PAX: Zartan, OJ, Wham!, Violet, Gillispie, Tammy Faye Baker, Shank, Glen Ross, Diablo
I am confident that all who take valuable time to read this BackBlast are, in the words of Doc Holiday, educated men. Accordingly, you’ll understand why I felt like Virgil guiding the PAX through the bottom circles of the Inferno this morning. The cold wind from Judecca blew forth, casting ice upon Zartan’s beard, and briefly polarizing Gillispie’s neck gaiter. Wham! arrived undeterred by the chilled air, deftly planting the flag with one foot into the frozen tundra of Seneca. Violet appeared, silent in the dark, but eager to proceed with the PAX on the hopeful journey to Paradiso, and Glen Ross arose from the lower levels of St. Matthew’s bank vaults to make certain the course we were on stayed true. Shank scanned the landscape, internally assuring himself that he would not die a frozen death. (Must’ve been the disclaimer.)
With no FNGs, YHC gathered the PAX for a run to Christian Academy, where we circled up for our Circle of Pain, a circle unfamiliar to 14th Century Italian poets who evidently could not find themselves out of dark wooded forests.
20 SSHs IC
20 Mountain climbers IC
20 Copperhead Squats IC
Curb Merkins AMRAP
Step Ups 10 each leg
(Rinse & repeat)
10 Step Back Lunges each leg
(Rinse & repeat)
The PAX were no longer as cold, and were ready to ascend out of the undergloom from which they started. Ice had started to melt; the frigid misshapen and tangled bodies of 0530 were human again; and, Tammy Faye Baker expressed caustic relief as the PAX began the scenic trek to the Playground, though he knew he must continue, as his Presbyterian training instilled within him a rejection of idle speculation about the end times. (It was always going to be 0615 anyway.) Hope was indeed being restored.
But, Beatrice had still not appeared in the Gloom. The cold remained; the limbs still stiff, rigid. The journey was to continue.
YHC realized here, however, why the PAX had embraced the cold. The PAX were not chasing a blank banner, and had no hornets biting them during a pointless pursuit. They, like all of us in F3, were free, and moving with a purpose.
Having travelled to the playground, PAX were challenged to do 20 pull-ups / chin-ups on their own. YHC ultimately called time, and informed PAX that our next movement would be “challenging.”
YHC sought to strengthen the PAX this frozen morn, to provide the physical and mental strength required to confront Charon, and the speed to escape the Centaurs (or at least the modern day equivalent of those beasts).
PAX thus lined up at the end of the first tennis court. PAX could only move via a broad jump. After the jump, a burpee was required. PAX continued this broad jump / burpee movement the length of 4 full tennis courts. At the end of the courts, it was 20 Big Boy Sit Ups.
But, PAX still needed to return to the starting point, as it is there that the exit gate exists. Again, the only allowed movement was a broad jump, followed by a burpee. YHC tried to set a good pace, knowing the end was nigh, but OJ proceeded to move as if he was hopping the rivers Styx and Acheron, hoping to posthaste reach the land of the living.
All PAX finished this face-melter, and mumblechatter produced a breathless, “Well, that was different” from someone.
YHC then circled up the PAX for this:
10 hand release Merkins
90 seconds of planking
20 Rosalitas IC
20 Flutter Kicks IC
20 American Hammers IC
Not done yet …
And then …
Jack Webb, but with squats and lunges. 1 squat, 4 lunges; 2 squats, 8 lunges; … all the way to 10 squats, 40 lunges.
How’s that for 45 minutes of work?
PAX circled up for COT, NOR, announcements, and intentions.
I had fun this morning, and for some reason really did think about Dante’s allegorical trip through Hell. Not just because it was cold, but because we were all out on our own accord – free to move, and freed to lead. No worthless pursuits; no pointless tasks. It’s the freedom to get out there and tackle things that are hard, the freedom to get better.
I was also reminded that Dante first penned the phrase “abandon all hope ye who enter here.” It’s inscribed on the gate to Hell. While I had a bit of fun in this BackBlast with imagery from the story, it’s awesome to think about how the Gloom is the exact opposite of that inscription.
I was humbled as always to lead, and thank you for the opportunity to be a part of THIS.