a shot at redemption” … “Mr. Beerbelly Beerbelly, get these mutts away from me” … “I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore”);
  • mountain-climbers (half-way up, and climbing) for the second (“got a short little span of attention, why my nights are so long?” … “where’s my wife and family, what if I die here?” … “who will be my role-model [sponsor] now that my role-model [DOC] is gone” … “all along there were incidents and accidents, there were hints and allegations”);
  • and to our feet (squats) for a glorious verse three (“a man walks down the street, it’s a street in a strange world”…”he doesn’t speak the language, he holds no currency”… but “he looks around, around, he sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity, He says Amen! And Hallelujah!”);
  • and star-jumps and “whee” to the piccolo solo … just because it was fun, and who doesn’t like to shout “wheeee” while a piccolo is dancing?

As a final note: 14 pax, and like 3 of them knew this song. What gives?

Take-out with a close from Rev. Flo-Rida. And another one’s in the books.

Finally, if you want to see a fun live cover of the tune:

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