Just so you know, I hate working out. The best part of going to the gym was the unlimited hot water in the shower. People don’t interact, engage, or care about you at the gym unless you are in their way or you are paying them,( a trainer.) I also am not a fan of group exercise, even though I am married to an instructor. Classes are choreographed, repeated, and are too much like dancing. My wife is an incredible leader and teacher but it’s just not for me.
Almost a year ago, I learned of this work out thing called F3. I arrived at the park with low expectations and hoped for something that would challenge me. I read a little about the origin of the group and its focus, but some things just need to be experienced to understand. The work out was HARD. Sixty minutes never seemed so long before and the “Q” some how tricked me into thinking that we were only doing 10 merkins instead of the actual 30. I was sore for days, but was energized by what took place. Men, gathered at a park, for reasons known only to them, came together to get better at “something.”
Little did I know at the time, that I would need these men to fill a void that opened up in my life. My family and I have attended the same church in Jax for over 18 years. We invested a great amount of our time in service and the return was some wonderful friends. A short time after starting F3, we felt the calling to leave our church and the family that we knew. While we knew that that God was in control, it did not make the separation any easier. Starting over was difficult but so are Monkey Humpers and are more tolerable in a group. This gathering of men that recognized the need to improve upon certain areas of their lives, helped carry me through all the while pushing me beyond my previous limits.
Each morning, as posted in the gloom, we faced all kinds of adversity. It has been said that we lie to ourselves more than anyone else. We procrastinate, demean, devalue, and make promises that we don’t keep. When you become part of F3, accountability shows up in many forms. During the work out, it’s about finishing the exercise, not outdoing the man next to you. Our enemy is the voice inside our mellon that says to “quit.” Your closest ally is the man next to you that says “you can!” Try quitting when the guy next to you is almost 60 and still going strong. If you don’t show up for the next work out, you’ll quickly learn what forms accountability can take, including but not limited to being called a “fartsacker.”
As we continue to grow in our fitness levels, we also begin to grow together as friends. The workouts don’t get any easier and as a result, we get stronger. Keep this in mind, these are men that come from all kinds of backgrounds and fitness levels. The types that I have probably work out next to at the gym but had no connection. Regardless of age or faith, F3 made men into friends. Friends now becoming brothers forged by adversity.
F3, yes is a free workout for all men, but make no mistake, it is not without cost. It will cost you sleep, time, effort, stinky clothes, and much more. Those costs are focused inward, the real cost is concerning yourself with the brother next to you. F3 works because there is no finish line. The ultimate goal is being better than you were yesterday. Fortunately, today is way better than many of my yesterdays.