- Roll down Thundercat Alley through the Owl Bait Gauntlet under the cover of darkness. Branches and Squirrels littered our poorly lit path. The only way to navigate was by feel. Our senses were alive with an inane radar-like perception of the path that lay ahead. 19 of us started out and only 14 of us made it through. It was both harrowing and titillating at the same time. I heard more than a single man squeal out in surprise as the jungle closed in on us. We were all thinking it but no one spoke it…if Chester Copperpot wasn’t able to safely navigate this suicide route then how would we? After all, he was a seasoned professional with all of the tools of the trade and he knew these waters like the back of his hand. We were headed for certain damned doom!…..oh wait. Snoop had his headlamp. We were fine. 3/4 of a mile to the Discovery lot with nar a twisted ankle. Thanks Snoop!
- COP. I just stopped running. Frozen in time awaiting the inevitable arrival of the woodsmen. They came alright. One by one they slowly circled my wagon. Sweaty, with chests heaving like vikings. They kept a vigilant watch on me as they paced into position. Like sharks circling their prey they came for me. Obvious to anyone, they were acting on pure instinct. And adrenaline. I was in for it, we were all in for it. And then…it happened. My mouth opened and everyone froze in position. Breathlessly waiting….hanging on the next millisecond in time. And we did some merkins, and plank jacks, and stuff. It was great.
- But wait. When does this circle of death end? Who calls these shots? We’ve all heard the stories of a marathon circle of pain. Sometimes men get in a plank position for, like, 6 exercises in a row. And shoulder burn. Like molten-hot bags of lava between our shoulders. And the next morning they will be sore. Oh yes, sore as hell. I remember a time, many moons ago, when I went to reach for my hand-thrown mug. Yes, that’s the one. It says ‘#1 dad’. From the shelf up high in the kitchen. Yes, that one. And my shoulders were so sore I cried out in pain! A little. Was the same scourge to befall this jolly group of men again today?!! When….would…it…end!?!?! Oh. Now. Slaughter says to recover and mosey over to this hill positioned with a circle at the bottom. Oh my God. A hill….
- Nothing frightens the quads of men like the harrowing changes in elevation that can only be found in the Discovery Place hill. Before it was spoken all had resigned themselves to a punishment worse than death. We all knew we were running up that hill. But the question remained. Whose answer no man wants to hear, BECAUSE ALL OF THE ANSWERS ARE WRONG. How many times will we run up and down this godforsaken elevation? Answer me will you!? And then, there it is. His name was spoken. With just a single name from the Bible our fate is sealed. It was like a whisper racing across the barren plains of Africa. JACOB. Now, I have told this Jacob man long ago exactly where he can stick his ladder. Well, the sun doesn’t shine there and there was certainly no sun shining at this moment. But wait. There’s more. We all know the worst part of Jacob’s Ladder. That’s right, Satan’s exercise; the burpee. I heard Hitler invented the burpee to punish the Jews. It is the flexural of a madman. And now this new madman (who is nothing like Hitler) wants us to do what? DOUBLE the burpees. Madness. Absurd. At the top AND the bottom of the hill. A cry was heard from deep in the crowd; it can’t be done, sire. The definition of Jacob cannot be altered for then it is no longer a Jacob. SILENCE, Owl Bait!. Silence. We began. Began, not knowing if we could possible finish.
- But finish we did. Led by the wiry speed of one Sweetbriar , we finished the exercise. And then. Some plank as told. And, as in life, some put their knees on the ground. No matter. For this planking is a gift. A gift of respite before the real show. The show to end all shows. It was upon us. days and months of planning were finally about to culminate in this moment…
- Little Baby Crunch. It sounds so innocent. Little, like the daintiest of field mice scurrying through the wheat. Baby, like a mother’s child suckling quietly from the swollen breast. Crunch. Ah, this word doesn’t belong. It illicits feeling different than the other two words. It is harsher, more abrupt. And certainly closer to this truth. At least on this morning. For we did 101 of them. Did I read that right? Yes peasant, you did. And I do know what you were thinking. Yes, I do. “Ah, we have passed 15, he is sure to stop at 20, for that is customary in these parts. Wait, 26? Don’t see it quite as often but 30 is certainly a thing. He will stop at 30. 50?! We just passed 50! What the hell is going on here. Who goes past 50. Can I make it much further? Am I going to give out, or puke? Or puke and then give out? 75. SEVENTY-FIVE! And still going strong!!! What is the meaning of this. Surely this man will have his Q license revoked immediately…. 90…I can’t do another crunch. Little baby or otherwise. This is ludicrous, a waste of my time, and an injustice on the entire F3 Nation. I won’t stand for it. I’m stopping. OK…here comes 100. That has GOT to be it. After all, we’re running out of time. Past 100!!!!!!! Oh wait, just to 101 to screw with me. Whew….That was better than running up and down that stupid hill.” Yes, I do know that was exactly what you were thinking.
- The swinging bridge. Harmless. Safe. Bear Crawl the swinging bridge? Fine. But I won’t peer through the gaps in the boards at the boulders and swift water far, far below. Because I’m scared of heights. Ha, ha, ha. Yes you will for otherwise you will not know which way to steer.
- Now what? Hordes of fellow travelers are traversing the safe part of the park. The Show has some sort of beasted animal pulling him along, hardly seems fair. Doc(k) is into muscle shirts now? Huh, who’d a thunk it. Subway. Either put on a shirt or hit the gym (and the sun). Embarrassing. And Guantanamo. What happened to you Guantanamo? Did you pay that man who was yelling at you to tell you to run with those girls? Did you? Why, you could have joined us on this adventure today FOR FREE. Someone please save him.
- Now for this next part I will tell you something that I know for sure. Something I learned a long time ago as law. And that is that every sane man does a push-up without his hands ever leaving planet earth. Or the big ball, as it were. So for the instruction to be stop at every light post and do 5 HAND RELEASE MERKINS, I had to revolt. We all wanted to revolt. But alas, none did. Why? Because we are men. And men do things that they know they aren’t supposed to, or think is a really bad idea just because other men are doing it. Look at man buns for example. So I will pick up my hands. Just like these other blokes. And it will hurt and I will get tired. But I’ll do it.
- Just when you think the serving of ass-whooping is sufficient. We arrive. Stairway to heaven. Dips. Merkins. Donkey Kicks. And the dreaded running. Oh how this morning has taught me to hate running. Three loops. Darn-it. All is lost. I give up. My sacred Big Hair Monday is lost forever. Turned into a hellish blur of pain and sweat from which there is no return.
- The best information I have seen all morning stands proudly on my wrist. We are running out of time. Things to do, places to be. We all have families, and work, and whatnot. This madness must surely end. Right? But no. Something deep down inside the pit of our stomach, where the truth lives, tells us otherwise. What shall it be, oh torturer? Please just tell us. More Devil burpees, backwards run, some sort of repeated sprints to ruin my whole day? Yes?!?!?!? No….We just ran back to the gravel lot.
- COT highlighted by both Kit’s customary dramatic pause between his real name and his F3 name. And his surprisingly efficient and dramatic pause-free prayer.
Until next time.