Story 7

From Walking in a Daze
to Posting in the Gloom

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

The summer of 2017 was probably the hardest summer of my entire life.

My mom was killed in an auto accident over the Fourth of July weekend after being life-flighted to the hospital. I had already been feeling down about life and what I think could very well have been the beginning of the proverbial “mid-life crisis.”

Work had slumped into the normal grind and I found myself looking forward to the weekends, only to have them cut short by the alarm clock on Monday morning.

I listen to podcasts at work to help pass the time while I do some of the mundane tasks and eventually I heard the episode on The Art of Manliness where the podcaster interviewed Dredd and OBT about F3.

Immediately, I felt like this movement was something I wanted to be a part of – a group of men who met for fitness (for free!), who got to become friends and serve their community together. I had been paying for a membership at my local YMCA, but I hadn’t gone in months.

I canceled my membership to the Y and found F3 Toledo’s website. The next thing I knew, there was a blip in the local news about F3 Toledo, and I found out a guy who I kind of knew from my church who was a part of it. I reached out to him just to confirm the workout time and location and showed up for my first post.

The first post absolutely killed me. I knew I was out of shape, but I did not realize how bad I had gotten. I often tell people that I resembled the giant Marshmallow Man from the Ghostbusters movie when I began F3.

We did the regular monthly Murph that first time (1 mile run, 300 squats, 200 merkins, 100 pull-ups and another 1 mile run). I had a graphic T-shirt that said, “That’s too much bacon. ~ No one ever” and somehow bacon got turned into sausage, and in no time I was dubbed Jimmy Dean.

I actually changed up my work schedule to fit in F3 and jumped in with both feet into the world of F3 and rucking. I found myself posting 3-4 days each week. Then signing up for a Grow Ruck Tough. The next thing I knew, I was leading some of the workouts and posting for a 2-hour ruck with a 1 hour beatdown.

What in the world was going on?

Before F3, as my wife could vouch, I had no real hobbies. Now, I can’t seem to buy enough rucking and workout equipment. I encourage my boys to do some of the exercises I do, and they actually ask me what I did at each workout.

Now that I am a part of F3, I can say that my life has changed for the better. I am losing weight and getting into better shape. I am physically stronger and actually look forward to getting up at the butt crack of dawn to workout with my F3 brothers.

The group of guys I work out with have huge hearts to serve those around us. We are always looking for ways to give to our community: Christmas presents to a children’s hospital; raising money for a family who had ended up living in a hotel; giving to a local single father who is fostering four young kids. These men live out their faith through service in our community and seeing men in action is amazing.

The best thing about being a part of F3 for me has been getting to know the other men that I see in the gloom every time I post. The fellowship and friendship being forged is stronger and more meaningful that the vast majority of relationships I have had in the past.

Being with guys who are of the same mindset of becoming better men is inspiring and encourages me to keep posting each week.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
~ Proverbs 27:17

Geoff “Jimmy Dean” Kujawa

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