Thriving or surviving – what a better way to sum up 2020.  If given the choice, I don’t think there’s any question which option every PAX would choose. 

This past year has challenged each of us physically, mentally and spiritually.  We’ve had to be agile, be flexible and  be leaders in different ways than we thought was possible.  And this is true whether we’re talking within your families, workplaces or neighborhoods.  If you sit back and think about it and challenge yourself, how’d you do during the dark days of COVID?  Did you accelerate? 

It’s the vision and goal of the F3 Louisville Leadership Council to thrive within all 3 Fs for 2021 because I suspect you’re like me – because I know I could have done more to make an impact to those around me.  This challenge is meant to jumpstart that acceleration as we go into 2021.


The Iron Horse Challenge is designed to reinvigorate the male community leadership of F3 Louisville while strengthening all 3 Fs to help you make an impact on Louisville and your surrounding community.


Friday, January 1, 2021 through Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Just like wagering on the ponies at Churchill Downs, there will be three levels of achievement for the 2021 Iron Horse Challenge – each with different requirements for completion. The higher achievement comes with better rewards. But, more important than the tangible rewards is that if you participate and meet any level of achievement you will receive priceless amounts of fellowship with your fellow brothers and PAX within F3 Louisville and leadership opportunities while becoming a better man in every sense.

The reward levels are as follows – each of which will receive their own challenge patch:

  • Secretariat – The Golden Horse:  Probably the most recognizable name of all horses that have participated in the KY Derby, who became a Triple Crown winner in 1973.  Secretariat still holds the KY Derby record at 1:59:40.
  • Seattle Slew – The Silver Horse:  This KY Derby winner from 1977 didn’t stop there.  He went on to win the Triple Crown and was the first to become an undefeated Triple Crown winner. 
  • American Pharoah – The Bronze Horse: As a recent Triple Crown Winner in 2015, American Pharoah’s closing quarter mile time was faster than Secretariat’s.


No surprise, but the performance requirements to complete the Iron Horse Challenge are centered around the 3 Fs as follows:

    • The daily discipline of physically training the body is critical.  Because it is our most fundamental piece of physical equipment, we must get it and keep it in the normal upright position at all times should we want to be effective. 
    • We seek strength in numbers for a variety of reasons, but the most elemental is that life itself is not practical without the combination of others.  Loneliness is our subconscious yelling at us to go find a partner because being along can be dangerous.  We need authentic relationships with other men who are working to be strong fathers, husbands and leaders like us.
    • Now more than ever our communities need men like us to step up and accept the challenge to make a difference.  You could be the disruption that someone may need in their life, which could alter them forever. 

Because of the importance of your King [which is your fitness] on relationships and capabilities to accelerate in all 3 Fs, I only plan to track the performance of the 1st F as part of this Iron Horse Challenge.  After all it’s really simple:  if you want to learn how to run faster, just find a faster man – and then chase him until you catch him.  The 2nd and 3rd F components will automatically follow suit.

Details behind the 1st F requirements are as follows:

  • # of Posts: 
    • PAX must post 65, 52 or 39 times for Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively [equals about 5, 4 and 3 times a week, respectively].  So, to achieve Gold you’ve got to stay on track.  If I recall correctly, there may have only been 4 or 5 PAX that achieved this level of posts in 2020 over this same time period.
    • Of these posts, 32, 26 or 19 of these posts for Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively, should be at your non-home AO [basically 50% of the total posts].
    • Monthly ruck events count towards this requirement.
    • Given the current operating environment with COVID, I know there have been a lot more BlackOps workouts to assist in keeping numbers in check.  That said, all BlackOps workouts count – this includes extra credit rucks and runs.
    • Remember that an official F3 workout for attendance tracking purposes must have at least 2 PAX – solo workouts will not count.
  • # of AOs Visited: 
    • There are 11 official AOs of F3 Louisville.  Pretty simple: post to at least 10, 8 or 6 of them for Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively.
    • AOs and regular days of operation include:
      • Bayside – Tuesday and Thursday
      • Boondocks – Tuesday and Thursday
      • North Posh – Monday
      • Pleasantville – Friday
      • Posh – Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
      • The Abyss – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
      • The County – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
      • The Garden – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
      • The Mutt – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
      • The O – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
      • Vets – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • # of Qs:
    • Leaders accelerate by leading.  So, sign-up and Q at 10, 8 or 6 workouts to achieve Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively.
    • Ideally, some of these Qs would be at different AOs than your home – but, tracking this becomes a nightmare and I don’t have the time to do that. So, this is on the honor system.


If you want to participate in the Iron Horse Challenge, you must do three things:

  • Join the #2021-iron-horse-challenge channel in Slack.
  • Once you join the channel, post your Home AO for tracking purposes.
  • Book your Qs and get posting!


Should you have any questions or need clarifications, just reach out and let me know.  If you have complaints, I refer you to to raise your grievances.

At the end of the day, remember that the purpose of the Iron Horse Challenge is to contribute towards your growth as a leader. 

Jolly Rancher out!


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