Pursuing Self Improvement

Posted on Posted in Backblasts
  • When: 06/22/2019
  • QIC: Doink
  • The PAX: Twister, Farah&Farah (2xRespect), Culpepper (Respect), FixIt, Cool Breeze, Fifty Cent, Extinguisher

It was a muggy, soupy and somehow beautiful North Florida morning when 8 Pax showed up at Boondocks for a Saturday morning beatdown.

YHC meant to ask the Pax to think about feeling content and happy while still improving — but alas, it was forgotten in the desire to commence the beatdown.

YHC did remember to start by reiterating the F3 Mission and Core Principles (as a way to solidify it in his head):

F3 Mission is to plant, grow, and serve men’s small workout groups for the reinvigoration of male community leadership.

F3 Core Principles:

  1. Free of Charge
  2. Open to All Men 18+
  3. Must be held outdoors, rain or shine
  4. Must be peer led
  5. Must end in a Circle of Trust (COT)

The WarmUp

SSH – IC – x15
Imperial Walker – IC – x10
Michael Phelps – IC – x10
Reacher – IC – x10
LBACF – IC – x15
LBACB – IC – x10

We had two “almostfartsackers” — so we did 10 total penalty burpees

The Thang

Mosey to Parking Lot:

Suicides – 20 Jump Squat — run to island 20 Merkins

Repeat 3x running to each successive island

Mosey to Playground:

Descending Ladder from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 of:

  • Knee Raises
  • Aussie Burpees (for the curious amongst us:  this is basically a groiner with a small hop. So the Pax gives a little froglike hop rather than standing up and doing a full jump with arms to the sky, also skips the pushup element.)
  • Dips
  • Monkey Humpers

Mosey to Football Field:

11s — run width of field in between doing:

Carolina Dry Docks and BBSU

10 Dry Docks — run — 1 BBSU — run
9 Dry Docks — run — 2 BBSU — run
8 Dry Docks — run — 3 BBSU — run
7 Dry Docks — run — 4 BBSU — run
6 Dry Docks — run — 5 BBSU — run
5 Dry Docks — run — 6 BBSU — run
4 Dry Docks — run — 7 BBSU — run
3 Dry Docks — run — 8 BBSU — run
2 Dry Docks — run — 9 BBSU — run
1 Dry Docks — run — 10 BBSU…

Mosey to Turf Field:

Charles Bronson* — Starting at end zone, perform exercise, sprint/AYG to opposite end zone, then bear crawl to back of end zone then Mosey back to start:

Exercises to perform

25 SSH + 25 Squats then AYG to opposite end zone — bear crawl to back of end zone — mosey back to start.

Mosey back to the Flag — Pax ended up moseying/running ~1.75 miles on top of workout routine.

Count-o-Rama, Name-o-Rama, Prayer requests, Pledge of Allegiance:

  • Prayers for peace, comfort, healing for Fifty Cent and Culpepper’s colleagues and friends dealing with cancer
  • Prayers for peace and comfort for Extinguisher’s Deacon who has transitioned to Hospice
  • Prayers for guidance and safety for Fifty Cent’s 2.0 heading to his next journey at FSU
  • Blessings and Prayers for Cool Breeze and M on their newborn 2.0
  • General prayers for safety, travel, and thanksgivings

Q’s thoughts on being content with yourself but not being complacent, but also not getting caught up with “keeping up with the Joneses.”

YHC subscribes to the Mark Sisson newsletter and there was a good message sent out last week — here’s a paraphrased version of the message and what was discussed:

How do you pursue self-improvement without falling into the trap of perpetual dissatisfaction? How do you practice contentment and achieve happiness without getting stuck or settling? How do you actually move the needle on your internal set point and make it stick?

One thing I’ve realized is external changes in our circumstances will never alter our inner set point. Example: if I receive a raise I will feel temporarily more happy and successful, but very quickly I will return to my baseline. This is an external change that doesn’t permanently alter our contentedness.

What is the internal work that moves the needle?

The fundamentals end up more or less:

Can I accept where I’m at right now? 

This isn’t an excuse to never move beyond where we’re at. It means we’re not going to put energy into resistance and resentment. This frees up a lot of time and stamina for actual plans that will move your life forward. It also allows to be grateful for what we have today, and gratitude is energizing.

Am I taking responsibility? 

Maybe the circumstances we’re in are under our control, or maybe they aren’t. At this point, it doesn’t matter. People waste too much time wringing their hands over the past. What is always under my control is our energy — specifically, emotional energy and how we apply it.

Am I my best ally today? 

A lot of people are their own worst enemies (YHC falls into this trap often). They talk to themselves in ways they’d never talk to anyone else they know. If negative self-talk or sabotage are things you struggle with, get support around it from therapy, meditative practices, or whatever builds self-compassion for you — 2nd F can be a great tool for combating this. We can’t expect the world to give us what we can’t give ourselves.

Do I cultivate a mindset of self-discovery? 

This is not navel-gazing that inflates the ego or isolates us from the rest of the world. What this means here is maintaining a curiosity of self. Do I know everything there is to know about me? I hope not. The day I decide I there’s nothing more to learn about how I see the world or what I’m capable of, I might as well pack it in.

How am I living for something bigger than myself? 

We must believe in living for something bigger than ourself. If anything, it expands the dimensions of your vision. There’s a lot to appreciate in this world. There’s a lot to be in awe of. And there are genuine needs all around us. It’s not our job to fix everything, but we wouldn’t be fully living if we don’t engage and offer something of ourself to it.

Figuring out how those fundamentals manifest for you is the real business of contentment. And then, of course, living them (the work of a lifetime really)…

*This exercise is called “Charles Bronson” on the F3nation exercise sheet — but YHC didn’t really get the point of it until one of the Pax pointed out his most famous role was in “Death Wish” — and if we had the time, this routine would fit that bill:

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