I Stay for the Brotherhood

I remember it like it was yesterday. I pulled up and saw Star Child standing there on the Poshy concrete and wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into. He didn’t know this (but now he does), but I knew who he was because I stalked him and several of you F3 studs on Twitter prior to my first post. SC was actually the Q that day ITG, and the whole time, I was terrified I would puke. The WO was a beast, but I made it through. In the COT, I introduced myself and received the nickname “Professor,” which of course would later be changed.

That was one year ago today. My first F3 post. I wish I could’ve made it out to Q for my F3 One Year Anny, but I’ll trade a beautiful gift for an opportunity to Q any day. More on that in a bit, though.

I discovered F3 from The Art of Manliness Podcast. I was growing tired of doing YouTube WOs on my own and needed something that offered variety and accountability. But I also knew I didn’t want to overpay for a ridiculous gym membership. Even though I initially loathed bear crawls, trail runs, and burpees, F3 was perfect timing, but in more than just the workout part.

The M and I had been trying to have children for over four years by the time I joined F3. Today, I am a new, proud father of a gorgeous 2.0 (all thanks to the M’s beauty), and I honestly believe this wouldn’t have happened had it not been for my F3 brothers and your prayers. Since the COT that day ITG when I stood in the middle of my new brotherhood and told them about myself, there were F3 brothers praying for the M and me. I know because they reached out to me. I know because they hugged me. Told me they loved me.

That’s the best part of F3. We push each other in the WOs ITG. We compete against one another. We applaud for one another when we finish the WO. Then we circle up and put our sweaty arms around each other’s sweaty backs. Our breath reeks, and we can tell who forgot to put on deodorant. We are close, and we share what’s on our hearts. Doesn’t sound very manly, does it? But who cares what the world thinks. It’s what we NEED to do. At these WOs in the COT, I’ve seen my brothers break down in tears, hug one another, and express their love for one another. You won’t find that anywhere else.

That is why sad clowns are sad clowns: they bottle up their fears and worries and don’t open up and have no healthy way to give a voice to their fears and worries. Bring them all to the Lord. And you need an accountability group, so bring them all to F3. You won’t find a better group of men. It’s not because we are great individually, but together, we build up one another. Together, we are stronger because of our bond. Because at the end, we lift up a prayer to the Good Father above. We challenge one another in ways that prepare us for the day ahead, and we use the difficulty of the morning beatdown to make it through whatever challenges come our way. Because the most important thing about life’s struggles is not necessarily making it through to the finish line; it’s what happens to us while we are waiting and growing in the midst of the struggle. That’s the beauty of growth and iron sharpening iron because we don’t cross the finish line the same person we were at the start. That is why F3 is more than a workout.

I often wonder what would have happened had the M and I not had our first child because throughout this journey with her, our faith wavered, grew, and wavered some more. But we learned to trust God more, even when it doesn’t make sense. We learned to lean on one another, and we strengthened the bond of our marriage. And we learned that the trials we go through are given to us to purify our faith and teach us to praise Jesus (1 Peter 1:7). At the end of this storm, I am grateful we went through it together and that I had the best M in the world and my F3 brothers. Now, I can’t help but wonder what the next storm will be, and I am persuaded that the Good Father above is constantly looking over us.

I love you all. Even if we’ve never met, I know that both of us being a part of this group means that we share something in common: that deep down, we need to get better every day and that as men, we need each other. I am so grateful to our heavenly Father that I found this group. I just want each of you to know that you’ve been such a huge encouragement in my life.

When I posted for the first time one year ago today, I’ll admit it: I was simply looking for a better workout. I didn’t think I needed this group, but I had no idea F3 would change my life. I’m glad I was wrong.

I came to F3 to just workout, but I stay for the brotherhood.

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