The Need to Engage

Posted on Posted in Backblasts
  • When: 08/12/2021
  • QIC: Slash
  • The PAX: D-Day (respect), Smash Mouth, Mervin, Wasted, Narco, Inside Out (respect), Check Please, Left Turn, Gizzard, Snowden (respect), Sushi, Prunetang (respect)

At the time, which is to say in the beginning, which for YHC was in August of 2017, it seemed oh so peculiar… a group of men with names like Full Monty, gathered together under the cover of darkness, doing exercises with names such as Monkey Humpers and Pickle Pounders… “It’s F3!” McDreamy said. “Try it! You’ll like it!”

Like a fly at a picnic that wouldn’t shoo off, the persistent McDreamy won out. I tried it. I liked it! Now, it took YHC’s M a little longer to appreciate the exact nature of this thing called F3, as some of YHC’s reports to her on the morning’s activities may have understandably caused some confusion, e.g., “Guess what we did this morning, hon! The Tunnel of Love! We planked side by side and then we took turns crawling underneath each other!”

But understand the M eventually did. And over the succeeding four years, F3 Badlands has impacted YHC’s life in unimagined ways. I’ve been witness to the remarkable (Gravy adding years to his life by shedding 100+ pounds), the inspiring (Aquaman’s birth — figuratively speaking, of course — of the Kraken), the selfless (Check Please’s work with the Trinity Mission) and even the mystifying (Outhouse somehow aging only two years in 48 months).
For today’s workout, YHC thought about recreating the first workout I attended, but in searching the backblast archives, I was unable to find it. As I was searching, looking at names of the Pax, it struck me how much turnover we’ve experienced here in the Badlands. A handful of guys have remained stalwarts – Air Bags, Dollar Bill, Gizzard, Outhouse, Full Monty, with McD of course planting seeds down south – but so many have come and gone.

Indeed, when you look at Slack, we have 300+ members on our various Badlands channels. YHC is trained to analyze businesses, and a key metric for just about any business is customer retention. If you think of F3 as a business and sad clowns as our clients, our retention rate jumps out as an area of opportunity.

YHC wondered why we’ve seen so many guys try F3 and not stick with it. Frankly, I’m not sure. And that tells me something – I don’t know what those guys are thinking. Which means I did not engage with them. Which in turns means I have the opportunity to become a better leader.

Engagement is a requirement of effective leadership. Engaged leaders are proactive; they reach out to those around them, serve them, connect with them. YHC does this at work, making sure each week to touch (NOT in the Cuomo way) each of his 18 team members at least once. But I’ve been remiss in practicing this at F3. So today, the effort to get better begins, with one outreach already in the bag. Take a look at that list of 300+ members on Slack – who can you reach out to? Say hello, let them know they are missed, and invite them back. Sometimes, a little attention goes a long way.

The Workout
Music: The workout highlighted some live versions of songs from Metallica’s fifth album, aka, the “black” album, which came out 30 years ago. Fun fact: “Enter Sandman” was originally penned by F3 fan and Metallica front man James Hetfield as “Enter Nantan,” but the phrase was shot down by drummer Lars Ulrich for being “too obscure” of a reference, as Ulrich put it. JK, of course…

With the music cued up, it was time for some station work, with 20 stations arranged around the flagpole.

Round 1: 33 seconds of work at a station, followed by 23 seconds jogging (aka “active recovery) around the circle, then stopping at the station following the one you just completed.
Round 2: Same deal, but 20 seconds of work per station. YHC was a bit off on this calculation and we ran a few minutes late. Apologies. But we were all the better for it!

The 20 stations:
1) Slam Ball
2) Merkins
3) Plank
4) Squat (hold at bottom, with block overhead)
5) Bent Over Flys (with bricks)
6) Monkey Humpers
7) Dip Bars
8) LBCs
9) Derkins (feet up on the curb)
10) Gorilla Humpers
11) Heels to Heaven
12) Battle Rope
13) Lunge Left Foot Forward
14) Lunge Right Foot Forward
15) Burpees
16) Flutter Kicks
17) Squat Thrust (with cinderblock)
18) Curls (with weight bar)
19) Side Plank (raise left leg)
20) Side Plank (raise right leg)

Some observations: Check Please and Wasted absolutely murdered the Battle Rope. As D-Day noted, the grass beneath it took a beating. YHC left a note on the lawn for Nocatee management to direct any sod bills to the Nantan… Multiple pax including D-Day, Wasted and Prunetang double downed after what sounded like a hellacious block beatdown by Skid at Badlands; strong work, gentlemen! … On a purely random note, staff retention at a local waste management business is running at ~ 80% thanks to the heroic efforts of a certain HR executive… Nice of Mervin to call out his appreciation for the workouts he’s attended; we’re looking forward to his VQ! … Great seeing Check Please back out there!

Announcements: Stay tuned for updates on when we can return to Trinity Mission and The Farm; service opportunity at K9s for Warriors on Friday 9/3 at 8:30am.
Prayers for those with COVID; prayers for families and children as we start the new school year, as well as for Left Turn’s favorite teacher at Pine Island Academy. (Just don’t tell his M about her!! 😊)
Always a pleasure, gentlemen.

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