YHC is moving down south to the flat land of good bird hunting, cotton fields, and bar-b-que hash. But before departing he wanted to make one more lap around the F3 Hickory region. So borrowing freely from @DreddCNC and his vocabulary, YHC fashioned a Hickory-style Parade of Horribles. 7 workouts in 7 days. It sounded like a good idea on paper. In reality it turned out to be a loooong week of sleep deprivation and attempted suicide.
Monday – The ER in Hickory. Nobody to blame but myself for this one. A few years ago I happened to be in Columbia on a Monday and posted at their concrete beast called The Bull. I dadgum near died that morning running up and down the long Bull St. hill and the parking garage stairwells. Perfect for us, I thought, and the ER was born in Hickory.
But others got a hold of it and made an awful workout out a lot worse. The worst offender of all is Igloo, he of the sand babies. As (bad) luck would have it Iggy was the Q.I.C. on the 1st day of the Parade of Horribles. He tried to kill us, just to make some demented point I suppose, and almost did. But I survived and lived to fight another day.
Tuesday – The Mount in Mountain View. Apparently Short Sale does not like to drive any distance too early in the morning. What a baby. He whined and cried about not having a workout closer to his home in Mountain View. We said, “So start one.” He did and it’s going great. The Mount is a wide open A.O. with lots of space to ramble. We rambled all right. Shorty was the Q and we put in a few miles up and down a bunch of hills. There’s a lesson to be learned from the Mount launch: when you’ve got one person on site who is determined to make an A.O. work, it will work. Short Sale is that force in Mountain View, so the Mount is thriving.
Wednesday – Slingblade in Granite Falls. Boy, I just about messed this one up. Powder was the Q and had planned a nasty out and back run to Lake Rhodhiss. I live a long doggone way from Granite so I left home in plenty of time to be there by 5:30. Problem is, they start at 5:15. So, about 5:20, when I was just a few minutes from the A.O. my cell rings. It’s Jordache wanting to know if I’m coming. Instant red face. But they waited and Powder went ahead and gave them the W.O.D. I finally pulled up and we took off. Downhill. Way downhill for about 2 miles. Problem was, we had to get back.
What the heck? 3 workouts in 3 days and each Q has tired to kill me. Not even halfway through the Parade and I’m shot.
Thursday – The Station in Conover. Yep, we’re in Conover. When did we launch Conover? We didn’t. Most of the Taylorsville PAX actually live in Conover, so they just started it. It is one heck of an A.O. It’s got everything and it’s wide open. Veggie was the Q but he had been sick all night, throwing up. But the man posted anyway. And led the workout. He’d Q for a while, go throw up, come back, lead a few more exercises, then go throw up some more. I’ve never seen anything like it. He is TOUGH!!! What a workout. After seeing Veggie do this I quit complaining about how hard I had it and just decided that I would finish the Parade no matter what.
Friday – Prison Break in Lenoir. Friar had the Q. Friar is a natural born leader. I can tell he’s got “it” because when you threaten to wring his neck during a workout and hurl insults at him for all the nasty things he’s making you do, he just laughs and keeps right on. Nothing bothers him. All he does is laugh and lead and has a good time. Lenoir is phenomenal but that’s what happens when you’ve got a committed PAX and several strong leaders. Tough, wet, hard workout but a ton of fun at this one.
Saturday – Copperhead Creek in Taylorsville. Yeah, I had to hit Taylorsville one more time. Taylorsville is the first launch I did on my own. I got a lot of coaching from F3 launch gurus Chaser and MiniMe and applied everything they told me and guess what? It worked. It was good to see those T’ville PAX again. 3 Dog led it. Dredd named him. Eli’s Coming. Remember? Guy’s in a bad mood though. Put us through some horrible stuff, most of which involved really heavy utility poles. We partnered up and I was with 19 year old Rogue. 19. C’mon man. The child is 39 years younger than me. But he’s tough as any man. He slipped on a bench doing box jumps and landed hard. Got up and kept on. Tough. The whole workout was tough. Do it, T’ville! I enjoyed the workout and the coffeeteria after even more.
Sunday – The Star in Bethlehem. This was a special Sunday afternoon edition just so I could say I hit em all. Plank took charge. I don’t like him anymore. I asked for a nice, easy 3 miler because I knew I’d be physically shot by the end of the week. I didn’t get what I asked for. Instead, Dr. Plankenstein gave 3 miles of hell on hills. It was awful. Jordache, the young show-off, was the only one who didn’t walk some. We also jumped in the lake. That part was fun. And refreshing. And the best part? Getting back to the little white truck and realizing the Parade was over.
And it’s not just the Parade of Horribles that is over. My time in Hickory is over. God apparently has another challenge for me and I’ve been called to go and serve a church down south. The call came as a surprise but it was clear and strong. When God speaks, I have to obey. Period. I fear the Lord, and so I must go. Who says you’ve got to want to? God calls, you respond. Simple as that.
And painful. I love F3 Hickory. I love what we’ve done here. I love the energy, the commitment, the devotion I see in you men. I love seeing you grow and change right before my eyes. I’ve seen many of you arrive as FNGs, lumpy and pasty and unsure of yourselves. Sad clowns. And then you toughen up, drop weight, become fit and strong, and bold. You lead. You laugh with us and at us. You’re not sad anymore. You’re a leader. I love seeing this and I’ve seen it over and over again.
I’ve seen our little band of redwood originals, 7 of us on that first day, April 4, 2014, expand into 7 towns. How in the world did 7 out of shape men become 7 towns? How??? It worked because F3 works. It’s my good fortune to be friends with F3 founders Dredd and OBT. They’ll tell you they stumbled on to the right formula. Fitness, the magnate. Fellowship, the glue. And Faith, the dynamite that lights the fire. It works and it has been a profound privilege in my life to watch it work here, to see men become transformed into the strong leaders God created them to be in their homes, workplaces, churches, and communities.
It has been an honor gentlemen. It has been an honor.
Goodbye and God bless you,