Back Blast – 4th Annual Celebration Day – The Loco at The County – 03/15/2022

Over the past four years, the days leading up to March 15 is always tough. But, I’m thankful that I’ve never had to start this day alone over those four years. Why, you ask? Well, keep reading.

Instead of starting it alone, I am a recipient to the encouragement, support and love of the PAX of F3 Louisville. And, on this day above all others, I’m always humbled by each and every single one of you.

I had to arrive a few minutes early to finish the weinke board for this one. Grabbed my large black Sharpie on the way out of the house along with a blank piece of cardboard saved for weinkes. As I was scribing the weinke down, cars just kept pouring in to The County. It was a pretty awesome site to see. Finished the weinke board, ran it over to the parking lot island, and then back to the car to grab my coupon where I then proceeded to greet the PAX around the circle. The circle which kept getting bigger and bigger.

PAX:

  • Captain Crunchberry
  • Layover
  • Sputnik
  • Wildflower
  • 1Nut
  • Meter Maid
  • Ladybird (R)
  • Swag
  • Flexseal
  • Yankovic (R)
  • Hardwood
  • Timeshare
  • Brown Water
  • Asian Zing (R)
  • Pelican
  • Kimble
  • Double Down (R)
  • Bulletin (R)
  • Honey Do
  • Valdez
  • Airplane
  • Cochran
  • Peach
  • Dauber
  • Backflop
  • Single Source
  • Kitty Litter
  • PK
  • Jitterbug (R)
  • Big Bird
  • Gisele
  • Crockpot
  • DeVitto
  • Cratchit
  • Stormtrooper
  • Fungi
  • Alexa
  • Viking
  • Ruby (R)
  • Patty
  • Hushpuppy
  • Jolly Rancher (Q)

I put the emotional plea out to some of the OGs of The County and was really stoked that so many of them showed up for today. Each of them mean something to me and I really appreciated them un-retiring for a bit to come out and join me.

COP:

At 0530am, I finally called time and gave the standard F3 disclaimers. Then, decided the “normal” spot for COP wasn’t going to be big enough. So, we moved over to the large parking lot – which when circled up, was really, really big. Again, awesome sight to see everyone supporting Pelican’s “Making The County Great Again” campaign.

A special COP for a special day. Exercises included some new ones that I’ve never done before and some that were at the bottom of the bag ‘o tricks. They included:

  • SSH
  • Abe Vigodas
  • Merkins
  • Up Downs
  • E2Ks
  • London Bridge [required a short mosey to the back of the gym]

We then finished the mosey around the chapel and back to the flag to snatch our coupons for Thang 1.

Thang 1 – Catch Me If You Can:

Now I know why leading a workout with more than 18 people per the F3 handbook is hard…my goodness. It almost took 2-minutes to get everyone together in groups of three. But, we finally figured it out. Goal was that PAX 1 started off with a farmer’s carry with two coupons while PAX 2 and PAX 3 did 5 Booyah Merkins. Then, PAX 2 and PAX 3 mosey to catch PAX 1. And rotate. Pretty simple.

We basically did this for one lap around the parking lot in the back. Then, we set up for Thang 2.

Thang 2 – Diego:

Why Diego, Jolly Rancher? Because, Dora was going to be too easy for this group.

So, the Diego operates much like the Dora, except we stayed in our groups of 3 and one of the PAX became the “push PAX” to keep things moving. On one side of the islands, we did the Diego work which was:

  • 100x – Weighted Big Boy Sit Ups
  • 150x – Overhead Presses
  • 200x – Skull Crushers
  • 250x – Bench Presses
  • 300x – Curls

On the other side of the islands, there was one PAX that just did weighted squats with a coupon. The third PAX moved in between and kept rotating out.

Not sure how far we made it exactly because time was running out and we still had to get to my favorite, which was Thang 3.

Thang 3 – Celebration Merkins:

The pinnacle of Celebration Day. The crème de la crème. The juice, which is worth the squeeze.

Here, we circled up into a tight circle. And, we went around said circle and each PAX announced something they wanted to celebrate…something that they accomplished…something that they recently overcame…something that they wake up each morning that they’re proud of.

And, after each PAX made their announcement, we celebrated with a single merkin. Then, stayed in plank until the next PAX made their announcement coupled with another merkin. With 42 PAX, that’s a lot of merkins!

Then it was my turn. I took the liberties of celebrating more than one thing, which I’ve included below in the COT section below.

And, because I was the Q we celebrated with 20 merkins. Iron Fist baby.

Mary:

Had a few extra minutes for some rounds of Mary. All the usual suspects were called out on exercises.

COT:

As noted earlier, I celebrated a few things.

For those that made it this far in this post, my wife and I lost our son, Samuel, back on March 15, 2018, due to some heart and pulmonary complications [in the event you didn’t notice, go back now and read COP again]. And, today like the prior three years, I choose to celebrate Samuel at the same time while we continue to grieve losing him.

Super Samuel at Halloween in 2016.

That said, today, I celebrate:

  • The gift of adoption.  Samuel 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 40.  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.
  • The gift and sacrifice of organ donors.  We were able to enjoy Samuel’s spunky personality for almost another year of his life because of the greatest gift of all from another family through the gift of organ donation – a heart.  Admittedly, I wasn’t an organ donor 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 or girl that lost their life, but lived through Samuel’s via the heart organ transplant.  I encourage each of the PAX to become a registered organ donor.  If you don’t know how, just ask me.
  • The gift of life.  At Celebration Day 2019, I announced to the PAX that the M and I were expecting a baby girl, which we named Joy.  She arrived in our lives in her own spirited and complicated way, but she’s a happy, healthy toddler that we’ve been blessed to watch grow.  She sees pictures of Samuel around the house and we tell her stories about her big brother that unfortunately she’ll never get to meet, which breaks my heart.
  • The PAX of F3 Louisville – as individuals and as a group.  After Samuel passed, 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.  I was going in the wrong direction and was putting myself at risk as I ballooned in weight.  Several of the PAX, led by PK, helped head lock me to join F3.  I’ve come a long way from the beginning, but the support, encouragement, push, passion, and fantastic tasting Kool-Aid that this group offers is amazing.

Incredibly thankful for each of you and your support.

Happy Celebration Day, PAX, and thanks again.

Jolly Rancher out!

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