F3 Knoxville

Faithful to Us

THE SCENE: Sunny, temp in 30’s

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Tempo Squats, 10 Windmills, 7 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backward, 5 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward
Run to CMU pile.  Each man grabs CMU.  We will do the following exercises.  Between the listed exercises each man runs to the benches at the playground to do 10 bench jumps, then runs back.

  • 25 Overhead Presses
  • 25 Curls
  • 25 Rows

We then put CMUs back.

Mosey up cardiac and on trail to stop sign at intersection of park road and road to admin bldg.  We will do 20 American Hammers and 20 Hello Dollies.

Mosey to bottom of Mt. Everest.  We will do 10 Tempo Squats, 20 Bicycle Kicks and 30 Baby Crunches.  We then run up Everest to roadway by Admin Bldg.  We will do 20 Flutter Kicks.

Mosey to parking lot below stairs at Coliseum.  We will do Doras.  While one man does exercises the other runs upstairs, heads south at Coliseum, the comes back down the parking lot driveway.  Partners then switch.  Here are the exercises that each two man team performs:

  • 100 Plank Jacks
  • 100 Merkins
  • 100 Big Boy Sit-ups
  • 100 Squat Jumps
  • 100 Imperial Walkers

Mosey down Picket’s Charge and back to Playground.  More Flutter Kicks until everyone arrives.

Mosey to outfield by baseball field closest to CMU parking lot.  We will split into two teams.  We will play soccer/ball shoot.  In this game there will be two large boxes at each end of the field.  Teams will kick soccer ball toward opponents end.  The shot at the box, however, must be made by man throwing ball to go inside the box.  The man cannot move when he picks the ball up.  If a team scores, that team will run to second base at the ballfield and back while the team that is scored on must run all the way to home plate and back.  Then game resumes.

Mosey to AO.

20 Flutter Kicks
22 men, no FNGs.
God is Faithful

The phrase “you gotta have faith” is one you have probably heard before.  I think that phrase often applies to having faith in ourselves, or having faith that things will work out, versus having faith in God.  Still, most of us have certainly heard of our need to have faith in God to get by in this world.  And, we do need to have faith in God.  Yet, we often fall short of being faithful:  in our trust of God, in our commitment to his desire for obedience, in living the loving and virtuous lifestyle that God expects from us.  Fortunately, we have a God who is faithful to us.  So much so that he was willing to, from the Christian standpoint, send his only Son to die for us on the cross.  It is nice to know that we have a God who is faithful to us, who is there for us.

That knowledge of his faithfulness keeps us strong.  I may have told some of you this story of my childhood.  I was about age 5 or 6 and I had acted rather poorly toward my mother earlier that day. It was getting towards evening and I came home to find the door locked.  No big deal, it was a policy to lock the door.  I rang the door bell.  No answer.  I knocked on the door.  No answer.  I ran around to the back of the house.  Door locked and no answer when I knocked.  I ran back up front and after ringing and knocking, I went to our large front window and peered in.  My mother was sitting on a chair in the living room.  How could she not come to me when I was ringing the doorbell and knocking so loud?  Had my mom stopped loving me because I had acted poorly that day?  I called out and she didn’t come.  I ran into the backyard and threw myself to the ground in tears.  Imagine Little Lilydipper, crying until the snot was draining in fissures from his nose.  I later heard my mom calling.  I took a while to get up.  She came to the backyard and found me in tears.  She asked me what was wrong and I told her the story of my persistent knocking and her failure to come to me.  She had been sitting at a chair sound asleep and had not heard me.  She thought she heard a child crying and that was what woke her up.

My mother took pity on me as I was obviously distraught.  So she sat with me, assured me that she would never leave me, would always have faith in me, that I would always be her special child, that I could count on her loving me forever.  She and I went to get a hamburger and ice cream at Goff’s Burgers that evening.  I loved that place because they had the best chili hamburgers in the world and amazing ice cream cones.  I sat there at Goff’s with a special feeling in my heart.  My mother would always be faithful to me.

Gents, we aren’t kids but it sure is good to know that God will always be faithful to us.  We can count on Him.  We may act poorly sometimes, we may upset him with our behavior. . . but we will always be His, we will always be special to Him.   You are His precious child.  Let that truth sink into you and give you that special feeling in your heart like I had that evening at good old Goff’s Hamburgers.

Prayers for those of Asian decent in our country because of the hatred that some have showed toward them; for the disenfranchised and folks who are not well and having to stay home; for Mr. Jinxy, Sarah, the wife of Ribbed, and Jan, the wife of Lillydipper; for Dung-Beetle who, as a minister, is working with so many in need, for those with Covid including the father of one of Mickey’s schoolmates, for those struggling with addiction, and that we may have discernment when watching the news as the news can be biased.
Beer ruck tonight at 6:00 pm!

Through Imperfection

THE SCENE: Clear skies, about 60 degrees.

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, Plank Stretches, 10 Windmills, 10 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backwards
Mosey to stop sign at southeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 American Hammers.

Mosey to shaded area that is on other side of road from Area 51.  There will be four cones set up.  We will go counter-clockwise to each cone.  We will do so four times and do one exercise at each in sequence.  We go to the next cone by the method listed.  Here are the exercises and way to get to the next cone.

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Star Jumps  2.  10 Burpees  3. 20 Plank Jacks  4. 20 Smurf Jacks  (Sprint to Cone 2)
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Merkins 2.  15 Hand Release Merkins  3.  20 Dive Bombers  4. 20 Diamond Merkins  (Bear Crawl to Cone 3)
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Jump Squats  2.  20 Mountain Climbers  (both feet = 1) 3. 20 Iron Mikes (both feet = 1)  4. 20 Side Straddle Hops  (Bernie to Cone 4)
  • Cone 4:  1.  20 Big-Boy Sit-ups  2.  20 Hello Dollies (4 ct)  3.  20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct)  4. 20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct)  (Lunge to Cone 1)

Mosey to grassy area by Northshore Entrance to Park.  20 Imperial Walkers.

Mosey on perimeter trail south and then east on Perimeter Trail to benches at south end.  Alternate between 20 Bench Dips and 30 Baby Crunches.

Mosey to Soccer Fields and then to grassy area past roadway.  We will then do sevens going from grassy area to tree in a field that is about 40 yards away.  We will start with 1 set of Shoulder Taps at the roadway and 6 Pinto Twists at the tree.

Mosey to stop sign at southeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 American Hammers

Mosey to AO.

1 minute run in place and 30 seconds of stretching.
18 men, no FNGs.

Imperfect Leaders and Servants

From 2 Corinthians 12:  9-10:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I consider the brothers of F3, the men I see each week at workouts and through fellowship, and I see so many of you having the true desire to serve others and be leaders among our community.  Yet, we sometimes hesitate for fear of failure.  We fear that we will fall short of our goals, not live up to the people we serve, not speak well enough or act well enough, or just be overwhelmed by the time and nature of the task.  We think we have to be a Captain Crunch, an Abscess or a Judge Judy to lead and serve the way we should.

We need to remember a wonderful truth when our fears and concerns keep us from taking the chance to lead and serve.  God works through our imperfections.  Consider every person besides Christ that is in the Bible.  They were all imperfect but God used them to serve His purpose.  Consider Moses:  a man afraid to speak to others, God used him to lead the Jews out of Egypt and to the promised land.  Consider David:  a man who lusted after Bathsheba and had to be brought to shame to see his sin. God found favor on David and he was a great leader. Consider Peter:  a disciple of Christ who boasted he would never betray Him, yet who betrayed Him three times after Jesus was arrested.  And, Peter became one of the greatest disciples of Christ, spreading the works of Christ after his death.

God will use our imperfections to serve his people.  Why worry then about how imperfect we are.  Like Paul says in Corinthians, for the sake of Christ we can be boast in our weaknesses.  For He will use our weaknesses to make his power perfect.  Go forth, therefore, with confidence.  When you screw up, when you stumble, when you say the idiotic thing, if your intentions are loving, if your intentions are to do good for others, Christ will use you despite your mistakes.  The message:  Get out there and fail because through your failures you will succeed.
Prayers for Speed Flash on his test tomorrow, for Hand’s friend who passed away and the family of that friend, and for Abscess’ friend who has triple-bypass heart surgery upcoming.
AO Launch this weekend in Maryville.  Get copy paper, napkins and 55 Gallon Trash Bags in for service project.

I did not die

THE SCENE: Clear and cold, high twenties.

20 Side Straddle-Hops, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Windmills, 10 Tempo Squats, Michael Phelps, Little of This and That


Mosey to flat field area where we have Brolympics.  We will do a Pyramid with the following exercises.  We will do each exercise for 30 seconds:

  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats
  • Imperial Walkers

We then run to the Caribbean.  We will run past four islands and lunge to one island, then repeat that sequence until we have circled the Caribbean.  We will rinse and repeat but Bernie instead of run and backward lunge instead of lunge.

Mosey to parking lot with CMUs.  Each man grabs a CMU.  We will do a Pyramid with 25 each of the following exercises:

  • Overhead Presses
  • Curls
  • Plank Jacks with hands on CMU

Mosey to Caribbean again.  We will rinse and repeat what we previously did but with running, bear crawls, Bernies, and backwards lunges.

Return to parking lot and grab same CMU.  We will do 25 each of the following exercises

  • Rows
  • Chest Pushes

Put up CMUs.  Mosey back to AO.

18 men with one of them a Flying EH FNG whom we named Black Box.

The following poem was written by Mary Elizabeth Frye, a housewife who lived in Baltimore, Maryland.  In a moment of inspiration, she wrote it on the back of a brown paper bag.  She wrote it for a friend who had lost her mother.  The religious significance of the poem will be obvious.  Word spread about the poem and it was later published in newspapers.  It became a famous poem but for many years, people didn’t even know who the author was.  Mary Elizabeth Frye was not a poet in the vocational sense of the word.  She never published any poetry.  Yet, her poem has been read at countless funerals and public ceremonies throughout the years.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

Prayers for:  two of Rooney’s students who lost a father to Covid; for those who have no homes/residences that are in the path of the cold wave that has run through the United States; for a friend of Swimmies who has Stage IV cancer and a tumor near his spine that has led to paralysis from the waist down; for a person in California that Drum Major has worked with who lost his life – for that man’s family; and, a prayer of praise for Ice Man who has found out he will have a baby boy.
Launch of AO in Maryville on Saturday, March 6 at 7 am.  See Slack for details.

Grainger County Christmas Story

THE SCENE: Clear skies, temps in high 20’s.

Run around the parking lot to get warm; 20 Side-Straddle Hops; 10 Burpees; 10 Cherry Pickers; 10 Rockettes; 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward
Mosey to start of the Dragon Tail.  We will run up dragon tail stopping at every other light to do 10 of the following exercises (one exercise for each run up).  After reaching the top, run on trail to road, back down to lower parking lot, and back to the start of the Dragon Tail to do the next exercise.  Here are the exercises:

  • Iron Mikes (both legs = 1)
  • Big Boy Sit-ups
  • Jump Squats
  • Merkins

Mosey to stop sign that is on the northeastern corner of the admin bldg.  We will be moving in a route with signs giving the directions for exercises along the way and where we go next.  The signs will be numbered and by cones.

  • Cone 1:  Do 10 Burpees.  Then bear crawl on sidewalk heading south to Cone 2.
  • Cone 2:  Do 15 Dive Bombers.  Then lunge on sidewalk south to Cone 3.
  • Cone 3:  Do 10 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1).  Then run to Cone 4 at porch of Admin Bldg.
  • Cone 4:  Do 20 Calf Raises on stairs and 20 Hello Dollies (4 ct.) on porch. Then run south on trail and back north on trail to Cone 5.
  • Cone 5:  Run down steps to parking lot below Coliseum.  Then run south up parking lot, around to southern end of Coliseum and north to Cone 6 which is by marble bench area of Coliseum.
  • Cone 6:  Do 20 Bench Dips.  Then run to Cone 7.
  • Cone 7:  Do 40 Baby Crunches.  Then run to Cone 8 which is on street near to the admin stop sign where we started.
  • Cone 8:  Do 20 Carolina Dry Docks.
  • Rinse and Repeat.

As a group we will take a 30 second gander at Beautiful Eastern TN below us.  Then we will mosey to parking lot with CMUs.

Each man grabs a CMU and teams up with a brother.  We will do Doras. While one man runs to pavilion and does 10 Picnic Table Pull-ups, the other does the exercises with the CMU.  Then partners switch. Each team will do the following exercises:

  • 100 Overhead Presses
  • 100 Curls
  • 100 Rows
  • 100 Squats

Put CMUs back and mosey to start of mini-cardiac.  Bernie up mini-cardiac to park sign, then sprint the rest of the way to the AO.

28 men with one FNG:  John Case.  He is now named Lamont.  He is the father of member Mickey.
In my work as a therapist I heard a mighty fine Christmas story from one of my patients and decided to share it to you here in February.  My patient lives in a mountainous area in Grainger County, Tennessee.  Some of you may have heard of Grainger County tomatoes.  Most are grown in the valley of the county but some areas of the county can be pretty rugged.  Here’s a little demographic news for you in regards to Grainger County.  It is 94% white, 3.3% Hispanic, and probably less than 1% Black.  If you are a black man, you may not want to get stuck alone in Grainger County.  The patient I am talking about is a middle-aged white woman and she would tell you that.

She also told me about an African-American truck driver who was driving on a winding highway through the area she lived in on Christmas Eve.  As you may recall, Christmas Eve is the day we got that snow that gave us all a White Christmas.  The highway the man was driving on was curvy and slick.  Unfortunately, his 18 wheeler went off the side of the road and landed in a deep ditch.  There was no way to get that truck out easily.  It was going to take more than one large wrecker truck to get the truck out.  It being Christmas, that would take well over 24 hours.

The truck had valuable cargo and the driver was required to stay with his truck until it could be towed.  So this African-American truck driver was stuck on Christmas Eve miles from his home – in one of the most rugged areas of “redneck country”.  In Grainger County, if you aren’t driving a pickup truck with a gun rack inside your back window, “you probably ain’t from around these parts.”  The necessary clothing for a man is a pair of jeans with a can of snuff in your back pocket.

News can spread pretty fast in a rural county and the news of the sidelined truck came to my patient quickly.  She was frankly worried about this African-American truckdriver stuck in her neck of the woods.  She was concerned someone might try to start some trouble with him.  She wanted to go out to his truck to check on him but was worried about doing so until her husband got home.  He did later that day and they went out to the area where the truck was located.

What they found was a number of “neighbors” already congregated by the truck.  They also found these same “redneck” neighbors had brought the African-American truckdriver some hot dinner, hot coffee, and baked goods to snack on through the evening.  People from all over were coming to make the driver feel as comfortable as he could.  They even brought blankets but he had those in his cabin which he was able to keep warm through keeping the engine on.  They offered for him to come to their homes but he had to stay with his truck.  By the next morning the driver had hot breakfast and gifts of goodies and Christmas cards.  When the truck was finally pulled out of the ditch, the driver went home with more hot food and goodies that were brought to him at lunch and dinner time on Christmas Day.

My patient went to sleep on Christmas night feeling wonderful about the residents of Grainger County.  Whatever their beliefs and prejudices’, they had made an African-American stranger feel blessed and welcome.  It was a Christmas that I am sure he will never forget.  And, my patient, who has had a difficult year, sang “Joy to the World” a little louder on Christmas day.  The air smelled mighty fresh in Grainger County and the stars shone brighter for the rest of 2020.

Prayers for the disenfranchised; for caregivers who are taking care of others and that they would have patience in that difficult task; for Ribbed and his wife, Sarah, after the surgery to remove the tumor by her spine; for Abacus’ mother who will need surgery on her leg; for those in F3 who have lost loved ones this year.
Reward at Coffeeteria!


THE SCENE:  Cloudy, temp in mid-forties.

20 Plank Jacks, 10 Jump Squats, 10 Rockettes, 10 Windmills, Michael Phelps, Little of This and That
Mosey to South Ball Fields Parking Lot.  We will start at southern curb.  There will be five cones places along parking lot toward northern curb.  We will run to each cone, hop backwards three parking spaces, then run to the next cone, hop backwards three parking spaces, and continue this pattern until we reach the northern curb.

We will do the same thing going back but instead of hopping back three spaces will bear crawl back three spaces.

Next, we will have a race to pick up the cones.  The idea is to get a cone and run back to southern curb or to the middle light pole with the cone.  However, anyone who is touched by another men must give that man his cone and allow him a second to run off.  Whoever ends up back at the southern curb or at the middle light pole with the most cones wins.

Mosey to stop sign at main drive.  10 Tempo Squats.

Mosey to parking lot with the nice restrooms.  We will do 20 American Hammers.  Then we will Bernie Across parking lot.  On the other side of the parking lot we will do 20 Hello Dollies.

Mosey to playground.  We will do the following in a counterclockwise triangle:

  • At Playground:  20 Bench Jumps and 20 Bench Dips
  • At Pavilion:  20 Picnic Table Pull-ups and 20 Decline Merkins
  • At Flagpole:  20 Sky Jumps and 20 Squats
  • Rinse and Repeat

Mosey to parking lot by the entry gate to the Northern Ball Fields.

We will do Sprints, Bernies, Karaoke’s, and Skips back and forth across parking lot.

Mosey to AO

20 Flutter Kicks, 20 Pickle Pounders, 20 Bicycle Kicks, then stretches.
15 men, no FNGs.
I have read from this song in the past in reference to topics but I thought I would read the whole thing today.  To me, it is a beautiful song about what it means to be baptized.  The name of the song is “Been Through the Water.”  It is written by Kyle Matthews.  It follows the life of a person baptized as a boy and talks about how his baptism follows him through marriage and as an old man before he dies.

Been Through The Water – Kyle Matthews

Preacher pulled the boy up from the water
Alleluias rose from the banks
There was a new suit of clothes from his Father
And a prayer of thanks

The boy walked barefooted all the way home for dinner
And when they laughed at his muddy feet…

He said I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me
And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
Ah been through the water

Preacher turned them around at the altar
Pronounced the boy and his girl “man and wife”
In two years they were Mother and Father
And they built them a life
And his old girlfriend saw a moment of weakness
And she said “If you’re lonely come see me sometime…”

He said I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me
And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
Ah been through the water

He baits a hook with his grandson of seven
And says “Soon, I’ll be free from these pains.”
The boy asked if he’s ever been to heaven
He says “No… but I think I know the way… ’cause I’ve been through the water…”

I’ve been through the water and I’ve come out clean
Got new clothes to cover me
And you don’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet
When you’ve been through the water
Ah been through the water

Prayers for Pele’s cousin, Tom, who is in 80s and has Multiple Myeloma.  He, further, was recently diagnosed with Covid.  Prayers for Crawdad on a safe journey to Huntsville.
CSAUP on Saturday, January 30.  Arrive at 6:15 am at the Asylum to register.  We will start at 6:30 am and end at 9 am.  Breakfast will follow.  Blood drive at Asylum the day before.