Story 8

A Better Man

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

F3 came right on time for me. Physically, I was in the worst shape of my life. Working out at home or at the gym was something that just didn’t appeal to me. It was a start-stop kind of deal that just I didn’t make work. 

Spiritually, I was looking for basic ways to connect more deeply and meaningfully with God. With a growing family and growing responsibilities at work, I wasn’t making the daily decision to be intentional about prayer, reading the word, and meditating on it to apply it to my life. 

Socially, I wasn’t necessarily looking for new friends, but I was looking for some basic camaraderie with other guys. My friends were either not in the area, or, just like me, were living the married, kids, and work life with limited time for anything social that wasn’t a kid’s birthday party or a school related function. With no family in the area to lean on to watch the kids, social outings were rare. 

And then I was introduced to F3. I was skeptical of coming out to a workout at first because it sounded like something put together by a group of former special forces guys – which it turned out, I wasn’t way off the mark! I finally was peer pressured into coming out and immediately, I knew I’d found what I wasn’t looking for but that I was in desperate need of.

I played team sports growing up and F3 reminded me of the physical demands, interpersonal accountability, and camaraderie that I hated and enjoyed all at the same time! The first workout I posted to was on a high school practice football field. It reminded me of the perils of 2-a-days! And I wanted more! 

After a week of coming out, our 4th child was born. I had to take some time off, but I knew I had to get back. I realized that whatever this crazy F3 thing was that I’d said yes to, it was exactly what I needed at this point in my life. It was meeting the need I had for physical fitness, but more importantly, it met my need for social connection and a renewed connectedness with God. 

My wife looked at me crazy for a while. Up at 5 a.m. Working out in sub-zero temps. I’d clearly lost my mind! I don’t blame her! I would have looked at me the same way. The simple truth is that there were things that I needed in my life that I couldn’t verbalize at the time. But once I came out, I realized F3 was exactly what I needed. F3 means something different to everyone. For me, it’s been nothing less than a right on time blessing.

Greg “Modell” Braylock, Jr.