BB-05.02.23-LoCo @ The County: Kitty Litter Q.

The Oprah-Bomb theme message for this WO: For many men out there, it’s the fellowship & community (2nd F) that’s the most challenging work to conquer and overcome. Absent opposing forces (Newton’s 1st Law), most men would continue to drift towards quiet lives of isolation, gravitate towards selfishness, assume unhealthy levels of independence (often with self-indulgences), and remain estranged from any real social connection. Just plain alone. And he’s far too content with this setup to bother discovering what he’s actually missing! So, sometimes when our F3-EHL (invitation) gets brushed aside, rejected or declined, it isn’t because the Sad Clown is afraid of waking up and doing physically hard stuff, but rather he’s afraid of putting in the human-to-human connection work. He’s out of 2nd F shape.

Mornings in the Gloom are definitely hard work. Getting up early, dressing either too hot or too cold for the conditions, accelerating from resting heart-rate to red-line bpm for 45 solid minutes (41-ish minutes if using a Mutt timer). Plus all the pre-rucks & runs. Sounds tough. And for most of us, it’s that hard work challenge that actually inspires us to keep showing up, week after week ITG.

But let’s face it– There’s no way we’d be doing all the crazy stuff we do if under our own steam, inertia, and motivation…by ourselves, outside in the cold, sweating, hurting…alone. No chance. F3 is strong because the brotherhood (the glue) is strong, the accountability is strong, the friendships and support are strong, and the leadership-making is strong (and thus part of our core mission). The appeal for most of us is the opportunity to become more capable leaders and more effective men, but only so far as we get to train this up alongside friends and brothers. The mutual suffering and commiserating lead to a sense of belonging–that we’ve fought for something together. Yet that longing for community and connection, unfortunately, is something countless men out there simply choose not to pursue.

F3 is proudly open to all men, and F3-Louisville does a good job of welcoming folks from all backgrounds and in all kinds of physical shape. We share fun banter among AOs and put in a solid trash-talking effort every WO. But overall, men keep coming back because they know they won’t be left behind, and they know they “fit in” just as come…but not left where they were. They’re now in a tribe with a mission and a purpose, something we’re all hard-wired to crave. But for every one of us who reads F3 Slack updates (and the even slimmer audience who read PBs & BBs), there are 1000+ guys around us who, if only they could be prodded from their anti-social comfort zones, might dare show up ITG.

Small talk and chattering about whatever’s on our mind takes mental energy. We don’t get to zone-out with Air Pods from 0530 to 0615. We’re busy building relationships and supporting each others’ lives. That takes real work too. It’s a muscle that will absolutely atrophy without ongoing effort and practice. Communicating with other adults is, unfortunately, becoming a lost art. We laugh and joke about how screwed up our younger generations are when it comes to interacting with real-live people, face-to-face, without electronic devices. But it’s a serious problem, with consequences for all of us if left unchecked.

The good news is that once a man gets in healthy physical shape, relational shape, and spiritual shape, those walls of isolation tend to break down. Confidence ensues, leadership develops, and social anxiety fades away. I heard of this group of men getting after it nearly every morning of the year…early enough to not mess up soccer practices and work schedules…tough enough to challenge all men, regardless of prior fitness levels…fun enough to provide solid laughter–even before the sun smiles on the day…and intentional enough to shine a light on the real needs & sufferings out there in the world. A group of men who remind each other daily to be grateful, humble, and focused on becoming the upright man our Creator intended. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Upshot: Men who need F3 (that is, all men) might actually find the workout Thang appealing, but due to emotional/social barriers they offer up plausible-sounding excuses for not coming out (or coming back out). Our work is to keep inviting them anyway to the gift of F3, and seek to discover their “real no” behind the “sounds great, but….” rejoinder. We should train our 2nd F skills like any other area we intend to grow competent in.

Oh yeah, the LoCo Workout:

We had 21 pax show up ITG, with only a hint of what to expect. It was 502-uesday, which happened to fall on 05/02. COP was some light stretching followed by a “get-up” series in the grass: Turkish Get-ups, no hands get-ups, prisoner rifle-carry get-ups, etc.

After a bit of moseying, we jumped into Thang Uno. I wanted the workout to be a stick-together effort because (1) it felt appropriate for the “glue” message of being a team, and (2) nobody would have showed up to a run-heavy WO just two days after half our crew did the Derby race! So, we learned some creative ways to perform a three-person carry (two pax carrying a third “wounded” pax). We then broad jumped (hate those!), shuffled, crab walked, bear crawled, and long-stepped our way up and down the County tarmac.

Thang Dos brought us a bit of chest and leg work: side-to-side coupon ‘merkins, OH L-R, OH slow/deep Thrusters, Spiderman ‘merkins, etc. A bit of core-Mary brought us over the finish line. COT, CoR, NoR, announcement, intentions, and the final “good game” line-up of fist-bumping fellows. Good work brothers; you make me proud and I need you in my life. –KL–

(Pax: PCI, Snowden, WILDflower, Jitterbug (R), Ladybird (R) + Emma (0.5), Cratchit, Holy Roller (R), Fungi, Cochran, Pizza, Swag, BigBird, Pelican, Jolly Rancher, Tudors, Audible, Abacus, Tebow (R), LePew, Gisele, Kitty Litter (R) (Q).)

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