F3 Knoxville

All Hail the GOATS!

THE SCENE: Perfect! Sunny, mid 60s, slight breeze… we will miss this when it’s 95 and humid.




-20 SSH (4-ct, IC)

– 10 Windmills (4-ct, IC)

– 10 Plank Jacks (4-ct, IC)

– 20 Moroccan Nightclubs (4-ct, IC)

– Little of this and that


MOSEY to Amphitheater.

  • JINXY’S FOUR AND A QUARTER. Start at bottom of hill, run to top of slope and do 25 reps of an exercise, return to starting position.  R&R 4 times, totaling 100 of the exercise.
    • Round 1: Carolina Dry Docks
    • Round 2: Imperial Walkers (single count)
    • Round 3: Lunges (single count)

MOSEY to field across from Area 51.

  • LILYDIPPER’S FOUR CORNERS. Cones will be laid out in a square.  Move around the square 3 times, doing the exercises listed, in order.  Move to the next corner by the method indicated.
    • CORNER 1: 20 Merkins/ 20 Shoulder Taps (4-ct) / 20 Bottle Openers (4-ct). Sprint to Corner 2.
    • CORNER 2: 20 Box Cutters / 20 BBS / 20 Gas Pumps. Bernie to Corner 3.
    • CORNER 3: 20 Star Jumps / 20 Bobby Hurleys / 20 Tempo Squats. Bear Crawl to Corner 4.
    • CORNER 4: 20 Mountain Climbers (4-ct) / 20 Hurpees (Burpee without the Merkin) / 20 Plank Jacks. Skip to Corner 1.

MOSEY to Area 51

– 20 American Hammers, Run up slope to tree stump…

– 20 Pinto Twists, Run up to Street…

– 20 Rocky Balboas



  3. BOTTOM OF SUMMIT: 10 Burpees
  4. TOP OF SUMMIT: 25 LBCs.

We didn’t have time to do the whole Grinder, so we did the top exercises (Smurf Jacks and LBCs) at the top of the summit, ran down, did the Burpees and BBS, then charged back up.

No time for the old gal…

15 strong!
This workout honored some of the Goats, which is the name we gave ourselves sitting around at the Board Meeting a few years ago when we were by far the oldest AO.  In particular, I wanted to pay tribute to some of the guys in the DOUBLE RESPECT categories who were not able to join us this afternoon because of various ailments and injuries, namely PINTO, JINXY, and LILLYDIPPER.  There are several reasons we use the term DOUBLE RESPECT title, and sometimes we tend to gloss over it, or simply yell it out automatically in the BOM.  But these workouts are damn hard, and age makes them even more challenging, as I’ll be the first to tell you.  So there’s respect for the fact that the older guys are getting out there and busting their rear ends side by side with the younger crowd.  But also, these are the elders of our F3 community, and these three have been with the program longer than almost everyone else out here.  They set the example of how it should be done, and they may not be able to keep up with the rabbits in the group in terms of pure speed, but after being in F3 for 3 years I can tell you that no one does it better.  Their dedication to the tenets of F3 and in encouraging the next generation never flags.  It’s important to them to pass that torch on to the younger guys.  I remember Pinto getting on me for resting instead of keeping moving when I was standing in line to go down the stairs on the Grinder Circuit (“There’s no standing around! Keep moving!”).  I remember Lillydipper telling me how great I was doing and encouraging me when we I was absolutely dying going up Cardiac for the first time.  (And by the way… just watch Lilly when he moseys… he keeps running all the way to the stopping point, when 99% of the rest of us pull up 20 feet short and walk. ) And I remember Jinxy refusing to quit after pulling a leg muscle mid-way through his second lap on Hardship Hill a few years ago when I was running with him as a partner.  Dude had one leg, but he kept on going.  So thank you to our Double Respect warriors.   Their age may be pretty high, but you know what?  So is the dang bar that they set for the rest of us as F3 brothers. LONG LIVE THE GOATS!

Prayers for Lilly, Pinto, and Jinxy.  Prayers for the Austin East Community as they try to heal following the shootings and violence they’ve experienced the past year.
Don’t forget to pick up something for the Safe Haven and World United Ministries charity drive!

Help with Faith

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

20 Plank Jacks, 15 Iron Mikes, 10 Windmills, 10 Tempo Merkins, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward
Mosey past stop sign on the southeastern side of the admin bldg.  Run down to the lower parking lot east of the admin bldg.  Divide into teams of two for Doras.  While one Teammate 1 runs up roadway and around corner to do ten merkins , Teammate 2 will start the exercises.  After doing ten merkins, Teammate 1 runs back to replace Teammate 2 on the exercises and Teammate 2 runs up the hill do to the merkins.  Here are the exercises for the Doras:

  • 100 Merkins
  • 100 Big Boy Sit-ups
  • 100 Flutter Kicks (4 ct)
  • 100 Side-Straddle Hops
  • 50 Hand Release Merkins
  • 100 Hello Dollies (4 ct)
  • 200 Baby Crunches

Mosey to semi-circle lane that goes by soccer fields.  We will high-knee for 25 pole lengths then do 3 burpees and continue until done with the semi-circle.

Mosey to parking lot at southern ball fields.  There will be five cones places from one end of the parking lot to the other.  We will run to the first cone, do a listed exercise, run to the next cone, do the same exercise, and continue to the end of the parking lot.  We will run back doing the next listed exercise.  Here are the exercise:

  • 10 Dive Bombers
  • 10 Diamond Merkins

Mosey past outdoor chapel and to grassy area across the street.  We will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey uphill to the area where we did Doras.  Stop at two inclines along the way to do 10 Wide Merkins.

Mosey to A0.

Finish up with 10 Carolina Dry Docks.
16 men, no FNGs.
My wife, Jan, and I have been watching the TV mini-series The Crown on Netflix.  The shows are based on true stories involving the reign of Great Britain’s current Queen Elizabeth.  One of the recent episodes focused on Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.  He is a man who loves adventure.  He was an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II, loves sports, and particularly loves to fly planes as a pilot.  The episode I am referring to depicted him during the time that the American Apollo Astronauts first landed on the moon.  In the episode Phillip, as a pilot, is fascinated with the mission and highly regards the astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

As a man who must take second fiddle to the Queen, Phillip questions his own life.  He certainly loves the Queen and certainly has privileges as her husband but there is a part of him that has wanted to set his own course vs. follow the traditions and duties of the Royal House.  At about this time, a minister named Robin Woods becomes the new Dean of Windsor. He heads the chapel that serves the Queen.  He asks Phillip for use of some unused Royal Buildings that he desires to be a retreat for ministers.  Prince Phillip is a man who is bored with the Royal church services but he agrees to the Dean’s request as the buildings aren’t being used anyway.

During the buzz of the future moon landing, Dean Woods catches up with Phillip and invites him to the retreat center to listen in on a group discussion of visiting ministers.  The ministers sit talking about problems, something Phillip isn’t that keen on, and discuss the decline in faith and worship service attendance among the people of England.  Phillip sees all this “talk” as nonsense, particularly when there are astronauts out there doing something great, incredible, landing on the moon of all things.  When asked by the ministers to participate in the talk, he tells them to stop bemoaning the decline in worship among the people of England and get off their butts.  What is needed is action, action such as seen by the Apollo Astronauts.

The astronauts, of course, land on the moon and are heroes. They go on a world tour and come to England, even for a short trip to Buckingham Palace.  Prince Phillip asks for and is granted a short personal meeting with the men.  He is overcome in the anticipation of meeting these men who are like Gods to him.  When he does meet the men, they are sneezing and sniffling, fighting off colds they have acquired in the exhausting schedule they have had since their return to Earth.  Phillip wants to know what they “found” on their journey, not the physical moon dust but that special “meaning” they discovered out in space.  These young astronauts have no answer for him.  They didn’t really have time to think about the meaning of the universe on their journey – the were too busy following procedures, doing the things that they had been trained to do.  These astronauts had certainly done something special and to be admired but they were also just three young guys, fighting off colds.  And frankly, what they were more interested in was hearing from Phillip what it was like to live in a place like the Buckingham Palace.

Phillip’s desire to find meaning in science, in adventure, in space, goes awry ands leave him unsatisfied.  And, in his bewilderment and dejection, he returns to the retreat center to meet once again with the Dean and visiting ministers.  He apologizes for his previous behavior.  He is now willing to participate in the “talk” that he previously thought to be nonsensical.  And, in talking to them, he asks for something.  He recognizes that what he has been lacking all along is faith.  Faith in something that goes beyond actions, science, and the privileges of Royalty that he has long known is not enough for him.  And what does he ask the ministers for?  He asks for Help. Help with his lack of faith.

I don’t know what kind of faith Prince Phillip has found in his life.  But, at the end of the episode some words were posted for the viewer.  The notes proclaimed that Prince Phillip and Dean Woods became close friends and have been personal confidants for the last 51 years.

What are you searching for?  Where do you put your energy, your interests?  If your search for meaning leads you to something other than God, it is very likely that you will not be satisfied.  As Faulkner said, it is all sound and fury leading to nothing.  Have faith in something more.  Search for God.

Prayers for many.
5th F3 Knoxville Anniversary on Nov 7.

Believe It

THE SCENE: Sunny, temps in 60s.  We met at Parking Lot at Southern Ball Fields because the Admin Bldg Parking Lot and area has a large political rally there.

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Iron Mikes each leg, 10 Cherry Pickers, 7 Twists, 10 Little Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backward, 10 Tempo Merkins
Mosey to parking area by residential units north of the soccer fields.  We will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to roadway that heads to Northshore Entrance of the park.  Go left on the little drive that heads south before you go to the park entrance gate.  We have dubbed it “The Road to Nowhere.”  We will have cones set up in a flag formation.  We will run to each cone and do the exercises listed.

  • Cone 1:  10 Burpees  Bernie Sanders to Cone 2
  • Cone 2:  10 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1)
  • Cone 3:  10 Hand Release Merkins
  • Cone 4:  20 Star Jumps
  • Cone 5:  20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  Bear Crawl to Cone 6
  • Cone 6:  20 Hello Dollies (4 ct)
  • Cone 7:  20 Merkins
  • Rinse and Repeat two more times

Mosey to Area 51.  We will do 20 Curb Dips in Parking Lot, then run up hill to roadway.  Those on roadway will do Baby Crunches until all men arrive.

Mosey past stop sign at Southeastern corner of Admin Bldg to hillside.  We will do Sevens off the hill toward the cone planted about 20 yards away in the grass.  At top of hill we will start with one Mountain Climber.  At bottom of hill we will start with six Burpees.

Mosey to AO.  We will do sprints between large light poles, starting with sprints at half speed, then going to 3/4 speed and ending with full speed.

20 Flutter Kicks, 20 Bicycle Kicks, 10 Tempo Merkins.
19 men with one being an FNG, Hayden Corbitt, whom we dubbed “Kermit.”

Let your faith roar so loud that you can’t hear what doubt is saying.” Author unknown.

During times like this coronavirus pandemic it may be more difficult to believe in God.  How can God let this terrible thing happen to us and to the whole world?  Yet, at the end of April, when the Coronavirus was hitting us hard and so many were quarantining, a Pew Research Center survey of Americans found that 24% said that as a result of the pandemic there faith was stronger.  Only 2% said their faith was weaker.

When people say they don’t believe in God, or when we ourselves express disbelief in God, our actions usually portray something different.  People may say they don’t believe but find themselves praying for something good to occur when a loved one is ill.  People who believe that this world is nothing but chaos or that creation is random still desire and strive for order in their lives.  People who say that the world is bad still hope for good things to happen to them.  People who say there is no love in this world still hope to be loved.  Unbelievers still yearn for something more in their lives, and essentially pray for their holes to be filled.

God sees our disbelief and tells us to believe.  I think of Christ coming to the disciples after breathed his last breath on the Christ and saying to Thomas, touch my, fill the wounds in my skin.  And he felt for Thomas for not believing until he did see him, did touch him.

God, help us through this difficult time.  Fill our holes.  We pray for you, even at times of disbelief.  Let our faith in you roar so loud that we can’t even hear what doubt is saying.

Prayers for Knoxville area in face of Covid-19 as there has been a recent rise in hospitalizations here.  Prayers for Romeo after his very serious motorcycle accident.
Convergence and 3rd F at Bomb Shelter this Saturday, October 17 from 7 am to 9:30 am.


THE SCENE: Light rain, temp in low 60s.

20 Side-Straddle Hops, 20 Plank Jacks, 10 Windmills, 10 Rockettes, 10 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backward, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward.
Our AO for the day was the pavilion at the Northern Ball Fields.

Mosey to semi-circle roadway that goes by soccer fields.  We ran high knee for 10 stakes, did 10 squats, then butt-kicked for 10 stakes and did 10 squats.  We continued that pattern until the end of the semi-circle roadway.  We then returned to the start with the same pattern but this time doing squat jumps instead of squats.  We, finally, went back on the semi-circle, this time doing Bernie Sander for 20 states and 5 Imperial Walkers, repeating that pattern to the end of the semi-circle roadway.

Mosey to parking lot by southern ball fields.  We did suicides up parking lot, running to each of the large light posts along the parking lot.  When we got back from each cone we did 20 Squats.  We rinsed and repeated.

Mosey back to the street but stop at curb before stop sign.  We did 10 tempo merkins by curb.

Mosey to parking lot with the islands that is located south of the Northern Ball Fields.  We divided into three groups.  Two groups positioned themselves on islands on the opposite end of the parking lot.  While the third group ran from one end of the parking lot to the other, the groups on either island alternated between doing 10 incline merkins on curb and 10 bench dips on curb.  Once the running group got to the island then they started the exercises while the group that was there ran to the other end.  This pattern continued until all groups had run from one end to the other two times.

Mosey to Pavilion.  At pavilion, we ran to benches, did 10 bench jumps and ran back to pavilion.  Rinse and repeat.

Finish at Pavilion.

17 men, no FNGs.

Galatians 6:17

From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.

I’m going to talk a little bit about the importance of scars, the importance of wounds.  As men, we sometimes take a bit of pleasure in showing our scars to one another.  Sounds weird, but I think there are good reasons for it.  By sharing we show one another that we have been wounded and have that in common.  We also show we were tough enough to take it.

Our brother, Pusher, has told me of a tradition in the Philippines where boys are circumcised at the age of ten.  Think about how painful that is for a ten-year-old.  For two weeks after the circumcision that boy, in fact, wears a dress because the touch of pants to the circumcised area would be too painful.  Filipinos realize that they could change the age of the circumcision – to circumcise at that age is certainly not a medical necessity.  But in the Philippines it is a rite of passage.  The boy fears the moment, fears the pain, but in enduring it makes a major step toward manhood.  He can walk proudly, knowing he has endured it.

The Aborigines have an interesting rite of passage that I read about.  At the time of puberty the male or female meets overnight with the same sex members of their community who tell them stories of manhood or womanhood.  Afterwards, the male or female meets in a ceremony with their father and mother.  Both the father and the mother each take a sharp claw from an animal and cut the skin on the chest of the child.  The cuts form permanent wounds that will remain on the daughter or son’s breast for the rest of their life.  It is a symbol of recognition: “I have been wounded by my parents and I must accept that fact.  In accepting it, I can become a woman or a man.”  I love that – my parents love me but they have also wounded me and I need to man up to that.

I can remember my cousin and I talking, at about college age, about the types of women we would like to marry.  Of course we talked about physical beauty.  But we also talked about the character of the woman we wanted to marry.  We both agreed that we would rather marry a woman who had been wounded by some hardships than marry a woman who never had faced hardships and was completely innocent.  Our scars give us character.  They also help us to empathize with the pain and hardships experienced by others.

I accept that I have been scarred by life.  I cannot deny it or escape it.  I am not the Innocent Man that Billy Joel sang about.  But, as a Christian, the ultimate example of empathy for me is our Lord Christ.  I expose my scars to Him.  For, He was willing to take on the scars of the Cross to save humankind from our sinfulness.  In recognizing this, in baptizing myself to this, I am given the ultimate rite of passage.  And, as Paul states in Galatians 6:17, “from now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.”

Prayers for Helga and his wife who is having surgery, for Steam’s father who just had total knee replacement surgery, and for Steam as he considers a new job.
Hardship Hill on Saturday, October 3.

Searching for Bilbo

THE SCENE: Beautiful, around 70, low humidity.

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 10 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.


-20 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Cherry Pickers (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 BAC forward and backward

– Little of this and that

– get in a line, high knees 20 yards, butt kickers 20 yards, Karaoke left 20 yards, Karaoke right 20 yards


Today is September 22, which is Bilbo Baggins’ birthday, also known as HOBBIT’S DAY! But (as you may know from reading or watching the Fellowship of the Ring) at his 111th birthday party, he vanished into thin air! One second he was standing there giving an overblown birthday speech, and then poof! He was gone!  We need to go find him.  Hobbits like being around hills, so we need to search the hills around here to see where he’s gone off to.  Ready??  .

Mosey to shallow amphitheater area. CONES at top and bottom

  • At Top cones do an AROUND THE WORLD (plank position, rotate around 360 degrees to look around) both directions.  Run down and circle bottom cones and go back to top cones.

Mosey to Area 51 Hills. Follow the cones down and read the instructions. COUNT OFF by 2’s.

  • FIRST CONE: No Bilbo. Start the search. 1’s do Jump Squats, 2’s lunge to the right for 20 sec, then back 20 sec, then Reverse.
  • SECOND CONE: No Bilbo. Start the search. 1’s do Iron Mikes, 2’s Bear Crawl 5/ do 5 Reps of CDDs for 20 sec, then back 20 sec, then reverse.
  • THIRD CONE: GOBLINS! We’ve been captured. BATAAN DEATH MARCH back to road and down to Area 51 parking lot. 1’s and 2’s in two lines, last 2 PAX in each line do 5 Prisoner Squats then race to catch up to the front of the line.

PRISONER CAMP (Parking Lot).  After that we are put into Hard Labor, forced to build one of their forts for the upcoming war. 10 Prisoner Get ups, BEAR CRAWL to wall (because we’re being whipped), 10 Prisoner Cell Merkin Burpees (PCMBs), BEAR CRAWL back.  Rinse and repeat, but only 5 reps of the exercise, and El Capitan back and forth instead of bear crawl.  Q’s note: This was harder than it sounded on paper!!

Mosey to TREES to the west.  ELVES appear! A BATTLE ensues!

  • 1s are Elves, 2s are Goblins. Pair off and face each other.  BURPEE BATTLE! Elves are better trained, quicker. They only need to do 8 burpees, the Goblins need to do 10.  Whoever wins each pair wins the battle. If more elves win than goblins, we are free.  Otherwise we continue the death march.  Elves do two more burpees at the end to make it fair.

Mosey to bottom of Everest.  One last big Hill to search…

  • Run up Everest to Base of Summit, using the secondary path by the big cedar tree.
  • Mosey to Roadshow Run stairway. Run up to top.
    • A celebration is in order! 111 SIDE STRADDLE HOPS WITH OVERHEAD CLAPS!

20 Hello Dollies (4-ct, IC)

20 BBS


21 strong, including one FNG, FiliBilly!


Today’s workout had a Lord of the Rings theme, obviously.  LotR is one of my favorite set of books and movies, yes, because of all the magic and dragons, and elves with pointy ears, but also because of some of the wonderful lessons that it contains.

  • Perseverance
  • Hope
  • Fighting for what’s good in the world
  • Resourcefulness

But I want to focus on two lessons in particular.  One is the concept of the FELLOWSHIP itself.  The FELLOWSHIP consisted of Nine individuals who were given an incredibly difficult task.  They were:

  1. A wizard (Gandalf)
  2. A King who was sort of a refugee and had not ascended to his throne. (Aragorn)
  3. An elf prince (Legolas)
  4. A Dwarf (Gimli)
  5. A Human prince (Baromir)
  6. And four hobbits (Frodo, Samwise, Pippen, Merry).

All of the members of this party were battle hardened and powerful representatives of their races.  They also had strong prejudices they had to overcome.  Elves and dwarves were sworn enemies.  The humans were subject to the temptations of the One ring.  No one trusted wizardsHobbits were just small and simple folk that can’t find their butt with two hands and aspire to nothing more than to grow a good pumpkin in their gardens.  And yet these 9 individuals bonded together, died for each other, and even the elf and dwarf became inseparable friends.  It kind of reminds me of our F3 Fellowship.  Heck, fellowship is the second “F” in our name!

The other lesson I wanted to bring up involved who stepped up and carried the Ring, which was an evil artifact that took a physical and mental toll on the bearer.  The Ring bearer was also the instant target of all the Evil minions in the land.  And yet it was not the wizard, the noble elf, the strong dwarf, the human royals that carried the ring.  It was the smallest among them, a simple hobbit who had never left his home that volunteered to carry the burden.  As the Elf Queen Galadriel tells Frodo, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”  Sometimes today’s problems seem insurmountable.  No matter how helpless or insignificant you feel in such a troubled world, take comfort in the fact that God has a plan and purpose for your life, and all people, large or small, can be used for His Glory.

Prayers of thanks for the successful surgery on Jinxy’s wife, and that our brother Pinto is gaining strength in his battle with multiple myeloma. Welcome to FNG Filibilly!
2nd F opportunity at Abridged Wed 9/23 7 pm!