In my pre-blast, I informed the waiting PAX that March 15, 2019 at The Chopper was going to be a day of celebration…but, they’d have to attend to find out what was behind the celebration.  And for the PAX reading this, if the picture doesn’t give it away I’d ask that you continue reading – or at least skip to the COT at the bottom to find out why.

We gathered around the flags [thanks, Weedwacker for placing them in advance even though you were on the IR list and I hope you are back in the gloom, soon!], disclaimer was given, no FNGs, and I encouraged the PAX to modify as necessary.

Weather was awesome – gear was certainly less layers than earlier in the week.


Deep Dish
Dry Rub
Meter Maid
Jolly Rancher – Q


SSH – 46x

Slow Grass Grabbers – 15x

Downward Dog and Runners Stretches

Imperial Squat Walkers – 15x

We then headed out for a mosey on to the large parking lot by the baseball field where we’d gather for the one and only thang.


I’ve always wanted to do a ladder…and I remembered some prior black blasts about how everyone really enjoyed when the Q did a ladder.  Or, maybe they really hated it – either way, that’s what we were going to do.

We gathered at the flags by the baseball field and started with the first exercise and then ran to the end of the parking lot and back.  And then to rinse and repeat the first exercise and move to the second to “ladder up” – then back to the end of the parking lot and back.  And then to rinse and repeat the first and second exercise and move to the third – and so on and so forth through all ten exercises.  For those robot-like PAX, they would then “ladder down” until time was called.  Here were the exercises and repetitions:

Merkins – 5x
Squats – 10x
LBCs – 15x
Carolina Dry Docks – 20x
Calf Raises – 25x
Jump Lunges – 30x
Groiners – 35x
Jump Squats – 40x
Air Presses – 45x
Plank Jacks – 50x

Pretty sure everyone hated me with having jump lunges, groiners and jump squats in a row.  In hindsight, I hated myself, too, so the complaining PAX had every right.

As 6:05am rolled around, we ended The Thang and I asked the PAX to think of something that they wanted to celebrate today as we moseyed [spelling?] back to the flags for a little Mary and COT.


We got back into a circle and held plank.  We then went around the circle and after each PAX announced what they were celebrating, we did 1 merkin.  So, 18 PAX = 17 Merkins because I held my celebrations for COT.  And in all honesty, we did a few extra merkins for the PAX who was celebrating a house without kids for a week – which means just he and the M…that earned a few extra downs, if you know what I mean.  It was great to hear the other things the PAX are celebrating.

We then cranked through a few other core exercises, including flutter kicks, gas pumps and the crowd favorite of pickle pounders.

Time was then called.


We did count-a-rama, name-a-rama, announcements and intentions.  Sadly, I probably didn’t pay enough attention during the intentions because I was distracted thinking of my own – so I apologize for the PAX that asked for intentions, but the Sky Q is well aware of them and is a much better listener than YHC.

As I noted above, I delayed my celebrations for the COT on purpose because my list was too long and I didn’t want to slow down the PAX during the WO.  For me, on March 15, 2019, I shared the following celebrations with the PAX:

1.)  A year ago today, on March 15, 2018, my son Samuel passed away due to health complications.  My M and I adopted Samuel from China when he was 2 [our gotcha day was on October 19, 2015] and he was with us for about 2 1/2 years.  Challenge is, he was in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for about 9 months of the time he was with us – battling the health problems, which culminated in a heart transplant on March 27, 2017.  So, today, March 15, 2019 we celebrated Samuel and the gift of adoption.  He went from an unemotional toddler [that was still on formula and didn’t crawl or walk at the age of 2] to a joyful, loving and charismatic little boy who tackled more obstacles in his short life than I have in mine at the age of 37.  And we miss him still each and every day.  Sadly, there are so many children that need a forever family and I pray for those children and the families that are in the process – it is an awesome and emotional experience all wrapped into one.

2.)  As noted in #1, we were able to enjoy Samuel for almost another year of his life because of the greatest gift of all from another family through the gift of organ donation.  So, today, March 15, 2019 we celebrated the gift of organ donation.  Admittedly, I wasn’t until my life was touched by the sacrifice and gift that another family gave to Samuel and I continue to pray for the little boy that lost his life, but lived through Samuel’s via his heart organ transplant.  I encourage each of the PAX to become a registered organ donor.  If you don’t know how, just ask me.

3.)  After Samuel passed last year, I was mentally and physically absent – just living life day-by-day without direction or a purpose.  I turned to food to fill the void that was left.  This came with consequences because on top the hospital stays [which makes it impossible be healthy] my weight ballooned to 310 pounds…heaviest I had ever been in my life.  Over the summer of 2018, PK invited me to dinner and introduced me to F3 – I thought he was stupid.  For those questioning, I still think he’s stupid, but for different reasons [love you man!].  Then, Meter Maid jumped in trying to headlock me – even connecting his M to my M.  Lastly, Fergie [who I work with] sent me a meeting invite for a WO at The County at 5:30am.  That was the tipping point – I accepted the invite – and that was my first post on August 3, 2018.  I showed up and couldn’t do anything except to breathe.  This was 100 posts and 46 pounds ago.  This is why we did 46 Side Straddle Hops…one for every pound.  So, today, March 15, 2019 we celebrated the commitment of the PAX for picking each other up when they’re down and being a HIM to the people that need it most.

4.)  Lastly, we celebrated the gift of life as my M and I are expecting a baby girl in August 2019.

I’m always nervous about Q’ing and today was no different.  F3 and this group of PAX has changed me and I’m extremely thankful that I have each of you to lean on, challenge me, push me and pick me up when I need it the most.

Jolly Rancher out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s