F3 Knoxville

Borrowed Ethos

THE SCENE:  73 and clear.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered faithfully, even though the PAX were eager to get started.

  • SSH
  • KCP
  • LBAC F&B
  • Mosey
  • Tempo Squat
  • Mountain Climbers


Mosey to the Rock Pile.  Toys are set out in a circuit.  Visit each station for 50 seconds, switching with the timer.  No rest in between.  Keep track of your total number of reps.

  1. Tire hit
  2. Goblet squat
  3. Ball Slams
  4. Jump rope
  5. Battle rope alternating waves
  6. Thrusters
  7. Stack squat
  8. CMU swings
  9. Heavy Lunges
  10. Curls
  11. Bench Press
  12. Single Arm Row (Left)
  13. Pull ups
  14. Hanging Leg Raises
  15. Mountain Climbers

Mosey recovery.

Round 2:  Flip the cards.  Can you beat your total number of reps from Round 1?  Exercises were;

  1. Tricep extensions
  2. Tire flip
  3. Jump rope (double under)
  4. Slam ball launch
  5. Blockees
  6. Battle rope slams
  7. OHP
  8. Plyo merkins
  9. Heavy Al Gore
  10. Good mornings
  11. Single Arm Row (Right)
  12. Farmer Step-ups
  13. Hanging Leg Raises
  14. Pull ups
  15. Flutter kicks


5 minutes of Mary – dealer’s choice


Me and 11 of the best men I know


The United States Coast Guard tracks its lineage back to August 4 of the year 1790, when acting on the recommendation of then-Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, Congress established the Revenue Marine and authorized the construction of a fleet of ten small ships, whose responsibility would be enforcement of our nation’s first tariff laws.  In the early 20th century, that organization would merge with the U.S. Lifesaving Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard, dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing our nation’s maritime laws.  On this, the birthday of the Coast Guard, we drew our inspiration from that organization’s Ethos.  The United States Coast Guard’s Ethos is this:

  • I am a Coast Guardsman.
  • I serve the people of the United States.
  • I will protect them.
  • I will defend them.
  • I will save them.
  • I am their shield.
  • For them I am Semper Paratus (“always ready”)
  • I live the Coast Guard core values.
  • I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
  • We are the United States Coast Guard.

When your life’s purpose is outside of yourself (and bigger than yourself), living purposefully requires self-sacrifice.  To be a high-impact man, we are called to self-sacrifice and to live not for ourselves, but for others.  Within F3, we say “Live Third”, which is to “consistently and deliberately place oneself behind Creator and Community”.  God, then family, then me.

Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

I frequently struggle with this, but this morning shared a recent victory.  Tomorrow, we close on a new home.  We’ve been looking for almost 2 years and the reason it has taken so long is 100% me.  The reasons we started looking for a new home were, 1) to have more bedrooms so we could become a foster family, and 2) to be closer to the activities for my wife and kids.  I then layered on top of that short list ALL my interests; a pool, a workshop, the right “look”, a short commute…me…me…me.  I lost track of our original two objectives and became consumed with my own interests.

About a month ago, the reality of my selfishness hit me like a falling ton of bricks and I vowed to set my long set of “wants” aside.  So, when my wife brought me a listing that she wanted to see, I said, “go and see it, I’ll watch the kids”.  When she came home and said it would work for us and wanted to make an offer, I agreed without stipulation.  We offered…they accepted…we’re moving.  It’s not exactly the home I would have picked for us (which, BTW, probably does not exist) – but it is perfect for what the family needed.  After 2 years of thinking and acting selfishly, I was finally able to Live Third and put their interests ahead of my own.

In homage to the Coast Guard, we borrowed their ethos and re-purposed it for application in our lives.  We substituted “husband” and “father” into that Ethos – and it made a pretty good operating standard for Living Third. 

  • I am a father. I am a husband.
  • I serve my family.
  • I will protect them.
  • I will defend them.
  • I will save them.
  • I am their shield.
  • For them I am Semper Paratus
  • I hold myself accountable to high values.
  • I am proud to be a father. I am proud to be a husband.

BB Reader,
In what ways are you putting your interests ahead of your family’s interests?
How can you practice Living Third this week? 


  • Nice to have Chit Chat from downrange again!
  • Ocho is crushing it!  Keep it up!
  • What?!?  Nobody beat their score from Round 1???
  • Missing you, Snaggletooth!


  • Workday this Saturday
  • Family Workout this Saturday
  • Shield Lock Pool Party this Saturday
  • Prayers for Tuba and Boy George

Habits, Part 2

THE SCENE:  75 and thick.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered.

  • Phelps
  • RFTS / LIH
  • Grady Corns
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Up/Down Dog
  • SSH


  • Mosey to the new building, pick a spot on the bench.
  • 30 seconds of each
    • Derkins
    • Single leg squat (L)
    • Dips
    • Single leg squat (R)
    • Incline CDD
    • Plyo step-ups


  • Mosey to the pond.  There are 2 trees along the path – approx. half way around the pond from each other.
    • 50 merkins + 50 LBCs.  Run to the other tree.
    • 40 merkins + 40 LBCs.  Run to the other tree.
    • 30 merkins + 30 LBCs.  Run to the other tree.
    • 20 merkins + 20 LBCs.  Run to the other tree.
    • 10 merkins + 10 LBCs.  Run to the other tree.


  • Mosey to the Big Lot;
    • Bear crawl one line.
    • 10 flutter kicks (count 1 leg)
    • Bear crawl one line.
    • 10 hello dollys


  • Jelly Legs



  • Dealer’s choice.
  • Jail break!


9 for bootcamp + 5 Rushers


All this week, we’re talking about habits.  For Part 1 on Monday, Guardrail led a discussion about cultivating our hearts in preparation for a habit change – starting a new good habit, killing an old bad habit.  Today we continued talking about habits – as we start a new, or end an old, let’s plan for failure.  Let’s think about what might cause failure and pre-decide on strategies to avoid those or to quickly rebound from them.

When you are starting a new habit, what kinds of things are going to throw you off course?

Stumble:  I’m not making any progress toward my goal.
Did you just set a goal – or did you also define a plan and come up with systems to get you to the goal?  “Systems” are the reminders, queues, routines, notes, people, etc. that you set in place to facilitate your work toward to the goal.  James Clear says “you don’t rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.”  A goal is just a daydream without a plan.  Make sure you have an actionable plan + establish systems to execute that plan.

Stumble:  I’m not seeing change happen as fast I thought it would.
Adopt a long-term perspective.  Have short-term milestones. Especially in the short term, evaluate your progress based on how well you stick to your plan, not your results.  Worry about meeting the plan today – tomorrow worry about tomorrow.  Keep your sights only looking that far out.  If you have a good plan and you stick to the plan, your goal will take care of itself.  Again from James Clear, “You should be more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results”.

Stumble:  I missed a day, so I guess I’m done. 
Sometimes we have an all-or-nothing mindset.  If we fail one time, we think we are a failure.  Like my daughter who is learning to walk, I wouldn’t say to her “just two steps?!?  Come on!“.  No, I say “Two steps! Great job girl!  Now try and again and get three steps this time!!!”  As you are learning to do something new, coach yourself the same way.  Give yourself some grace.  If you miss a day, don’t miss two. Missing one day reduces your chance of success by 5%.  Missing two consecutive days reduces your chances by 40%.

As we start new habits, here are three strategies that we’re going to implement

  1. Create systems to push you toward your goal
  2. Success is sticking to your plan TODAY
  3. If you miss a day, don’t miss two.

You are what you repeatedly do.  Every action you take is a vote for the type of man you want to become.

With that in mind…

  • What good habit do you need to start?
  • What unhealthy habit do you need to stop?

Come back Friday for Part 3 of this Word!



Prayers for Data, Papa Lock, and Shrubbery’s Aunt.


Heavy Metric Workout #2

THE SCENE:  64 and clear.  Perfect for a beatdown
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered 

  • SSH
  • Hairy Rockettes
  • Finkle Swings
  • Willy Mays Hays
  • Cherry Pickers
  • Cobra, Down dog
  • Merkins


30 minutes to get as many cumulative reps as you can. The following list of exercises are performed in sets of 25 reps. After completing each set of 25 reps, run 25 yards (6 parking spaces), do 2 burpees, and return for the next set. Here are the exercises:

  • 150 curls
  • 125 heavy squats
  • 100 OHP
  • 75 CMU swings
  • 50 Thrusters
  • 25 Blockees

When you finish the blockees, start over and push until the timer is up.

Once through the circuit is 525 reps.  How many cumulative reps?


Flutter kicks
Prone row


Me and 9 of the best men I know.  Welcome FNG “Ocho”!


The reflection this morning was simple.  We set aside a few minutes to review progress made toward our goals.  First, as a group…  In January, we talked as a group about some of the ways that we’d like to see The Project move forward in 2022.  Some ideas were;

  • Fitness. We now have a few metric workouts to measure performance (military fitness PT, and today’s heavy PT baseline).  Let’s re-do those occasionally to see how our performance is trending.  Weekly Push/Pull/Plank challenge on Slack.
  • Fellowship. Consistency in the gloom and chatter on Slack.  Outside of the gloom – Hiking daytrips…  ..  Bonfires…  Spring camping trip…
  • Faith. More deliberate discipleship.  Developing smaller shield lock groups within the larger Project group.  Meditating on and committing scripture to memory.  Leading our families in study, prayer, and faith.
  • More men in attendance. More Sad Clowns who need something like F3.  Specifically, more newly married men and new fathers – those are critical points in a man’s life and full of anxiety.  We have a wealth of experiences to share with those men – let’s find ‘em!
  • Family Workout! It’ll be great to get the families together monthly. It’s also a service to the community to we are uniquely gifted to provide.  I think this will largely define The Project’s evolution in 2022.


Then, we turned our thoughts inward to reflect on personal goals.  Six months ago (or 3 years ago), what did you want to change in your life?  What goal or goals did you have?  Did you make a plan?  Did you tell a trusted friend?  How are you progressing?  If you’re on track – awesome!  If you’ve tapered off, today is a great day to get back started.  If you haven’t already, write it down.  Break it down into simple steps.  Seek accountability.

Proverbs 4:25, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

Hebrews 12:1-2, “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Philippians 3:14, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney


We first did this workout in January.  Every man who repeated today increased his score!  Every. Single. One.  We ARE getting stronger, men!

Here are the scores;

  January July Delta
Rocket 515 550 35!
Snaggletooth 525    
Erector 550    
Mathlete 525 599! 74!
Tuba 510 516 6!
Bobbitt 516 565 49!
Kickflip 510 565 55!
Wingman   525  
3-Peat   500  
Ocho   325  
Boy George   535  
Skewer   450  


For more evidence of our fitness acceleration, see this BB from March

USAF Fitness Measurement – Round 2



Wrong Turn

THE SCENE:  65 and clear.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered

Seal squats
Cherry Pickers
Squat 180
Double-tap squat


Mosey to the TOMO parking lot – split into 2 teams.  One die with numbers 1,2,3.

Team 1 rolls the die, then runs that number of laps up the stairs and back around.

While Team 1 runs, Team 2 works through the exercises until laps are completed.

When last man from Team 1 returns from laps, other team rolls.

When list is complete, knock down a cone and start again.

* Timer set for 2 minutes.  Every 2 minutes stop and do 15 merkins *

Repeato for 25 minutes.

See how many times each team can work through the list.


  • 10 Monkey Humpers (4-count)
  • 15 Mountain climbers (4-count)
  • 10 Iron Mikes (10 each leg)
  • 15 Side crunches (15 each side)
  • 15 Squat jump 180s
  • 15 BBS
  • 15 Double-tap squats
  • 20 Dollys (4-count)
  • 10 Pendulum lunges (10 each side)
  • 20 LBCs


Mosey to Maple Street parking.

  • Bear crawl one parking line, 15 merkins, mosey to the end.
  • Plank…Sprint!
  • Bear crawl two parking lines, 10 merkins, mosey to the end.
  • Plank…Sprint!


Mosey back home for some quick Mary.

  • Guantanamo
  • H2H


Me and 18 of the best men I know


June 29th, 1914 – 108 years ago – the world was just starting to come apart at the seams.

It started the day before…Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was visiting Sarajevo.  Six terrorists, who were furious about the annexation of Bosnia and hellbent on doing something about it, had spread themselves out along his motorcade route.  As the archduke’s vehicle approached, a terrorist threw a hand grenade at the open car, but the grenade only wounded members of the entourage.  Nobody was killed, the archduke wasn’t even injured, and the terrorists all got away.  After settling down and complaining to the Austrian administration about the poor security, later in the day Ferdinand decided to go back out into the city to visit his staff who were wounded and in the hospital.

En route to the hospital, the archduke’s driver took a wrong turn, backed down the street, and momentarily came to a stop in front of a café.  It was at that very café that the frustrated would-be assassins who had escaped earlier in the day, were getting drunk.  When they saw the car sitting there, I imagine they were astonished at a second chance to commit their planned murder. 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip stepped out of the crowd and fired two shots, killing the Archduke and his wife, Sophia.

And thus began a sequence of events that is a tragedy without parallel in all human history.  That driver’s one wrong turn, a simple stupid mistake – inadvertently aided an assassination that was the spark that lit off World War I.  That event led to the deaths of 10 million soldiers and civilians…destroyed most of the empires and dynasties of Europe…created the conditions for the rise of communism… One wrong turn can be ruinous… 

One wrong turn in your life can be ruinous…  One extra stupid decision (to drive after too many drinks…to see that ex-girlfriend who is in town for the weekend…) can RUIN you.  Even small bad decisions can damage your reputation…impact your health…cost you respect from loved ones…cost you a lot of money…or a job…or a friend.  There are very real consequences to poor decisions. 

HOW do we prepare against and protect ourselves from making a wrong turn – from acting in foolishness?  According to the F3 Q-Source, we do 2 things; BUILD GUARDRAILS and SEEK ACCOUNTABILITY. 

Build Guardrails
Proverbs 5:23, He will die for lack of self-control.
Proverbs 1:7, Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.
The HIM builds Guardrails in his life.  Guardrails are routines, habits, disciplines that you establish in your life to keep you focused on being a HIM and keep you resisting those things which would drag you down.  Guardrails. Habits. Routines that keep you out of the ditch and on the road.
Here’s a question for you, BB reader:  You know your tendencies, you know your urges, your vices – now think about this – what Guardrails do you need to build and strengthen to keep you away from those ditches?  What habits, what routines do you need in your life?

Seek Accountability
Proverbs 12:15, Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.
Proverbs 13:20, Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm.
If you aren’t already doing so, you need to be locking shields with other men who are striving to live virtuously.  You need trusted men in your life whom you can be vulnerable with, who’s counsel you value.  You need men who are watching your six as you watch theirs – and who’s duty it is to speak candidly to you if they see you acting foolishly or walking toward danger.
Last question for you, BB reader: Do you have those men in your life?  If not, who?

Here’s the takeaway:  To prepare against making poor decisions in life – big and small – you need guardrails and you need accountability.  The HIM works to develop both. 


Nice to see Limo back out with us!  Nice to see Boy George come out for Rush!

Hat tip to Wax Job – he led a workout very similar to this about 3 years ago…  It’s a classic!

Prayers for our brothers who are injured, ill, awaiting surgery, and/or going through hard times.  Prayers for those traveling.


Convergence at JUCO, Saturday

Family Workout at the Project, July 9th, 9:00 AM


THE SCENE:  62 and clear.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER:  Administered.

  • Knox CP
  • M Nightclub
  • Fence steppers
  • Pendulum lunges
  • Scrape the tip
  • Double-tap squat
  • Mosey to the playground:  5 pull-ups + 1:05 plank + 5 pull-ups + 1:05 plank + 3 pull-ups


Mosey to the parking lot – split into 2 teams.  One die with numbers 1,2,3.

Team 1 rolls the die, then runs that number of laps up the stairs and back around.

While Team 1 runs, Team 2 works through the exercises until laps are completed.

When first man from Team 1 returns from laps, other team rolls.

When list is complete, knock down a cone and start again.

* Also…there is a timer set for 2 minutes.  Every 2 minutes stop and do 15 merkins *

Repeato for 25 minutes.


  • 10 Monkey Humpers (4-count)
  • 15 Mountain climbers (4-count)
  • 10 Iron Mikes (10 each leg)
  • 15 Side crunches (15 each side)
  • 15 Squat jump 180s
  • 15 BBS
  • 15 Double-tap squats
  • 20 Dollys (4-count)
  • 10 Pendulum lunges (10 each side)
  • 20 LBCs


Mosey to the playground:  5 pull-ups + 15 diamonds + 5 pull-ups + 10 diamonds + 3 pull-ups + 2:10 seconds plank


Me and 9 of the best men I know


Genghis Khan was out with a Mongol hunting party.  He was riding his horse and on his wrist sat his faithful hawk.  After a long day of hunting, he saw water dripping on a rockface and dismounted to drink.  While he was filling a cup, his hawk left his arm and flew.  The water trickled into the cup frustratingly slowly, drip by drip – and just as the water came to the top and Khan raised it to his lips, the hawk flew by and knocked it out of his hand.  He picked the cup up and began to refill it.  This time, just as the cup was half full, he brought it again to his lips, but again the hawk swooped down and knocked it out of his hand.  A third time, he filled the cup and a third time the hawk swooped down – but this time Khan was ready and struck the bird with his sword.

Instead of waiting for the drips to fill his cup yet again, he decided to climb the steep hillside and dip water where the stream pooled.  When he reached the place, he found that there was indeed a pool of water; but lying in that pool was a large, dead, venomous snake.  From the hawk’s vantagepoint, it could see the hazard.  This faithful bird was trying to protect him from a danger that he could not see.  

When you lock shields with other men, one of the benefits you get is their perspective.  They can see your blind spots.  They can see your foolishness.  They can be your hawks – flying near you, perceiving what you cannot, protecting you from a danger that you do not even see.  What a treasure!  What an advantage in life!  That is iron sharpening iron.  You invite men to watch your six – as you watch theirs.

Having access to this benefit requires three things that most men are not comfortable with – and each takes courage.

  • Vulnerability.  On the receiving end, you only experience the benefit to the degree to which you are vulnerable about your struggles, vices, fears, and dreams.  When you courageously share those things, that’s when real movement toward advantage can happen.
  • Candidness.  Being willing to speak a hard truth into another man’s life to his face takes courage.  Like the flying hawk that sees the venomous snake – your duty to that man is to warn him of folly and danger.  Your words may anger that man or cause him shame – but what a gift you have given him.

Prov 27:6, Wounds from a friend can be trusted

Prov 27:9, The pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice

  • Humility.  A willingness to receive a tough critique with humility and the recognition that those you’ve locked shields with might, 1) know what’s better for you, 2) see hazards that you cannot, and/or 3) see through your BS.

My encouragement today is to find men in your life to lock shields with.  In order to get the full benefit of their perspective, you’ll need to be courageously vulnerable with them and accept their input with humility.  In order to be a valuable counselor to them, you’ll have to be willing to be courageously candid with them about their faults. 

Prov 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


Nice to have Cheney with us from downrange!  Borg crushed it today!


  • Convergence July 2
  • Family Workout July 9
  • Shield Lock backpacking trip July 15-16