May 2019 Ruck – Backblast

May 18, 2019
0600-0900; 0900-1200
May Monthly Ruck: Legs were made for rucking
Shops at Fallen Timbers

First half: Wake, Isosceles, Huckleberry, Mother Rucker, Flo, Tupac, Bluto, Patriot, Billy Bob, Huffy, Mailman, Scrooge, Cousteau, Mercy

Second Half: Tupac, Billy Bob, Casper, Mercy

Before diving into this, I want to express gratitude and appreciation for everyone that showed up. It means a lot that you trusted me with 3 -6 hours of your Saturday am.

We started at 0600 with a few guys coming in hot. Rain and construction on the best exit to get to Fallen Timbers slowed up the process, but we started the ruck with 11 and ended with 14. No one dropped off, and it was nice to add to the group.

In the introduction, Mercy gave the core principles of F3 and the mission, a brief over view of our 3rd F component – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Braedan’s Bridge, and off we went.  

We moved to the hotel parking lot, circled up, and did some warm-up exercises in cadence, then moved out around the parking lot and to the trailhead of the Wabash-Cannonball’s South Fork. Around this time, the rain started to pick up.

We took the South Fork to the North Fork of the Cannonball trail, onto Jerome Road to the Fallen Timbers Battlefield trail. With us, we had some sandbags and water jugs. The jugs were lighter than the sandbags, but the movement of the water, and the shape of the jugs, made the carrying awkward and difficult, as it should be during a CSAUP event.

We also had a weighted shovel flag, just to add to the difficulty.

When we exited the Fallen Timbers Battlefield trail, we were able to gather the last person of our group. We found out that we have a fugitive from Oklahoma among us. The fugitive also found out about his wanted status in the State of Oklahoma since he’s never been to Oklahoma in his life, but the situation did not bring around any more trouble than that.

We rucked over to the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Monument, and planted the flag and grounded our coupons.

At this point, Mother Rucker took lead for a segment. In two lines, we raced against the clock to dump our rucks completely, and hold them above our heads. Of course, we were not fast enough, and as a group we did some PT. There were crab walks, lunges, lunges as a group, bear crawls, and other exercises as we failed a few times to dump our rucks quickly enough, and then failed to shove it all in our rucks again.

(Pro tip on this exercise: after the initial dumping, don’t worry about putting things back in their specific pockets. Just shove it all in like a winner. This makes the dumping easier, and gives you time to help the rest of the team.

Also, at some point, even if you do things perfect as a team, the cadre will find issue with something if he wants to kill more time, so there’s the other aspect – something may get nitpicked as an excuse to do more PT that was already planned.)

After we successfully dumped and shoved it back in, we had a few minutes to pack up our rucks, and we moved out, down through Side Cut Park, down to River Road and along the Maumee River. We made our way back up to the footbridge that stretches over the Anthony Wayne Trail, and we rucked back to the starting point. While waiting to cross a street, we did some squats until the light turned. Some of us were lucky enough to do some squats with the coupons.

When we made it to our start point, we were lucky enough to have 20 minutes or so left. The standard for monthly rucks proscribes the length – 3 hours, and I wanted to be sure everyone got their money’s worth.

We circled up and did a version of the Robbie Miller WOD in cadence.  The full WOD is 12 rounds, 6 reps of each exercise. Rucks were optional for this. The 4 exercises: bent over rows (instead of pull-ups), burpee squats, 4 count mountain climbers, and ruck getups.

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This was work, and after 2 rounds, ruck get-ups were switched out with overhead ruck presses. We pushed through one more round with this modification, and we had a few minutes left.

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Wake was kind enough to let me know that I did not need to worry about anyone feeling shortchanged if we stopped at that point. By this point, the reason for our 3rd F component had arrived, and I knew we had 1 more round in us. So we persevered and finished strong.  

My face when I’m wore out.

We put in a lot of work. It was a solid 3 hours, and I was proud of the work the PAX put in. We had rucked just over 6.5 miles, with a tough amount of PT. But this work was about to be put in perspective.

While circled up doing the WOD, Tammy and Braedan arrived and watched. Tammy and her son Braedan were the 3rd F focus, and I was thrilled Tammy wanted to come speak to us at halftime. Tammy told us about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It affects mostly boys. When we workout, we breakdown muscle. Our bodies produce Dystrophin to help us build back our muscles. Braedan’s body does not produce Dystrophin. As you know, our hearts and lungs are important muscles. So beyond the impact of walking and physical activity, this form of muscular dystrophy threatens breathing and living.

Tammy painted a raw picture of this disease, with Braedan, 13 years old, standing there with her. However, Braedan and his family are inspiring. When they received this diagnosis, they decided to make the most out of life. Braedan is an avid hunter, and hunts everything. From hunting turkey to big game in Africa, Braedan and his family have refused to be victims.

With amazing perspective, Braedan once told his mom that he didn’t like Duchenne, but it was kind of a good thing he had Duchenne. Taken aback, Tammy asked why – Braedan said that then he would not have been able to meet so many people were it not for Duchenne.

Braedan lives life to the fullest, and is an inspiration to me, and I hope he inspires the rest of the PAX.

We have an opportunity to serve and help find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. On October 5, the 7th Annual All In for Duchenne casino night is being held at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania. We have opportunities to volunteer, attend, or donate items to be auctioned off. I asked the PAX to consider these things, and I will be posting more information, along with a calendar event on GroupMe.

We closed out in ball of man, as Braedan joined us.

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As the circle disbanded, Cousteau was awesome and thoughtful enough to give Braedan an F3 patch. Tammy was thrilled with our response to her and Braedan, and I look forward to coming through for her and Braedan for their casino night.

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The second half of the ruck started up as Casper joined up with Mercy, Tupac, and Billy Bob. We dumped the coupons and weight on the flag, focusing on keeping up the pace. We headed back over the footbridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail, past the Battlefield Monument, down to Side Cut’s paths along the Maumee River. This time we rucked through to the Silver Lake area, looking for to get some elevation in. We had some patches to earn via GORUCK’s monthly ruck club callout. We needed 1,500 feet of elevation, or 1,500 stairs climbed. We rucked through an outdoor event that was being held in the Silver Lake area with our American flag.

We thought the sledding hill was going to be an option to earn the elevation, but there was an archery activity taking place, with arrows being shot towards the hill. We reconsidered and moved on.

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Along the way, Tupac EH’d several people and ate wild Asparagus

Planting the flag, we found a flight of 15 steps. With some quick math, we figured out we needed to go up and down these steps 15 times. We split it up into quarters and pushed. It was not easy, and Casper who co-Q’d the beatdown at the Fortress just a few hours before which happened to skew heavy toward leg work, was blessed with more leg work.

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A lot of people were in Side Cut while we earned our patch. Again, this was not easy, and it was hard-earned. I was proud of the push we made as we earned this patch together.

We stopped a short second, ate some Gushers, and headed back to the starting point. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, and it was wonderful weather.

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We got back to the starting point, hitting 7.5 miles for the second half, 14 miles total for Tupac, Billy Bob and me.

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead this ruck. I’m appreciative of all those who came out. I’m glad I was able to present a cause that means something to me.

Legs were made for rucking, and one day, Braedan might have that opportunity because of the money raised to help end Duchenne.  

Story 4

It’s All About THE PROCESS

In the morning of April 17, 2016, I found myself journaling about relationships. The question I asked that morning was, how can I attain true friendships. This question led me to begin writing the following:

“Lord I ask you to please place the right men in my life to share and have accountability in regards to life issues. This is an area where I have always struggled. Many times I have thought about having friends but childhood experiences made me struggle with this concept. However, I know I have to break the cycle. I know part of this problem is my insecurity to meet new people. I feel that You are working your plans for me. Please allow me to have this opportunity and give me strength to continue to grow.”

In June of 2017, a member of my men’s group from church mentioned that he attends a work out with other men that takes place at 5:15 am. He described the workouts and the routine of getting a name at the work outs for the new guys. I found his comments interesting, and I asked him for the meeting times and locations. He mentioned that the workouts were taking place at various locations throughout Sylvania. I found it interesting due to the fact that I could go the workout and head to work after it was done. He asked if I wanted to go to the next workout with him the following morning, and I said yes. My final question that night was, what is the name of this workout group? His answer: F3.

My first workout was a Thursday morning. There were probably around 25 guys. I found it very interesting, and I really enjoyed the first day. I was given the name Cogsworth. I remember going to work that morning thinking about what was said during the COT (Circle of Trust). The component of the guys praying for various issues and opening about their struggles made me come back for more.

What does this group mean to me? It means various things. Prior to joining F3 I was struggling with the routine of life. As the head of household in my family, I felt I was missing interaction with other men. I did not have a network of men that I could spend time and talk about the struggles that we face as men.

I should mention that I am a very blessed to have a wonderful wife that supports me, and she is always there for me. I have two wonderful daughters, and words cannot even describe how blessed I am to be called their dad. However, as every man falls into the routine of work and all the other stressors of life, we tend to forget and struggle to be leaders in our families.

This group of guys that I have known for the past six months have given the opportunity to share my struggles and accomplishments to become a better man by improving my health, network of guys, and my faith.

As I go over my journal entries prior to joining F3, I see a man that was trying to overcome issues on his own. My life counselor once told me that I was not mentally tough during one of our sessions. This group of guys have helped me to be mentally tough. It is still a process that continues to improve and some days it is hard to overcome, but I have learned to cope better when I am surrounded by my F3 brothers.

It is my prayer that this group of men will continue to get stronger and that we can become the men that we were meant to be in our homes and communities. The process is not over and will continue to improve. See you in the gloom.

Aye!

Arnold “Cogsworth” Cruz

Story 3

The Best Decision in a Long Time

I like to think of myself as one of the four originals with F3 Toledo. Myself, Colonel, Klinger and Silent P were the four that originally went to Cleveland on a cold Saturday morning. I had no idea what to expect. After getting my butt kicked for an hour, worse than any basketball conditioning I had ever done, I agreed to help get this going here in Toledo.

I still remember the night before the official launch standing in Klinger’s garage with Colonel talking about how many guys would show up and what kind of success it would be. I never thought it would turn out like it did. The impact F3 has had on me has been in several different areas. It has forced me to step outside my normal exercise routine, which is a great thing. This is the best shape I have been in over the last 15 years. It has also introduced me to guys that I never would have known and allowed me to create new friendships with like minded men. One thing I have seen with F3 is many of the men that post all have similar qualities. For a guy who grew up in Sylvania and still had high school friends he hung out with, I never thought I needed any more friends. F3 changed that and has allowed me the opportunity to make friendships with so many more guys, and I am thankful for that.

Finally the faith piece: as a born-again Christian knowing you have other Christians praying for you, the city, your family, whatever it might be is comforting. Knowing God hears all prayers I have already seen the positive impact it has had with the growth with F3 Toledo, FIA and in our own household. Working out, Bible study, and socializing with a great group of men has made me strive to be a better follower of Christ, husband, father and business owner.

Back in March 2016 when Colonel asked me to check out F3 Nation and see if I was interested in helping him get something started here in Toledo, as a friend, I politely accepted not knowing the impact it would have on me. Bottom line – it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

Jason “Brute” Harsh

Story 2

Dedicated and Pushing it Every Day

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

When I was first approached about F3 in Toledo, I thought that it was a pretty neat idea and that some guys would probably get behind it. I wasn’t sure that it was something I needed because I considered myself pretty active and “in shape.” I coach middle school cross country and track, so I was running almost every day. I’ve trained for running events and triathlons, so I thought I knew what it meant to be dedicated to a workout plan.

I’m not much of a TV watcher, and I can’t stand to sit around and do nothing, so being overweight hasn’t really been an issue. I knew there were some areas that needed improvement, but I was comfortable with my physical fitness and confident that I could maintain it for the years to come. Other than the time I spent coaching kids, I didn’t really experience any joy with exercising, but I knew it was something I had to do. So, I was OK with checking the box next to ‘Exercise’ on my list of things to do. I was thinking that F3 was just an exercise group, and I felt like I had that area of my life covered.

I went to an F3 workout in Cleveland before things got started up in Toledo, and I got absolutely smoked! So much for thinking I was in pretty good shape. I remember looking at my watch after what seemed to be at least 45 minutes of the hour-long workout, and it said that only 20 minutes had gone by! What?? Something must be wrong with my watch! We’re not even halfway done??!! On top of that, I was confused by all the weird names they were calling the exercises and couldn’t understand how everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing. I did get a few laughs from the ribbing the guys would yell out to each other, and it was nice to hear people say encouraging words to the guys who were struggling like me. I finished the beatdown, but I was definitely in the back of the pack. That’s when I realized that maybe I had the wrong idea of how F3 could impact my life.

As things moved forward in Toledo, and I consistently started posting to beatdowns, I really started seeing that almost all of my notions about my workout habits were mistaken.

Did I run almost every day of the week while coaching?

Yes, I did, but I also knew that I was doing the least amount of possible work just so I could keep up with the middle of the pack of runners. I also knew that I would take most of the months between cross country and track season off, and I would start to get back in shape a few weeks before the next season started.

Have I trained for and completed running events and triathlons?

Yep, that one is true too. But, was I truly dedicated to my training plan? I knew the answer to that question was no. If I was honest with myself, I knew that I probably only completed about half of the workouts on whatever plan I was following. I was pretty good at coming up with reasons why it was OK for me to skip a day, and I didn’t let it bother me. At the same time, I was never able to really push myself like I felt I should be able to during an event – I was always struggling to just reach the finish line, not really competing.

Have I ever been overweight?

No, I haven’t. But, do I keep losing the same 10-15 pounds every year? That one would be a yes. I think I know the weight that is right for me, when my body “feels” right, and I’d say that I’m at that weight for about 3 months of the year. I spend the other 9 months either slowly moving above that weight or towards that weight. When my clothes stop fitting comfortably is when I usually start getting more serious about working out. I knew that it didn’t really make sense for me to do that every year, but it didn’t bother me enough to do something different. F3 helped me see these things more clearly and made it easier for me to make some positive changes.

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is that my consistency has improved greatly. It’s not unusual for me to go to 5 or 6 workouts a week, and it’s been that way for the last 9 months. When I know that there’s a group of men getting up just like me because they want to get more fit, it makes it so much easier to make the decision to get out there and put in the work. I know that if I don’t show up, someone is going to text me or call me and say, “Everything alright? Didn’t see you this morning and want to make sure you’re OK.” Much easier to post than it is to answer those questions with, “Yeah, I’m fine. Just didn’t feel like getting up today.” The shared responsibility of everyone’s fitness level has made it easy to be consistent. I want to be held accountable, and the power of the men in F3 Toledo have done an excellent job of doing just that.

And this brings me to the next positive change – dedication and pushing myself every day. There are men of all fitness levels in the group, and there’s always someone that’s stronger, faster, or with more endurance than me. This has allowed me to workout harder and more effectively than I ever have before. I leave workouts knowing that I pushed myself as hard as I could because I’m always trying to keep up with the guys that can do more reps than me or can run to the top of some hill faster than me. It’s much harder for me to say to myself, “I’m not feeling that great today, I think I’ll just go half speed or not the full distance I’m supposed to.” Without anybody having to say anything to me, I’m going to do my best to get better each day. At the same time, I know that there might be someone looking to me to provide some of that motivation, so I feel like I owe it to them to give my best at all times so that they in turn push themselves as much as they can. It’s a bit of an odd dynamic, but it works!

All that stuff is great, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to the most important part of F3 – brotherhood. Real brotherhood in the sense that I know there are men I can turn to for laughs, advice, sharing, etc., and they will be open and honest with me. Real brotherhood in the sense that there are men that hold me accountable and expect me to provide them the same openness and honesty they give to me. Real brotherhood in the sense that we help each other become stronger leaders in our homes, our families, our workplaces, our churches, and our communities. There’s a palpable sense that together, we can accomplish so many positive things for our lives. If you would’ve asked me before this all started if I felt like I had friends, my answer would’ve been yes, and I would’ve meant it. But, in my adult life, I haven’t had friends that I would hang out with on my own. My wife and I have friend couples that we might go out to dinner with every once in a while.

It’s always a fun time, but it’s not like I was calling the guy up to see how his day was going or if he needed help with anything. There are even men that are a part of F3 Toledo that I would’ve said were my friends before we started working out together, but I never really did anything to improve that friendship.

Really, it was more of if we happened to be in the same place at the same time, or if our wives made a plan to get together, then we’d catch up and have some laughs. But, after all the hours we’ve spent together in the gloom, that friendship is now a true friendship.

We do share an interest in how each other’s day is going. We do make plans to get together and grab lunch or a beer without any help from our wives. If I need help with a project or want some advice about something, I know there’s at least 10 guys I could call up and they’d be genuinely willing to help. The support and power that comes from having true friends is enormous, and it has really made a positive difference in my life.

All that from just an early morning men’s workout group? Kind of sounds a bit unbelievable, right? Well, believe me…it’s all true! My F3 brothers and I will be out there pushing each other to be the best versions our ourselves – come see for yourself!!

Bryan “Klinger” Riley

Story 1

Toledo… Really?!?

Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

I learned of F3 while living in Charlotte, NC (I lived there from 1999 – 2014). At that time, I heard rumblings of guys that worked out only a short jog from my home. I passed these men on my way to the gym or work and was curious about what the attraction to what I now refer to as “the gloom.” At the time, I was working out at a Crossfit box, playing basketball a couple days a week and felt I had little need for the fellowship or fitness F3 provided.

However, my curiosity grew to the point that I put in my calendar dates to post at 5:30 AM with no EH (invite) to see what it was all about:

  • Tuesday, 6/4/13 – Freedom Park – F3
  • Wednesday, 9/25/13 – Cotswold Elementary – F3
  • Tuesday, 10/1/13 – Cotswold Elementary – F3

I never posted. Instead deciding to go on a solo run, I promised myself to work out later that day (did not happen more times than it did happen), or I just told myself it’s way too early to work out outside, it would be odd to show up without an invite, etc.

Around August of 2013 I was promoted at work and went from being home every night to traveling Monday – Friday covering 7 states and leading an 8-person sales team. With 3 kids under 4 years old, coming home and going to my first F3 workout quickly became an afterthought.

Being away from my wife and 3 girls was even more difficult than I anticipated. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the team at work but not at the expense of my family. In May, an opportunity presented itself to move to my wife’s hometown of Sylvania, OH (Toledo metro area) to work for a great company that a former colleague called me about. I made the difficult decision to leave a city I loved for 15 years for a great job that would allow me to be home every night with my family and my children to grow up around family in Ohio.

Fast forward to September 2016 and I had allowed myself to become what F3 calls the “Sadclown.” Working out was sporadic (solo runs, intermittent in the gym or working out at home with basketball once a week). I complained about what Toledo did not have compared to Charlotte. I missed the friendships that I had with people I had known in Charlotte for many years. I secretly hoped my wife would say she wanted to move back to the Carolinas, which admittedly was unfair considering her entire family is in Toledo and my girls loved being able to see their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandma/grandpa every week.

September 15, 2016 – I decided to reach out to F3 via the F3 expansion request on the nations site. I sent an email explaining what I knew of F3, the fact I was from Charlotte area, had never posted, but I included a list of the top 10 reasons Toledo needs F3. Evidently it was enough for Crotch Rocket (CR) to respond that night and promised to talk with me live. I proceeded to bug CR weekly until he scheduled my call – and then rescheduled…

During our initial conversation, CR let me know that they had intentions to LEAP (launch in a new city without a driving distance existing F3, or existing member of F3 pax member moving into the area) further into Ohio and Indiana in 2017. He was quick to say that upon further review Toledo wasn’t in consideration to plant the F3 flag, and the focus was on Columbus and Cincinnati. I pleaded to give Toledo a chance to launch and promised to get to work immediately recruiting guys even as were about to enter the winter, and I knew even if approved to launch it would be at least 6+ months away…

The first man I asked to consider F3 and to help was Bryan Riley (Klinger). My second and third contacts were Jason Harsh (Brute) and Vince Palko (Pixar). Contacts with these gentleman prior to F3 were limited to girls’ cross-country coach (Klinger), Church functions and a couple pickup basketball games (Brute) and a colleague from a previous company telling me to reach out to Vince (Pixar) when I got to Toledo. I met Vince while our daughters were running on my 1st summer in Toledo, and we said we’d grab a beer or coffee – never happened…

These men were kind enough to run through workouts to check out potential locations prior to launching. In our final workout on a Saturday morning – May 6th, 2017 – Vince and Bryan sat with me over some bagels and coffee laughing at my concern we wouldn’t have enough men posting for the launch workout on May 13th. I had a tally on a napkin asking who they had as HC (Hard Commits) praying for a solid turnout to prove Toledo would represent F3 well and show out!

On May 13th, 10 pax from F3Cleveland (led by Schotty) and Packo from Columbus, came to make sure we launched right. The feeling of watching car after car roll into the parking lot of Southview High School in Sylvania, OH was something I’ll never forget as 35 Toledo men showed up for a total of 46 – one of the largest launches in F3 History!

Nine months into F3 in Toledo and it has already made an impact on dozens upon dozens of men’s lives. The beauty of F3 everywhere is that it is open to all men – regardless of one’s financial situation, politics or belief system. The walls we typically build, knowingly or unknowingly, in our world can be torn down or at least run over when these are not seen as a conversation stopper or deterrent. Over 100 men have Q’d (led) a workout, almost 400 men have come through and given it a shot, with well over a hundred sticking around to make it a part of their weekly routine. We have started over 16 official workout times with pre-runs and pre-rucks happening regularly, leadership book studies, bible studies, happy hours, etc.

What I love about F3 in Toledo,
and I am certain happening throughout the country: 

  • Men are becoming stronger every day across all 3 F’s
  • Men are losing weight, doing pull-ups for the first time or first time in a long time, doing 100 burpees or pushups throughout a workout when they previously were sitting on the couch or working out alone sporadically….
  • Men are leading vocally and by example to their peers which in turn makes them better leaders in their careers and in their homes
  • Men are vocalizing their faults and trials to other men that are now friends they trust in multiple arenas – COT, during Rucks, Lunches, Happy Hours, Bible Study, etc. – all of which were not present nine months ago
  • Friendships are being forged through sweat and direct, honest conversation
  • Prayers and prayer intentions are being heard and said every day at every workout
  • It just might be the only place they hear a prayer or have their prayer heard that day/week

I know of no other avenue that can impact men from 18-80 like F3. We all owe an amount of gratitude that is impossible to put a price tag on to the men that showed up on 1/1/11 in Charlotte: Dredd, OBT, along with CR and others. They took a simple workout and turned it into a leadership machine that can allow us to all become more confident, healthier, and more accountable to ourselves and those around us all for the cost of waking up a little earlier than normal and doing it again and again. Not a workout goes by that someone, or many, state that there is no way they would do this if it wasn’t for F3.

For me personally, living in Toledo has gotten exponentially better. I no longer go on solo runs or make excuses to not work out. How could I do that when I have a hundred plus friends I can reach out to or meet up with at the designated workout times. I no longer complain about Toledo because I now see that my complaints had more to do with a lack of knowledge. The knowledge that within a few miles radius of my house there was the potential for 60+ to meet up on a Saturday before 7 am to be led by a peer in a tough workout no matter the weather (-10 degrees, rain, snow, etc.) and would do it again on any weekday at 5:30 am. That this same thing has since been extended to Perrysburg and metro Toledo, with even more locations around Toledo.

Furthermore, no one can explain that the workout is the least impactful part of what takes place in F3 until you show up and 20 F3 Toledo show up multiple times. You can get a workout many ways. Every man that posts to F3 has something to give and something to take that day and in a more impactful way to them and others than could ever happen on their own or at your local gym.

What F3 has provided me and many others in Toledo is a time to get better every day of my life and allows us all to be humbled and encouraged at the same time. Humbled by being pushed to the max at a workout; by listening to a fellow pax member requesting thoughts/prayers for a challenge in their life; for leading a group of men and most likely failing at portions of it.  Humbled because while each workout and every opportunity within F3 is “You vs You” it starts to really impact you on a personal level when you realize the power is knowing it isn’t about You – it’s about the man showing up alongside You. Encouraged by being positively pushed to finish a workout to the best of your ability that morning; knowing many are thinking/praying for you and your request; knowing that your circle of legit friends has grown the day you commit to this as a part of your life.

F3 Toledo’s impact is just starting to take shape in less than 1 year. The impact we will make on each other, as individuals and in our community is going to continue to surpass any and all expectations just like we did on May 13th. Some may even call what we are doing in such short order and with such passion, miraculous…

Jared “Colonel” Helton

April 2019 Ruck – Backblast

Final Four Pub Ruck
April 6, 2019
AO: South Toledo
QIC: Geppetto

PAX: Klinger, Mayor, Rhonda (Hate), Thumper (Hate), Bambi, Stark, TuPac (Respect) Geppetto, Jimmy Dean, Bob Vance-Vance Refrigeration, Ticket

No FNG’s so right into Mission and Principles:

F3 – Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Mission – Plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership.

The core principles of F3 are that it must:

  • Be free of charge
  • Be open to all men
  • Be held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold
  • Be led by men who participate in the workout in a rotating fashion, with no training or certification necessary.  You versus you. Modify or stop an exercise if you need to. The most important thing is that nobody gets hurt. 
  • End with a Circle of Trust

We circled up in the parking lot of Shawn’s Irish Tavern at 2pm sharp.  Weather was absolutely perfect. Low to mid 60’s with a very light breeze.  The SkyQ blessed us today!

Pax were organized 2×2 with the flag at the front left (more on that later) and our two coupons directly behind the flag.  Two pieces of the F3 Ohio steel were used as the coupons. PAX were paired up as follows:

  • Klinger-Mayor
  • Bambi-Rhonda
  • Jimmy Dean-Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration
  • Stark-TuPac
  • Ticket-Thumper

These pairings would remain constant throughout the ruck.

We headed out of Shawn’s parking lot with Doc Watson’s as our first way point.  We traveled northeast on Heatherdown’s Blvd and Klinger and Mayor set a blazing pace!  The PAX didn’t miss a beat and our formation stayed tight. As we approached the intersection of Heatherdowns and Byrne we passed Flo’s (respect) insurance office and took a photo as the PAX rucked by.  We missed Flo today and hope he gets better soon as he was under the weather and not able to attend the Pub Ruck. YHC instructed the PAX to turn right on Byrne Road and was quickly corrected by Stark that was not the correct direction.  YHC was reminded of his directional deficiency numerous times by Bambi throughout the remainder of the ruck!

As we approached Doc Watson’s we passed the bar to cross at the intersection and avoid playing Frogger across five lanes of Byrne Road.  This added a little distance to our ruck but at the pace we were setting we needed more miles in order to stretch the event to the three-hour minimum.  It also gave us a little extra time at each stop, which no one had an issue with. We entered Doc Watson’s parking lot and planted the shovel flag in a small mulch island near the entrance.  We would have about 40 minutes at the bar, again due to our blistering pace and Bambi and Rhonda continued to ruck and get some miles in.

After some initial stares from the bartenders and patrons we settled in at the bar area.  We took off our packs and sat down for some rehydration. Waters all around and beers that ranged from Thumper’s “Can of the month” Miller High Life ($1.14 – it is the Champagne of Beers!) to IPA’s.  TClaps to Stark for picking up the tab on the beers! Rhonda and Bambi joined us after getting their extra mile in and we had a few minutes remaining so a round of Miller High Life was ordered and drank quickly in order to get back on our route by 3:15.

We circled up outside Doc Watson’s and YHC did a quick Count O Rama to make sure all were accounted for.  We grabbed the flag and headed south on Byrne towards our next stop, Earnest Brew Works. We continued our fast pace and covered the 1.8 miles to Earnest in under a half hour again giving us some extra time to enjoy, in YHC’s opinion the best craft brewery in NW Ohio.

We planted the flag, took off our rucksacks and were warmly greeted at Earnest by smiling faces and wagging dog tails as Earnest is pet friendly!  Mayor picked up the tab for the beers at Earnest which ranged from the easy drinking and aptly named “Easy” to the flavor packed double Oatmeal Stout “Big Oatis”.  Bambi and Rhonda put in some extra miles and joined us after for a quick beer before we headed out towards our Endex.

We now made our way back to Shawn’s and YHC again sent us in the wrong direction.  Instead of the shorter 2.3-mile route we ended up taking the slightly longer 2.4-mile route back up Byrne Road to Heatherdowns.  Again, this ended up being OK as we continued to move at a very quick pace, regardless of which pairing was at the front.

We debated heading to The Distillery for a final beer however this would have put us over our official end time of 5pm.  So, we decided to head back to Shawn’s and wrap up the ruck portion of the day and transition into the Winter Challenge Patch and awards presentation.

Ended with:
Count-O-Rama – Eleven
Name-O-Rama

Sharing of the six – TuPac.  EH’d by Casper at Starbucks. Posted to give F3 a try and has literally not stopped posting since that day.  Got his name because during his naming at the first workout he told everyone that he was going through some “changes” in his life.  Doesn’t really like to exercise but loves coming out for the fellowship and for everything that F3 has done for his life. Aye!

Ball of Man – Prayers for Bambi’s father-in-law, for Patriot and those going through job and career changes and for our F3 brothers dealing with marital and relationship issues.  Thanks and praise to the SkyQ for the great weather, fellowship and this group of HIM’s who continue to amaze with their dedication to each other and to the community.

Spreadsheets from the Gloom:

  • We lost count of the number of car honks early, but a conservative estimate would be thirty+.  TuPac and Stark completed quite a few air presses while carrying one of the coupons. Respect!
  • Total miles covered: 6.6.  Pace: Exactly 15:00. Great work by all to keep a four mile per hour pace for the entire ruck.  We were UNDER 15min/mile for the final 2.4 miles stretch!
  • Bambi and Rhonda rucked to and from the event!  Combined with their 3-hour morning ruck, they covered over 25 miles today.  Nice work men!
  • Multiple times cars stopped along our route to ask what we were all about.  One woman, who was in the military was very happy to see us out supporting the community.  
  • TuPac was in EH mode and talked to people at Doc Watson’s and Earnest about F3Toledo.
  • YHC continually asked for the flag to be kept on the left thinking it has military significance as he heard Klinger direct someone at The Frog to keep the flag on the left.  Bambi asked Klinger about this and there is no military significance when there is only one flag. As we talked about it, Klinger recalls the flag getting caught up in trees during The Frog and asked the flag to be moved to the left side to avoid entanglements.  So there you have it!

Service Project:  Sports equipment donations were collected for Uplyft Toledo, a non-profit organization which aims to give all children in NW Ohio the opportunity to participate in fitness activities and enjoy the associated benefits.

Items collected included basketballs, soccer balls, athletic shoes, baseball helmets and bicycle helmets from the awesome gals at FiA Toledo!

It was an honor to lead the monthly ruck!

May 2019 Ruck Pre-Blast

Legs Were Made for Rucking

Date:            Saturday May 18, 2019
Location:    Fallen Timbers
Time: 0600 – 1200
Alternatively, 0600-0900, or 0900-1200

To get your money’s worth, this is a 6 hour event, but there is the opportunity to drop off or join up at 0900.

The event will begin and end in the parking lot to the north of the Cinemark Fallen Timbers Movie Theater at the Shops at Fallen Timbers.

Those joining at 0900 must be ready to join the group at 0900. Park in the same spot.

Packing List

  • 20 pounds minimum ruck weight
  • Reflectors on Ruck
  • Headlamp
  • Extra batteries
  • Index card with emergency contact information and any other pertinent information
  • Full water bladder
  • Nalgene water bottle

The purpose of this ruck will be to appreciate what our bodies can do and push them further.

Total ruck distance will be between 10 and 15 miles for the entire 6 hours.

The service project portion will be in support of a local charity, Braedan’s Bridge. Braedan is a 13 year old boy from Oregon, Ohio who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2011. Duchenne affects 1 in every 3,500 male births. These boys become confined to wheelchairs in their teens, and typically never see their 21st birthday. There is no known cure.

Braedan’s Bridge hosts an annual casino night at Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter  in October to raise funds to find a cure for Duchenne. We will have the opportunity to learn how we can help volunteer or donate at the ruck.  

March 2019 Ruck – Backblast

Event:         Mock Star Course in the Burg
Date:            Saturday, March 9, 2019 – Sunday, March 10, 2019
Location:    Bar Louie, Levis Commons

10 PAX: Geppetto, Bourbon, Huckleberry, Houdini, Billy Bob, Casper, Bambi, MudVayne, Rhonda, TuPac

Q: Jimmy Dean

At promptly 9pm, YHC handed out maps with the wayward points to the PAX (list is below). They immediately set out to plot a route, with those who were veterans of star courses (mock or otherwise) helping the noobies figure it out. A route was relatively quickly determined as the map was familiar to half of the men. The group set out in the pouring rain after about 15 minutes of mapping. After leaving Bar Louie, we headed across the interstate and towards the Perrysburg Municipal Park.

The rain was at its worst at the beginning of the event, with winds so fierce that Bourbon later recalled that he felt personally violated by it. Though we’re not entirely sure what he meant by it, other guys in the PAX agreed with him. Where there is no lack of rain, there is no lack of puddles as well, and many guys had wet feet pretty much from the get go.

After the park, YHC thought it would be fun to require a picture at The Fortress at the 3rd hole on the disc golf course. This led to walking across a good chunk of the course where we once again got to experience cold water entering our shoes. Once we got to the cement starting point for it, we were grateful for being able to stand on dryer ground.

From the Fortress, the route next took us to another AO in the Burg, The Wall. After snapping a quick pic there, we took off to walk along the river. Bad idea. Whose idea was it anyway? Tupac, of course. This wouldn’t be the first time he suggested a bad route. This also wouldn’t be the first time we followed him down a bad route. Smh…

After traversing across the extremely soggy ground, our group split up with some heading down to walk along the path by the river, and the smart PAX walking up and around on the relatively drier pavement. We learned quickly that keeping our feet out of as much water as possible was ideal.

We regrouped on the Burg side of the bridge before crossing as one big group. The next stretch took us to Maumee High School, and along the way we saw many of Maumee’s finest. One even circled back around to check us out a second time. Even though we looked quite nefarious and had some questionable thugs, none stopped us the entire night. We finally arrived at Maumee High School and fatigue started to kick in for some of the guys.

It was during this stretch to MHS that Bambi had to depart early, while we carried on as a group of 10. A few of the noobies began to realize that they had overpacked, either with weight, gear or both. In a brief AAR later that weekend, they were asking for tips on how to pack better and what gear they should buy for their GORUCK event later this year. The seasoned Stars were happy to oblige.

From MHS, we set off to our farthest point away from the endex, The Field of Dreams. The weather had let up, and then not, and then let up again. And then not. Such was the pattern for all but the last hour or two of the night. The stretch over to the FoD was mainly on pavement and gave our shoes a chance to drain without much more coming in.

On the way to FoD, there was talk of stopping by Woodstock’s house to see what he was up to, but upon reflecting on the fact that he’s married with kids, determined that this course of action wouldn’t be wise. Upon arriving, we took a bit of a longer break and gave guys a chance to eat, rest up and use whatever facilities were available. YHC went around and checked on every single man to make sure he was good to continue. The next stretch would be the longest of the night, and made even more complicated by following Tupac once we got close to the Necropolis.

Along the way, music could be heard and Billy Bob crooned over us as we went along. YHC believed it to be his coping mechanism to help him embrace the suck. Geppetto and Casper started lagging behind, learning the importance of packing correctly. Major props to them for sticking it out!

Once we got back over the river, we made our way to the Necropolis where Bourbon suggested we could go around on pavement or go through it. It was decided to go through it, which led to more rucking through wet grass, puddles, and other enjoyable things like slipper hills.

From the Necropolis, we headed quickly over to the Gauntlet where light joking about doing a Murph ensued. We quickly moved on before we could determine the seriousness of the suggestion.

Next up was Perrsyburg High School, and Huckleberry came in handy as he led this leg for us and shaved off a couple tenths of a mile by going through some secret backdoor ninja route. None of us knew where he was leading us, but we trusted him as anyone should their elders. He came through with flying colors and we snapped our pic near the school sign.

Last up was returning to Bar Louie. On the last leg was conversation about whether or not to post in Sylvania on Sunday morning. The only fool was Tupac, who had literally gotten back from California Saturday afternoon, just hours before the Mock Star Course began. Spirits began to rebound as we neared the endex, with Billy Bob sprinting towards the end. Smiles all around with completing something this awesome.

16.5 miles and 5 hours 40 minutes of embracing the suck so we could become better men. Aye!

Start/Endex:

  • Bar Louie Levis – 4105 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture in front of restaurant (both times)

Wayward Points:

  • Riverside Park – 245 W Front St, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture at bottom of ramp
  • Rivercrest Park – 13761 Eckel Junction Rd, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture at pull-up bars
  • Woodlands Park – 429 E Boundary St, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture at disc golf hole 3
  • Rolf Park – 2115 Cass Rd, Maumee, OH 43537
    • Picture at main gate
  • Fort Meigs – 29100 W Indiana Ave, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture at circle between parking lots
  • Perrysburg Municipal Park – 945 Elm St, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture by playground
  • Perrysburg High School – 13385 Roachton Rd, Perrysburg, OH 43551
    • Picture by sign
  • Maumee High School – 1147 Saco St, Maumee, OH 43537
    • Picture by sign
   

Route Optimizer: www.routexl.com

February 2019 Ruck – Backblast

The ruck started out at 32 degrees with Chew Toy, Patriot and Mercy. YHC was a little skeptical about the ice on the trails so we started at a slower pace.

After a quarter mile, two of us picked up a coupon for two miles. As we were progressing, we found more ice spots so we dropped the coupon logs. We had great conversation, almost got lost a few times but still made it back.

As the ice became more, we had a few near misses but completed the ruck with zero falls. We learned about the park and all of the rare species and the diverse habitat we have at our fingertips. Total distance was 9 miles over just under 3 hours.

March 2019 Ruck Pre-Blast

We saw a flurry of GORUCK event sign-ups at the end of 2018 and a few more early in 2019. For those who are going to do a Star Course later this year and those who want to give a free one a go, consider the Mock Star Course in the Burg.

All F3 Toledo PAX are invited to this event. Here are the details:

  • The event starts at 9pm sharp on Saturday, March 9th, 2019.
  • Be there 10-15 minutes early.
  • Starting location is in front of Bar Louie in Levis Commons.
  • Park in the lot by the Hilton in the furthest spots from the hotel so we don’t disrupt the business.
  • The event will go no longer than 7am Sunday morning and cover no less than 15 miles overnight.
  • At each wayward point (including the start and endex) each team will take a selfie and post it on MumbleChatter in GroupMe.

Packing list:

  • 20lb ruck plates if over 150lbs, 10lb if under.
  • Reflective Ruck Bands (or equivalent) on your rucksack
  • Headlamp (+ extra set of batteries)
  • Smartphone with external battery (at least 1 per team)
  • Photo ID and $20 cash (just in case)
  • Water (with bladder or bottle)

Recommended items:

  • Nalgene bottle
  • Food
  • One extra pair of socks
  • Waterproof bag

Teams of 2-5 can be formed before or at the beginning of the event. The group can decide if it wants to remain as one big group or split up.

At 9pm, Jimmy Dean will pass out sheets of paper with all the wayward points, as well as where to take the pictures at each location. Each team will then determine their own route and begin.

The evening will be a great test of mental, as well as physical, toughness as the long miles will wear on us.

For our 3rd F, our quitter’s cash will be collected at the end and donated to Task Force 20, a non-profit that works with veterans who suffer from PTSD and depression. More info can be found on their website: https://tf20.org/