Back Blast – 09/11/2021 – 20 Years Later – The Nest @ The County.

A few months ago I looked ahead and saw that a September 11 Q was open at The Nest. For those that regularly follow me [I don’t have anyone to call out like Pelican does], you may have picked up on the pattern that I love Qing and posting at The Nest. So, this paired with honoring the men and women who perished on September 11, 2001 was something pretty special to me.

But, man – let me tell you. This was hard. How could I design a weinke that would do the day justice? That would honor these heroes the right way. As the day grew closer, I felt the burden getting heavier and heavier. I was afraid it would fall flat. That I’d screw it up. So, here’s hoping that was just a mental game and that the PAX thought honor was rightfully given.

I decided to join Captain Crunchberry and Virginia Slims for a pre-run beforehand, but I was only able to get in just 2-miles to their 5.5-miles or so because I had some pretty intense set up time to lay out 343 plastic fire helmets in formation. That said, I was still setting up the picture above as the PAX starting rolling into the parking lot.

PAX – 13 strong:

  • Lambeau
  • Double Down (R)
  • Brown Water
  • Gisele
  • Cratchit
  • Timeshare
  • Tenderfoot
  • Swag
  • Captain Crunchberry
  • Hardwood
  • Hushpuppy
  • Virginia Slims
  • Jolly Rancher (Q)


We circled up at the normal starting spot for some light duty work, which included:

  • 9x – SSH
  • 11x – Toy Soldiers
  • Downward Dog + Runners Stretches – 9- and 11- second counts
  • 9x – Copperhead Squats
  • 11x – Abe Vigodas

As we got ready to kick off the main Thangs, I told the PAX that I’d be playing the audio from the FDNY dispatch from 09/11/2001. I did this also last year and I continue to be amazed as to the voices behind the audio – most of them fairly calm as they were responding to the scene. At some point after the collapse, a citizen found refuge in a FDNY truck and started using the radio pleading for help and assistance. This was on the radio channel itself being used by the first responders.

Thang 1 – Nine Elevens:

Created this on my own…trademark pending. This is a fairly simple set with lots of significance. Basically, it was a set exercise where you did 9x reps. Then, merkins at 11x reps. Then, the next exercise where you did a new exercise, but still had merkins for 11x reps. Then, rinse and repeat basically for ten rounds. We did take a pause at the end of the third and seventh rounds where we did a long lap around the islands.

The exercises were as follows for each round:

  • Upright Rows – 9x ; Merkins – 11x
  • Smurf Jacks – 9x IC ; Merkins – 11x
  • American Hammers – 9x IC ; Merkins – 11x
    • RUN A LAP
  • Flutter Kicks – 9x IC ; Merkins – 11x
  • Derkins – 9x ; Merkins – 11x
  • Nemos – 9x ; Merkins – 11x
  • Yo-yos – 9x ; Merkins – 11x
    • RUN A LAP
  • Upright Rows – 9x ; Merkins – 11x
  • Smurf Jacks – 9x IC ; Merkins – 11x
  • American Hammers – 9x IC ; Merkins – 11x

For those not familiar with Nemos and Yo-yos…don’t worry because I hope to never see those again. Nemo is at least on the F3 Nation Exicon. I needed a N and Y exercise and it was limited selections with zero creativity [sorry, I’m an accountant].

The significance of the locations of the laps is basically to break up the 10 sets into 3 sets, then 4 sets, then 3 sets. This, honored the 343 FDNY firefighters that died on 09/11/2001. Oh, which by the way incase you didn’t notice the sets spelled out USA, FDNY and then USA again. Obviously, the 9x and 11x reps honoring this day 20-years ago. Also, the 11x merkins added to each round for 10 rounds equals the 110-floors of the WTC towers.

Thang 2 – Flights of Dora:

Yep, patent pending on this one, too. It was a normal Dora where we partnered up, except the rep count represented the flight numbers of each of the four airliners that were weaponized on 09/11/2001.

It included:

  • American Airlines 11 – Nuclears
  • American Airlines 75 – Squats
  • United Airlines 93 – V-Ups “Let’s Roll” Ups
  • United Airlines 175 – Curls for the Heroes

Obviously, the “Let’s Roll” reference is to the heroic actions of Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers who overtook the cockpit in order to derail the hijacker’s intended target. It is basically a traditional sit-up with feet extended [so touch your toes] and then on the way back down you basically do a V-Up.

Time was then called.


We circled up around the helmets and flags on the ground. By this point, a few of the ruckers and runners were back and joined in the circle. We completed the standard countarama, namearama, announcements and intentions.

As we concluded, I reminded the PAX that the events of 09/11 will forever be our generation’s event that we’ll never forget where we were or what we were doing when we first heard the news. We’ll never forget being glued to the television watching the carnage and footage of the twin towers on fire. We’ll never forget the amazement and shock as the first tower fell…and then the second. We’ll never forget the fear and anger we had towards those responsible.

And while all of that is true, I asked the PAX to also remember what it was like on 09/12. Remember how we rallied together to support each other – because let’s be honest…everyone was connected to the events of 09/11 in some way. Whether it was a family member, a friend, a close relative, a co-worker, etc. While I hope and pray we never experience the events of 09/11 again, I sure wish we had more 09/12s out there on the horizon. But, unfortunately it may never happen.

I also told the PAX of a few “stories within the story.” We all know what happened on 09/11 from the highest level…but, I continue to be amazed at all of the little stories within the story. Whether it’s about a person in a suit and tie and how they saved 20+ lives. Or, if it’s about how the Secret Service reacted to protect the President and Vice President. Or, if it’s about the orders given to the F-16 pilots that were scrambled to help identify [and then subsequently ordered to take down] non-responsive aircraft. There’s so many details within the events of 09/11. Truly a historic day on so many levels and so many stories that we may never get to hear or understand.

Happy Patriots Day, PAX.

Jolly Rancher out!

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