F3 Knoxville

Double Ring of Fire and some hard work and sweat at the Asylum

THE SCENE: Slightly overcast, temps in the mid-80s and a bit muggy

Cherry Pickers 15 IC
Windmills 15 IC
Grady Corns 31 IC
Merkins 10 IC


Mosey to Hill west of stop sign
1. 15 Merkins – Bernie to next station
2.  15 BBS-   Run to next station
3.  20 Squats Bear Crawl to next station
 4.  20 American Hammers (4 ct) –Run

Rinse n repeat

Mosey to Tree at bottom of hill – divide across each cone
Cone 1 – 20 Hello Dollys (4ct) , Cone 2 – 20 Imperial Walkers (4ct), Cone 3 – 20 shoulder taps (4 ct)

Rinse and repeat

I minute Plank
Quick Ring of Fire – 1 merkin each
Mosey to Island
Partner up
Run Opposite direction.  When you meet within 6 feet, 5 Merkins , run again, 10 Merkins, run again – 15 merkins
Rinse and repeat – 5 Bobby Hurleys, 10 Bobby Hurleys, 15 Bobby Hurleys
Mosey to halfway up hill towards AO – One more Ring of Fire




Wayne Dyer- Power of Intention.
Need to separate from Ego.Move away from Ego dominance. Your free will can either move with universal spirit and its unfolding or away from it toward ego dominance. We do not create anything alone, we are all creatures with God. Our free will combines and redistributes whats already created
1. I am what I have. My possesions define me
1. I am what I do. My achievements define me
3. I am what others think of me. My reputation defines me
4. I am separate from everyone. My body defines me as alone
5. I am separate from all that is missing in my life. My life space is disconnected from my desires
6. I am separate from God. My life depends on God’s assessment of my worthiness

Pray for @Jinxy’s wife who is having surgery
Hardship Hill Obstacle build- supply pick up at Christmas Lumber on Kingston Pike ~ 3 pm friday and build at HHOR site in Kingston on Saturday starting at 9 am, need able bodies, skil saws, cordless drills and impact drivers. Let Sparkler know if you can come

God Is God

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

20 Side-Straddle-Hops, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Windmills, 7 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backward, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward.
Mosey to Northeast Corner of Admin Bldg.  We will do 20 Hello Dollies.  Mosey to CMU Pile.  Each man grabs CMU and places it on east side of Parking Lot.  Cone 1 is at that side of parking lot.  Cone 2 is on opposite west side.  We will do one of the listed exercises at Cone 1 with CMU.  We then
Bernie Sanders (without CMU) to Cone 2 and do one of the listed exercises.  We then run up mini cardiac to crosswalk and run back to Cone 1.  We will repeat this sequence with the next set of exercises.  We will have run up and down mini cardiac three times by the time we are finished. Here are the exercises at each cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 25 Overhead Presses.  2. 25 Curls.  3. 25 Rows.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct).  2. 20 Bicycle Kicks (4 cts).  3. 20 Hello Dollies (4 ct.)

Replace CMUs.

Mosey to parking lot that has islands on the other side of ball fields.  We will run around the parking lot stopping at each island to do 10 Merkins.  At island that semi-circle that we semi-circle around we will bear crawl instead of run.  Once around the parking lot, we will do the same thing but do 10 Big Boys at each island.

Mosey to beginning of Pickett’s Charge.  We will Pickett’s Charge to Northeastern Corner of Parking Lot.  We will stop at each hill of Pickett’s Charge to do 5 Hand Release Merkins.  We will also bear crawl up each hill.  After finishing Pickett’s charge we will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Bat House.  We will sprint from Bat House to Parking Lot.

Mosey to AO.

23 men, no FNGs.

The Kingdom grows, because the kingdom is already planted.  It grows of itself and in its own good time.  Above all, it grows we know not how.

–Robert Farrar Capon

Difficult times, like those we are facing with the coronavirus, racial protests, and our very heated political situation, test our beliefs and faith.  Our faith in our government, in other people, in ourselves, and even in God is being put to the test.  At a time like this we may be asking questions such as:

  • God, how can you let this happen?
  • God, where are you in all of this?
  • God, do you have any power to stop this?
  • God, what is your purpose?

We look to solutions to this world problem as if we know the answer, as if we know how the world should be run.  We do that individually and corporately, blaming the whole state affairs on others or claiming that surely us Democrats or us Republicans are in “the right.”

At such times of angst, of confusion, of bewilderment, it is reassuring to know that, as Robert Farrar Capon proclaims, the kingdom is already planted and it grows of itself in its own good time.  It is good to know that God is in control and that is the truth whether we like it or not.  Look at history, at humankind’s treatment of one another, at the devastation of war, of slavery, of corruption, of pollution, and we can see how we botch things when we play God.

One of my favorite songs is “God is God” by Steve Earle.   In discussing fate, uncertainty, miracles, and life he proclaims both that “God ain’t me” and “God ain’t us.”  But through the mystery and uncertainty he believes in God:

Every day that passes I’m sure about a little bit less.
(But) even my money keeps telling me it’s God I need to trust.
And I believe in God, but God ain’t us.

If we believe in God then we must accept that he has a plan that goes beyond our understanding.  His plan is a mystery but one that we must trust.  God is God.  And that is certainly reassuring in difficult times like these.  Personally, it gives me hope.  And, it gives me comfort to know that neither I nor the rulers of this world have the final say.

I will close with the last stanza of Steve Earle’s song which puts in better words than what I can say this mystery, this miracle, and our need to accept it.

God, of my little understanding, don’t care what name I call.
Whether or not I believe doesn’t matter at all.
I receive the blessin’s.
And every day on Earth’s another chance to get it right.
Let this little light of mine shine and rage against the night.
Just another lesson
Maybe someone’s watching and wondering what I got.
Maybe this is why I’m here on Earth, and maybe not.
But I believe in God, and God is God.

Prayers for Sparkler’s son and daughter-in-law, whose son, who died last Christmas Holidays, would have been two today.  Prayers for Jinxy’s wife who has surgery on September 17, for Lilydipper’s wife, and for Thunderstruck’s mother.  Prayer’s for Lulu and Doubtfire whose mothers died this summer.

The Fake Gloomers will be building two obstacles for Hardship Hill.  We will get started the weekend of September 19-20.  Talk to Sparkler for details.  Be at Asylum PM this Thursday because Pusher will be on Q and is bringing Filipino noodles (made by his mother-in-law) for our board meeting!

Building Bridges

THE SCENE: Stormy, but stayed dry, cloudy, low 80s.

Welcome to F3, Fitness, Fellowship and Faith. F3 is a free workout program designed to improve fitness, share some camaraderie, and foster male leadership in the community.  I’m Pele and I will be your Q today.  I am not a professional, and I do not know your fitness level or injury history.  Please push yourself, but modify the workout as necessary to avoid making any existing injuries worse.  The goal is to get better together!  Some additional COVID-19 considerations: keep your distance between you and other members of the PAX and any other folks that we pass during moseys, etc. to 6-10 feet.  We will be splitting up into groups smaller than 50 if necessary.  We need to set good examples and be good neighbors out here at this public park, especially with so many folks out and about.


-43 +1 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Hillbilly Squats (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Abe Vigodas (4-ct), in cadence

– Orphan Annies (Hold elbow plank, lift one hand up and do circle motions like washing the floor.  Switch after 30 seconds)


MOSEY to end of Dragon’s Tail.

Special ROUTE 66. Combination of Route 66 and 11s. At each light do both exercises, with the total equaling 11.  Exercises: MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS and PETER PARKERS (both are 2-count).

MOSEY to parking lot by baseball fields.

    • Four STATIONS, each with two exercises. Must complete 100 total of the exercises (Must be at least a 75/25 split, but otherwise can be any combination.)  Must complete the 100 before moving to next Station.  After completing the 100, Move to the next station using the method indicated.
      1. STATION 1: CMU Pile
        • Curls/Overhead Press
        • BERNIE SANDERS to Station 2.
        • Table Pull ups and Dips
        • EL CAPITAN to Station 3.
        • Bench Step Ups and Incline Merkins
        • SPRINT to Station 4.
      4. STATION 4: Parking Lot across from ballfields
        • BEAR CRAWL and LONG JUMPS back and forth
        • Run to BONUS BOX
  • BONUS BOX in the Middle: Rotate doing 25 of the following in the four corners until the 6 catches up:
    1. SSH x 25
    2. Overhead Claps x 25
    3. Imperial Walkers x 25
    4. Standing calf raises x 25

BERNIE up Baby Cardiac 1/2 way, then sprint.  20 American Hammers (4-ct, IC)

Mosey to monument/lookout, 10 Tempo Squats

Mosey to AO.


  • Static leg raises. On 6, bend one knee, lift the other leg as high in the air as possible and hold. Switch after 30 seconds.
  • 43 +1 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), in cadence

12 Strong

We did Four Score and Seven (i.e., 87) SSH to start and end the work out.  This refers to the opening words of the Gettysburg address, written and delivered by Abraham Lincoln, “FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY”…  The Gettysburg battlefield has been in the news recently, and it prompted me to revisit the Gettysburg Address.  Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and left over 40000 soldiers dead and wounded. Often seen as one of the turning points in the war, Gettysburg pointed the path to Union victory and full emancipation for enslaved Americans.  One of our favorite (insert eye roll…) exercises here, Pickett’s Charge, is named for a doomed attack on Union Forces at during the Battle of Gettysburg.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, the war turned fully in the Union’s favor, and the Civil War ended soon thereafter.  On November 19 of the same year of the battle, President Lincoln was persuaded to say a few words at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg.  It also essentially served as his re-nomination address for the election of 1864, which was not assured: The country was still in the midst of the Civil War, the Democrats were disgruntled and angry, and even Lincoln’s own party was questioning his re-nomination.  So he agreed to speak “a few appropriate remarks.”

The Gettysburg address is quite short.  It’s only 272 words long.  It wasn’t even the main speech of the day.  Lincoln was a reticent man who was not prone to long-winded speeches.  But it is widely regarded as one of the most sublime and patriotic speeches in our nation’s history, and one of the most influential statements of national purpose ever crafted. Its transcript follows, with some inserted notes:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we [Notice that he never used the first person singular in the speech. He used the first person plural] are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. [Notice that he extols the sacrifices of the soldiers who died, without calling out or casting blame on the Confederates.]

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Important Takeaways:

  • Short and Sweet! It was not a grandiose speech that was all about him.  It was also positive and inspirational. (To quote the musical Hamilton, “Talk Less, Smile More”)
  • This nation was conceived in liberty, and ALL men are created equal
  • Lincoln always uses the first person plural, not singular.  “Now WE are engaged in a great Civil War.”  “It is rather for US to be here, dedicated to the great task remaining before us”.  It was not about Lincoln, what he did, etc.  He also did not further divide the nation by calling out the Confederacy.  We’re all in this together.  The speech served to begin the process of mending bridges and put some salve on the wounds caused by the Civil War.  Lincoln took the high road, and refused to be divisive.

We still have unfinished business as a nation,or “a great task remaining before us”.  We are too quick to divide, to accuse, to attack, too slow to forgive, to compromise, to forget old grievances.  During these days of political divisiveness, it is refreshing and hopeful to look back at the words of a truly great man and President, and seek to return to those values described in the Gettysburg Address.

Prayers of gratitude that Lilydipper’s wife, Jan, had successful surgery.  Prayers for Curveball as his family deals with a positive COVID test for one of his daughters. Prayers for Hooker as he ramps up staffing at his office.  Prayers for all involved as schools across the country reopen.


Stay Off The Grass

[ Welcome/Disclaimer ]

  • Welcome to F3: Fitness – Fellowship – Faith
  • My name is Steam and I am honored to be your Q this evening
  • FNGs?
  • Couple of things before we begin:
    • I’m not a professional
    • You’re here on your own volition = you’re here on purpose – I truly believe that and I hope you do too
    • I don’t know any injuries you may or may not have so if you do need to modify anything we do this evening feel free to do so but push yourselves and the men around you
  • COVID Precautions

[ Warm-Up Xs ]

  • Cherry-Picker: 10 x 4
  • Gate-Opener: 10 x 4
  • Rockette: 10 x 4
  • Motivator: 5
    • SSH
    • Straight out
    • Just legs
    • Hops

[ PT ]

(Mosey to the back of the admin building)

  1. Cash-In with 100
    • 20 SSHs – 5x
    • 12 – 3 – 6 – 9
    • 1 group goes counter clockwise + 1 group goes clockwise around the grassy area
    • When you’re done back here at 12 (the top) – hold the Al Gore 

(10 count)

(Mosey to Cardiac Hill)

– Every stop sign = 10 merkins (down/up)

  1. Quarter Pounder
    • 4 points of contact
      • Top
      • Turn 1
      • Turn 2
      • Bottom (light)
    • Every point of contact: 25 merkins
      • Straight-up
      • Incline
      • Decline
      • Your call
    • When you get to the bottom: knock out some squats and work on your breathing until the 6 is up

(10 count)

    • What goes up must come down, right? Let’s flip that on it’s head and consider the idea that what comes down will rise up again, but in a different way.
    • So – going back up to the top – same concept
    • Same 4 points of contact EXCEPT
      • 1 Man-Maker at each POC
    • Hold Al Gore

(10 count)

(Mosey to small Pav single file)

Detour at CMU pile – 5 points for the Q (LOL)

  1. High 5
    • Every pillar = 5 SSHs — lunge to the next pillar
    • To the end

(Mosey to Chapel)

  1. Curb Appeal 
    • 10×4 Rocky Balboas on the curb
    • run across the street to the opposite curb
    • execute 10 down/up incline merkins on the curb

(10 count)

(Mosey back to AO straight up the hill to the flag)

[ COT ]

  • # off: 21 PAX + 1 FNG
  • Name o Rama
  • FNGs
    • 1 —> FirePower (originally named PoleDancer………found out there was a duplicate in the system so FirePower it is)
  • BOM

“Any creative work Is in some sense indebted to every person that has had an impact on one’s life, for good or bad”

  • Brent Curtis, “The Sacred Romance” with John Eldridge
  • Let’s take this a little deeper:
    • As men we create. We plant, grow, and serve. We build. We are intrinsically wired to do this by our creator.
    • Now I want you to think about what you like to create, whether you’ve actually done so recently or not.
      • Maybe it’s physically creating something such art or woodwork, or literature
      • Or Maybe it’s creating things that are not necessarily physical, such as an atmosphere, environment, or content.
    • But whatever that is for you – there are people in your life that have impacted this creation, how you create, what you create, and why you create – for both good and bad.
    • And both of these parties/experiences deserve credit
      • The good: think about those things/people/experiences that have had a positive impact on your life and influence the things you create and why
      • The bad: think about those things/people/experiences that have had a negative impact on your life and influence the things you create and why
    • So we know a couple things now:
      • As men we’re wired to create, plant, grow, and serve
      • The way in which we do this can be attributed to every person who has had an impact on our life, good or bad
      • And as High Impact Men – we’re called to set the standard and set the example – we lead by example
      • So it boils down to this: just like you have had people in your life that have impacted you (good and bad) that inspire you to create and inspires how you create – you have an opportunity every day as a High Impact man to fulfill one of those two roles in someone else’s life.

The Essential Isn’t Imposed

THE SCENE: Misty and humid, temps is 80s

20 Plank Jacks, 10 Burpees, 10 Windmills, 10 Toes Reaches, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward, 7 Backward
Mosey to stop sign at northeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 Hello Dollies.

Mosey to perimeter trail and head west.  We will follow the perimeter trail north to the shaded tree by Lyons Bend.  20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Mt. Everest.  We will do 40 Baby Crunches, then run up to large tree, circle around it and return.

Mosey to shaded area by water bldg.  20 Flutter Kicks.

Mosey to North Shore gate and head east on trail.  There will be cones in flat grassy area to the right.  We will divide up men to start at different cones.  We will go counter-clockwise to each cone. The cones will list exercises.  We will do circle the cones three times doing the first exercise listed the first time there and continue in sequence the next time there.  However, before starting into the next sequence of cone exercises we will make a full circle around the cones.  Here are the exercises for each cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Bobby Hurleys.  2. 20 Smurf Jacks.  3. 20 Star Jumps.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  2. 20 Squats.  3. 20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct)
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1).  2. 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  3. 20 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1)
  • Cone 4:  1. 20 Merkins.  2. 20 Carolina Dry Docks  3.  20 Diamond Merkins

Mosey to beginning of parking lot at Area 51.  We will Bernie Sanders to the curb by the grass, then run back to the starting point of the parking lot, then Bernie Sanders back to the curb again.  Next, at curb we will do 20 Toe Taps (4 ct).  Then we will run to the road up top where there is a shaded tree.  There, we will do 30 Second Leg Lift.

Mosey to bat cave.  From the bat cave we will sprint to the administration parking lot.  Each man walks back to bat cave after the sprint, then sprints to parking lot again.

Mosey to AO.

20 Hello Dollies, 20 Tempo Merkins.
20 men, no FNGs.

Quote from James Finley, a theologian and former monk who studied under Thomas Merton: “That which is essential never imposes itself for love is always offered, it’s never imposed, and that which in unessential is constantly imposing itself.”

God created us in His image.  He made us for communication with Him.  We fall short in life if not with Him.  We are in need of Him.  Without Him we are thirsty.  Without Him there is something wrong in our lives.  His love is Essential.  And, as James Finley says, his love is offered freely to us.  It is not imposed, it is not forced upon us. It comes to us in so many ways: the playfulness of a child, the chance for rest or Sabbath, the words of the Bible, the laughter among friends, intimacy with a partner, the love shared by a neighbor, the smile of a stranger, the songs of the birds, the beauty of the mountains, the plains, the wind, the sky, God’s creation.  Notice how these Essential things hang back, they do not force their will on us, they do not impose themselves.  Notice how we have to truly look, to truly listen, to truly observe in order to appreciate them.  It is like pulling over to the side of the road to really enjoy a sunset.  You sit there in your car and our blown away by the beauty.  And then, after you start the car up and drive on home, you think to yourself, I need to do this more often, I need to truly take this beauty in each day.  It is like when you hear a great song that makes the hair rise on your skin and you think, how beautiful, how powerful, this song makes me want to be more than what I have been.  Or, it is like when you are at worship and hear a particular sermon that makes you almost want to cry and you think, man, I need to remember this, I need to take this into the fiber of my being . . . and, a few days later you kind of forget what the sermon was all about.

A problem we humans face is that, like Finley claims, “the unessential is constantly imposing itself” on us.  What are some of these unessential things?  Wealth, power, fame, success, popularity are examples.  Think about our daily lives.  Think about what the world says we should be.  We are constantly bombarded by shoulds in our lives. “I should do more to rise to the top at work.”  “I should work more hours so that I can make more money.”  “I should get a bigger home.”  “I should get a nicer car.”  “I need to participate in more organizations so that I am doing more with my life.”  “I gotta make that deadline.” “I should be slimmer and more fit.”  “I should spend more of my time working for charities so that people see how much I am giving to others.”  “I need to be the top salesman in my region this year”.  “I need to belong to that country club because it is populated by some of the most notable people in Knoxville.”  I am not saying that any of the above things are unworthy.  But, they are unessential.  These shoulds are often what we pay the most attention to.  And by doing that, we lose sight of God’s creation, God’s love.  We miss out on what God has made essential for us.

Lord, help us to spend more time focusing on the essential.  You have given these essential things to us because you love us.  You don’t impose them on us.  You give us free will to accept them because you know that true love cannot be forced upon us.  Help take our eyes away from what is unessential and keep our eyes on you.


Prayers for Title -9 as he adjusts to living in Oregon, for Lily’s wife who will have double mastectomy surgery on Wednesday, Augut 19, for Thunderstruck’s mother as she faces chemotherapy and blood transfusions, for safety of the F3 dads and kids at camp this weekend, for the AO in Morristown that we helped start.  Steam will be going to the Morristown AO workout to support them this Saturday and welcomes anyone who would like to go with him.